Wednesday, December 31, 2008

doughnuts, donuts

This was the best by far to me. I didn't post it here because of the need to use approved oil. There are many many brands so I'll just let you know that I use wesson oil (not shortening). Please check the Feingold food list for different options. If you know that this diet has helped you it would really benefit your family to have a food list at least for a year.
The key to these is to keep the dough very very very soft. I make it the night before and stick it in the fridge overnight. Then in the morning, I flour the cutting board, roll out gently, and cut with my doughnut cutter. By morning it only needs a little flour to roll but the dough can still be nice and light. They turn out MUCH different if you put too much flour in.
We do a light glaze with powdered sugar and water and dip the whole doughnut in.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Krispy Kreme experiment failed

ooh yeah, I found that one out last year when I was desperate and the hot light was was such a comfort to learn how to make our own of those unreachable foods was reachable!

Homemade dipped cherry cordials and other chocolates

Oh my goodness, I'm drooling. We're making dipped cordial cherries.

We made a fondant out of 1/4 c butter
2 1/4 c powdered sugar
1 TBSP of the juice the cherries were packaged in
1/2 tsp vanilla (listing only alcohol and vanilla)
1/8 tsp almond extract (listing only alcohol and oil of almond)

If you don't have approved extracts just use a little more juice. Mix it all together and knead well till it's like playdoh. Add more powdered sugar if needed.

Then we wrapped that around some all natural maraschino cherries (not approved, got them at Whole Foods and took the chance out of desparation.) keeping the stems on, and froze them for an hour.

We melted a bag of ghiradelli chocolate chips (we used semi-sweet but might try different kinds if this works) on low and then let that cool so it wasn't hot but it was still liquid. Then dipped the cherries and fondant via stem in the chocolate, covering completely. Set it on waxed paper and put it back in the freezer.

Now we'll set it out at room temperature for 3 days, that should semi-liquefy the centers. I can't tell you how excited I am for these.

These were my kryptonite before. I was doing great for Christmas and then a well meaning neighbor gave us some regular chocolate covered cherries. Oh, I almost opened that box and if I had I'd have eaten them ALL and been a monster for 3 days. I'm proud to say that the box is still unopened just waiting to pawn off on an unsuspecting person soon. We'll wait for our yummy ones, and they should be WAY better than dollar store chocolates!

BTW, you can make the same fondant but flavor it with any approved flavoring or plain cocoa, knead well, shape, freeze, and dip for different flavored chocolates. They'll stay solid because they don't have the cherries to liquify them.

another FYI, many times nuts have BHT sprayed on them or the packaging so while they may look natural, be aware unless they're in the shell or approved.

Monday, December 29, 2008


I don't think I've done crepes here yet. A friend made these, I read her blog, and she simply linked to this recipe. Remember to use whole milk and real butter.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Biggest hit and biggest bomb for Christmas

The biggest bomb first...We tried some red striped candy canes from Whole Food and they were a BAD idea! Just a 1/2 day reaction for us so it was probably a preservative or something unlisted but bad definitely! Just the kids who chose the striped ones showed reactions quickly each time they ate them. Our white ones from the Feingold list were fine.

The biggest hit...MOON SAND! I found a great deal on Amazon with free shipping. A $29 kit was $3.50. I bought 5 different kits between the kids and they've played with it all yesterday and today. They haven't reacted at all, there's no smell, and the color doesn't stick to their hands like playdoh or clay. It doesn't dry out either. I know I'm a whimp but I hate homemade play doh.
We have relegated the moon sand to the kitchen table only and there have been a few dustings of sand on places other than the moon sand tub but it sweeps up quickly so I don't worry about it.
Andrew was cute...he read the package and was telling Adam all about it and he said, "It's real sand from the moon, sand from the moon doesn't stick like sand here."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hopefully one more day...tricks to get rid of a reaction

I'm hoping I just have one more day of this. I thought I'd take this opportunity to list some things that people try to get rid of reactions.
I believe the #1 thing people try is an epsom salt bath. I have heard that people react worse to this but I've often wondered if their soap/shampoo makes it worse sitting in the bath.
I've also had my kids drink 1 tsp of epsom salts in water to "get things moving". I figure the quicker it gets out of the intestines the less it should absorb.
Same goes for any basic cleanse pill or laxative. Just make sure it's on the Feingold list. I've had success with some senna tablets from walmart that just listed 3 ingredients.
I've also had my kids drink wheat grass juice or golden flax seed in a smoothie.
Most of the time when they have a reaction I'm not thinking my best either because I've had something and rather than just do the above things I sit and mope and play on my computer all day.
So, today I'm off to cleanse the kids and we'll see if it helps at all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

what I've been listening to all day

"you've been punching me all day"
"ow, you don't have to punch me back"
"my hand slipped"
"mom!!!!!!!the boys are fighting again, they're annoying me"
"you're chewing too loud"
"quit talking, you're talking while you're eating"
etc etc etc etc!

They were really good when my friend came over cause they were busy eating...see "C", it was good that you came during dinner.

"oh, pardon me while I go fix another problem..."

ok I'm back...we HAVE to be careful or I'm going to go to the loony bin.

ugh again

Well, morning update is...all the kids slept till 10 am, Adam has hit 2 people this morning, Andrew is watching TV zoned out and wrapped up in a blanket and hasn't moved for 3 hours, Alyssa is whining and crying about everything and how nobody is cooporating and it's such a horrible day because the boys are reacting so she can't get anything done.
Here we go again...reaction day #2

Sunday, December 21, 2008

uh oh!

Argh, here we go! My family is so sweet to think of us when we get together. My Grandma made sure we had everything we could eat except rolls (she offered to make some rhodes for us but I said I'd bring some).
I had told Russ how happy I was that the family was so kind and how we'd be fine for food. So, he helped the kids get food before I knew it. When I came in they were all eating the rolls Grandma had brought. And yes, they were almost done with them. I ran over to the bag to check ingredients before I royally freaked out. Yep, they had artificial flavors and colors.
Russ had to keep tabs on Andrew, he's always the first to react (my pre-asthma kid). And of course he did...getting in everyone's faces, "helping" the baby do handstands and wheelbarrows cause "she likes it", whacking everyone with the blankets that were presents, etc etc etc.
I'm sure tonight we'll be treated to a kid with night terrors trying to wander all over the house as he can't wake up. He stopped peeing the bed during a reaction last year. That's good. He just has to go to the bathroom after he wakes up from the night terror.
When we got home Adam slugged Andrew for no apparant reason. He's usually my easiest kid. It was a hard slug too. His reactions tend to quit earlier also so I'll hope for the best.
So, the moral of the story is...communicate with your spouse, kids, and all involved of your well laid plans.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bragging moment, strawberry jellies

I have to brag for a moment. You know, I think everyone thinks "if there is just _________ on Feingold I could do it". Well, for my hubby it was peach flavored gummies with sugar crystals and chocolate dipped jellies. He's always snuck them given the chance.
Last night he came home and ate my new creations and raved and raved. I was so proud. He said, I'd never have to sneak again if you just make these. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, today I grabbed a bag of strawberries out of the freezer and used strawberry puree instead of the orange juice. It worked very well and I can't wait till dh comes home to taste them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

quick meatballs, freezer meals

Just a quick note...when I made my meatballs for lunch I also mixed up the whole 10 lb chub of meat (with egg, salt, onion, and garlic) and used my little ice cream scoop/cookie scoop to scoop out just the right size balls. Then the kids rolled them up and placed them side by side on a cookie sheet with waxed paper. These went into the freezer and when they were firm and slightly frozen they went into a freezer bag.
This way it's very easy to get out 3 meatballs per person, stick them in the pan, and cook them. I like freezing them before they're cooked because then when I'm cooking each individual meal I can use the grease in the sauce. Sounds gross but hey...I learned it from Hillbilly Housewife and you just can't argue her.

You can pre-measure and freeze a whole lot of stuff with a cookie scoop!

Pizza and breadsticks tonight

MMMMMMMMMM our favorite meal tonight...Pizza and breadsticks, salad on the side of course.

