Friday, April 11, 2014

The long road to California

It's Friday April 11th and we've already been here in California for just over two weeks. The drive down was fairly uneventful with a few "I can't believe that driver just did that!" moments along the way. You come to expect that sort of thing when you're on the road for three days driving 1,200 miles. I've noticed since becoming a parent I see these "crazy drivers" much more frequently. Especially when, which is nearly always, Liam is in the car with me.

We reached our Super 8 in Yreka, California the first day as planned and were notified that the travel company we booked through had reserved us three king rooms. All of which were charged to our credit card. Non-refundable of course since we were getting an 'advanced purchase' discount.
So after a couple of hours of trying to get ahold of the booking company with no luck, the wonderful supervisor calls to inform me that she refunded the other two rooms back to our card seeing clearly that we only needed one room and had just one confirmation showing this.
Huge relief. Blowing my very calculated budget on day one would have set a not so great tone for the rest of the trip.

Day two we reach Buttonwillow, California around 5pm. It's a tiny little town with just family grocers, a couple of gas stations, motels and fast food restaurants.When I asked about any places in the area that may offer gluten free options, the desk clerk looked at me as if I had three heads. Taking that as this is not the place I'll find anything strictly GF, I pulled up to a Carl's Jr to order a bunless burger for myself and heated up the left over wild rice, ground beef and squash for Liam.
We cuddled up, read some stories and headed to bed.

I had told our host in Southern California that we would be arriving between 3 and 4pm the next day.
Little did I know that even with the bit of LA traffic we hit, I had given myself ample time to get there and pulled up just before noon. At the red light after coming off the exit I sent a voice text saying "just took exit". Strangely enough this message came to my host as being sent from another friend. So when I knocked at the door she was thoroughly confused as to why I was there hours before my stated arrival time.We quickly figured it out and laughed about it. I started a bit of unpacking and tried to lend a hand with the housework she was in the middle of. I hated being that person. You know, the super early arrival to the party when you're still rushing to get things prepared before everyone arrives? Yeah, that was me.
Fortunately my host is very gracious and took it in stride.

The following day Liam had his first appointment with his doctor down here. Everything went well. He was weighed in at 60lbs and 4 feet 5 inches tall. The nurse was able to take his blood pressure and temperature. His doctor was as tender as ever letting him help her examine his body and his ears to make sure they were ok and cleared for starting hyperbarics.
We got the go ahead and started setting up appointments to begin the very next day.

So far all is going better than expected and I am so excited to share about our first few hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments in the next post!
Until then, your continued love, support, prayers and positive energy are always appreciated.

With love and gratitude to all of our special friends.
Susie and Liam

Thursday, January 9, 2014


After a long and crazy hiatus, I'm back! Since returning home from California last May, I lost internet access. Hence the reason for not keeping up on the blog. My only access now is through my phone and let me tell you, typing a blog post up on a tiny screen where auto-correct rules, is not an easy feat!

I am going to try a new idea and type this up on Patrick's laptop, then send it to my phone over bluetooth. If this works out, I will be blogging regularly again. If not, I will keep looking for other options. Until I get the kinks all straightened out, please bear with me.

A LOT has happened since I've been away so I will take a few posts to catch up.

California and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

40 hyperbaric dives is what is recommended for those diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. So that was the plan. But because I really wanted to make sure that this was done in a way that Liam would feel comfortable and safe, it took 20 of those sessions to get him to wear the mask for the entire 60 minute session, which gave us half the benefit.There is a lot to each session. First you have to become familiar with the large, cold, metal tank. Then convince your child to climb through a small opening that resembles a submarine hatch. After you get past those overwhelming sensory experiences you then face bright lights shining through the small 'submarine' windows, hoses, tubes, gauges and very loud noises. Once the tank starts to pressurize you then have to continually remind your child to clear their ears. Since Liam isn't verbal he would have a tough time understanding what I meant so we praticed many times before our first 'full' dive. (Yum Organic Lollipops were great because the sucking naturally cleared his ears.)Once you get past all of that you start with getting the mask on that the oxygen is pumped through.We started out with the hose that pumps oxygen in to the mask held by me near his face.After a few sessions he let me hold it under his nose for the majority of the session. Then we spent the next few with the hose plugged in to the mask and the mask held up to his face.

