Monthly Archives: May 2011

Meals and Baking – a week in review

A quick post to note what we’ve been eating this week.  I hope you note that there are less sausages this week!

  • Lamb Curry with rice, peas and green beans
  • Sweet and Sour Pork with rice. Homemade sauce
  • Chicken Fillet with potato, peas and green beans
  • Lamb hamburgers on gluten free french bread rolls (I’ll be making these again, so I’ll have pics and the recipe up soon)
  • Sausages with potato, peas and green beans
  • Fried Rice
Baking hit and miss this week.
  • Gluten free vegan red velvet muffins – fail
  • Rice crackers – fail
  • Lemon butter – success
  • Meringues – success
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Filed under Baking, Dairy Free (DF), Gluten Free (GF), Meal Plans

Pre Appointment Review – May 2011 – 11 Weeks with BioMedicine

Our third Biomed appointment is tomorrow so I thought I’d do a  post before each one on where our son is at.  It will be a good way not only to consolidate my thoughts before the appointment but also review progress made between appointments.

Before our first appointment our son had issues with focus, constipation, fussy eating (taste and texture), speech, eyecontact, excema, low muscle tone and odd limb positioning, looking out the sides of his eyes, short term memory, responsiveness and bed wetting to name things off the top of my head. There were probably other things too that I can’t remember now. Our first appointment was on the 8th of March 2011.

Up until the second appointment we only went dairy free and supplemented with Cod Liver Oil, zinc and Sacro B probiotic and Epsom salt baths.  Most supplements are practitioner prescription ones as they are pure and not combined with other things.

Between the first and second appointments he made great advancements.  He became regular in his bowel movements and his diet has improved in both volume and variety. He became more responsive and chatty, seemed to move more fluidly and is more switched on. The only negative that we have had is his eczema has broken out.

ETA that one of the little things that I never expected was that he also stopped biting his fingernails.  He had been biting them right down to the skin but now I am having to cut them.

After the second appointment on the 19th of April 2011, we swapped the Epsom salt baths for a magnesium supplement as our Dr thought that it may be the sulfur in the Epsom Salts that was bringing out the excema – of course just after I’d bought a 25kg bag of salts. Due to our son deciding not to substitute rice milk into his diet and limited diet, we also decided to add a calcium supplement.  Until we had some blood tests to test for his levels, our Dr decided to leave everything else alone.

We went gluten free as soon as he’d had the Celiac blood test  which was on the 28th April, 2011.  In going gluten free I’ve decided to avoid but not eliminate soy.  Corn is also difficult to avoid as its one of the main gluten free replacements.

The change in our son between these appointments has not been as dramatic as between the first two appointments but there have certainly been advances.  He will now spontaneously tell us things that happen at Kinder such as “Hamish was the Hairy Hat man today” ( H is the letter of the week). His memory seems to be getting better although it may just be his ability to express it.  This week he came out with a whole stream of sentences which covered the letters A-H and how they had learnt them at kinder over the past 10 weeks.  “A is Annie Apple, B is…” Also although still not great, his pencil grip is getting slightly better.  Unfortunately the eczema has not resolved by removing the baths.  I’m wondering if it could be the sulfur in the zinc sulfate.

A down side to bringing him out of his ‘fog’ is that he is often more interested in everything going on around him than the task at hand.  When a friend saw him after going dairy free, she said he looked as if he was seeing the world for the first time. He is also having difficulty sitting still and straight but I’m unsure if this is a biomedical or a chiropractic adjustment issue as its been almost 4 weeks since his last adjustment,

Our third appointment is tomorrow.   We will have been supplementing and dairy free for 11 weeks and gluten free for 4 weeks.  Areas I that I feel need attention are his attention span and task focus, speech (receptive and expressive), fine motor strength – after all he is great at using Lego but the pencil grip is hard for him, his tendency to loll and lay about and the excema flare up. Bed wetting is still and issue too. I don’t know if its related but he is also much harder to get into bed at night as he seems to be finding it hard to switch off.

I just asked him what he wanted the doctor to help him with tomorrow and he replied “To get the foggies out.  There is one foggy left” .  Its so wonderful that not only are we seeing the changes but he is feeling them too.

*Although I mention our supplementation and diet here, we are doing this under medical supervision, which I would encourage you to do also if you wish to follow this type of regime*

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Filed under Pre Appointment Review, Progress Reports

It’s the little things.

[A short little post to keep you going whilst I remember to take pictures of my cooking attempts]

It was playgroup morning this morning.  Our playgroup has a rotating morning tea schedule so we hadn’t been for a couple of weeks. Between life getting in the way, I decided to let our son settle into his new diet before putting him in tempting situations.

I’m so very very proud of him. He will ask if things have wheat or gluten or milk in them and if they do or we aren’t sure, he will find something else to eat that is safe for him. No complaints.  Ok, the occasional downturned face but never a tantrum or trying to sneak food.  He is really embracing it.  He knows that it is making him feel better.