I made a basic bread dough out of flour, water, yeast, and salt...spread that out on my pizza pan that was sprinkled with plain cornmeal...and topped it with white whole milk store brand mozzarella (at walmart this is in a ball next to the precious, not by the rectangle cheese and it's cheap), olives, mushrooms, and hormel naturals pepperoni.

One day we wanted to try pizza without tomatoes cause we didn't have them on hand, it turned out so yummy that now we rarely use a tomato sauce. Sometimes we just open a can of chopped tomatoes and add those or add fresh chopped ones.

Here's our secret sauce. After the pizza is done, melt some real butter and squish a clove or two of garlic into the butter. Add a pinch of salt. This gets drizzled over the pizza along with real whole milk Parmesan cheese (found at Costco near the big huge blocks of cheese, already shredded for $2/lb.) right before serving.

Orange Jelly Candy

I've been experimenting more with gummies but I wanted something more like the insides of chocolate dipped jelly sticks. I made this recipe and it was perfect! I'll probably end up dipping or drizzling it with chocolate. It does take more cooking time than the gummies but not a lot of my time. I just had to stir it every once in a while.

2 cups sugar
1 envelopes unflavored gelatin or 3 TBSP.
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup orange juice concentrate (I used orange/pineapple)
1/4 tsp salt
5 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Mix everything but the essential oil in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer 15-20 minutes (stir the bottom of the pot every once in a while) until the mixture forms a short thread or starts to sheet heavily. Add the essential oils.
Pour the mixture into molds or a 9 x 5 casserole dish that has been lightly oiled with coconut oil.
When this is cooled and set, use a cold water dipped knife to cut into cubes.
Eat as is, roll in powdered sugar, or dip in chocolate.
Store in cardboard or wrapped in a paper bag.

Jonathan's story

This is the story of Jonathan from a happy Feingolding mom...

Jonathan nowWhen Jonathan was a baby we thought he had the most severe case of colic ever. He never slept for longer than twenty minutes at a time, screamed constantly and writhed in pain for much of the time. We tried over the counter gas drops, prescription medicines, teething gels....nothing seemed to help him.

As a baby he was very physically active - was pulling up and standing in his crib by five months and walking by nine months, and once he took off there was no stopping him! He never spoke, though - not even "Mama" or "Dada".....his only means of communication seemed to be ear piercing shrieks. When Jonathan was 21 months old his baby brother was born and by this time Jonathan reminded us of the Tasmanian Devil - we never saw him walk anywhere - he had one speed: hyper warp speed. He would get around a room by running and jumping on couches, chairs even desks, and he would lash out at anyone for no apparent reason. He wouldn't sit still for a second, even for a hug - a movie or a story was out of the question. Even family refused to babysit him because he was so violent, and we were about at the end of our rope!

With a new baby in the house, and Jonathan still waking up every twenty or thirty minutes and insisting on sleeping in our bed, screaming when I got out to feed the baby, things seemed unbearable. My Mother flew over from England for a couple of weeks to help out after Chris's birth, and one night she observed Jonathan's "bedtime ritual", which consisted of me holding him down on the bed, kicking and screaming for two hours, until he fell into an exhausted sleep at 11pm. I came out of the bedroom in tears, wondering how I would cope after she left. My husband is a wonderful man and a great father but he was working nights at the time so wasn't there to help.

My mother asked if I had ever considered that Jonathan might be allergic to additives in foods, since she knew someone whose child had a similar problem, so we got on the internet and searched "diet,additives and hyperactivity". We discovered Dr Feingold's book "Why Can't My Child Behave",went out and bought it the next day, and started reading the Feingold website, a non profit organization made up of parents of children who are sensitive to and intolerant of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives in foods. We discovered that we were not alone, that hundreds of parents were agonizing along with us about their chidrens' behavior, and that they were changing and improving that behavior without medication, just by changing the diet!

I was still a little skeptical so we decided to try our own little experiment: for one week we would feed Jonathan plain grilled meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, and we would keep track of how he behaved. Within twenty four hours of eating this way my mother and I watched Jonathan walk slowly across the room - we thought it must be a coincidence and were scared to get our hopes up, but we had never, ever seen him WALK before! The second day we had to go shopping, usually a nightmare with Jonathan. He sat in the stroller for hours, not squirming, not complaining, not grabbing for things from shelves. Jonathan now - in school

We never looked back! We joined the Feingold organization, who research food manufacturers for us and put out newsletters and an extensive food guide of brand names that we can buy that have been researched and are free of the additives that we avoid. The whole family eats the same food - very little prepackaged. We're not "health food nuts" - I shop at Super Walmart for my groceries - I just have to be a little more careful about the brands I buy. We don't avoid sugar and our four children have plenty of treats, cake, cookies, ice cream, even chips and certain brands of candy!

Within three months, by the time he turned two, Jonathan had an extensive vocabulary, and now at four he is the most well mannered, articulate, polite and loving little boy we know! He is learning to read at kindergarten, follows complex directions, focuses on whatever he is working on, takes long naps and sleeps at night.....friends who hear his story can't believe we're talking about "sweet quiet Jonathan". He likes nothing better than to sit and snuggle and read a book, and when we go to a movie he won't squirm unless it's to turn around and whisper "I love you" in our ears.

We have to be very careful now that Jonathan's in kindergarten, that he doesn't eat anything that's off-diet. I get a month's snack menu in advance, and send it back to the school with notes on whether he can eat the school's food on any particular day, or if I will send in a substitute from home. I try to keep a few chocolate cupcakes (his favorite) in the freezer so he can take one to birthday parties, since we usually don't know what ingredients are in the birthday cake. I keep his teacher supplied with frozen cupcakes and acceptable candy so she can give him a piece when the other kids in his class get a sucker.

Occasionally though there's a slip up and he eats something with artificial colors, or artificial vanilla instead of pure vanilla....and then watch out! As soon as twenty minutes after he's eaten, he'll start screaming, or crying uncontrollably, or hitting his brothers for no reason, and the reaction can last anywhere from one to three days. The last time that happened I asked him if he felt sick and he said "no I don't feel sick, I feel BAD!" Now if anyone offers him anything to eat or drink he'll ask if it has colors in it, because he doesn't like the way he feels when he eats off-diet.

I look around the playground and I wonder how many other children would be helped by simple diet changes - so many children are medicated when they could be helped by just taking out the artificial junk in their diets. Unfortunately, many parents have tried diet changes and given up because they didn't give it long enough to see results. If a piece of offending food causes a three day behavioral reaction, then a piece of candy or a glass of artificially colored punch just twice a week can cause a continuous state of hyperactivity, even if you eat right the rest of the week. As for me and my family, we're Feingolders for life - we've discovered the joy of food without petroleum based colors and we'll never go back to the old way of eating.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hallelujah pudding,0,6839090.story

This sounds very interesting. Make sure to use real brown sugar, the brand that is just brown sugar, not white sugar with molasses added. Also, make sure your coconut milk is just coconut milk.
I might try to substitute some dried flaked coconut and milk instead of the coconut milk.
I have 50 lbs of plain dried coconut that I bought from Azure Standard.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

How food is considered safe

This particular video isn't necessarily about Feingold but I believe it's a good 10 minute show about how "stuff" that isn't safe still gets passed off as safe, still gets good marketing, etc.

This is why and old friend said, "if it wasn't safe, wouldn't someone tell us?"

Eating out

We rarely eat out in general but here's a few tips if you do...

#1, Feingold does have a fast food list that includes things from many different popular fast food places including McDonalds, Carl's Jr, Arby's, Subway, Wendy's and others. So, if you don't want to research your own stuff go there.

When we want to go somewhere not on the list we think plain. Do your research cause what you think is plain may not be. For instance, we thought we'd be ok with pasta and butter at Olive Garden and found out that Ogden oils their pasta in the morning and we can't get plain pasta. Sugarhouse does not, we could get it there. Plain baked potatoes might not really be plain either. Ask questions!

If you have time, email the company headquarters and ask for their help, then call at a non-busy time to the restraunt you will be eating at. Ask to speak with a head chef or someone who can help you with allergies. Some restraunts will bend over backwards to help you, some could care less. I always leave a good tip for someone who helps as well as writing a nice email to the company with the person's name who helped me. The more word gets out the better.

