Sunday, December 18, 2011

Merry Christmas from Ana

This is the picture that's in the little contest. Ana took it when I left the camera on the piano after an exchange student party. I found it when I uploaded pictures to my computer and had a nice laugh. hahaha.
The exchange students made some super yummy foods and most of them were very natural. We've gotten into some great foreign cooking and I'm going to be updating my blog with some of their fun recipes. We'll also have a South Korean exchange student here in a few weeks, maybe she'll help me learn some of the delicious foods.

Thanks so much guys! Ana's picture won the contest and she got a whole box of "Liken the Scriptures" DVDs for Christmas! YAY!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Artificial coloring in olive oil?
Ahhh, the joys of labeling laws.

"Extra-virgin olive oil is a ubiquitous ingredient in Italian recipes, religious rituals and beauty products. But many of the bottles labeled "extra-virgin olive oil" on supermarket shelves have been adulterated and shouldn't be classified as extra-virgin, says New Yorker contributor Tom Mueller.

Mueller's new book, Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, chronicles how resellers have added lower-priced, lower-grade oils and artificial coloring to extra-virgin olive oil, before passing the new adulterated substance along the supply chain. (One olive oil producer told Mueller that 50 percent of the olive oil sold in the United States is, in some ways, adulterated.)

The term "extra-virgin olive oil" means the olive oil has been made from crushed olives and is not refined in any way by chemical solvents or high heat.

"The legal definition simply says it has to pass certain chemical tests, and in a sensory way it has to taste and smell vaguely of fresh olives, because it's a fruit, and have no faults," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "But many of the extra-virgin olive oils on our shelves today in America don't clear [the legal definition]."

Friday, November 4, 2011

My mom ate all my halloween candy

This was too funny, especially the ending boys. My kids commented that the logical kids at the end said they only ate two pieces of candy. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

US vs UK Kraft Mac and Cheese

read the full article here.

U.S. Version of Kraft Mac & Cheese:
Enriched Macaroni Product (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate [Iron], Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Cheese Sauce Mix (Whey, Modified Food Starch, Whey Protein Concentrate, Cheddar Cheese [Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes], Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Contains Less Than 2% of Parmesan Cheese [Part-Skim Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes, Dried Buttermilk, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Blue Cheese [Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes], Sodium Phosphate, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Cream, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Enzymes, Yellow 5, Yellow 6).

U.K. Version of Kraft Mac & Cheese:
Macaroni (Durum Wheat Semolina), Cheese (10%), Whey Powder (from milk), Lactose, Salt, Emulsifying Salts (E339, E341), Colours (Paprika Extract, Beta-Carotene)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Carly's voice
Wow! This was such a great surprise this morning. I loved hearing Carly speak as a teenager without oral verbal ability but plenty to say.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Washington Post

I got this in my email today and don't have a link. Please post a comment if you have one. :.)

The rainbow of food dyes in our grocery aisles has a dark side
By David W. Schab and Michael F. Jacobson, Friday, March 25, 8:51 PM

Today’s supermarket is a fun house of hues. Its aisles feature a kaleidoscope of processed foods perfectly engineered to appeal to the part of your brain that says “yum”: Technicolor Starburst candy. Polychromatic Froot Loops. A rainbow of flavored juices.

Those hyper-saturated colors have come to seem normal, even natural, like the come-ons of tropical fruits. But they are increasingly produced through the magic of artificial food dyes, applied not just to candies and snack foods but to such seemingly all-natural products as pickles, salad dressing and some oranges.

Artificial dyes aren’t just making your Yoplait Light Red Raspberry yogurt blush and your Kraft Macaroni and Cheese glow in the dark. They are causing behavioral problems and disrupting children’s attention, according to a growing number of scientific studies. On Wednesday, following the lead of European regulators, a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee will begin a review of research on the behavioral effects of artificial dyes. In a significant turn from the agency’s previous denials that dyes have any influence on children’s behavior, an FDA staff report released last week concluded that synthetic food colorings do affect some children.

The agency should take action. Allowing the use of artificial dyes violates the FDA’s mandate to protect consumers from unsafe products. It also runs afoul of the agency’s mandate to crack down on food that has been made “to appear better or of greater value than it is.”