To top off this morning, another parent commented how far our son had come.  Between ours and their absences, it would have been about a month or more since he had seen our son. He said he had really changed and come a long way in such a short period of time.

Its moments like these that really tell me we are doing the right thing.  There is no way he would have made such huge strides without biomedical intervention.  Now I can’t wait for our appointment on Friday to see what the Dr has in store for us next.

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The Cleanout

These are the bags of food I passed on to my friend when I cleared all gluten and dairy out of my pantry.

More than 5 shopping bags full.Lots of things you don’t think of such as lolly pops which are made with wheat glucose. My friend loved it as she didn’t have to do groceries that week!  I, on the other hand, spent double our regular shopping budget that week.

Ok, daily keeping track of our meals is not working so I think I’ll do it each week in retrospect.

In the last week our meals have been:

  • Sausages and vegetables (peas, corn and potato) or salad ( lettuce, tomato, beetroot, cucumber, pickled onion) x 3 times
  • Lamb steaks with veges or salad
  • Pumpkin soup
  • Chicken stirfry with rice

I must be doing something right as they have actually cleaned their plates  a couple of times!

Sausages have been good lately as not only are they being eaten but with the price of meat the way it is right now, its a cheaper option so keeps the budget under control.  I always make sure they are gluten free but I am on the lookout for a good range of sausages that are organic and without fillers.  Ingredients such as hydrolized vegetable protein is usually soy or corn based and although I haven’t eliminated these things (yet), I do prefer to avoid them as they will be eliminated in time.  Maybe I’ll just end up making my own …. or is that just another reason (aka excuse) to get a Kitchenaid mixer?

Breakfast for me has been an egg on GF toast or rice porridge with coconut milk.  Our eldest son is loving Freedom Foods Maple Crunch cereal.  He’s decided that he doesn’t want rice or almond milk so he has it dry.  We’ve been snacking on apples, rice cakes, rice crackers, potato crisps, more dry cereal and salami ‘twiggy’ sticks.

I’ve also had some success with baking, but thats for another post.

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Filed under Baking, Bio Med, Dairy Free (DF), Gluten Free (GF)

GFDF Cooking – Lesson Number One

Cadainian Via Flickr

When I  first realised that we would be going GFDF and then probably soy, corn and rice free too, I started researching all the alternatives.  I found so many recipes for gluten free flour blends and I bought almost every different type of gluten free flour out there.  I have a drawer full of buckwheat, potato, rice, arrowroot, tapioca, amaranth, besan (chickpea), nut and sorghum flours and starches.  I felt like my head was about to explode with all the variations.

I had information overload and was paralyzed by the choices which then made me feel like postponing starting our GFDF diets.

Then I had my first revelation.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel

The next day I went and bought packets of premade flour mixes that met our current needs of GFDF.  Fortunately they are also soy free.  Ones that are corn free aswell are not as easy to find.

Some may say that lesson number one would be to read the labels carefully but for me this was a given as I usually did this anyway.  In general I would not buy products where I did not recognise the ingredients and I couldn’t make it at home if I wished.  I needed to realise that I am not the first to do this and won’t be the last.  Use the information that is out there but don’t overwhelm yourself.

So right now I am using premade one to one substitutes while we settle into this new way of life.  I really want to get to the point of making my own mixes and preparing everything from scratch but that is not where I am right now.  I’m not completely happy with the outcomes using the premade mixes but they will do for now.  As our diet progresses and takes its twists and turns or it comes to the point where I can’t find a premade mix to suit, then I’m sure I will have the time, headspace and more knowledge to be able to try out all those recipes I found or even develop my own.

For my own record, I’m going to keep a track of what we are eating in here.  I hope to start developing meal plans to share including baking for the week too.

Last nights dinner was pork scotch steak with peas, corn, potato and cabbage.

Tonight so far I have some pork sausages out which will probably be teamed with vegetables much like last night.

The boys are getting into Bubble Guppies and are learning about Smores so I we have made marshmallows and graham crackers.  They liked them but I think they prefer the yoyo biscuits I’ve also made this week.  I’ll be back with the recipes later.

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Filed under Baking, Bio Med, Recipes

Well Hello Again

If you are one of my old friends, you will have known I’ve tried blogging before.  But that was blogging for the sake of blogging.  I never had a purpose in blogging before but now I do.  I’m blogging to document our family life as we’ve had some dramatic changes recently.

At the beginning of the year my husband had an atrial fibrulation.  This gave him (and me) quite a scare and under doctors orders he has cut out all caffeine from his diet.  This is a man who used to drink 6 or more coffees a day and then a couple of iced coffees on top of that.

Next our eldest son was diagnosed with autism on his 5th birthday.  After some corrections to inaccuracies in the report and a review of his case, the diagnosis was later withdrawn.  What ever diagnosis was or was not, it didn’t change the fact that he wasn’t functioning at the same level as his peer group.  We knew he was intelligent (afterall he taught himself to read at the age of 3) but he has a language delay and always seemed lost in his own world.  He also had chronic constipation and a limited diet.  Now that he didn’t have a ASD diagnosis also meant that he didn’t qualify for funding for extra early intervention.  The biggest struggle I had with all of the healthcare professionals that we had seen was that none offered any hope that he would one day be just like his peers.