A few years ago people who said they were allergic to wheat were weird and unheard it has to be on the label. I hope to get to that point with petroleum products.

Once you get to the restraunt, ask to speak with the same person (the first couple of times you visit there) and go over your order that was previously agreed upon. Once you've gone a few times you can even have your order written down and just ask if they need to clarify anything.

Most restraunts have real butter and whole milk hidden somewhere in the store if you ask for them.

Ask about pan sprays or oils...once we went to Golden Corral after so much research but the kids were bouncing off the walls 15 minutes later. I couldn't figure out what the problem was until I walked past the bakers with their rolls and saw them spraying pretty shiny stuff over the tops. I had asked how they were baked and if there was pan grease. He said no, they were baked with a silpat sheet and no grease.

Many places will have a plain baked potato and you can add salt, pepper, and real butter. They possibly have sour cream with just cream and salt but most sour cream is a concoction. They may have whole milk cheese that's white or has annatto.

Plain veggies (ask them to read the label if they're frozen)

Plain meat (ask them to read the label for marinades or anything besides the meat. (We had another experience in the mountains where we had NOTHING available except what we had previously talked with the cook about. We asked if they had hamburger and chicken. Yep he did, we found later after some major bed peeing that they both had marinade before they were frozen. It was on the label but he hadn't seen it cause we didn't ask about the label. Luckily he had plenty of whole milk white cheese so we subbed that for all the meat on that trip)

Plain pasta or a lot of italian style breads will be ok. Ask about their pan grease or sprays. Ask if oils can be skipped. For instance, Olive garden breadsticks at our area were fine if they didn't have the yellow junk poured on them afterwards. We just had them bring out butter packets instead.

Plain salad with real lemon juice and olive oil and salt or approved dressing.

Fresh fruit or fruit canned with just the fruit and sugar. If they have a banana they can even throw that in the oven and put some cinnamon and sugar on it. Or warm up any fruit and put a dash of whole milk and sugar with it.

Skip anything fried cause most restraunt oil has BHT. Skip seasoning salt, lots of it has red #40.

If you're concerned about other things on the grill have them cook it on a piece of aluminum foil.
Basic Tapioca Pudding
Serves 6-8

1/2 cup Small Pearl Tapioca
2 1/2 cups of whole milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp. real vanilla (listing only vanilla and alcohol)

Soak tapioca overnight in 2 cups of room temp water. Drain.

Pour milk into a double boiler, heat milk just til no longer cold.
Add salt and tapioca. Continue to heat until small bubbles appear near the sides of the pan. Cover,
turn heat to very low cooking for one hour. Milk should NOT SIMMER

Beat egg yolks and sugar together until the color lightens. Add a
small amount of the hot mixture to the yolks and stir, blending
thoroughly. Continue to slowly add the hot mixture to the yolk/sugar
mix, stirring constantly. Place back over double boiler and cook
until tapioca is very thick. (about 15 minutes)

Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into hot mixture.

Stir in vanilla. Serve warm or cold.

Chocolate variation:

Add a 1/2 cup of grated chocolate.

Orange-Banana variation:

Prepare as directed but add 2 tsp of grated orange rind while milk
mixture is cooking. Chill entire pudding for at least an hour, then
fold in one cup of heavy whipped cream; pour in serving dishes.
Garnish with an orange slice, banana slices or other fruit. This
sounds like it needs to be served a.s.a.p. to keep the whipped cream

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Frozen cookie dough

This is a picture (sideways) of the frozen cookie dough balls Alyssa made. She made a 4x batch, then with a small cookie scoop (like an ice cream scoop, get a $10 one cause cheap ones break quickly) scooped out balls and froze them on waxed paper. Then from there the balls can be frozen in one layer and then put into freezer baggies.
cook them as normal but add about 2 minutes to the cooking time.

New pictures of spring rolls

I've edited the above post to include pictures...

Gummi Candy

I finally got my camera so here's the pics of my gummi candy, jello beans. I picked up the squirty bottle and jello bean mold at the local thrift store (D.I.) and they work great. I cooked the gelatin and juice in my small pan then I poured the mixture into the squirty bottle and used a spatula to get the rest out.
The next step was so easy with the squirty. I could fill up the beans with no problem.
We made a few batches. My favorite are still the grapefruit but my kids don't like it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Aiden's Story

Aiden's Story
Our son has done a complete "180"
since beginning the Feingold Program!

