Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas cookies

Click on the pictures to make them larger.
mmm, we made Christmas cookies today and I had to share the decorations. I was happy with white icing but the kids really wanted some color so we were inventive. They put green spirulina powder in some and made some light green, then they took acceptable fruit gel bars, cut them up, and used them for more decoration. We also had some acceptable chocolate chips. Powdered sugar "snow" topped it all off. Interesting to say the least, LOL.
A sugar cookie tip to share with you all, whip up the fat, sugar, and eggs a TON till they look like frosting, then add the rest of the ingredients and just stir enough to incorporate. chill that for at least an hour before rolling. They turn out so good. Same with the frosting, beat the heck out of it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

pumpkin pie candy-so easy! let the kids play with it

I don't know why but I'm having problems with these pictures today. One is the dough straight from the mixer, one is the dough after it was kneaded, which made the texture much better, and one is a few finished pieces.

I just had an extra sweet potato and I didn't want to feed it to the chickens so I invented something instead...YAY a new recipe! This was so fun and the kids are playing with it right now. It feels like a playdoh and tastes so yummy.

1 sweet potato
powdered sugar
pie spices such as cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, etc.

stuff to roll it in, optional, chopped nuts, coconut, cinnamon sugar

in a food processor or just smoosh it up if you don't have one,
mash up the sweet potato (cooked well in the jacket tastes best, it naturally carmalizes) then add powdered sugar slowly until you have a very stiff dough. Add spices to taste.

For my size of sweet potato (med) I used about 2 lbs of powdered sugar and about 2 tsp of a pumpkin pie spice mix that I made before.

I used the food processor until it began to get a little too stiff, then I moved it to the mixer with the dough hook. The kids took it from there. They're making balls to roll in chopped pecans, coconut, and cinnamon sugar. These are very rich but I'm going to have a hard time not eating them all.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Heather's meals

Some recipes from my friend, Heather...as always, remember to use approved oil or sub butter or coconut oil instead. For gluten free, sub tinkyada noodles and gf flour

Okay here are a few to start with:

To make the following recipes, you will need to know how to make a roux (Most of you probably know how to do this, but I understand these recipes might go into a cookbook for young women, so I'm including the instructions). It's easy - melt one stick (1/2 C) butter in a pot over medium-high heat (I use the 7 on my elecrtic stove). Once it's melted, whisk in 1/2 C white flour and let it bubble for a minute or so. This is your roux. If you want to double these recipes, you should also double your roux - it's always equal amounts butter and flour.

"White Soup"
(Chowder base)

about 8 cups of milk

Once your roux has bubbled for a minute or so, keep the stove on medium-high heat and add about 1/2 the milk. Whisk it in and then stir just every now and then until it starts to bubble. The soup needs to bubble a little, but not boil, in order to thicken. Stir it all the way down to the bottom so it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom. When you notice it start to thicken you can add the rest of the milk - keep it bubbling and keep stirring.

With this chowder base you can make all kinds of different chowders. Cook your other ingredients in a seperate pan and add them to the chowder base when it's ready. These recipes are the way I make them, and you can add or subtract anything you want.

Basic Potato Chowder:

4-5 potatoes, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg bacon, chopped small (use approved or omit)
1 can corn
seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, celery salt, garlic, etc)

Cook the bacon first - then you can either drain the grease or cook the other ingredients in it. Add the potatoes, celery, onions and seasonings and cook until the veggies are done. Add the corn, then add the whole thing to your chowder base. Let it all simmer together for at least 10 minutes.

For Clam Chowder, add 2 cans of clams. I like to use the juice as well, but you run the risk of getting sand in your chowder :) If you don't like that idea you can dump the juice and rinse the clams first. You might also add some spinach to the recipe.

For Chicken Chowder, add 2 cans of chicken, or cook and chop at least 2 chicken breasts.

For Hamburger Chowder, use at least 1/2 lb of ground beef and don't use the celery or celery salt. Flavoring the meat with Worchestershire sauce and seasoning salt while it's cooking is very tasty. I like peas or spinach in this chowder, in addition to the corn. Corn is a chowder classic.

And since I think it's a crime to eat chowder without corn bread, here is an excellent Western corn bread recipe (as opposed to a traditional Southern corn bread "cake" that is made with bacon fat and sometimes fried on the stove top):

Homesteader Cornbread

1 1/2 C cornmeal
2 1/2 C milk
2 C white flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 C white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine cornmeal and milk; let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix in the cornmeal mixture, eggs and oil until smooth. Pout the batter into a greased 9 X 13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

The next recipe also uses the roux, and comes with a story :)

This is called "Wild Horses" in my husband's family (and now ours), but it's really just biscuits and gravy. They call it "Wild Horses" because whenever the kids would come into the kitchen while my mother-in-law was cooking and say, "what are you doing?" she would give some ridiculous answer, like "wrestling greased pigs" or "rising wild horses." In the case of this recipe, the name "Wild Horses" just stuck :)

No, they don't have any recipes called "Greased Pigs" ;)

"Wild Horses"

about 4 cups milk
seasonings to taste

Make it the same way you make the chowder base, but you want it much thicker so you don't use as much milk. Cook your other ingredients in a seperate pan and add to your "gravy" when it's ready.

Some of our favorite "Wild Horses":

scrambled eggs and sausage
tuna and peas
hamburger and corn

Once your gravy is ready and full of yummy things, you break up biscuits in your bowl and pour the Wild Horses on top. It's very hardy and warm and filling.

As an added bonus (lol) here is my favorite drop biscuit recipe:

4 C white flour
2 Tbsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C oil
2 C milk

Preheat oven to 450. Combine dry ingredients, then stir in oil and milk just until it's all moistened. Use a spoon to drop the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 450 until the biscuits are golden brown around the edges - about 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 32 biscuits, depending on size.

Leftover biscuits can be used for dessert, warmed up in a bowl in the microwave with butter and honey, syrup, jam or brown sugar and maybe some fruit on top. MMMMmmmmm.....

I'll post more recipes later - I just got a houseful of visitors :)

- Heather McKay

a success story from Christina

This is a great success story from Christina on the yahoo Feingold group.

My son is in 1st grade (barely 6 and the youngest in his class). He testes above
grade level in all subjects and reads as well as his 8 year old sister.

However, we had him tested at the teachers request for autism and they
officially placed him on the autism spectrum. He has a slightly modified
schedule where he gets to leave class for 30 min. and take his work to a smaller
classroom to work on it without the classroom distractions. He also has
permission to do his work laying on the carpet when he needs to.

He has been a very extreme child. He gets upset easily and cries easily about
the smallest things. He is socially immature and groups have a tendency to
completely overwhelm him. He has always loved trains and when we filled in the
aspergers questionaire I was convinced Aspergers was our diagnosis. We also have
tourettes on my side of my family (my father and brother) and have seen the
beginning of what we believe to be TS.

Back on 2 months....we started him with chelation the middle of October. Within
2 weeks, we had eye contact (where previously we had had NONE ever...), he was
calmer, able to read for content, left his trains behind and joined friends and
his sister in almost any game. He started falling asleep quickly instead of
kicking the wall for an hour each night to calm himself down. We rarely have any
temper tantrums, although he is still easily upset, he now calms down quickly.

We started soccer this year and the first couple of games resulted in him
melting down in only a few minutes and sitting out the rest of the game. You
could sometime hear him screaming 2 fields away. It was the end of soccer
season, and we had a 2 week break due to rain, and on his tenth game (the last
one of the season) it was a NEW kid. We had started "watching" artificial colors
and flavors at this point but had not started Feingold at that time. He ran when
he needed to, walked and waited for the ball to come toward him. Previously he
had never been able to slow down and would exhaust himself within 5 min chasing
the ball...and then meltdown. He played 2 quarters with NO time outs or
complaints. When it was his turn to sit out, he said "Oh man, I want to help my
team!" and then did the 4th quarter perfectly. He stopped midplay to ask a
little boy if he was okay when he fell. Usually he would leap over the hurt
child, or be oblivious to them, or worse step on them. We had never seen empathy
on the field and had only noticed some recently at home. Needless to say we were
totally amazed. The assistant coach's wife and several team moms came over after
the game and said that if they hadn't seen it themselves, they wouldn't have
believed it. They wanted to know what in the world we had done differently. I
told them about chelation and removing the artificial junk from his diet.