Next was to get the mask on his face. That was quite the hurdle. Especially as it has to be sealed for him to get the full benefit which requires a rubber strap that goes completely around his head. There were a few anxious sessions where we wouldn't finish the whole session. Other times we would start with the hose, then move to the mask held up, then all the way on, then the hose to end. And this happened in varying orders throughout the first 20 sessions.
My goal was to get Liam through the sessions comfortably, with the least amount of stress and anxiety possible. We are always wanting to do whatever we can to improve his qulity of life overall, but we will not risk the trust he has towards us to follow someone else's schedule, or even our own. Everything we do is tailored to Liam's level of comfort. Fortunately, most providers are willing to work with us on this and allow us to tailor each protocol to him. Although there have been a few that find it to be a waste of time and insist we do as they want. Needless to say those are the providers that we thank for their time and move on.

By session 21 Liam climbed in to the chamber on his own.

I followed behind him and sat down. As the hyperbaric technician went to hand me the mask, Liam reached for it. Taking that as a cue that he was ready to wear it I put the mask on him, had the tech double check the seal and started the session. Liam laughed and smiled, stood up, sat on my lap, drew some pictures and played peek-a-boo with the techs outside and his doctor whom just happened to stop by that day.

Of course we hoped and prayed for improvements. But we never EXPECTED anything. And because there weren't those pre-conceived ideas of what he would 'be like' after treatment, we were able to see and celebrate each improvement, big and small, along the way.

What we have seen:

Better eye contact

Less anxiety in crowds

Sensory issues with lights, sounds and foods decreased

Bowel issues improved by 95%

Putting more words together including speaking his first unprompted phrase to someone other than his parents.

Desire to play with friends

Improved social interaction overall

Taking turns when playing simple RDI games

Improved fine and gross motor skills

These are amazing gains that we are THRILLED to see! His quality of life has improved considerably because of them. Which is always the ultimate goal.What's truly amazing to me is that these improvements are after only half of the recommended sessions for autism. (Since the first twenty sessions were done in segments, without the mask on, at full pressure, etc. Only the second half of the treatments were considered complete.)

We head back in the spring for Liam's second round of HBOT and look forward to what that will bring. Big, small or nothing at all. We will always be working towards anything that could possibly improve our sweet sons quality of life.

Happy New Years!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Two treatments in and Liam is already showing some improvements.
Anxiety is reduced, new people aren't causing meltdowns and the issue with loud noises is no longer there. The HBOT machine itself while running is loud so this was a concern. But Liam has handled it like a champ.
We are fortunate and were able to use the three person chamber each time so far so that I can go in with him and not get too clausterphobic myself. Thank God for Bach's Rescue Remedy.
That stuff has saved me a few times already!

Over the next couple of months Liam will continue HBOT and also get some brain mapping done so that he can begin Neurofeedback. We tried once already to do the mapping before starting HBOT but it was just too much for him. I told the Neuro department that I was thrilled for the opportunity to do this testing and therapy but that it would have to be at Liam's pace. I am not going to thrust multiple new therapies on him at once if he is not ready. The great thing is that they all agreed and completely support me in making the decisions for Liam's course of treatment. We are very fortunate to have met these people and to be working with them. I truly trust that Liam's best interest is their number one priority.

Being in the clinic for just a couple of hours a day gives us plenty of time for homeschooling, participating in activities with other homeschool groups and lots of play days, park and beach time. The vitamin D had been great for me, and Liam too.
We have met some really wonderful families that are very accepting and compassionate towards us both. They only have typical kids and haven't met a child that is as severely affected by autism as Liam is, but they accepted him instantly, as did their kids.
These parents are teaching acceptance of all, understanding, inclusion,...these parents are teaching their kids what all kids should be taught. We are all equal.
It's a heart warming experience in a community that has welcomed us in with open arms.

Today I am thankful. Life isn't always easy, but we are very fortunate to be where we are, surrounded by incredible people that freely love us and accept us just as we are.

With Love,

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to California we go...

...for treatments...

Monday morning Liam and I will be packing up and heading to California for a couple of months. Unfortunately Patrick has to stay home and work, but he will be able to join us for a week in April.

This all came together rather quickly.
We had been researching alternative medical treatments for Liam since before his official diagnosis back in 2010. Since all of the doctors we saw in the beginning blew us off and chalked Liam's list of symptoms, including three hours of daily screaming and two weeks at a time of constipation, up to 'autism' with no hope for helping him, we went to alternative doctors.
Naturopathic Doctors, Doctors of Osteopath and MAPS (Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs) doctors. I researched for hours and hours every day, learned about the chemical pathways, Kreb's cycle, methylation pathways, mitochondrial dysfunction, detox and so on.