Concern about food dye is long-standing. In the 1800s, American food manufacturers began doctoring their wares with toxic pigments made from lead and copper. In the second half of that century, a revolution in organic chemistry brought artificial dyes made from coal tar — a relative advance over lead.

At the turn of the 20th century, margarine producers were making the most of the technology: They added new yellow dyes to their colorless product to better compete with butter. But the dairy industry lobbied for bans and taxes on colored margarine, and state legislatures and Congress obliged. Consumers who wanted their margarine yellow could open a separate packet of dye and mix it in themselves.

In 1906, Congress took up the question of whether artificial dyes were bad for consumers, with the first of several major acts. The most recent and stringent of them, passed in 1960, banned color additives that caused cancer in humans or animals. But the fate of one such additive, Red 3, illustrates how even strong legislation can be thwarted. Lab rats that were fed large amounts of the dye developed thyroid cancer, so in 1984 the acting FDA commissioner recommended banning it. However, fruit-cocktail producers, who relied on the dye to brighten maraschino cherries, pleaded with the Department of Agriculture to block the move. As a result, the FDA banned Red 3 only in cosmetics and topical drugs.

In the early 1990s, FDA and Canadian scientists found that Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, the three most widely used dyes, were contaminated with likely human carcinogens. And while many foods, such as M&M’s and Kellogg’s Hot Fudge Sundae Pop Tarts, include as many as five different dyes, even today the carcinogenic potential of such combinations has not been tested.

Despite those concerns, parents continued to serve up meals and stuff their children’s lunchboxes with more and more processed foods colored with dyes, stoking a five-fold increase in the per-capita production of food dyes over the past 50 years.

Over the same period, psychiatrists and teachers were seeing more attention and behavioral problems, while allergists were raising concerns about Yellow 5. Physician Benjamin Feingold’s 1975 book, “Why Your Child Is Hyperactive,” along with the additive-free diet it promoted, spawned numerous studies on the effect of additives on attention-deficit disorders.

In 2004, one of us co-authored an analysis of the best studies of food dyes’ effects on behavior. That analysis found striking evidence that hyperactive children who consumed dyes became significantly more hyperactive than children who got a placebo.

At the same time, the British government funded two studies, each involving almost 300 children. Their results were even more startling: Artificial food dyes (in combination with a common preservative) could make even children with no known behavioral problems hyperactive and inattentive.

Health officials in the United Kingdom urged manufacturers to stop using the six dyes — including Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 — involved in those studies. Next, the European Parliament required that foods containing those chemicals bear a label warning that the dyes “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” That is seen by some as the death knell for artificial dyes throughout Europe.

Beyond the behavioral problems and cancer risks, the greatest hazard that dyes pose for children may also be the most obvious: They draw kids away from nutritious foods and toward brightly colored processed products that are high in calories but low in nutrients, such as fruit-flavored drinks and snack foods. Those types of foods are a major force in America’s obesity epidemic, which, according to the Society of Actuaries, costs the nation $270 billion a year.

Artificial colorings are explicitly meant to manipulate consumers’ perceptions. Manufacturers tout research showing that redness enhances the impression of sweetness, and that in tests with beverages and sherbets, the color of the product did more to influence consumers’ perception of the flavor than the flavor itself. One dye marketer states that its colorings offer “a limitless palette, unmatched technology and the emotional connection between people and color.”

A world without harmful dyes does not mean a future of blandly beige snacks. A range of vivid natural colorings, made largely from plant extracts, is already in use in Europe and to a lesser extent in the United States. In Britain, for example, McDonald’s Strawberry Sundaes are made without artificial coloring; here, Red 40 adds to the strawberry color. Both the British and American formulations of Nutri-Grain Strawberry cereal bars contain strawberries, but in Britain plant-based colorings add extra color, while in the United States Red 40 does the job.

Fortunately, some U.S. companies are switching to colorings found in nature. The bountiful shelves of Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are devoid of dyes, Necco has dropped artificial dyes from its iconic wafers, and Starbucks has banned dyes from its baked goods and drinks. Most companies will resist, because artificial dyes are brighter, cheaper and more stable than natural colorings. It’s also a nuisance for them to reformulate their dyed products — and the government has given them no incentive to change.

Today, Britons enjoy all the colorful foods they have come to expect without many of the health risks they learned to avoid. Here, we get the same foods — but until the FDA bans synthetic dyes, we get them with a side order of dangerous and unnecessary chemicals.