We went for another IEP meeting at the school last week, and although there have
been many many improvements he is still somewhat overwhelmed in group situations
school. He has difficulty sitting in his chair for more than a few min. at a
time, and interacts with most of the kids in an immature way. He is frequently
LOUD and blurts out answers instead of raising his hand. He is clumsy and most
things he picks up he drops. His handwriting is the poorest in his class. Large
motor skills he's great. He learned to ride a bike with no training wheels at 4
and is really good at soccer (now:), but small motor skills are severely
lacking. He has also suffered from eczema on his legs and arms, since he was a

He has come soooo far, but we still have more to do. I bought a copy of "Why
can't my child behave" and was furious by the end of it. I believe now that the
FDA is not on our side, but is in allegience with the food and chemical
companies! We started Feingold officially last month with Stage II...but I
wasn't seeing as much difference as I would like so 3 days ago we backed up to
Stage One. Basically we took out his grapes, raisins, apples etc. The last two
days have been intermittently HARD. He has alternated between the sweet little
boy we have come to know and being very grumpy and defiant. I am thinking that
maybe this is a salicylate withdrawal period.

I am not much of a cook but have been making most everything for him by scratch.
Luckily, he is not a picky eater and except for missing his grapes and chili, he
is doing fine. I am hoping that on this site there is a recipe list for kid safe
recipes. Changing brands has been pretty easy but we have easily spent upwards
of 500.00 switching out our foods to FG safe brands. I went a little fanatical
and just this week started eliminating detergents and toothpaste etc. I even
bought a natural bristle toothbrush!

I looked back at the Aspergers booklet I filled in, and where I checked him off
as being "highly probable Aspergers", his answers now qualify him as "not
likely". I really can't say that any of his behaviors at this point are autistic
at all. His counselor called me last week and asked what was different. He was
demonstrating eye contact and empathy and appropriate responses to most every
social scenario she tested him on. The beginning of the year he tested "little
to no eye contact" and last week he tested "normal eye contact".

I attribute his success so far to REMOVING the toxic heavy metals from his
system as well as removing all the Artificial colors, flavors and preservatives
from his diet. I expect to see more changes as we continue with Stage I. I am
looking forward to the day when they ask to remove the label of "autism" from
his classification at school.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

great news about the candles

I just realized that I didn't share the great news. We talked with the director about the candles that all the TAs seemed to love and he spoke with them that day. The candles are now all officially gone. YAY! He said that since it wouldn't hurt anyone or cost anything to get rid of them but it would help several people, of course he would accommodate us.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Doggie Fruit Loops

Alyssa does pet sitting and we always notice when the doggies are fed "doggie fruit loops". My hubby coined the phrase when he opened a particular bag of puppy food from one of those neurotic dogs who had accidents all over the house.

This is a far call from a scientific study but when we have dogs with uncolored dog food we seem to not have the same aggression or potty problems as dogs with obviously colored food. The best food that we've found to not contain any color, flavoring, or obvious preservatives is Kirkland brand from costco. It also doesn't list animal biproducts. We've never had a neurotic dog or an accident dog who was fed Kirkland.

So, if you're going crazy over your dog, just try a little experiment. Let me know what you find.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Bento Box song

This is just a cute song from Biggie at Lunch in a Box. We love to bento our lunches and her site has had many feingold safe foods for us to glean from. I love to learn foreign languages in song.

An article in Oprah's magazine


Thanks Markey for the link to this article in Oprah's magazine.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

And, some links for the chocolate letters



aha...and here are some fun links. Of course, use approved chocolate chips listing no vanillan and PLEASE do not add coloring.

Cake decorating, what a great idea

This idea comes from Gina...
What a great idea! She pipes melted chocolate onto a silpat sheet in the form of letters, lets them cool, then stands them up on the cake. How cute!
I want a picture from someone who tries this. My son's birthday was just yesterday and I would have loved to do it. We just did a 9 out of chocolate chips and used colorful candles. Watch out for the candle drips though.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Question-air freshener-remember the word allergy

Here is a reader question...

How are you able to deal with air fresheners and smells at school? We think our son reacts to those things and only put together the connection after a full semester of daily air freshener and decreasing self-control and behavior last spring.

This year, we're trying to be pro-active, but I just don't know how to deal with the smells. Is it a simple, "My son is allergic to air fresheners." Or do you go into a long explanation about why.


Dear Sara,
I use the word "allergy" a lot! It is not to be deceptive at all. It's just that people don't usually understand the word sensitivity. A sensitivity usually implies that the kids is sensitive and the parents are loony. People understand the word allergy to mean that he can not have it-which is the truth. In Andrew's case it is easier because he also has asthmatic reactions with fragrances. There is a physical symptom that people can see.
Normally I would just say plain and simply, My son can not be in a room with air freshener or any artificial fragrance including perfumes or candles. Then if you need to elaborate later you may. If the teacher is not complying, ask for a 504 plan. As I understand it, most schools would love to accommodate you if possible before needing to get a 504 because 504s means more paperwork for them but no extra funding. Ask them if they will be able to accommodate your needs or if you will need a 504 in order to make it happen.
We still have smells, other people's hand sanitizer (my kids bring their own) is probably the biggest smell left. Mrs. B is great to prop open the door as much as possible though so it's not as bad as it was. The clorox while wiping down the lunch tables, but they try to leave a bit early so they don't have an empty table next to them. The math teacher hasn't taken out her candle yet and I think she melts it when he's not there because there's still a smell in the room. It's just been for the last few weeks and coincidentally Andrew has been leaving the room halfway during math to use the restroom and he told me that his tummy hurts in math. He loves math and does very well so I can believe him on that one. I'm thinking it's the smell. I have had to run to the restroom many times while on the detergent aisle at the store. I wonder if anyone else gets the queezies when near chemicals.
Now you could say that right? If you continue to use air fresheners around my son he'll poop on your floor. Ha ha ha.

The Medicated Child


This is an online video called The Medicated Child. I watched it and found it very interesting.


Here is the homepage and the text related to the video.

In The Medicated Child, FRONTLINE producer Marcela Gaviria confronts psychiatrists, researchers and government regulators about the risks, benefits and many questions surrounding prescription drugs for troubled children. The biggest current controversy surrounds the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Formerly called manic depression, bipolar disorder was long believed to exist only in adults. But in the mid-1990s, bipolar in children began to be diagnosed at much higher rates, sometimes in kids as young as 4 years old. "The rates of bipolar diagnoses in children have increased markedly in many communities over the last five to seven years," says Dr. Steven Hyman, a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health. "I think the real question is, are those diagnoses right? And in truth, I don't think we yet know the answer."

Like many of the 1 million children now diagnosed with bipolar, 5-year-old Jacob Solomon was initially believed to suffer from an attention deficit disorder. His parents reluctantly started him on Ritalin, but over the next five years, Jacob would be put on one drug after another. "It all started to feel out of control," Jacob's father, Ron, told FRONTLINE. "Nobody ever said we can work with this through therapy and things like that. Everywhere we looked it was, 'Take meds, take meds, take meds.'"

Over the years, Jacob's multiple medications have helped improve his mood, but they've also left him with a severe tic in his neck which doctors are having trouble fully explaining. "We're dealing with developing minds and brains, and medications have a whole different impact in the young developing child than they do in an adult," says Dr. Marianne Wamboldt, the chief of psychiatry at Denver Children's Hospital. "We don't understand that impact very well. That's where we're still in the Dark Ages."

DJ Koontz was diagnosed with bipolar at 4 years old, after his temper tantrums became more frequent and explosive. He was recently prescribed powerful antipsychotic drugs. "It is a little worrisome to me because he is so young," says DJ's mother, Christine. "If he didn't take it, though, I don't know if we could function as a family. It's almost a do-or-die situation over here." DJ's medicines seem to be helping him in the short run, but the longer-term outlook is still uncertain. "What's not really clear is whether many of the kids who are called bipolar have anything that's related to this very well-studied disorder in adults," says Dr. Thomas Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health. "It's not clear that people with that adult illness started with what we're now calling bipolar in children. Nor is it clear that the kids who have this disorder are going to grow up to have what we used to call manic-depressive illness in adulthood."

While some urge caution when it comes to bipolar in children, FRONTLINE talks with others who argue that we should intervene with drug treatments at even younger ages for children genetically predisposed to the disorder. "The theory is that if you get in early, before the first full mood episode, then perhaps we can delay the onset to full mania," says Dr. Kiki Chang of Stanford University. "And if that's the case, perhaps finding the right medication early on can protect a brain so that these children never do progress to full bipolar disorder."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I feel kind of bad...