We now know through specialized lab testing that Liam has brain inflammation, intestinal inflammation, heavy metal toxicity ( lead, mercury and aluminum), damaged methylation pathways and some chemical conversion issues caused by the previously listed problems.
Thank goodness we didn't chalk it all up to 'autism' and throw in the towel.

Liam has come a long ways since those days and we are so grateful for the improvements he has made. Now we are on to the next treatment and hope that he will be able to recover further.
If it happens, great. If not, there are always more options out there to help him.
The main goal in all of this is to give him the best chance possible for a happy, independent future.

When Liam first received his diagnosis we were given zero hope. In fact the specialists told us to look at long term care facilities to have him placed in because of the severity of his autism.
They were convinced that he wouldn't be able to make any significant progress. But we had hope. We knew the child he once was. We knew what he was really capable of and we didn't give up.
HE didn't give up.
I am amazed to this day to see how far he has come. And I know he has the potential to go even further.

I will be updating as we go along.
This will be a trying time being away from home for so long. Away from Patrick, my parents and grandparents. Our routine is going to be completely different and we will be living out of a hotel.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Snack Time

There are times when we have to buy snacks.
Recently we were visiting Patrick's grandparents in another state when Liam plowed through everything I had made for him half way through the trip.
Off to the store we go. You can find most of these items at natural markets such as Whole Foods, Co-Ops and many QFC's. You can also ask your local market to carry any of these items if you really like them.


Larabar has a whole line of bars under various names.
LaraBar is their snack bar. Jocalat is the dessert bar.
Uber is a bit more indulgent and ALT is their protein bar.

These bars are:
Gluten free
Dairy free*
Soy free*
All natural
Fair Trade Certified cocoa and coffee
No added sugars or sweeteners*
No added sulfites
No preservatives, fillers, or colorings

*Does not include the Chocolate Chip varieties. Chocolate chip flavors are made with a simple, 4-ingredient chocolate chip that consists of Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla. While no dairy is used to make our chocolate chips, they are made on a line that also produces chocolate chips made with dairy and soy. Due to possible cross-contact, the chips we use may contain trace amounts of dairy or soy from other chips made at the facility; thus we cannot claim these products as Dairy Free, Soy Free or Vegan.

Organic Just Fruit & Just Veggies 

These are freeze dried fruits and veggies. We only buy the organic line but they do have an all natural line as well for those ok with that route. These are great for trips in the car, lunches etc.
Some of their offerings include:
Tomatoes (A surprising hit)
And many more..

Organic Raisins and Currants

Roasted Nuts

Simply Sprouted Way Better Chips

Sweet Potato
Black Bean
Sweet Chili
Unbeatable Blues
No Salt Naked Blues

Hope Hummus
This is by far the highest quality hummus I have found on the market.
Not only is it organic but it is also:

Gluten Free
Dairy Free
Soy Free

It comes in a variety of flavors:

Sweet Potato
Spicy Avocado
Green Chili Lime
Thai Coconut Curry
Jalapeno Cilantro

These are our go-to store bought snacks. I will be doing another post on our homemade favorites soon.
Happy snacking!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Ham Soup Recipe: Gluten, Dairy/Casein and Soy free

I had a chunk of ham left over and thought about making some split pea soup.
But when I checked out the pantry I was out of peas, so I put those on the grocery list and moved on. With a bunch of potatoes, onions, carrots and greens, I decided to make another soup.


1-1.5lbs Ham (Organic, certified gluten and casein free)
5med Potatoes
2sm Onions
2lg Carrots
4lg Kale leaves, ribs removed
2lg Collard leaves
3Tbls Coconut Oil
1/2tsp Oregano
1/2tsp Rosemary
1/2tsp Basil
1/2tsp Marjoram
4cups Chicken Broth (If you don't have time to make homemade, I recommend Pacific brand organic. It is GFCFSF)
2-3C of filtered Water


Pour chicken broth and water in to a soup pot or braising pan.
Turn burner on Medium
While that is heating up peel, rinse and chop onions, carrots and potatoes. Add to pot.
Chunk ham in to bit sized pieces, add to pot.
Add coconut oil and all spices, except pepper.
Bring to boil then cover with tight fitting lid and reduce heat to medium low to simmer for approximately 1hr.
Rinse collards and kale, tear or chop in to bit sized pieces.
Turn burner off.
Add greens to pot and gently stir.