One day, when surfing the net for something completely unrelated, I came across  www.biobalance.org.au .  The blurb from their site was like a breath of fresh air for us:

“Bio-Balance Health’s primary aim is to make available in Australia information on the use of a comprehensive biochemical assessment and advanced complementary nutritional treatment of a range of disorders such as behavioural disorders, ADD, ADHD, learning disorders and Autism as well as mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.”

We had previously tried going gluten free as a paediatrician had told us that some believed it clogged up the brain.  We also tried lactose free to try and combat his excema.  Mulitvitamins to counteract his poor diet. We did all of these things off our own bat and with no real plan or knowledge of why these things might help him.  But at least we felt like we were doing something.

I used BioBalance’s “Find a Practitioner” and found two local practitioners, which amazed me as we live in a rural area.  I chose one and she was able to see our son within a month.  Our first appointment with her on the 8th of March 2011 and frankly I was blown away. Through a family history, our sons medical history, a few seemingly left of field questions (do I get a white out when someone takes a photo of me with a flash, problems with night vision or see sparkle offshoots in headlights when driving at night) and an examination she has suggested that he may have conditions/deficiencies which stop messages crossing his hypothalamus and also block his opiate receptors open so essentially he is stoned all the time. When she said this, it clicked. That is exactly what he is like. He always seems like he is in a fog. One of the main things he seems to be getting a buzz from (and hence why he loves it so much) is dairy. So that is gone from his diet. All dairy not just lactose.  In the literature she gave me it also says to cut out all chocolate flavours, cocoa, cola, green cordial (as it has cola in it) and beef and gelatine as sensitivity to dairy can also mean sensitivity to these aswell. She tests sensitivity by testing with as little as 1ml of dairy, this is how strict we need to try and be with his diet.

Gluten is also to be removed from his diet after a blood test for coeliac disease.  Some children are also sensitive to the protein in soy and corn in the same way.  I often said that he was a ‘milk junkie’ or ‘pasta junkie’ or ‘rice junkie’ and essentially he is.  These foods are like a drug to him so its the foods that he loves so much that we will need to remove from his diet.

Next is the G protein defect which affects the neural pathways across the hypothalamus. It means messages go in but then get blocked crossing the brain while its being processed and turned into speech. Its indicated by large pupils incomaprison to family, bowel problems, light/dark sensitivity and the looking out he corners of the eyes and a family history of auto immune disease ( I have psoriatic arthritis). This is treated with vitamin A in cod liver oil. It can also be triggered by candida protein.  Other symptoms our son has also point to possible candida in his gut. So we are starting probiotics for this. She also wants to ensure his neurotransmitters are working correctly so is supplementing with zinc and B6 and B12.

I mentioned bed wetting to the Dr who said that was a sign of magnesium deficiency.  Half a cup of Epsom Salts(magnesium sulfate)  in his bath every 2nd day was the prescription.  We’ve since switched to an oral magnesium supplement as the sulfur in the Epsom Salts was causing eczema.

Within days we could see a difference in him.  He was no longer constipated. The range and quantity of food he is eating has increased dramatically. He was switched on.  Responsive. Inquisitive. Imaginative.  Chatty. Able to focus and concentrate. He sings to himself all the time.  He is even backchatting us and giving us the exasperated  ‘just a minute’ when we ask him to do things.  Our boy was coming out of the fog.

When someone questioned the financial cost, I put it in Mastercard terms.

Doctors consultation – $100

Supplements – $150

A conversation with my son – priceless

I was so impressed with the progress our boy had made where other health professionals had given no hope, that I booked myself in with the Dr.  I have been off of arthritis medication for 18 months while trying to conceive.  We did conceive but lost our baby at 11 weeks gestation in mid 2010.  Ever since my cycles had been extremely out of kilter.  The only options I was getting from traditional healthcarers was chemicals or surgery. Neither of these would be addressing the underlying issue though.  Our Biomed doctor prescribed a dairy free and gluten free diet aswell along with supplements.

Now we are 2 months into our biomedicine journey. All cooking I do now is gluten and dairy free even though my husband and younger son are have not been prescribed a gluten free dairy free (GFDF) diet. They are only having dairy in cheese or whole milk and gluten if they buy a bun or cake from the shops.

Wow, that was long.  If you are still reading – thankyou.

Now here comes the the payoff for reading all of that. I hope to use this blog to track our adventures and trials in the new world of GFDF  (and later probably soy, corn and rice free) cooking as well as tracking my sons progress and snippets of  our family life.  If I can help others on their own DF/ GF or GFDF diet or encourage someone to look into biomedicine for their own health if they aren’t happy with the traditional healthcare they are recieving, I will be very happy.

And I promise that my posts from now on will not be as long as this one!

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Filed under Bio Med, Introduction