I was just looking over my blog and realizing that I'm out of recipes...LOL. I tell ya, we cook easy and cheap. There are only so many recipes I can post that are always acceptable. Please send me your always acceptable recipes and I'll post them ok? If I can get my camera working again I'll start a lunch log. I think their favorite lunch so far is chicken soup. We pack it up in a thermos so it's still warm. Adam said it feels like home. We also bought some gummy vitamins and rather than giving them in the morning, they are packed in a tiny container for lunch. They love that treat.
Thanks all, I promise I'm not getting too lazy, just a little out of ideas. Send em in!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

radio broadcast online


The natural health report

* The Annual Halloween Sugarfest is Here - But It's Not Just the Sugar
* Artificial Colors and Additives Can Bring on Symptoms of ADD/ADHD
* Surviving the Holidays by Making Better Food Choices with the Feingold Diet

with special guest speaker Jane Hersey!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Time article


Here's an interesting item in Time/CNN

Parents who suspect that artificial ingredients in food are affecting their children's behavior can now point to some cold, hard proof. A carefully designed study released Thursday in The Lancet, a leading British medical journal, shows that a variety of common food dyes and the preservative sodium benzoate — an ingredient in many soft drinks, fruit juices, salad dressings and other foods — causes some children to become more hyperactive and distractible than usual.

"In terms of a question that's been raging for years, it's the best study to date — an extremely good study," says Dr. Philip Shaw, a research psychiatrist in the Child Psychiatry branch of the National Institute of Mental Health.

The study prompted Britain's Food Standards Agency to issue an immediate advisory to parents to limit their children's intake of additives if they notice an effect on behavior. In the U.S., there's been no such official response, but doctors say it makes sense for parents to be on the alert.

Meanwhile, the food industry is awaiting further research. "We take our responsibility to consumers seriously and will study the research finding in great detail," says Cathy Cook, spokesperson for the International Association of Color Manufacturers.

The research, led by Jim Stevenson, a professor of psychology at England's University of Southampton, involved about 300 children in two age groups: 3-year-olds and 8- and 9-year-olds. Over three one-week periods, the children were randomly assigned to consume one of three fruit drinks daily: one contained the amount of dye and sodium benzoate typically found in a British child's diet, a second drink had a lower concentration of the additives, and a third was additive-free. All the children spent a week drinking each of the three mixtures, which looked and tasted alike. During each weeklong period, teachers and parents, who did not know which drink the kids were getting, used a variety of standardized behavior-evaluation tools — some observational and one computer-based — to size up such qualities as restlessness, lack of concentration, fidgeting, and talking or interrupting too much.

Stevenson found that children in both age groups were significantly more hyperactive when drinking the stuff containing additives. Three-year-olds had a bigger response than the older kids to the lower dose of additives — roughly the same amount of food coloring as in two 2-oz. bags of candy. And, there were big individual differences in sensitivity. While the effects were not nearly so great as to cause full-blown ADHD, Stevenson nonetheless warns that "these adverse effects could affect the child's ability to benefit from the experience of school."

He notes that a separate pilot study found that kids can become more hyperactive within one hour of consuming food additives.

The Lancet study is the first to nail down a link between artificial ingredients and hyperactivity, though the connection has long been suspected and was the basis for the Feingold Diet, which eliminates all artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives and was popularized in the 1970s as a treatment for ADHD. Though such a diet alone is not a proven treatment for ADHD, some clinicians routinely advise parents of kids with ADHD to stick with a more natural diet." I'm not maniacal about it, but I tell parents that your kid will do better if they are on a diet that is free of additives and junk food," says psychiatrist Edward Hallowell, author a several books on ADHD. "I urge them to eat whole foods; they'll be healthier anyway."

Now that a link has been found, researchers will be looking to confirm the British study and build upon it. "My guess is that if we do similarly systematic work with other additives, we'd learn they, too, have implications for behavior," says Dr. James Perrin, professor of pediatrics at Harvard. "My friends who study the food industry say we have about 70,000 new products a year, so children are facing tremendous numbers of new opportunities for things that may not be good for them." The study, he says, is one more reason to cheer the movement toward organic and natural foods.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Candy Shop

It's nearing that first real candy vacation of the season so I thought I'd post this...
Hopefully you can get some ideas. Note the right hand side, there are FG 1 and FG 2 catagories.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kraft is messing with the U.S.

> Get harmful chemicals out of mac & cheese-- Kraft did it in Europe, now
> they should do it in the U.S.
> Send a letter to Kraft asking them to update U.S. ingredients!

> Did you know that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is formulated differently for
> countries in Europe than for the U.S.?1 I didn't either until I read The
> Unhealthy Truth, a book about the toxicity of America's food supply.
> The fact is, that in 2008, Kraft removed artificial colorings, like yellow
> #5, and chemical sweeteners, like aspartame, from the products that they
> distribute in Europe, Australia, and other developed countries due to
> consumer concern over scientific studies that link these synthetic
> ingredients to hyperactivity and asthma in children. But, they haven't done
> the same thing here in the U.S.!2 Our voices are needed to make that change
> here too.
> We'd love to have you join us in writing to the Kraft CEO, Irene Rosenfeld,
> a mother of two herself, requesting that Kraft remove these same ingredients
> from their products here in the U.S.
> http://momsrising.democracyinaction.org/o/1768/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=272
> 97
> > vCCIJQl/dQITlq5vG>
> Kraft took these chemicals and additives out of their European products. If
> we want Kraft to do this for us in the U.S., then Kraft needs to hear from
> us!
> Join us in sending Kraft CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, a letter asking that Kraft
> value the health of our children as highly as they value the children in
> other countries. And please then share this email with friends and family so
> that they too can send a letter.
> The vast majority of American homes have Kraft products.3 Together, we can
> affect change and have these ingredients removed from the products that
> Kraft distributes here in the U.S.
> Here's that link again to sign on to the letter in case you need it:
> http://momsrising.democracyinaction.org/o/1768/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=272

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew

I had this sent to me today, right at the right time. Andrew and Adam just started school and Andrew is reacting like I haven't seen for 4 years. He loves the school though and I hope that it will work to keep him in for the year.

I cried when I read this article because there are so many things that Ellen has identified that are absolutely Andrew. People don't understand him and his sensory issues because he is a smart kid, very talented with music and words, he's a dictionary, he's supposed to be "smart", therefore people expect his behavior to be more teachable and they view him as belligerent when he shows inappropriate social behavior.

Andrew has been having facial tics and hand problems every second or two for two days. We started school three days ago. So far we've found the following problems...

General new school chaos.
Flourescent lights.
Green/Blue soap in the bathrooms that I didn't know about till today.
Fragrance on other people's clothes and hair.
And, water fountains when his water bottle with RO water ran out.

Anyway, on with the article. I think I'll read it again and get some good crying time in.

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew

By Ellen Notbohm

(© 2005, 2008)

Some days it seems the only predictable thing about it is the unpredictability. The only consistent attribute -- the inconsistency. There is little argument on any level but that autism is baffling, even to those who spend their lives around it. The child who lives with autism may look "normal" but his behavior can be perplexing and downright difficult.

Autism was once thought an "incurable" disorder, but that notion is crumbling in the face knowledge and understanding that is increasing even as you read this. Every day, individuals with autism are showing us that they can overcome, compensate for and otherwise manage many of autism's most challenging characteristics. Equipping those around our children with simple understanding of autism's most basic elements has a tremendous impact on their ability to journey towards productive, independent adulthood.

Autism is an extremely complex disorder but for purposes of this one article, we can distill its myriad characteristics into four fundamental areas: sensory processing challenges, speech/language delays and impairments, the elusive social interaction skills and whole child/self-esteem issues. And though these four elements may be common to many children, keep front-of-mind the fact that autism is a spectrum disorder: no two (or ten or twenty) children with autism will be completely alike. Every child will be at a different point on the spectrum. And, just as importantly – every parent, teacher and caregiver will be at a different point on the spectrum. Child or adult, each will have a unique set of needs.

Here are ten things every child with autism wishes you knew:

1. I am first and foremost a child. I have autism. I am not primarily "autistic." My autism is only one aspect of my total character. It does not define me as a person. Are you a person with thoughts, feelings and many talents, or are you just fat (overweight), myopic (wear glasses) or klutzy (uncoordinated, not good at sports)? Those may be things that I see first when I meet you, but they are not necessarily what you are all about.

As an adult, you have some control over how you define yourself. If you want to single out a single characteristic, you can make that known. As a child, I am still unfolding. Neither you nor I yet know what I may be capable of. Defining me by one characteristic runs the danger of setting up an expectation that may be too low. And if I get a sense that you don't think I "can do it," my natural response will be: Why try?