You can eat this as is or top with cracked pepper. I like it with cayenne for a bit of a kick.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Permanently Disabled?

I hear the word disabled over and over again when referring to Liam.
From our family physician, neurologist, the psychologists, schools, therapists and now,.. the Department of Licensing.

It all started back in December when Liam started gaining weight and getting his strength back.
Suddenly he sprouted up two inches to 4' 2" tall and gained back a previously lost 5lbs now weighing 53lbs. This may not seem significant, but for a child I could barely keep a hold on before, it became too much.
When we went out if I couldn't find a parking spot right in front of a store entrance, I would park near a cart return and put him directly in the basket. If a spot wasn't available there, I would return home and hope for better luck next time.
It got to the point where I started having anxiety, that became quite severe, every time we drove in to a busy lot.

And then it happened.
One day I had to run in to Costco but just couldn't carry him. My back was swollen and literally black and blue from all of the straining caused by lifting and carrying him everywhere. I parked fairly close to the entrance. There weren't any carts available so I held one of his hands and his other arm tightly. We made it in the door and I breathed that sigh of relief. Maybe things were getting better.
We quickly got through the store and checked out. With just two items, one under my arm and the other in my bag, I was able to get a good grip on him.
We walked out the door and towards our parked car. Then it happened...
A large dog jumped up from the bed of a truck and lunged towards us, barking loudly.
Liam twisted out of my arms and ran out in front of another truck passing (much too quickly for a parking lot) behind us. Fortunately the truck stopped in time and no one was hurt. But the man driving proceeded to scream at me for being a neglectful mother.
As if I wasn't scared enough. As if I wasn't going to be beating myself up about this incident for many weeks and months to come.
That was the day I knew we had to do something.

A couple of weeks later we went to Liam's doctor. We had already been advised to get a disabled parking permit. Patrick and I had talked it over but just didn't think that that would ever be necessary.
Until this happened.
I left early for the appointment. Patrick hugged and kissed me trying to reassure me that all would be ok. An hour later we arrived at the doctors office.
Carrying Liam, I walked in to the door and checked in. I could already feel the heaviness in my chest and throat. His doctor came out to say hi before the appointment. She must have noticed the distressed look on my face, as she pulled us back in to the office right away.
I handed Liam his iPad as she closed the door. Hoping he would be distracted enough to miss my less than composed state.
As soon as she got the door closed I was met with a hug. She didn't know what, but she knew something was going on. We sat down and discussed the concerns over Liam's safety.
She quickly filled out the disabled parking permit application. She was just about to sign when she looked up at me and said "I am going to mark this as permanently disabled". She continued to explain why and what it meant, but I didn't hear anything else. Permanently disabled? It continued to echo through my head. When did my sweet, loving, energetic, curious little man become permanently disabled!?
The tears were welling up as I moved Liam across the room.
Returning to my seat in front of her, I broke down.

Over the past 3 1/2 years we have been through a lot. Liam has lost all speech, socialization and desire for anything beyond food. He has been through hours and hours of evaluations, worked with a slew of therapists, attended two developmental preschools, been in multiple labs, diagnosed with severe regressive autism-nonverbal, PICA, global developmental delays, sensory processing disorder and many more.
Nothing could have prepared me for the pain I would feel that day.

The rest of the appointment is a bit of a blur. We went through some lab tests, noted improvement in his mitochondrial function and decreased brain inflammation. She was thrilled he had gained weight and started growing again. I know there was a bunch more that was discussed in that hour, I have the notes in his home file, but I couldn't delve too deeply in much else.

A few days later I went to the Department of Licensing and received Liam's disabled parking permit hang tags. The agent asked who the permit was for. I explained that it was for my son at home. I didn't want to bring him with me just in case I lost composure again. Fortunately I didn't.
The woman was very sympathetic as most people usually are. I got the pity speech that comes all too often after meeting Liam or hearing of his struggles. I know that these people mean well so I smile and thank them for their kindness. I know that's what it is. I can't imagine being on the other side of these conversations.