David W. Schab is a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. Michael F. Jacobson is the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SCREAMS recommends a diet free of additives

My 3 year old's therapist gave me a handout today. I was happy to see that it mentioned how much an additive free diet can help. This particular handout is for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome but I see so many similarities between FAS and Autism. I appreciate any FAS literature for Ana, then I use it to apply to Andrew also.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cost of healthy foods

This was an awesome article about the cost of eating healthy foods. I loved it. I did notice a few comments about the unrealistic prices of their healthy foods so I have to say that I love living in Utah. I was thinking their healthy food prices were way too high and they could go lower. :.) We have great prices on produce at places like Winco or Reams.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

yellow icing or frosting

I just found this in an old depression ad

Yellow Icing for Jack o’Lantern Smiles:
1 egg yolk 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp melted butter 1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp grated orange rind

Break up egg yolk with fork. Add sugar alternately with the butter and orange juice. Add the orange rind.

I'd only do this if you have farm fresh eggs that you can trust and orange rind that you are sure hasn't been sprayed. Looks fun!

Winter soup

MMMMMMMMm here's a new recipe, I know they come few and far between now that my staples had all been posted. I had a few veggies that I needed to use quickly so I decided to cook them all together in the pressure cooker.

1/4 of a banana squash
2 sweet potatoes
4 russet potatoes
1/2 onion
few cloves garlic
2 cups water
all in the pressure cooker, or however you do it

When they were soft I just put them all in the vitamix in 2 batches plus enough water to get it to the right consistency.

Served with salt and pepper and 1 tsp of pie type spices mixed in, then on top went homemade croutons, craisins, and slivered almonds. So super good and everyone loved it. Andrew even drank some in a cup (thinned down and extra fixins went on the side)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Difficult Children Nutrition Cure!

This was a great article from a great woman. Note my comment at the end, out of all of our foster children we saw dramatic improvements in all when following a natural diet. I didn't elaborate much on this blog about it because we're supposed to keep the fostering to a minimum on our blogs.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I was like you once

if you see me
at the supermarket,
and my child is
rolling on the floor
with anger seeping from his pores.
please don't blame me,
I was like you once,

If you are in a restuarant
and my child
throws food and it
hits you in the face,
please, don't be angry,
I can't handle any more rage.

If you see my child
climbing over
a very tall fence
with nothing on
except his hat.
Please don't call the police,
I only looked away for a minute.

If you see me
crying, as you
pull up next to me
at a stop light.
at a busy intersection.
Honk and smile, I need a friend.

If you see me,
running down the street
with curlers in my hair
chasing a small child
who runs so fast, I can't catch him
Help me chase him down.

If my child grabs
your child, or pushes him
or bites or
kicks him, or
says words that make your hair curl.
Please forgive him, and me too.

If you happen to
see us, walking
in your neighbourhood,
or in the malls,
or at the park
Please don't turn away,
I was like you once.

copyright 1999
Sally Meyer

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's official

I just realized that I never blogged about our official diagnosis. We've "known" for years but there were so many things that convinced me otherwise and we just didn't really want to hear it. My little guy (10 now) had his full battery of private testing last month and got a diagnosis of Autism-Aspergers, and Anxiety disorder. I hear that's about the age a lot of high functioning kids are diagnosed because the world starts to become more abstract and while others are growing up emotionally, these kids aren't. We've been going through a mourning of sorts because the words are hard to hear. That's why I didn't put this on the blog for a while. But, if the purpose is to help others who have the same issues, it should be made known. Who knows what great people will find help through natural foods when googling aspergers-diet or aspergers-food. As I've said many times before, it doesn't take everything away and it's not going to "cure" everyone with autism but it does make a dramatic difference in the level of symptoms. I know that a lot of people talk about gluten free/casein free but so many try that diet while still including petroleum. PLEASE try both together first! I have heard of so many failures to improve with only gluten/casein free but I rarely hear of a failure to improve with petroleum free (when actually following Feingold).
Thanks to everyone for your support and I'd love any comments or suggestions. I've written so much about our life that the blog has been super slow and I just post articles here and there. Love you all, Danika

An article from the Chicago Tribune,0,1972784.story?page=1