2. My sensory perceptions are disordered. Sensory integration may be the most difficult aspect of autism to understand, but it is arguably the most critical. It his means that the ordinary sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of everyday that you may not even notice can be downright painful for me. The very environment in which I have to live often seems hostile. I may appear withdrawn or belligerent to you but I am really just trying to defend myself. Here is why a "simple" trip to the grocery store may be hell for me:

My hearing may be hyper-acute. Dozens of people are talking at once. The loudspeaker booms today's special. Musak whines from the sound system. Cash registers beep and cough, a coffee grinder is chugging. The meat cutter screeches, babies wail, carts creak, the fluorescent lighting hums. My brain can't filter all the input and I'm in overload!

My sense of smell may be highly sensitive. The fish at the meat counter isn't quite fresh, the guy standing next to us hasn't showered today, the deli is handing out sausage samples, the baby in line ahead of us has a poopy diaper, they're mopping up pickles on aisle 3 with ammonia….I can't sort it all out. I am dangerously nauseated.

Because I am visually oriented (see more on this below), this may be my first sense to become overstimulated. The fluorescent light is not only too bright, it buzzes and hums. The room seems to pulsate and it hurts my eyes. The pulsating light bounces off everything and distorts what I am seeing -- the space seems to be constantly changing. There's glare from windows, too many items for me to be able to focus (I may compensate with "tunnel vision"), moving fans on the ceiling, so many bodies in constant motion. All this affects my vestibular and proprioceptive senses, and now I can't even tell where my body is in space.

3. Please remember to distinguish between won't (I choose not to) and can't (I am not able to). Receptive and expressive language and vocabulary can be major challenges for me. It isn't that I don't listen to instructions. It's that I can't understand you. When you call to me from across the room, this is what I hear: "*&^%$#@, Billy. #$%…" Instead, come speak directly to me in plain words: "Please put your book in your desk, Billy. It's time to go to lunch." This tells me what you want me to do and what is going to happen next. Now it is much easier for me to comply.

4. I am a concrete thinker. This means I interpret language very literally. It's very confusing for me when you say, "Hold your horses, cowboy!" when what you really mean is "Please stop running." Don't tell me something is a "piece of cake" when there is no dessert in sight and what you really mean is "this will be easy for you to do." When you say "Jamie really burned up the track," I see a kid playing with matches. Please just tell me "Jamie ran very fast."

Idioms, puns, nuances, double entendres, inference, metaphors, allusions and sarcasm are lost on me.

5. Please be patient with my limited vocabulary. It's hard for me to tell you what I need when I don't know the words to describe my feelings. I may be hungry, frustrated, frightened or confused but right now those words are beyond my ability to express. Be alert for body language, withdrawal, agitation or other signs that something is wrong.

Or, there's a flip side to this: I may sound like a "little professor" or movie star, rattling off words or whole scripts well beyond my developmental age. These are messages I have memorized from the world around me to compensate for my language deficits because I know I am expected to respond when spoken to. They may come from books, TV, the speech of other people. It is called "echolalia." I don't necessarily understand the context or the terminology I'm using. I just know that it gets me off the hook for coming up with a reply.

6. Because language is so difficult for me, I am very visually oriented. Please show me how to do something rather than just telling me. And please be prepared to show me many times. Lots of consistent repetition helps me learn.

A visual schedule is extremely helpful as I move through my day. Like your PDA or day-timer, it relieves me of the stress of having to remember what comes next, makes for smooth transition between activities, helps me manage my time and meet your expectations.

I won't lose the need for a visual schedule as I get older, but my "level of representation" may change. Before I can read, I need a visual schedule with photographs or simple drawings. As I get older, a combination of words and pictures may work, and later still, just words.

7. Please focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can't do. Like any other human, I can't learn in an environment where I'm constantly made to feel that I'm not good enough and that I need "fixing." Trying anything new when I am almost sure to be met with criticism, however "constructive," becomes something to be avoided. Look for my strengths and you will find them. There is more than one "right" way to do most things.

8. Please help me with social interactions. It may look like I don't want to play with the other kids on the playground, but sometimes it's just that I simply do not know how to start a conversation or enter a play situation. If you can encourage other children to invite me to join them at kickball or shooting baskets, it may be that I'm delighted to be included.

I do best in structured play activities that have a clear beginning and end. I don't know how to "read" facial expressions, body language or the emotions of others, so I appreciate ongoing coaching in proper social responses. For example, if I laugh when Emily falls off the slide, it's not that I think it's funny. It's that I don't know the proper response. Teach me to say "Are you OK?"

9. Try to identify what triggers my meltdowns. Meltdowns, blow-ups, tantrums or whatever you want to call them are even more horrid for me than they are for you. They occur because one or more of my senses has gone into overload. If you can figure out why my meltdowns occur, they can be prevented. Keep a log noting times, settings, people, activities. A pattern may emerge.

Try to remember that all behavior is a form of communication. It tells you, when my words cannot, how I perceive something that is happening in my environment.

Parents, keep in mind as well: persistent behavior may have an underlying medical cause. Food allergies and sensitivities, sleep disorders and gastrointestinal problems can all have profound effects on behavior.

10. Love me unconditionally. Banish thoughts like, "If he would just……" and "Why can't she….." You did not fulfill every last expectation your parents had for you and you wouldn't like being constantly reminded of it. I did not choose to have autism. But remember that it is happening to me, not you. Without your support, my chances of successful, self-reliant adulthood are slim. With your support and guidance, the possibilities are broader than you might think. I promise you – I am worth it.

And finally, three words: Patience. Patience. Patience. Work to view my autism as a different ability rather than a disability. Look past what you may see as limitations and see the gifts autism has given me. It may be true that I'm not good at eye contact or conversation, but have you noticed that I don't lie, cheat at games, tattle on my classmates or pass judgment on other people? Also true that I probably won't be the next Michael Jordan. But with my attention to fine detail and capacity for extraordinary focus, I might be the next Einstein. Or Mozart. Or Van Gogh.

They may have had autism too.

The answer to Alzheimer's, the enigma of extraterrestrial life -- what future achievements from today's children with autism, children like me, lie ahead?

All that I might become won't happen without you as my foundation. Be my advocate, be my friend, and we'll see just how far I can go.

Three-time ForeWord Book of the Year finalist Ellen Notbohm is author of Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew and three other award-winning books on autism. She is a columnist for Autism Asperger's Digest and Children's Voice and a contributor to numerous publications and websites around the world. For reprint permission, book excerpts or to explore Ellen's work, please visit www.ellennotbohm.com .

Monday, August 17, 2009

Breakfast Tacos

Breakfast Tacos, not as gross as they sound! This was a total fluke that turned out yummy. We had a crazy day, no silverware was washed, needed to use up a lot of eggs, just made apricot jam, and had leftover cream cheese in the fridge.

make pancakes as normal but with about 6 extra eggs and somewhat thin batter so they're nice and spongy. You don't want them as thin as crepes but not a thick pancake.

Cook as normal and then spread half with cream cheese, jam, fruit, or whatever else you want. Eat it like a taco.

I'd bet this would taste good with some bacon and cheese too.

These were nice and portable and didn't use as much sugar as normal either since it was eaten in hand and taco style.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Don't fall for Satan's twix?

Alyssa got this little note at church. I laughed so hard. I thought there was something fishy about twix but I didn't know that he made them!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Blue dye a drug?

Reprinted from FAUS

Reported by CNN July 28, 2009

The same blue food dye found in M&Ms and Gatorade could be used to reduce damage caused by spinal injuries, offering a better chance of recovery, according to new research.

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that when they injected Blue #1 (also called Brilliant Blue G or BBG) into rats suffering spinal cord injuries, the rats were able to walk again.

The only side effect was that they temporarily turned blue.

See the entire article (and picture of the blue mouse) at http://www.feingold.org/DOCS/blue-dye-for-spinal-injury.pdf

How can this work?

A chemical called ATP is both an energy source and a neurotransmitter, depending on its location. It creates energy in every cell for normal activity, and the FDA has known for some time that Blue #1 is toxic to the mitochondria which are like tiny factories inside each cell where the ATP is made. This causes a problem for people using a feeding tube. Until recently, hospitals added Blue #1 to the food used in such tubes, but some of the patients died and their colon was found to be bright blue. See http://www.feingold.org/DOCS/blue-fda.pdf and http://www.feingold.org/DOCS/bluecolon.pdf

However, in the case of a spinal injury, ATP is released from the injured cells, binds to a molecule called P2X7, and kills off healthy cells in the spinal cord, thus making the initial injury far worse.