He was 2 ½ years old and a complete hellion. He had NEVER slept through the night and was an extremely light sleeper, waking up 3-4 times each night. Aiden suffered from night terrors (nightmares) and myoclonic jerks (twitching) in his sleep. He would wake up crying, and when we tried letting him cry it out he would bang his head against the wall, kick the bed, scream, and become downright hysterical. After he had physically hurt himself several times we gave up on that method and took turns comforting him at night, through the night terrors, twitching, and frequent awakenings.
By day he had a horrible temper, threw major tantrums (sometimes lasting an hour), was destructive, and was completely unresponsive to any form of discipline. Aiden showed remarkable perseveration in his mischief - he would set out on a destructive course of action and could not be distracted from it. Our son basically seemed very uncomfortable.
Aiden was highly anxious and became very upset by any new situation, and by the sight of anyone he did not see almost daily. We could not take him anywhere in public without a complete meltdown. He became very upset over trivial things. For example, our neighbor Ralph would mow the grass and Aiden loved to watch. However, if Ralph waved or said "Hello," Aiden would start shrieking and crying, repeatedly saying "Bye-bye Raff, bye-bye Raff." My husband and I were absolutely at our wits' end and had been told by many "He must be ADHD," and "you'll probably need to medicate him."
What went wrong?
We read books, talked to other parents, asked doctors, did Internet research - everything we could think of to try to figure out "what went wrong" with raising Aiden. Our 5-year-old, Jared, was an extremely sensitive, well-behaved, caring, intelligent, well-spoken, GOOD little boy, and we had been raising them exactly the same way.
The pediatrician
At his 18-month check-up our pediatrician told us Aiden would "grow out of it" by the time he was two. Well, it was time for the two-year check-up and things were still awful. Our pediatrician was a wonderful, soft-spoken, gentle woman whom we absolutely loved. You'd never know it the way Aiden cried, kicked, pushed and frantically pulled on the exam room door to get out. She watched in disbelief and asked, "Is he always like this?" I replied that he was. As she watched me calmly tell Aiden it was o.k, and we were almost done, she asked, "Do you always handle him like this? Because I don't see where you're doing anything to make things worse. I'm actually amazed you are being so calm - most mothers would be pulling their hair out by now." I told her I try to stay calm (it doesn't always work!) because getting angry and yelling does nothing but make him more upset. She shook her head in confusion and said she had no idea what to suggest. She referred us to a renowned pediatric neurologist in our area for further examination.
Testing and treatments
Aiden's speech was significantly delayed, which we later discovered can be related to a child's sensitivity to additives and salicylates. However, at the time, the speech delay combined with the twitching indicated potential seizure activity. He was given an EEG to look for seizures, along with a hearing test, speech evaluation, and developmental assessment. The tests/evaluations showed nothing was physiologically wrong with Aiden - nothing explaining the obvious delays in his speech and development, or his behavioral issues. We were relieved, but even more confused…so what was the problem? The neurologist prescribed Clonidine, a blood pressure reducing medication, to "take down his anxiety level" and help him sleep. He described Aiden's general well-being perfectly, noting, "He just seems uncomfortable in his own skin." We had said the same thing so many times. He would walk around wringing his hands, pulling at his shirt, pulling at his hair, and was always fussy and unhappy - even as an infant. Actually, that isn't exactly accurate…Aiden showed these behaviors about 75% of the time, except for the sleeping problems - which were nearly all the time. However, the other 25% of the time he was the absolute sweetest, most lovable, adorable little boy in the world. He was very affectionate and interactive, and seemed truly "himself" during these rare but promising moments.
People often told us what awesome parents we were and how wonderful our first son, Jared, was. We were certainly at a loss with Aiden! We felt like failures as parents. No one was capable of watching him for us except my husband's brave and loving Aunt Betty; he was just too difficult to handle. I am a stay-at-home mom…imagine not sleeping through the night for two years, dealing with an incredibly difficult child all day (while trying not to ignore your well-behaved child) with no relief but your husband - who needed a break sometimes too! No one believed me when I said, "When he gets in trouble he seems totally shocked, and then totally ashamed and devastated…it's almost like he can't help himself." People said he had me "snowed" and he was just a "good actor." This, about a two year- old who could barely communicate with us due to his speech delay!
Clonidine and the Feingold Program
My mom had been suggesting for several months we try a change in diet. As a teacher back in the 1970s, she saw many children who benefited from Dr. Feingold's work. She also had a friend whose grandchild is on the diet; he is severely autistic and the diet prevents behavioral problems and tantrums. It wasn't until we had the Clonidine experience that we were ready to look elsewhere for answers. One Sunday we realized we had run out of his Clonidine and didn't give it to him before bed that night. When we called the neurologist's office Monday to get the prescription refilled, he was rather horrified we had let it run out and Aiden had gone a night without it. He said we couldn't let this happen - missing ONE dose of Clonidine would cause him to feel like "his skin was crawling" (a direct quote). At this point we thought, "If it affects him so strongly, we don't want him on it!" We did some better-late-than-never Internet research and discovered that prescribing the medication to children under the age of 6 is considered "off-label," meaning studies have NOT been done as to how it affects the developing brain. Needless to say, the day we read this was the day we decided we had to try something else. After doing our Clonidine research, we bought Ben Feingold's book "Why Your Child Is Hyperactive" and its companion book, Jane Hersey's "Why Can't My Child Behave?" (or as we like to call it: our Bible), ordered the Feingold member package, and began the diet. This decision gave us back our little boy, and saved our sanity as well. Thus began a lifelong family commitment to eating a more wholesome, natural diet. Aiden has been on the Feingold Program for about six weeks now, but we saw results in 3 days (no joke). I will never forget this: on the 6th day of the diet, I stopped by a convenience store to grab milk on the way home. This usually caused severe anxiety for Aiden (due to all the strangers in close proximity) and he would cry if anyone looked at him. A man in sunglasses and a hat got in line behind us; such "disguises" always caused a complete meltdown for Aiden. I was holding him, so I turned him away from the man so he couldn't see him - a habit I had adopted to get through these necessary quick stops. Aiden craned his neck to see around me, waved to the man and said "Hi!" I was so completely shocked, I almost cried. I called my husband on the way home to tell him about it, as it was SO uncharacteristic of him and I was so excited!
After about a week on the diet we decided to try letting Aiden cry for a while at night, as he was still having trouble sleeping. He did cry, but it was a totally different cry than it had been before. He sounded sad, but not hysterical like he used to…it was mellow enough that we didn't feel cruel leaving him up there, or worry about his safety. Within 4 days we were able to lay him down, spend a few minutes with him, then walk out while he was still awake and let him fall asleep on his own. This, in and of itself, was an absolute miracle. Aiden is completely off the Clonidine and sleeping better than EVER. He had been taking almost two pills a night. The neurologist had even prescribed 1 - 2 mg of liquid Valium for the nights when he twitched so badly it woke him up every 12 seconds or so. Yes, we timed it because we would be up with him ALL night long for several nights in a row. The Valium worked once; the other times we tried it, not even liquid Valium would allow him a full night's sleep. Now, he sleeps ALL the way through the night. We were shocked the effects of the additives and salicylates were so strong they could override Clonidine and liquid Valium - it certainly showed us how severely they can affect a child. The night terrors and twitching have returned only once: we hadn't finished reading Jane Hersey's book yet, which recommends not reintroducing the salicylates right away. We decided Aiden was doing SO well it might be fine to reintroduce a salicylate food, so we tried giving him ketchup on a Friday night. He was a bit more anxious Saturday, but nothing awful. We gave him ketchup again on Sunday…Sunday night he had a night terror (his first in weeks)! He took a terrible nap on Monday, and usually when Aiden's sleep patterns were interrupted more than once it triggered a twitching episode. Sure enough, we were up with him all night Monday because he kept jerking himself awake. Normally, at this point we would try the liquid Valium to calm down his body and try to allow him a full night's sleep and end the twitching episodes. However, we were reluctant to use the Valium because it was obviously artificially colored and flavored. We figured we were in for 3-4 nights of not sleeping (his usual pattern) and we would just have to suffer through it. Lo and behold, he slept like a log Tuesday night and the twitching was gone. Consequently, we decided to follow Jane's advice and wait much longer before reintroducing the salicylate foods.
It keeps getting better!
Aiden We are absolutely, 100%, total advocates of this diet and have talked about it to virtually anyone who will listen. Those who knew Aiden "pre-Feingold," or as we like to call it "the old Aiden," are absolutely astounded at the difference in him. My brother was over this Thanksgiving (before the diet) and jokingly said he was never having kids after watching Aiden in the throes of one of his tantrums. He came to our house Christmas Day and Aiden ran to greet him, something he had NEVER done before. My brother was even wearing sunglasses! He had not seen Aiden since Thanksgiving and was absolutely amazed at the change in him. He said during dinner he could not believe how happy and well behaved he was, and he seemed like a totally different kid. He was impressed with Aiden's excellent behavior, especially on an exhausting, overly exciting day like Christmas. Aiden spent the entire afternoon hugging my 81 year-old grandma, who he only sees 2 -3 times a year, saying "I nuh noo (I love you). I nuh noo, Gee-ma."
Our typical two year-old
It is rather funny when Aiden behaves like a typical two year-old and gets a little crabby, because we have to remind ourselves he IS only two! What used to be his best behavior has now become ordinary, and his previously acceptable behavior is now his worst behavior. All the successful parenting tactics we employed when Jared was younger, such as time-outs, redirection/distraction, a stern tone or removal of the offending item, now work well on Aiden too. Before the diet, he would ignore these methods, retaliate against them, or (most commonly) become very upset and confused when he was disciplined. The Feingold Program has been surprisingly easy to follow…besides a few specialty favorites of Aiden's we have found everything we need at the regular grocery store. We figure we have to go to the grocery store anyway; we are just buying specific brands. Any extra effort is WELL worth it for the wonderful results we have experienced. This diet has been a lifesaver and we are SO grateful for its existence. We only wish we had learned of it sooner. Because of this diet Aiden is a wonderful, adorable, COMFORTABLE, loving, happy two year-old. We cannot thank you enough.

Spring rolls, easy and portable

(These pictures are the ones I took, the link above is another tutorial.)

I was having trouble keeping my spring rolls soft and in searching for help I came across this recipe. It is a great tutorial. They're soooo easy to make. I like to make filling and keep it separate till it's time to eat. You can wrap just about anything in a spring roll to make it portable.

We've had no reactions to basic rice paper wrappers found at Whole Foods. They probably sell them at ethnic stores also.

I like Bragg's aminos instead of soy sauce.

I'm thinking cold turkey, avocado, tomato, and approved mayo sound really good too.

To keep them moist lay a damp tea towel or white paper towel over the spring rolls and cover. Store in the fridge.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gummi Candy

Please note that I made a mistake in my Gummi Candy post. The gelatin should be changed to 3 TBSP.
I just made some with a "jello-bean" mold out of frozen 100% grapefruit juice concentrate. I needed a whole cup of sugar plus some stevia and they're still tart but oh so good.

NOTE: They taste more like packaged fruit snacks than actual gummi worms but maybe they just need more gelatin to have that texture.


1 lb dry garbanzo beans
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. lemon or lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin, garlic, and/or onion powder (take your choice or add all)
1 tsp or more salt

OK, here's the scoop. I love extra garlic, spicy, and sesame hummus but most kids don't seem to love it that way so here's my "kid" version of hummus.

Soak garbanzos overnight, then bring to a boil with water and cook for about 2 hours till they're nice and soft or pressure cook them according to your directions or crockpot them overnight. If you soak them overnight and cook them slowly you shouldn't get the gas that you would otherwise.