Since receiving this permit we have come to terms with it and what it means.
Just as Liam's autism label doesn't stop him from making significant progress beyond what any of the specialists ever thought possible, a label of permanently disabled doesn't mean he is and will forever be.
There are just those days that are really rough. The ones where hope seems so far away. But when we actually sit down and put emotions aside, we can see all of the possibilities for Liam.
He has already broken out of the box of what his particular brand of autism is supposed to be. He has made gains that are, according to the experts, not possible. Yes, he has to fight much harder and work much longer than the typical child to learn something. But he doesn't give up and either will we.

Just know that in those darkest of days that there is hope.
If you believe in God, pray. If you don't believe in God, pray anyways. It can't hurt, right?
Prayer, meditation, yoga, all helps to get us through, especially in those tough times.

With Love,

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Coconut Curry (Gluten free and Vegan)

This has become Liam's very favorite meal by far.
And really, it's so easy and affordable that once you've made it a couple of times, this will become a family staple.

Start out by making the coconut milk with this super easy recipe.
You can use any brand of shredded, flaked or chipped coconut.
As noted in the recipe I prefer Tropical Traditions. It's organic and hexane free.
You can also go ahead and make it out of whole coconuts.
To do that it is the same process plus a few preliminary steps.

Drill 3 holes in top of coconut where dents are visible.

Drain water through cheese cloth or nut bag in to jar.

Wrap coconut in a towel and break in to pieces with hammer.

For brown hairy coconuts, pry out flesh, rinse and grate.

For green Thai coconuts, you can scoop out the flesh with a spoon.

Proceed with above recipe.


2 1/2lbs Potatoes (Mix of yukon gold & russets work well. You can also sub out for cauliflower)

1 bunch Carrots (I use rainbow)

2 Small or 1 Lg Sweet Onion

6 cups Coconut Milk (I make an extra cup or two to adjust consistency at the very end depending on the individual tastes of my guests)

4-6Tbls Curry Powder

Sea Salt


Toast spices over medium low heat. (I use this braising pan by Le Creuset)

Clean and dice potatoes, onions and carrots.

Add veggies to pan.

(This is a good time to preheat your oven to 350)

Pour coconut milk over top.

Increase heat to medium-high to bring to a boil. (Make sure to stir periodically to prevent sticking.)

Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Cover with lid and place in preheated oven for 1 hour stirring once half way through.

Remove lid and cook for another 30 min.

Remove from oven and carefully mash until desired consistency is reached

Taste for spices and salt


Liam likes a little extra coconut milk and cinnamon added to his at the end.
Patrick likes another 1/2tsp or so of curry powder, cinnamon and paprika.

This is a very versatile recipe. I have added roasted chicken for my meat loving guys.
Cauliflower when I didn't have enough potatoes. Zucchini, parsnips etc.


Friday, January 11, 2013

How We Stay Healthy

As we all know, the cold and flu season is upon us.
With an immune compromised child, we have to be extra vigilant to keep him healthy.
To do that, we take a bunch of immune boosting supplements.
So far we have been extremely fortunate and Liam has avoided all of the flu strains, colds, etc.
Here are the supplements we take and a little bit of information on each one.


We use Klaire Lab Ther-Biotic Detoxification Support 50 billion cfu's.
Here is some information from their site:

High quality probiotics deliver large amounts of specific probiotics to the intestinal tract to complement detoxification protocols such as broad-spectrum antibiotics, anti-fungal/anti-microbial medications, or heavy metal chelating agents that can compromise friendly flora. Toxins and metabolic by-products generated during use of these agents can exacerbate intestinal dysbiosis and disturb the healthy balance of intestinal flora.

Ther-Biotic Detoxification Support provides two colonizing Lactobacillus and one endogenous Bifidobacterium probiotic species that can support the body’s natural detoxification process by metabolizing or reducing the uptake of toxins in the gut thereby facilitating the elimination of toxins and by-products from the intestinal tract.

Lactobacilllus rhamnosus
• Favorably enhances innate and acquired immunity
• Modulates immune tolerance and inhibits production of the proinflammatory cytokines
• Outstanding adherence to colon epithelial cell lines
• Suppresses the internalization of pathogenic Escherichia coli

Bifidobacterium bifidum
• Colonizes the large intestine and vaginal tract controlling yeast populations
• Competes with pathogens for nutrients and attachment sites
• Produces acetic & lactic acids, lowering colonic pH and inhibiting pathogens
• Suppresses total & antigen-specific IgE production
• Promotes IgA response to C. difficile toxin A

Lactobacillus casei
• Makes a number of proline-specific peptidases enabling efficient break down of casein, casein-derived polypeptides, and gluten
• Beneficially modulates cells associated with innate immune responses
• Enhances the number of IgA-producing cells
• Decreases the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines

Black Elderberry Syrup

Black Elderberries have been recognized for centuries throughout Europe for their immune supportive properties. Modern research has identified potent flavonoid compounds, called anthocyanins, which may be directly related to their health promoting properties. Taken daily, or on occasion to support the immune system, this concentrated syrup, made from Certified Organic Black Elderberries tastes great.