If only there were a way to prevent the ATP from attaching to P2X7, or a way to deactivate the P2X7, ATP could not kill the spinal cord nerves. Luckily, Blue #1 was already known to be able to stop the function of P2X7. While this is not good for you or me, of course, it was perfect for a rat with an injured spinal cord. When injected with the blue dye immediately after their injury, the rats recovered and could walk again (with a limp). Those rats not injected with the dye never recovered.

This is big news in the medical field, since there is very little that doctors can now do for spinal cord injury. The first clinical trials will soon begin.

Forty years ago, Dr. Feingold warned that food dyes were similar to drugs and should be tested in the same way drugs are tested. Now, finally, one of them has been shown to be such a powerful drug that it can bring about the recovery of a damaged spinal cord. Might we hope that at least this dye will find its way out of our food and onto the prescription pad?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Peanut butter and jelly sushi rolls


Cute, cute, cute! I would really use sushi rice for this and not white bread but hey, use approved bread or tortillas for the same effect.

Peanut butter, strawberry slices, and banana or something to that effect would be great as a sushi roll.

Or, peanut butter, thinly sliced celery and raisins for bumps on a log.

mmmmmmmmm, gonna try em out tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Meatball surprise rolls

I couldn't think of a better name to call these. We used frozen meatballs and frozen bread dough but you can use your own if you do not have the FG list. I just plopped a meatball in the dough and added a strip of white cheese on top, closed it up into a little ball, and baked for 20 minutes. They looked like rolls when they came out of the oven but they had a yummy surprise inside.

Friday, June 5, 2009


This is a reader comment that I'm posting. :) Good job!!! This is my first time writing in on the FG message board, and I'm wanting to share a success story in hopes of encouraging others! My family of three joined the program in March in support of my sister's family and also to see if it would make a difference for my husband (32) and daughter (2 1/2)...both seemed like they might be chemically sensitive after researching through the FG website and taking the survey.
With our daughter we noticed immediate changes just after a few days on program. Her "edgey-ness" subsided, her reactions both high and low weren't as extreme, she was getting along with other kids, was less demanding and in general a much happier little girl and continues to be! She is still 2, so an occasional tantrum and defiance exists, but it just feels like she's lingered into the average range behavior wise instead of an extremely demanding FULL TIME and a HALF 2 year old! YIPPEE!
As for my husband, changes were also immediate...but not in a positive way. His anger/temper got worse, his reactions more extreme, his outbursts/cursing more intense (especially with road rage), his energy and patience was lacking and in general he seemed angry at the world. Often things I've noticed in him before, but at an even more extreme level.
Through my sister's encouragement on the program....and reading posts and information about detox....we stuck it out for over EIGHT WEEKS before witnessing what I can only attribute to a MIRACLE! In the blink of an eye, my husband turned a HUGE corner. He is laughing, singing, telling funny jokes, playing ponies with our daughter, working on PROJECT after PROJECT around our house and in the yard (a rarity before FG!), and even often asking what he can do to help me! He has even stated "I feel like myself again!" And as for me, it feels like I have a partner in life now that includes give and take instead always feeling like the giver! It is so much easier to give when there is balance and I am SOOO thankful! I kept thinking...this is too good to be true....it's going to end...this can't be real...this can't last. But, I can honestly tell you that the past 4 weeks have been the best it's ever been in our nine years of marriage....and it's only going to get better from here!!! THANK YOU FEINGOLD PROGRAM and volunteers....you've saved my family! :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Message from a Mom

Dear Feingold,

I would just like to thank everyone who has helped put this program together. This diet has changed our lives forever.

My oldest daughter was born with a great personality and strong will. She was also born with many allergies. When she was about 4 months old she had her first ear infection, was given Tylenol and antibiotic. She then continued to have ear infections every month until she was 6 years old. We always treated her with Tylenol or Motrin and what ever the new antibiotic was prescribed. She also vomited 2 or 3 times a day.

She was seen by specialist after specialist who gave out new medication. or testing. Always the same response by the doctors "We don't see anything wrong." Meanwhile, she would throw temper tantrums 3 or 4 times a day sometimes for an hour. She would bite herself, scratch, throw items, cry till she vomited and her eyes would glow with anger. We always chalked it up to the terrible two's, horrible three's, strong willed child, maybe she was over tired, spoiled, etc., etc., etc.

When she was about 4 years old we were referred to a eating and behavior specialist. She was suppose to help her become more aware of how much she was eating and when she was full. Also, to help us to set up behavior charts. She then continued to treat us as though we were crazy and nothing was really wrong with our daughter. She didn't seem to believe that we were all being tortured by something. I knew that something was very wrong with her but couldn't help her.

We then broke down and took her to a child psychologist and psychiatrist. They put her on anti-psychotic and adhd medication. We we devastated for a long time. We had moved and found new doctors who confirmed the same diagnosis of bi-polar, adhd, OCD, and odd. The medications were not helping, the charts did not entirely work, and we were being advised to try a third medication. She still was throwing tantrums, nightmares, clothing issues, chewing issues, defiance, throwing up, and ear infections.

We were lost, frustrated and not willing to continue down this same road any longer. We had heard of the Feingold diet years before from a friend and honestly thought that she was crazy. How in the world could food make you sick? Well, I called that friend and we went through the process of the Feingold Diet.

We were absolutely overwhelmed at the thought of trying this. I didn't hardly bake or make anything from scratch! I finally received our packet and claimed the confidence I needed to succeed. We were dedicated to making the diet work and ended up doing it for a full eight weeks before we added any thing in.

The results were shocking! Our daughter was normal! After being on the diet for about 4 weeks we removed the anti-psychotic and two weeks later we removed the adhd medication. She was medication free and symptom free. No more fits, screaming, crying, obsession, nightmares or vomiting!!!! The doctors were absolutely dumbfounded. We had shown them a way to cure not just treat out daughter.

The main culprit causing all of our grief was red dye. Any time she had red dye she would have symptoms for two days. Red dye is in so many things! We gave it in all medications, popsicles, fruit snacks, candy and Kool-Aid. Our daughter is now 11 and lives a great normal healthy life. We tell anyone who listen our story and about how the Feingold Diet changed our lives! Thank you again for all that you do.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Future of Food

Supersize Me!

This is a movie that talks about fast food and the dangers therein. The main character eats a fast food diet for 30 days and has some very interesting results.

A warning to those who have sensitive ears and eyes...towards the beginning at the doctor's office the main character gets a physical and I saw more than I should have.
There is also some swearing here and there. I personally wouldn't have my kids watch this or if I did, I would know where to fast forward.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Feingold in the news


Weeping Water, NE--A study published in the British Journal, The Lancet, has a lot people questioning whether artificial food coloring, so prevalent in foods now, is causing ADHD.

According to the study, there was a marked increase in hyperactivity for kids tested in the three year old age group and the 8-9 age group.

The research findings were so convincing the British government asked food manufacturers to stop using six different artificial food colors. Just three months ago, Maryland legislators debated whether to ban food coloring from public schools and to force labels on products containing these artificial additives.

None of this is news to the Keckler family. Two years ago, when a teacher suggested their now 10-year old daughter, Sydney, had ADHD, they didn't want to medicate her. Instead, they researched and eventually adopted the Feingold Diet, a program that removes food colorings like Red 40, Yellow 5 as well as other artificial additives.

Mom, Tiffani, says within days there was a noticeable difference. "It was amazing, it really was." She says even Sydney's gymnastics coach remarked on the change after a week.

Today, Sydney is still active and energetic, but she can also sit still and focus. Tiffani says she's not sure if food coloring can solve every child's hyperactivity, "I don't know that it's all of the solution, but it's a huge part of it."

Doctors aren't so sure. Psychiatrist Joan Daughton says the one study is well-done but it is only one and there needs to be more research.

"Is this some kind of allergic reaction going on; is this some kind of pharmalogic effect from the additives and that kind of thing? That answer, we don't have that."

Daughton says it is perfectly fine for parents to try to make some dietary changes; she just cautions that it be done in conjunction with professional treatment and input. Even if there is a link, she says it probably only affects a small number.

"It doesn't seem to be a wide-spread treatment that's going to be effective for most kids," Daughton adds.

The Food and Drug Administration contends food colorings are safe and are tested frequently. In its literature, however, the government agency acknowledges there may be some kids who suffer adverse reactions to food dyes.

How to eliminate these additives from a diet can be a daunting task. The colorings are used to make food more appealing and appetizing and are found in everything from candy to ice cream to frozen waffles to cereal and popular kids snacks.

Tiffani says there are plenty of foods that are all natural, it just requires switching brands and reading labels. But she admits when she started, it was a time-consuming task.

Still in the two years, she says her family has benefitted from making the changes with better sleep, less allergy congestion and feeling healthier.