When they're nice and soft scoop them into a blender or use a hand blender and squish them up really well. My kids like just salt, onion, and lemon added. I like other spices and a few fresh cloves of garlic.

Serve this with some pita bread, tostitos chips, or fritos chips. MMMMMMMMMMM

Or, serve with fresh veggie slices as a dip.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Egg wrappers

Here is a beautiful way to wrap rice or anything else you can think of for a lunch or appetizer. Many people in Japan use these wrappers for a cold lunch.

The recipe included for rice could be made Feingold safe fairly easily. I would probably use a simple brown rice with veggies recipe for mine.

I love the flavor of egg, soy, and sweetener as in Tamagoyaki. I've never done it thin like this to use as a wrapper though.

Source for White Candy Canes

Here's a great source for Christmas Candy Canes. We buy a case of 144 for $15 plus shipping and use it for 2 years.

The picture shows red canes but buy these kind in peppermint all white. You will see a drop down screen where you can choose the last option, peppermint all white.

I hope that if you buy these candy canes you'll leave a little note in the comments section to please keep these all white candy canes around for Feingold safe kids. They went away last year but thanks to members of the Feingold association they are back. That's why I'm posting them here for everyone to see. I hope they sell plenty this year.

Traditional Candy Canes or
Cane Classics

12 Count Cradles

12 count boxes
12 standard canes per case
144 .5 oz canes (cane is 6" tall)

**Order by the case**

Spangler Candy Canes in traditional peppermint and gourmet flavors!

G= green
W = white
MC = multi-colored

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Reasons why NOT to do Feingold

After someone on a list I frequent railed on the Feingold diet, it's a scam, it costs too much, I don't need someone to tell me how I should eat cause I already eat "good" food, I don't want to follow the latest fad diet, people who say we should follow this diet are rude and they make me feel like a bad mom for medicating my child, and finally my kid does so much better on medication and it's not going to help just by changing his diet...I thought I'd voice some thoughts on here for those already interested in finding out more.

#1: It is not a scam. It is a non-profit organization and the reason it costs $80 for your first year is for all of the information as well as the cost it takes to research the products. If you've ever tried to call a company and get a straight answer you'll realize that there are many hours involved as well as overhead costs to get the ingredients within ingredients, which are within ingredients. And yes, that tiny bit makes a huge difference. How much meth does it take to addict someone?

#2 It does not cost too much. If you truly do not have the funds to buy a book, call Feingold and they will work with you to provide a lower cost membership. Or, don't buy a membership, just eat from the always acceptable ingredients. If you cook from always acceptable ingredients you will most likely be saving a ton of money anyway. Yes, if you buy a membership and then only eat things like Lara bars and premade organic, gluten free cookies it will cost you a ton.

#3: You could already eat good food but unfortunately much food that we think is good has petroleum and I would never have known that if it hadn't been for the Feingold program. I never knew that a great box of "organic" cereal could have BHT sprayed on the packaging or that the oil in organic cookies could be preserved. Much less, some of my previous ingredients in my all natural whole wheat bread had petroleum.

#4: It's not a fad diet. It's been around since the 70's, coincidentally at about the same time that manufacturers started using much more petroleum in foods. Moms noticed this "fad" of adding much more petroleum and they started taking "the new fad" out of the kid's diet.

#5: You are not a bad mom for medicating your child IF HE NEEDS IT. I however wouldn't let my child be medicated unless I knew I had tried another obvious and realistic option. When that didn't work, then I would consider medication.
I don't see any point in putting starter fluid in the gas tank if someone filled the gas tank with water first. You need to remove the water and then the regular fuel will work just fine.

#6: How do you know your kid does better on medication than without petroleum? It's apples to oranges. We're talking about removing chemicals that CAUSE a problem and you're talking about adding chemicals to take away a problem. I have yet to meet one person who has truly tried the Feingold diet (membership, stage 1, and no infractions) who can tell me that it didn't make a major improvement. If you can show me that mom I'd be happy to post it to the blog. She may be out there somewhere. Jane talks about knowing one in her whole Feingold career.

There we go, I've blogged it out, now I'll go sleep peacefully tonight.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Swedish Meatballs

This recipe served the 5 of us with PLENTY of leftovers but we don't eat a lot of meat with our meal. We served it over mashed potatoes and with tons of steamed Brussels sprouts and carrots.

1 lb ground meat (we used venison)
1 medium potato, raw, peeled and finely grated
2 whole eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp onion powder
dash pepper
dash nutmeg, ginger, and allspice or 1 tsp of your favorite pumpkin pie spice mix

Mix all ingredients well, form into small balls (about 1 inch diameter), I HATE touching raw meat so I let my boys make the meatballs. We have the humongo pan ready with a little butter or approved oil in the bottom. We set the meatballs right in and fry them for about 5 minutes on top and 5 minutes on bottom. Use a spatula to loosen them and turn if they stick.
After about 10 minutes total mix well ...

2 c. milk
3 TBSP flour (or gluten free flour mix)
1/2 tsp salt or approved bouillon cube.

Pour this over the meatballs straight into your humongo pan. This will mix with the butter and meat juices to make a great gravy. Keep the pan covered. Either stir every once in a while or just shake your pan. I leave this for about 10 more minutes while getting the rest of dinner done.

Serve it over mashed or baked potatoes with plenty of veggies on the side.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Khaki Kook Book

And, here's one from 1917 of mostly Hindustani recipes

A recipe book from 1918

A cookbook from 1918...remember to use the always acceptable ingredient list.

Peanut Butter Fingers

This was requested by a reader so here's the does have peanut butter and brown sugar which need to be approved...

Peanut Butter Fingers
1 cup real butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar*
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter*
2 eggs
1-1 1/2 tsp real vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 cup flour (I use about half WW flour)
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups oats (can be whole or quick)
Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl. Mix all wet ingredients in mixer until well mixed. Add dry ingredients and mix well again. With either softened butter or shortening*, have a child *paint* an extra large cookie sheet (with sides) or 2 rectangular casserole dishes. Spread mixture onto the cookie sheet or casserole dishes, rounding the edges down. Bake at 350 for 15 min. Make chocolate frosting while it's baking (recipe below). Frost with more creamy Peanut Butter * while it's still warm. Allow to cool completely (some people put it in the freezer to cool faster), then frost with chocolate frosting.
Homemade Chocolate Frosting
3 3/4 c. powdered sugar
8 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Cube real butter
7 TBS whole milk
1 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
Cream butter until smooth, gradually beat in about half of the sugar alternately with half of the milk. Mix in the cocoa and vanilla. Then beat in the remaining sugar and milk and mix well. Adjust the amounts of milk or sugar if necessary. For a more chocolaty flavor, add a little more cocoa powder. For less chocolaty flavor, use less cocoa.
* = Be sure to use approved brand!

Finding Joshua

My son, Joshua, was plagued with social and behavioral problems. He was asked to leave two private schools, rejected from several local day care facilities, and finally placed in a program for "severely emotionally handicapped" children and put on medication for ADHD - all before the age of five!

He was in a class of six children and three teachers to deal with the behavioral challenges these children presented. Throughout the years my son was diagnosed with severe ADHD and ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), along with traits of obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette's syndrome, and mood disorder syndrome. These years proved to be more difficult than I could have ever imagined.

Even before they're born, parents have so many hopes and desires for their children. I felt as though my dreams had turned to nightmares and it seemed like I'd never wake up.
Even though testing indicated that Joshua was extremely gifted, his emotional and behavioral problems kept him labeled as emotionally handicapped.

During the next seven years he was on three medications, totaling nine pills a day. It seemed necessary to keep him medicated 24 hours a day, every day. Symptoms that were treated with one medicine caused him to have trouble sleeping, so he had to take an additional medication for that, and yet another for the endless anxiety resulting from the issues he faced daily with social and behavioral problems. He had huge problems with opposition, defiance, aggression, anger, and impulsivity. The doctors tried different dosages and combinations of the medicines but without success.