Vitamin C

High amounts of vitamin C – several grams daily – have been advocated for optimizing both immune function and antioxidant support. Evidence for the efficacy of consuming high amounts of ascorbic acid is due in large part to the groundbreaking research conducted in the 1970s and 1980s by two-time Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling, PhD.

Taking high amounts of vitamin C can be a challenge for individuals who have sensitive or compromised digestive systems. For these individuals, Thorne Research has developed Buffered C Powder.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium and plays a major role in prevention of bone degeneration diseases, such as osteoporosis. Vitamin D plays vital roles in strengthening immune function and reducing inflammation. The vitamin generally absorbs into the body from sunlight. Many people get enough sun exposure for adequate doses of vitamin D. The best food sources include salmon, tuna, mackerel and fish liver oils. Beef liver, cheese and egg yolks contain small amounts.


The health benefits of Zinc include proper functioning of immune system, digestion, control of diabetes, improves stress level, energy metabolism, acne and wounds healing. Also, pregnancy, hair care, eczema, weight loss, night blindness, cold.
Zinc, being an important mineral plays a vital role for the protein synthesis and helps in regulation of the cells production in the immune system of the human body. Zinc is mostly found in the strong muscles of the body and especially in high concentrations in the white and red blood cells, eye retina, skin, liver, kidneys, bones and pancreas. In a human body, even 300 enzymes or more than that requires zinc for the normal functioning. The researchers believe that 3000 proteins out of 100,000 are involved in human body consisting of Zinc.

The oil of the wild oregano plant has been shown to kill unwanted bacteria, fungus, yeast, parasites and viruses. It's a powerful antihistamine. New research is finding that oil of oregano is as effective against colitis as prescription drugs without the harmful side effects. It is also able to regenerate liver cells.
Oil of oregano is made from the leaves and flowers of the wild oregano plant found growing naturally in the remote mountainous regions of the Mediterranean where there is little pollution. It is a member of the mint family. The flowers and leaves are harvested when the oil content of the plant is at its highest. It has a history that stretches back to the ancient Greeks, whose name for it translates into "joy of the mountain". They used it to treating infection related illnesses and diseases. As the dangers of antibiotic use become more apparent, health conscious people as well as holistic healers are looking for natural alternatives to treat infections. They are finding oil of oregano to be the perfect natural choice.

These are the ingredients found in oil of oregano that provide its unique properties:

Carvacrol has been proven in studies to be a powerful antimicrobial, so powerful that it can be used to preserve food and render it self-stable. Reseach has shown it to be effective against candida albicans, the aspergillus mold, staphylococcus, campylobacter, klebsiella, e.coli, giardia, pseudomonas, salmonella, and listeria. Carvacrol provides many of the health benefits of oil of oregano .

Thymol is a natural fungicide with antiseptic properties. It is the active ingredient in Listerine mouthwash. Thymol is also an immune system booster and a shield against toxins. It is capable of preventing tissue damage and encouraging healing.

Terpenes is the source of the word turpentine. Terpenes give off a pine scent and are also produced by pine trees. Terpenes have potent antibacterial properties.

Rosmarinic acid is a stronger antioxidant than vitamin E. It prevents free radical damage and is instrumental in preventing atherosclerosis and cancer. Rosmarinic acid has shown to be effective in the treatment of allergic asthma. It reduces fluid build up and swelling during an allergy attack, and is an effective natural antihistamine.

Naringin is the substance that gives grapefruit its bitter taste. It has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and helps boost the effect of antioxidants.

Oil of oregano also contains a good amount of the vitamin E complex, as well as calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron, manganese, vitamins A and C, and niacin.

Herbal authority Steven Foster credits oregano as having been used successfully to treat indigestion, diarrhea, nervous tension, insect bites, toothache, earache, rheumatism, and coughs due to whopping cough and bronchitis.