Reported by Carol Wang, cwang@action3news.com

Monday, May 4, 2009


I don't think I've posted this one yet, it's getting harder to post recipes because I have most of my old standbys on here already.

These are really called Porcupine balls but well, I just don't love the name so we call them porcupines.

In a bowl mix...

hamburger-about a lb.
about 2 cups cooked brown or white rice
4 eggs
salt and pepper to taste, you can salt them after cooking if they need more

fg safe bread crumbs or gluten free breadcrumbs
extra seasoning like garlic or other plain spices

mix it all in, add more rice if you want less meat. The eggs hold it all together fairly well. Form into balls or patties. Cook it all in a med. skillet till it's not pink in the middle anymore.

We like to serve these with a huge serving of cooked carrots on the side. Don't know why, we just do.
You can dip them in fg safe ketchup or bbq sauce if you want.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Popped Milo


WOW! It worked! I tried to pop sorghum after watching a Bizarre Foods episode, then searching for a recipe. I looked for sorghum for months and then while re-loading on my goat feed I noticed the price board said sorghum/milo. 50 lbs were only $9 so I thought I'd try it. If it didn't work I could always feed it to the chickens right?
Well, I put it in my popper and it was great. I found that I had to empty my popper of burned kernels in between batches but other than that it was just the same as popping corn. And, the chickens get the burned ones so there's no waste.
A suggestion, turn on your popper first, get it heated a bit, then add the kernels. It was sweet and we didn't even need butter. And tiny so the baby won't choke on it. And, no icky kernels to break your teeth!
My popped sorghum averaged about 2/3rds of the kernels. The rest will go to the chickens. I heard that if you put it in a container with a little water and let it absorb that it will pop a lot better. I'll let you know in a week when I try it.
I'm sure that sorghum that's packaged for popping would have a much better ratio but I couldn't find it anywhere so I'm making due.
Also, with my air popper I could only put in 1/2 cup at a time. More than that had a lot more burnt kernels. I didn't have the problem of it flying all over the place like some other people have had if they don't put in enough.
See the above link for more tips.

EDITED: I just read that the unpopped kernels at the bottom taste somewhat like corn nuts so I tried them...they're actually good and my kids are downing them now. So sorry chickens, no treats today.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Silent Killer in your Kitchen Cabinets?

This is beyond the scope of Feingold however, I think that it's an important fact. We do eat hidden MSG occasionally when we know it's there because it doesn't affect behavior in my kids. However, this article just reiterated the importance of eating real food.
Our taste buds are so used to that lovely MSG "flavor" that makes all food taste so good to our brain that we just don't appreciate good homemade cream of mushroom soup. Chicken broth tastes just plain blah. We need to retrain our brains to love whole foods; the kinds of foods that our Father in Heaven made for us to tend as stewards over this earth.
I encourage you all to start a garden, be it one pot or an acre, indoor or outdoor, and taste some real food this year. If you don't have any space, here's a great website for you. http://www.squarefootgardening.com/ find 2 square feet and some concrete, grass, or dirt, and you're set!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My article is in a GREAT magazine


Hey all, I'm so proud to announce that my article has been published in a great magazine. Usually healthy magazines seem to be FULL of advertising and fake-o articles from people just trying to sell junk. I can't tell you how much I loved the premier issue of Harvest Source whole foods journal. Real articles, real people, and good all around healthy ideas.

It's normally $5.95 but if you go to the website you can subscribe for a whole year for free...and no junk of putting in your credit card number and charging you later to keep going. It's really free. I checked with them personally and they do not sell your email address either.

Happy reading and I hope you'll read my article on page 23 and 24.
Also, if you like inexpensive and healthy foods and suppliments check out the back page ad. For the first 49 NEW customers who place a $325 order Azure Standard is giving away $300 gas certificates. I wish I was a new customer. We order from Azure every month and buy almost exclusively from them.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pineapple Chicken in Foil Packet

Pineapple Chicken Foil Packet

1 cup slivered Carrots
1 can (8 oz.) Pineapple Slices (listing just pineapple and pineapple juice), drained
2 boneless chicken breast halves, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel (organic or something you know isn't dyed, otherwise leave it out)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 Green Onion, thinly sliced

Arrange 1/2 cup carrots in center of 12-inch square heavy aluminum foil, for each serving. For each serving layer 2 pineapple slices, 2 pieces chicken, one-half tarragon, lemon peel, lemon juice and green onion over carrots on aluminum foil. Fold foil to form packet. Place packets on baking sheet.

Bake at 450°F., 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from oven. Let stand 5 minutes.

363 Calories, 6g Total Fat

Serve it with rice and salad.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tex-Mex Haystacks

MMMMMMMMMM, we made something different today that hit the spot! It was a snowy day in April and we were all feeling a little blah. So, we had to come up with a new food. Here it is...Tex-Mex haystacks

Cooked rice, white or brown
1-2 cans (or cooked at home) fat-free refried beans listing only beans, water, and salt
shredded whole milk monterey jack cheese or other approved cheese
guacamole made with a clove of garlic, squeeze of lemon or lime, and salt

extras can include...
whole cream sour cream with just cream listed as an ingredient or approved
homemade or approved salsa or hot sauce
chopped onions
canned, fresh, or frozen corn listing just corn and salt
cooked hamburger

Just start with the rice and layer the rest on top. The kids wanted theirs with just the main 4 ingredients, Russ and I added sour cream and salsa.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Have a great Easter

What a great Easter day we had! The kids were sane enough to enjoy the Easter readings, there were no problems, no fighting, just peace. We were able to visit family with no sneaking of their candy. They are all doing well now towards the end of the day.
I know it sounds a little hokey but thank heaven for the knowledge that the Lord presented us about how much diet affects our family. We are truly blessed to be able to live like we do now.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Great natural help

I had foster boys here for a while who had MRSA staph infection. After tons of research we came across what we felt were some of the best anti-viral, anti-biotic, immune stimulating natural helps around. While they were on these things the staph infections did not show up again. I do not know what happened when they went home. I thought I'd pass them on just in case any of you need to know.
I was reminded about these this morning when I got my Dr. Mercola video. (the link above) He talks about turmeric. For our 2 year old boy we used 1/4 tsp 3 times a day mixed in carob milk. When we are very sick we'll take turmeric in pills, about 3 pills 3 times a day. I ordered mine from mountain rose herbs online. They have great, organic herbs for a wonderful price. I either cook with it, put it in drinks, or capsulate it myself. Don't bother with turmeric in the average store. It's not potent enough.
We also love raw garlic and apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Many people use anti-plague but I can't gag down a mixture like that. I make guacamole with a few cloves of raw garlic squished in. Then separately I make a few cups of water with either apple cider vinegar (braggs) or fresh lemon juice plus some raw honey.
In addition to the garlic/lemon mixture we'll usually add some fenugreek tea or capsules or turmeric capsules.
The last final defense for us is Vitamin D. Have you ever noticed that we don't get sick so much when there's sunshine? In the winter or if we're stuck inside of an air conditioned home in dead summer we need Vitamin D and some air. We like to pick a decent weather day and open some windows to air out the house. We also take Vitamin D IU 2000 that we just get from Walmart. It is NOT on the FG list or always acceptable but through muscle testing and experience this year it's been fine for our family. We take one every other day in the non-sunshine times of the year. If we feel like something is coming on we'll take it every day.
You can also buy some fish oils with vitamin D added. If you take fish oil you need to use one from the FG list or do some huge research yourself cause any oil can easily have preservatives. The company we use also gets their fish from non-mercury sources.
I hope that can help a little bit. We have many other natural helps that we use but those are our mainstays.

Why do we need the Feingold list?

This was a great post by Molly on a list I frequent. It explains why we need the Feingold list or the always acceptable list and how manufacturers get away with hiding ingredients.

"Lets look at these crackers...Mr. Cheesey crackers have cheese added to the batter in the factory that actually makes/bakes the crackers. But the Mr. Cheesey company purchases their cheese pre-made from the XYZ Cheese Maker. The XYZ Cheese Maker adds yellow dye and cheddar flavor to the cheese in THIER OWN FACTORY...not in the Mr. Cheesey Cracker Factory. Mr. Cheesey Crackers do not have to tell you on the label that their crackers actually do contain the yellow dye and cheddar flavor from the cheese because Mr. Cheesey DID NOT ADD IT TO THE CRACKERS...it was inadvertently added to the CHEESE by the manufacturer of the cheese. Manufactures are only required to list the ingredients that they actually use to make their product...Not the ingredients used to make the ingredients that go into their products. Unless of course you are talking about an allergen like nuts, wheat, soy or eggs...then you can get a TON of information because they don't want someone to have an anaphylactic reaction and sue them. Sad really."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ginger sweet potato bake


MMMMMM, Ginger sweet potato chicken bake from 5 dollar dinners...and it's all Feingold safe!