He was kept medicated 24 hours a day and the problems only got worse.
Toward the end of his fourth grade year, Joshua was placed in an outpatient facility for depression, leaning towards suicidal. Children typically attended this facility for a week at the most, just enough time to be evaluated, receive recommendations for therapy, medication, behavior modification and family counseling. However, Joshua's behavior was such that he continued for five weeks.

None of the many professionals we saw were able to help him.
Time passed and problems remained despite medication and continual counseling. Two other medicines were recommended, in addition to the three he was on, but I couldn't bring myself to give my ten-year-old 5 different drugs. Towards the end of his fifth grade year he was placed in a children's psychiatric facility after he threatened to kill others and tried to hurt himself. Joshua had reached the end of his rope.

I was told that I could not see him or call him for the first 24 hours he was at the facility. As I said "good-bye" there was so much hurt behind his beautiful blue eyes, so much uncertainty of "Where do I fit in, why am I like this? When will my life be normal, and when will I feel at peace inside?"

The immense pain I felt for my child left me numb and hopeless. I wanted so badly to take him in my arms, hug him and tell him that everything would be okay, but I didn't know that to be so. I would go to the ends of the earth for him but felt as though I was already there and didn't know where to go from here. Despite all the avenues I took, all the endless hours of searching, every year continued to grow darker and darker.

The immense pain for my child left me numb and hopeless.

After several days Joshua was released from the hospital. Since the medicines were not helping, his doctor recommended we remove them all and start on a different regimen. For the remaining weeks of school he was in a homebound program where the teacher came to our home.

The doctor assured me that by weaning Joshua off the medicines slowly there would be no problems with withdrawal. The opposite was true! We went through three weeks of severely out-of-control behavior. Several times Joshua became extremely violent and I came close to calling 911 for help.

His reaction to withdrawal from the many drugs was a nightmare.

Next, I tried allergy treatments at a clinic and they helped somewhat. Still searching, I learned of the Feingold Program and that's when my son's recovery began in earnest.[ / (800) 321-3287]

Joshua has a severe behavioral reaction to certain synthetic food additives.

Joshua had traveled down a difficult road filled with hurt, disappointment and fear for as long as he can remember. He lost much of his childhood to this journey, but because of Feingold, Joshua has a new beginning.

Now, at age 17, we are starting our seventh consecutive year that Joshua does not carry the label "emotionally handicapped." Looking back, our success began when Joshua was in the sixth grade. It was roughly 8 weeks prior to school starting that we began the Feingold diet. Six weeks into the diet we saw dramatic changes in Joshua. Seventh grade went so well that during the annual meeting required for all students that receive "special services," the school suggested a battery of behavioral testing and classroom observations to determine if Joshua still needed the services and the label that he carried in his file. After thorough testing and review, Joshua's eight-year special needs folder was permanently closed. He no longer exhibited any signs of needing help in any form. This was truly a victory!

This is the seventh consecutive year Joshua's teachers have told me he shows respect and cooperation without any opposition. Joshua is finally able to manage his anger when things don't go his way (this feat alone was like a mountain to conquer).

Joshua no longer has trouble controlling his behavior. He is thriving in school and in all areas of his life.

His teachers view him as pleasant to be around as well as a good student. Joshua is able to remain seated for an extended period, is capable of thinking before acting, and no longer needs behavioral therapy. I no longer receive calls to come pick him up at school because he's out of control and disruptive. Joshua has been able to attend events through the school or sports where I was not required to stay "just in case there's a problem."

Joshua went a total of seven years being medicated 24 hours a day with three medications (totaling 9 pills a day, for 365 days a year) to a healthy diet and absolutely no medicine.

Joshua is finally forming strong friendships. This list could go on but the bottom line is ...since Feingold, this is the first time I like my son, and best of all HE likes who he's become.
Our life finally feels, and is, "normal." This is what we have both hoped for.

I know my son's "transformation" did not occur due to maturity, changing schools, peer pressure, a reward system, or anything of the sort. The changes in Joshua came as a result of the simple changes we made in the food we eat.

A few months after we began seeing success on Feingold, Joshua wanted to do what he called "an experiment." I allowed him to eat the synthetic chemicals (foods containing artificial colors and flavors) for a week because I knew his cooperation was essential for this to work. On the fourth day he began having rage attacks, showing opposition and defiance, just like before. He shouted at his teacher, threw a book across the room at another student, and spent a day in the principal's office.

When he went back to eating the synthetic chemicals, the old behaviors returned in four days. It was a humiliating experience for my son.

He embarrassed himself terribly in front of his peers and came home asking to ditch the experiment. This validated the fact that the diet was truly the key to his happiness and success.
During Joshua's seventh grade year he became involved in athletics and I watched with admiration as he showed dignity and self-control with each competition. Joshua demonstrated a wonderful balance with athletics and academics. In football he was cool under pressure and always showed good sportsmanship. As a basketball player, he illustrated great coordination and superior instincts handling the ball. He was awesome on the court, scoring a majority of the points at nearly every game. In track he surprised everyone when he went to district in pole vaulting and won first place. This was a sport he'd never attempted, yet he was smooth with style and grace. On the swim team, he enjoyed the meets and swam his heart out, going to district with his team and placing 2nd in several relays.

Today he is cool under pressure and treats other people with respect.
During these athletic events he demanded much of himself but was still a solid team player with a friendly approach to his teammates and competitors. He has a lot of respect for the rules and for his opponents. At the end of the school year I had the joy to see him presented with the 110% Award from his coach. This was one of the two top awards given to athletes at his school. It represented sportsmanship, hard work, self-control, dedication, respect towards coaches and peers, and overall athleticism. The coach described how Joshua was at every practice with a smile on his face and a determination to do his best, with an attitude that was hard to surpass as he showed a tremendous amount of cooperation towards being a team player. That award meant even more to us. It signified a 110% turnaround from his oppositional defiance and lack of self-control he displayed daily in previous years, and the very behavior that would have prevented such an accomplishment.

Joshua was singled out for a top honor from his coach, receiving the "110% Award."
During 8th grade, Joshua kept his academics up and continued to participate in a variety of sports. With pride, he repeated the same performance, winning district in pole vaulting. In addition, I again had the joy of supporting Joshua as he was presented with the 110% Award from his coaches at an assembly in front of the entire school. The coach stated that it was a unanimous vote from the coaching staff to award this to him once more, as no other student was more deserving. That was a remarkable compliment to Joshua and only reiterates the progress he has achieved, yet another year.

High School begins a new chapter for Joshua as he enters the Air Force JROTC
Joshua began high school in September 2003 at Klein Collins High and enjoys it immensely. A week into school, he came home and announced that he had decided to discontinue his path in sports and pursue an interest in ROTC. Needless to say, this surprised us all. However, once the initial shock wore off and I learned more about the program, I was quite pleased with his decision. I was even more proud of him for his courage to make such a drastic change in his life. At his age, change is not always easy, but Joshua has learned a great deal about making changes in his life.

A couple of weeks went by and before I knew it Joshua had gone from wide receiver to Cadet. The hair was cut, the shoes were polished and the uniform was pressed. He was on his way to making this change as successful as possible.

In ROTC, Joshua is taught many things that he will take with him everywhere in life. Such as leadership, time management, organization, community involvement, ethics, decision-making, communication skills, writing and giving speeches, just to name a few. There is also a great deal of commitment expected from the students in this program. The Colonel & Sergeant are strict with the cadets and they are held to higher standards than that of other students.

This type of program & level of commitment is not something Joshua would have ever been considered for prior to our success with Feingold, however, Joshua loves the commitment and is thriving in the program.

He was quickly promoted and was soon asked to be a part of the armed drill unit. This is a position that students are normally required to try out for after one year on the unarmed team. However, fellow cadets recognized Joshua's determination at practice and he was invited to join the unit. At that time, he was the first freshman that had ever had this experience or exception made.

He was an integral part of winning a very prestigious victory of Best in Air Force at the National Meet. Due to this, the team was invited to the 30th Invitational Drill Meet at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs where the armed drill team placed first in two out of three categories. He also applied and was accepted to Leadership School in San Antonio during the summer. Joshua is very proud of all the accomplishments he has had since he began the JROTC Program.

The first day Joshua wore his uniform to school was for the 9/11 ceremony. As I watched him standing at attention and saluting the flag with his unit, dressed like a soldier, so regal and confident, I was more proud of him in that instant than I think I have ever been in my entire life as his mother. Time stood still for a moment as I looked around the campus. There were so many kids dressed in teen clothes with their fad haircuts and dreamy looks of "what's for lunch today".
When I looked back at Joshua I saw the boy he had been and the young man he has become. I could see a look of pride on his face.

He seemed to stand out above the rest. His past is well behind him now, with nothing standing in the way of his future. Although he is your typical teenager in so many ways, there has always been a soldier inside of him, fighting to survive. There is an unspoken depth, determination and willingness in Joshua to master anything life brings his way.

Both tenth and eleventh grade brought their own set of victories. Joshua was promoted to command the Armed Drill Team and led his unit to two national titles in one year. He was voted Prince by his peers at the Military Ball, which spoke highly of the friendships he has formed. He was awarded with two national leadership awards: the Air Force Sergeant's Award and the American Legion Military of Excellence Award. In addition to these accolades, Joshua was one of two students selected from the state of Texas to tour with a leading global youth exchange program, Up with People. This is a unique experience for young adults that combines 22 weeks of international travel, community service and global leadership while building bridges of understanding as a foundation for world peace. In July of 2007, Joshua will represent Texas as an ambassador for the United States with an extraordinary semester of traveling the world with 100 students from over 20 countries. His extensive travel will cover 19 cities on three continents where he will meet political, corporate and social leaders around the globe. It will be a world of discovery as he learns about other cultures and countries while giving of himself.
Joshua's future awaits him with endless possibilities.

As Joshua prepares to enter his senior year in high school and then heads off to tour the world before going to college, I can hardly catch my breath as I reflect on this journey. I am so privileged to have witnessed the years unfold as they have.

Joshua will grow up to be a man of strong character and will exhibit a zeal for life that will make everyone around him a little bit better for having known him. My heart beams with pride when I see the young man he's becoming and leaps with joy as I marvel at his future.

I am hoping this story will help others become aware of the importance diet has on behavior. Perhaps it will result in giving other children a chance to live a happy "normal" life like my son now has.

Taunya Stevenson Updated 2/1/08

Short news clip about Feingold

Here's a short news clip about Feingold

Gummi Candy

1/4-1/2 cup white sugar (or equivalent of another approved sweetener)
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin or 3 TBSP of bulk gelatin
1/2 cup fruit juice (fresh or frozen concentrate, 100%)

stir all ingredients in small saucepan, heat til sugar dissolves. pour into greased molds (coconut oil,butter,or approved oil), refrigerate til firm.

You can use a brownie pan or if you like the flavor, try a special candy mold. Wilton has some ideas (search gummies)

Experiment with juice, pineapple seems to pack a good flavor, I've heard someone suggest the leftover juice from watermelon.

Wilton has a "tool kit" that looks like just a squeeze bottle and a brush to clean it out with. It may be a good idea if you're doing tiny gummies to pour the mixture into a squeeze bottle and squeeze it out into the molds.

You can also dust the greased molds with white sugar for a crystallized coating on top.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thick egg nog

Here's another version of egg nog, thick like at the store...

1 gallon whole milk
9 egg yolks, (you can save the whites for making meringue cookies)
3 cups white sugar
1 tsp. grated nutmeg
2 TBS real vanilla (approved or only alcohol and vanilla listed, no vanillin)

Mix the milk, egg yolks and sugar in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. WATCH THE POT CLOSELY so it does not boil over. As soon as it reaches a rolling boil, remove from heat and add nutmeg and vanilla. Allow to cool to room temperature; then refrigerate in large jars or a crock.

I personally hate thick egg nog and like the other version I posted, or this kind watered down with 7-up. But, I know a lot of you love this slimy stuff so I'm posting it ;.)

Another Olive Garden trip

We went to the Olive Garden in Sugarhouse and had a different experience. They also had great food and great service but we found out that there they have plain pasta, no oil. They could do plain pasta with real butter and romano on top. mmmmmmmm.
Since it was a special occasion we also brought some homemade peanut butter bars and gave them to the waitress to put on a plate and bring out.
The kids were so excited to see that they had a special dessert.

Andrew's old medicine

I just found this on my was Andrew pre-Feingold. This was his daily routine of medicines, inhalers, homeopathic medicines, and naturapathic medicines. Now he's totally off of all of this.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sara's success story

Life has changed so much around here that I don't even know where to start!

My older son is happy and calm for the first time in his life. No joke. He has never been happy, not even as an infant or a toddler. 13 years of frustration, depression, misery, insomnia, stomach aches, crying jags, low self esteem and anxiety.

It has been almost 2 weeks now since his last difficult day. He finally stood up for himself to a "friend" who had been treating him poorly, he knows he deserves better now. He goes to sleep easily at night and sleeps all night without talking in his sleep, sleep walking or nightmares. He is affectionate and calm. His tolerance for pain and frustration have increased greatly. He has received compliments from his scout leaders and climbing coaches due to his vastly improved attitude, strength and stamina. I look at him now and feel hope and joy instead of sadness and despair for his future.

He is no longer scared of the world and has enrolled in school starting in February. This will be his first venture into school since his extreme social anxiety led to us homeschooling 3 years ago.

He has grown an inch and gained 10 pounds now that eating doesn't make him feel sick!

My 3 year old has been calmer too, he's not the target but we have seen some improvement in his behaviour. The biggest thing is that he is starting to eat more foods and his dairy allergy/intolerance is lessening.

He would normally refuse to eat anything other than a soy yogurt and juice for lunch. He just sat down and ate homemade bread with sharp white cheddar melted on top, some grapes and a glass of water. He is contemplating the orange pepper slices and I think he might just eat them.

We have started to introduce stage 2 foods and I am thrilled that the boys are both tolerating grapes well and we are trying tomatoes this week. I hope that goes well as it will open up a whole range of meals that we love.

My husband was extremely skeptical when we started this almost 8 weeks ago and this weekend he gave me a hug and thanked me. He is astounded by the change in the boys and completely convinced that this is the right thing for our family.

HOLY CRAP! Logan just ate the orange pepper slice, he's never eaten a vegetable in his life!!

I feel better too, I "cheated" the other day and got some Skittles to soothe a pregnancy craving. I ate half the package and felt sick for 3 hours.

Sorry it was so long, I just wanted to share our success.

If you want to read more about Sara and her successes see her blog at

It's official, we've adopted

This has nothing to do with Feingold but I just wanted to say that we finished adopting today. We've had Ana for almost a year now and it's finally official.

Time and money savers

A mom on the Feingold board was discouraged today because of the "extra cost" of Feingold so I'd like to post some of the great suggestions that were made. There may be an initial cost increase because of replacing things like condiments but after that most people save money because their kids aren't asking for all the yuckys at the store and many people (myself included) have reported major savings in doctor bills, medicine, and over the counter medicine.

Here are some extra ways to save money and time...

Once a month, make a huge batch of cookie dough, roll it into little balls and freeze on cookie sheets. Put the frozen dough balls into a big ziploc in the freezer and you can cook them from frozen whenever you want fresh cookies. I use a small ice cream scooper to make the balls and just plop them on the cookie sheet. It's ok if they're right next to each other. They'll come apart enough when you freeze them.

If your kids like instant oatmeal packets make your own for about 5-10 cents a packet

Google once a month cooking for ideas on freezing meals and soups.

Make a huge batch of bread or other baked goods, slice, package, and freeze

Don't try to have all the name brand already made stuff, homemade bulk mixes and snacks work great.

Order from Amazon or if you have an Azure Standard drop nearby order from them, they're great and you're supporting an organic family business.

Learn to stretch your meat farther, buy a whole chicken then use the carcass for chicken stock or chicken soup. Don't add the full amount of meat to a recipe.

Start to love homemade popcorn. A quadruple batch with a WHOLE CUBE of butter only costs 50 cents-a dollar depending on how much your butter costs. Compare that to the cost of a small bag of cookies.