With the chicken breast and sweet potatoes on sale, there was no doubt this dish would come in under $5! It made a whole 9×13 pan with lots of leftovers!!! The Free Item coupon helped too :)


2 large chicken breasts, about 1.25 lb ($2.21) Recently on sale for $1.77/lb
2 large sweet potatoes, about 1.5 lb ($1.02) Recently on sale for $.68/lb
1 15 oz can of pineapple pieces, in 100% pineapple juice (FREE) Used Free Item Coupon!
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil ($.10)
1 tsp ground ginger ($.10)
1 tsp garlic powder ($.05)
1 tsp ground cinnamon ($.10)
1 cup brown rice ($.40) Purchased 2 lb bag with $1 off coupon


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Dice chicken breasts into 1/2 - 1 inch cubes. Helpful Hint: It’s easiest to cut chicken breasts while they are still partially frozen. I usually thaw mine about 75% of the way, making it much easier to cut. Cutting them while still completely frozen is really tough on the fingers. I don’t recommend that!
3. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes.
4. Drain pineapple juice, reserving about 1/2 cup to use when cooking the rice.
5. In large bowl, toss diced chicken breast, sweet potato pieces and pineapple piece. Add extra virgin olive oil, ground ginger, garlic powder, ground cinnamon and salt and pepper. Toss well. Transfer mixture to 9×13 baking dish.

Tossing the Ginger Sweet Potato Chicken Bake

6. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes uncovered. Remove and cover with foil, and then bake another 30-40 minutes. (This will prevent the sweet potatoes from drying out. I like them soft and moist!)
6. In saucepan, cook brown rice as directed on packaging. I subsituted 1/2 cup of the liquid suggested on the package with the reserved pineapple juice. Brown rice takes longer to cook, so be sure to start this at the same time you put the chicken bake into the oven and they’ll both be ready at about the same time!
7. Serve Ginger Sweet Potato Chicken Bake with side of brown rice.

Cost $3.98

Chicken and tostones


A recipe from 5 dollar dinners, mmmmmm (notes from Danika...use coconut oil or approved oil. When we couldn't find plantains we used bananas which give a whole other taste but they're still good. Plantains are much more starchy and really need to cook more than bananas, almost like a banana flavored potato. If you use bananas make sure they're greenish and don't cook them as long. Also, use a minimally processed chicken, not one with "solution added")

One of my favorite foods in the Dominican Republic were Tostones. And not just any tostones, the tostones from Giberto’s chicken stand! He used perfectly ripe plantains, fried them at the perfect temperature, mashed them to perfection and fried them again for just the right amount time…

What to Do with a Whole Chicken Tutorial coming tomorrow…


1 whole chicken ($4.40) On sale last week for $.88/lb. Will use the meat for 3 different meals, so will divide cost by 3…$1.47!
1-2 tsp garlic powder ($.05)
2 plantains ($.66) Rolled back to $.33 each this week
1 cup white rice ($.20)
Ketchup ($.20)

UPDATE: 2-3 cups of oil (I used canola) $1 or less depending on the oil!


1. Place whole chicken in crockpot with 1-2 cups of water. Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook on low for 8 or 10 hours.
2. Prepare tostones as described below.

Peeling the Plantain

Peel the skin from the plantains.

Cutting the Plantains

Cut the plantains into 1.5 inch chunks.

Frying the Plantains

Add plantains to hot oil (I set mine on #7 on the burner’s dial). Fry for about 5 minutes. Remove from oil with slotted spoon and place back on cutting board.

Smashing the Plantains

Smash plantains with potato masher or large rolling pin. Once smash, return to hot oil and fry again for 4-5 minutes. Remove from oil with slotted spoon and set on paper towel to rid of excess oil.

3. Bring 2.5 cups of water to boil. Add 1 cup of white rice. Return water to boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Once chicken is cooked, let it cool for about 10 minutes before handling. Cut off as much chicken meat as you can. Save juices and bones/carcass to make broth.
5. Serve Chicken pieces with White Rice and Tostones and Ketchup.

Cost $3.58

(It really doesn’t get much cheaper than this y’all!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Easter Eggs

From kid's craft weekly...http://www.kidscraftweekly.com/eggs2_issue.html

See the above link for pictures of these cute crafts.

Hello and welcome to this 'eggs' issue of Kids Craft Weekly which, in case you hadn't guessed, is really an Easter issue in disguise. If you don't celebrate Easter please don't stop reading – there are still plenty of great ideas that you can take away and apply to other occasions.

It's been a busy few weeks at our place – I am disapointed that we didn't have a chance to try making 'cascarones' which I'd never heard about until subscriber Abigael wrote to me last week. In case you've not heard of them either here are her great instructions:

Image of Cascarones (c) Holly Chase

I saw a version of this in Guatemala and I thought you might enjoy making these. On Easter week the ladies have these huge flat baskets full of bright eggs that have been hollowed out and filled with glitter and flour. They sell them for a few cents each and EVERYONE is gleefully armed with eggs. All are either smashing them on someones head or covered with glitter and flour! The streets are full of kids and adults young and old covered in eggshell and bling!

I make them for my kids to play with in the yard. Here is how.

1. Save up about a dozen egg shells – the more the better. I do it this way – break them open as close to the end as possible, rinse, and store upside down in a crate until dry.

2. Fill the eggs with glitter (skip the flour!), stickers, little tiny chicks, confetti,etc

3. Top with a glued on bit of tissue paper and decorate the outside with paint, markers, etc.

4. When they're dry you can smash them on heads on easter morning – or open them in a more civilized manner to get a gift.

Thanks for writing Abigael and thanks Holly for letting me use your lovely photo. If you'd like some more visuals you can see more wonderful pictures of cascarones on Flickr.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Kids Craft Weekly. If your appetite for Easter crafts still isn't sated you might also want to check out the ideas in this Easter issue from a few years ago.

Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!

Amber Carvan

PS. A few weeks ago I removed all the newsletter archives from the website. This created a fair bit of angst from regular visitors so I've put them back up for now :)

Buy the Kids Craft Weekly book

2. Painted foil eggs

These painted foil eggs are great fun for all ages. If you're not into the idea of making egg shapes you can cut the cardboard into any shape you dream of. For a super no-fuss version of this craft just wrap some foil around a paper plate.

You will need

• card
• aluminium foil
• scissors
• paint and brushes
• cotton buds (q-tips), matchsticks and/or wooden skewers


1. Cut some egg shapes from card.

2. Wrap cardboard egg shapes in pieces of aluminium foil.

3. Paint over the top using regular acrylic/tempera paint.

4. While the paint is still wet, scratch out some designs into the paint using a cotton bud or matchstick. If these aren't available simply turn your paintbrush upside down and use that!

5. Allow to dry.

3. Confetti eggs

I find the process of sitting down to make confetti very therapeutic – but then again, I also enjoy colouring-in! If you don't have the patience to make your own you can always buy a fancy ready-made batch from your local newsagent or craft supply shop.

You will need

• colourful paper and hole punch
• coloured card
• scissors
• white glue
• paint brush
• glitter
• string


1. Make confetti by punching holes into colourful paper – it's time consuming but fun!

2. Cut egg shapes from firm and colourful card, then smother with white glue.

3. Sprinkle on some confetti...

4. ...and add some glitter for good measure, and more glitter, and more glitter! My kids *really* like glitter, much more than confetti it turns out.

5. When one side is dry, confetti/glitter the other and punch a hole in the top. Then hang from a window (or wrist) or leave one side blank so that you can use it as an easter gift tag.

4. Paper mache eggs / simple egg picture /

Now here's a craft that tells a story, the moral of which is 'keep it simple'. The premise was sound – paper mache over an egg-shaped piece of foil – but while my six year old enjoyed this craft it was well beyond the capabilities of her three year old brother and it seriously tested the patience of her 35 year old mother! In the end though we found a solution for everyone.

You will need

• aluminium foil
• ribbon
• white glue
• water
• brush
• coloured tissue paper
• tape
• blank paper and marker pen (for the picture)


1. Take a sheet of kitchen foil and scrunch it up into a ball. Once it's scrunched - take some time to press it into a smooth egg shape. Then tie a knot in a length of ribbon and tape it to the top of your foil egg.

2. Take another piece of foil and scrunch it over the top of your first egg, taking care to conceal the sticky tape and the end of the ribbon. Once your foil ball is looking suitably egg-shaped, tear up some pieces of coloured tissue paper and prepare a glue mix from equal parts white glue and water.

3. Start to stick the tissue paper over the foil egg – holding onto the ribbon to keep it from getting stuck down too. Yes, it's quite tricky and very messy!

4. They take a long time to dry but they look very pretty when they do. We spinkled glitter over one of our eggs and we're thinking about painting dots or stripes on the others.

5. When we'd finally finished with the paper mache I presented the disgruntled three year old with the leftover scraps of tissue paper, foil and the watered down glue and gave him a piece of paper with an egg shape drawn on to decorate.

Now *that* was a good idea!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

easter candy


A reader question


Sorry, I'm still on a slow computer and I can't cut and paste the question but here's the answer!

This link will take you to a sample of the food guide. You can see that each acceptable food is listed by section and then has () next to it if that product is gluten free, has corn syrup, benzoate, or other additives. The acceptable foods mean that there are no artificial flavorings, colorings, BHA, BHT, or TBHQ. Some members choose to further eliminate things like the corn syrups and that's why they are in ().
To me this food list is absolutely irreplaceable. Manufacturers hide so much that they do not list. The Feingold association researches each product via the manufacturer so I don't have to and then they publish the list.
If you ever ever ever use processed food or even basics like oils or milk this guide will help eliminate the hidden petroleum.

Stage one and stage two are in two different sections. It doesn't list bad products in the guide, just ok ones.

To keep updated you also get a monthly newsletter and emails if a product changes or as new products are added.

As a member you can submit your favorite foods to have them researched.

You get a fast food sheet with several fast food restaurants, a mail order guide, a book full of recipes, and several other pieces of information.

I will be a lifetime member simply because I want to support their cause and help with research. But, I also know that when we start testing stuff ourselves instead of sticking to the list we start to have problems again.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A reader question

Here's a reader question I received. As always I like to answer on the blog because for every question someone actually emails there are usually 10 readers thinking the saame thing...

"I have been trying this diet for about three weeks and have made many mistakes giving my son wrong products by accident, that I thought were approved and were not. We have yet to see any changes and I want to quit because my sons kindergarten teacher keeps reminding me how she see's no changes and now my husband is doubting it, he wont say it but I can tell. Which in turn makes me doubt. My son's hyperness and impulsiveness is what the special ed teacher says will keep him in there. She says a regular class will not be able to handle him. We have a meeting on May 20th to decide his placement for next year and I know if there are not no changes she and the case manager will suggest medicating again!"

Let me start with saying that some kids are more sensitive than others to petroleum and some kids take longer to detox from it than others. Sometimes there are issues other than petro blockage also. If there was any permanent damage to the brain to cause problems you will not see 100% improvement in that area (such as physical brain trauma}. However, most people seem to see a huge improvement by the time the initial stage one 6 weeks are up. Especially with things like hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
If you are a feingold member and you are serious about this, stick with the list absolutely. Mistakes are mistakes and can't be helped in the past but if your son is toxic he needs some real time without ANY petroleum.
Besides the things he gets at home from you he may be reacting worse at school because of cleaning chemicals, air fresheners, play-doh, markers on the skin, or helpful friends who offer him a couple of skittles or m & m's each day.
My youngest, and most toxic, can get one m & m and we'll see it for 3 days. Remember the nerds on the bathroom floor episode from a few months ago?

So, that does it for the reaction issues...let's talk parenting now. I like to put a positive spin on the eating thing rather than saying things like, "dye makes you act crazy." Can you try to help your son understand that when he eats healthy foods that you give him his brain will work better? He will be able to control his actions better and in turn will have more free time and less time in punishments? Let him know that you're his partner in this new adventure and you need his help. My youngest still sneaks but not nearly so often. The times that he sneaks we've had small infractions previously and then his impulsiveness comes back. If you can truly get ALL petrol out of his diet and as much as possible out of his environment you should be much better off with his cooperation.

Third option...control your teaching environment. We choose to homeschool but you should also know that you are in control of your son in school as much as possible. Don't let them push you around. I think most states have laws now where parents can take their kids out of special ed. Make sure you have the most cooperative teacher, let her read the blue book and really understand how you are trying to help your son. Give her this website and ask her to please look into it so he/she can understand your son's issues. Do everything you can for him in school. There's always the chance that he will still sneak from friends in school and I don't know how to solve that one.

Husbands? I've written a lot about them in the past. Sometimes they are just hard to convince. They'd rather think their kids are "active or precocious" than think they have some disease or allergy. They are afraid to give up their foods not understanding that they can have brands of most foods. They are usually addicted themselves. Women are usually used to controlling the food situation so I don't think it phases us as much. The best advice I can offer is to make yummy things and keep the blue book or other information on the back of the toilet seat so it might get picked up.

Tics are gone

This was taken from a public yahoo group that I am on...great going Sherri, this is a great testament to the destruction that petroleum can cause when ingested into the body.

"My son suffered a mild tic - his eyes would roll up into his head as he blinked. This would happen here and there.

After 2 weeks on Stage One of the FG program, we noticed his tic has disappeared.

Now that we are in Stage 2 and are reintroducing certain fruits, we notice that certain ones cause this tic to return. It's very interesting, and only further validates the value and effectiveness of following the Feingold program!

Best of luck!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Menu #3, vegetarian

I've been vacationing for 2 weeks so sorry for the short responses to email and lack of posts. Today I helped my little brother put together a vegetarian menu that was Feingold safe and thought I'd post it here for you all. Remember to use the always acceptable ingredients or the feingold list for brands. Don't assume that this menu is always acceptable...having fun here in Vegas, love you all for reading my blog, Danika

Breakfast Green smoothie with soy milk & flax or coconut
Lunch Salad w/canned beans
Dinner Lentil Soup w/veggies

Breakfast Oatmeal
Lunch Tortilla pizza w/veggie sticks
Dinner Baked potatoes w/steamed broccoli

Breakfast Bagel w/cream cheese & juice
Lunch Pasta with garbanzos, veggies & sauce
Dinner Mexican w/veggie toppings

Breakfast cereal w/milk & fruit
Lunch Sandwich & fruit
Dinner Mac & cheese w/veggies

Breakfast Eggs & toast
Lunch Mac & cheese w/veggies
Dinner Stir fry w/tofu & rice

Breakfast Green smoothie with soy milk & flax or coconut
Lunch Rice w/veggies and scrambled egg
Dinner Mexican w/veggie toppings

Breakfast Veggie omlette
Lunch Taco salad w/canned beans
Dinner Pasta w/sauce & veggies

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Freezer Meals, Home Made Lasagna

This is from hillbilly housewife...remember to use whole milk mozzarella. I would also use 2 cans of chopped tomatoes rather than tomato sauce but you can choose. The suggestion was to make 4 of these at a time and freeze 3 of them. I found casserole sized stainless steel pans at the dollar store (Honks) and bought 20 of them for my freezer meals. The ones that went through the dishwasher rusted a little but the handwashed ones were fine.
Also, you can use this same recipe and cook it in your crockpot for 6 hours or as long as you want. If you want it GF either use GF lasagna noodles or cheat like I would and just use GF fettucini from Tinkyada. It's delicious.

Home Made Lasagna

* 10 uncooked lasagna noodles
* 1 lb. ground beef
* 1 C onions, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 3 t parsley flakes
* 1 t salt
* 1 t dried basil
* 1 t dried oregano
* 3 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
* 1 C ricotta cheese
* 2 egg whites
* 1 C mozzarella cheese, shredded
* 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated


Cook the lasagna noodles as direction on the package.
Drain well then set aside and keep warm.
Heat the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Place the beef, onions and garlic in a skillet placed over medium heat.
Cook 10 minutes or until the beef is no longer pink.
Drain and pat off excess grease with paper towel.
Return the meat mixture to the skillet and sprinkle in the parsley, salt, basil and oregano.
Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and stir to combine all the ingredients together well.
Reduce the heat to low and cook 10 minutes, stirring often.
In a small bowl mix together the ricotta cheese and egg whites until well combined.
Spread 1/4 C beef mixture into the bottom of a 9X13 ungreased baking dish.
Layer 1/2 the cooked noodles over the beef.
Layer more of the beef mixture over the noodles and top the beef mixture with part of the cheese mixture.
Continue with the layers until all the ingredients have been used.
Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Bake 40 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese has completely melted.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings

When freezing omit the two cheeses and do not bake. When ready to use do not thaw. Cover and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour 35 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the cheeses and continue baking 30 minutes or until bubbly.