Don't buy expensive lunchmeat, cook an extra chicken or turkey and cut the meat into thin slices and package in baggies. Use the bits of meat that nobody likes, process or cut into small pieces, mix with mayo for chicken salad with lettuce, a tortilla, or bread in a sandwich.

When you find a good deal add extra to your pantry for storage, then you don't have to run out and buy it at regular price.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Restaurant Research-Applebees

Well, I contacted Applebees and they said they couldn't help me. They can only guarantee the safety of foods regarding the top 6 wheat and nuts.
That is very frustrating.

jello and whipped cream

In searching for another recipe for whipped jello I came across this recipe and thought I'd post it. Just a note...if you're not using an approved juice you're best off with a frozen concentrate (100%) since lots of bottles have preservatives.
We make jello all the time and use the huge container of knox gelatin or the bulk bag at the local kitchen store.
I wanted to make cranberry jello for Thanksgiving and I know there's a method for whipping cream and jello together I think before it sets to make a foamy dessert.

BTW, this recipe is for fancy pretty cups...if you just want a big old load of jello use 2 qts of strong flavored juice, a cup of sugar if you want it sweeter, and 1/4 cup of gelatin. Bring it to a boil, pour it and set in the fridge.
If you are stage 1 you can use 100% pineapple juice that's frozen and a can of crushed pineapple, whipped cream on top..........mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...........a jello lover's delight.

Veggie Dip or Salad Dressing

I have a variety of dips and dressings I make with just a few's what I use

sour cream (I use Daisy, the only ingredient is cream)

mayo (I use Best Foods regular)

Use either sour cream or mayo, or a blend of 1/2 and 1/2 of both.

about 1/2 tsp salt per cup of dip

1 tsp onion powder (not onion salt)

1 clove of garlic, minced or squished

1/2 tsp of dill

1/4 cup of blue cheese (made with whole milk or just milk, not lowfat)

I mix all or a few of these together. To thin for a dressing just add a little whole milk.
This will taste much better the next day as the flavors meld together. Add more salt the 2nd day if it needs it. Be creative, add your favorite spice.

Restaurant research-Cracker Barrel

I've been doing some restaurant research here (besides what Feingold sends out) and got a letter back from the Cracker Barrel main office today. Thought I'd post it. I've heard rumors that their chicken and dumplings are ok as well as some plain veggies (I'm going to ask about those green and lima beans that have TBHQ, maybe it's in the sauce) or eggs fried in butter in a clean pan.
Supposedly their bacon is an ok brand (but we don't do nitrates, causes whineys in one daughter big time)
And, ask if their mashed potatoes are just fresh potatoes, whole milk, and butter-rumors are that they usually are.


Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with all of us here at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. We're always pleased to hear from our guests.

Thank you for your interest in dining with us. Our menu offers a wide variety of foods. Most of our menu offerings will meet your family’s dietary requirements as outlined by the Feingold Program. There are a few items, however, that do contain one or more of the additives you asked about. The information for these items is provided below:

Vanillin: Hot Fudge Topping – shakes, sundaes, chocolate cobbler

Aspartame: Diet Root Beer, Diet Orange & Cream Soda, Diet Coke, NSA Apple Pie

BHT: Country Fried Shrimp

TBHQ: Pancake Batter

BHA: Pastry Dough – NSA Apple Pie, Fruit Cobblers, Apple Dumpling, Chicken Pot Pie, Orange & Cream Soda, Cornbread & Cornbread Dressing, Green Beans, Lima Beans

Artificial Colors: Orange & Cream Soda, Peach Cobbler & Peach Fruit Topping, Cherry Cobbler & Cherry Fruit Topping, Strawberry Syrup Topping – shakes & sundaes, Pickles, Biscuit, Steak – marinade, Grilled Chicken Tenders – marinade, Honey Mustard Salad Dressing – regular & fat free, Italian Salad Dressing – reduced calorie & fat free

We look forward to seeing you in one of our locations again soon.


Sylvia Harper
Guests Relations Representative
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.

Some Questions

We signed up over the weekend too. I still have questions though.

1 - did you start slow or dive right in?

We dove right in, definitely worth it to me, except we didn't do the stage 1 thing. Now I wish we had and we'll probably do it starting in January (It's only 6 weeks, I can live)

I hear a lot of frustration from people who try to just do it here and there because they can never tell if it's really working. Do yourself the favor of diving in.

If the holidays are a problem maybe you can start the stage 1 thing in January.

2 - what did you do with all of your non-approved foods? did you
slowly phase them out or just get them completely out of the house?

We gave them away or I snuck them (don't sneak ;.) or I put them in a separate box for food storage figuring that someone will be able to use them in an emergency. If you keep them around and just phase them out you'll probably still want to serve them and not see the benefits of the total.

3 - what's wrong with pumpkin pie spice? It's one of my favorites for
baking this time of year (and I just bought 2 jars, and I can't find
my receipt), and I noticed it was a NO on the list.

the general rule of thumb is that single spices are ok. A lot of mixed spices have other things included. You can get on the message board and ask if that particular brand has been researched or if anyone uses it without a reaction. A lot of things that aren't on the list just haven't been researched and would actually be ok. Just because it's not on the list doesn't mean it's a no.

I'm sure I'll have lots more questions, but those are the ones I've
been wondering about lately. Thanks so much for the class, Danika! and
thanks to everyone who is so willing to share the info!

You're welcome! Keep trucking, if you can get over the first month challenge you'll have it down pat.

Michelle H

Monday, November 24, 2008

Chemical Free Eating

This is a blog I found that is from a Feingold safe mom. If you already have the foodlist feel free to follow her recipes, they look great.
If not please make sure the ingredients are on the always acceptable list.


My Grandma used to make these and we loved watching them come out of the oven all poofed up.

Preheat a rectangle glass casserole dish with 1/2 cube of real butter to 425 degrees.
While this is preheating mix the following in your blender...

6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt

When the butter is melted and the oven is preheated carefully pour the batter into the casserole dish and cook for 20 minutes.

Serve with maple syrup, fried apples, powdered sugar, or whatever you can think of.
In England this would be cooked with roast beef drippings and called Yorkshire pudding.

When we're being money or calorie frugal we just use 1 TBSP of butter in the bottom, when we have company we use a whole cube.

Fried apples

mmmmmmmmmmm, I had to put this recipe here for this cold day.

Fried Apples

We're eating these right now for dessert just plain but they'd also be good with milk or approved ice cream on top...maybe that caramel sauce that's posted below.
On top of hootenannies (hmm, I didn't post those yet) or as a side dish for dinner.
In the south I hear they're served with pork meals.

cut up apples (I used 4, tart and firm are best)
fry in 2 TBSP butter (I put the lid on till they were mostly done)
add your choice of 2 TBSP real honey, real maple syrup, cinnamon or other pie spices, or white sugar.

let cook a couple more minutes to thicken.

Eat em up!

Annalicia's experiment

And, just to show that this experiment was true here's another story from Annalicia.

Annalicia & her grandfather built a maze together. She taught the 4 mice how to run the maze. The mice were living in 2 separate living quarters. She made sure she fed them food that had no dyes. After several weeks when they had learned the maze, she began timing them each day with all 4 drinking plain water & recording the results for 6 days. The times were averaging in the teens & twenties (in seconds) for running the maze. Then she gave dye water (1/4 tsp per 6 oz. water) to 2 of the mice. She began timing all 4 again. The 2 mice with the dye water averaged well over 100 seconds for the 6 days that she timed them. They were incredibly lost & confused on the maze. Then she went back to giving all 4 plain water & timed them again. All 4 mice were averaging in the teens for all 6 days she timed them. She won first place on the project.
Last year she did the project where she sprouted plants from lima bean seeds. She then planted them & started giving each set (a set was 4 or 5 plants) a different color of dye water & also a set of plain water. They were all given the same amount of light for growth. She recorded the difference in the growth of the different sets. The plain water grew healthy & strong, but the different dye water plants all had different problems (no growth, or spindly vines, or misshapen leaves, etc.) She won first place on this project & the principal's award.