Filtered Water

We drink plenty of pure, filtered water.
Since we are renters and can't afford a portable water filtration system, we buy ours from our co-op. It is free of fluoride, pesticides, herbicides, chlorine, lead, aluminum and pharmaceutical residual.
There are great filtration systems out there.
Two that I have looked in to extensively are the Aquasana and the Berkey.

Air Purifier

We use a Honeywell air purifier in our apartment.
Great for large rooms! Honeywell True HEPA air purifiers are the best choice for capturing airborne allergens. In fact, surveys show that more doctors recommend Honeywell enviracaire air purifiers to their patients than any other brand. It offers outstanding air cleaning performance with a HEPA filter. The True HEPA filter captures up to 99.97% of common airborne pollutants as small as 0.3 microns from the air passing through it such as dust, pollen, tobacco smoke, and cat dander. In addition, it also helps reduce airborne viruses and bacteria.


Our diets are very clean, organic, and junk free. Every morning we drink Green Smoothies loaded with raw fruits and veggies, healthy fats and antioxidants.
I make 95% of what we eat from scratch. Because lets face it, pre-packaged foods are full of hydrogenated oils, food dyes, sodium, fake sugars, GMO's, MSG and so on. These ingredients are not only inflammatory, but also neurotoxins. They can cause all sorts of immune, bowel and behavioral issues.
Please, if you are consuming any of these things, remove them from your diet today!

I could probably write out another entire blog post on how we stay healthy. But that's it for now. If you have any questions or would like any ideas, please feel free to ask in the comments section.

Stay Healthy Friends!


Monday, December 31, 2012

Recipes: Nut & Seed Milks, Desserts & Smoothies

Recently I have gotten requests for gluten, casein/dairy, soy free (GFCFSF) recipes.
Since everything I make for Liam has to be not only GFCFSF but also egg free, peanut, almond, oat, food dye and preservative free as well as low sugar and organic, I have to create most of these recipes. There just isn't a single cookbook out there that eliminates all of his allergens.

My only real issue with writing these out is that I don't measure much of anything.
It's more of a dash of this and a pinch of that style of cooking. But if you are patient with me and taste as you go, you will get a yummy result. If something just isn't turning out the way you want, feel free to post questions in the comments section and I will answer as soon as I can.


You can find my go to Coconut Milk Recipe here. It's super simple and delicious!

Follow that same recipe for seed milks such as chia, hemp or flax.

For other nut milks such as cashew, walnut, pecan, almond etc I use this recipe.

Soak nuts in filtered water overnight or 8-10hrs
Change the water 3-5x
Drain nuts
Place 1c in high powered blender (I use a VitaMix)
Add 3c filtered water
Blend on High for 2-3min or until desired consistency is reached.

Optional ingredients:

Maple Syrup or Raw honey

If you prefer a thinner milk you can strain it through nut milk bag or cheesecloth or add additional water. Likewise, if you want a thicker, creamier milk, you can use less water.
Refrigerate and store in glass pitchers. Use within 5 days.


One of the things that Liam really missed out on early in our food elimination days were desserts.
He has to maintain a low sugar diet because of unbalanced/overgrown intestinal yeast so the typical store bought pre-mades were out.
I started experimenting with ice creams and sorbets. Liam was happy to have a treat again and happily gobbled down any that I offered.

Ice Cream/Sorbet


1c organic fruit of choice, frozen in chunks.
Milk of choice (I use homemade coconut) or water if preferred.


Place fruit and 1/4c milk in blender
Blend on low until it begins to incorporate
Add small amounts of additional liquid as needed

A little really does go a long way so be conservative
If you add too much liquid just stick it in the freezer until it stiffens back up.

That's it. And it is delicious!

Our final recipe includes 1/8th tsp cinnamon and a dash of pink Himalayan sea salt.

Apple Sauce


3c Apples, sliced
2t Cinnamon
1/8-1/4tsp Sea Salt
3-4T Coconut Oil
Optional: 2tsp fresh orange zest


Melt coconut oil over medium heat
Add apples, toss coating with oil
Sprinkle with sea salt
Add cinnamon and optional orange zest
Cover and reduce heat to low
Cook until tender

You can either serve these warm just as they are or let them cool down a bit and blend up in to a nice sauce.
When I make the sauce Liam likes it on top of his pancakes, alongside a pork chop or frozen in to slushy sorbet.


These are by far my most requested recipes.
People ask me on nearly a daily basis how I get Liam to eat chard, collard greens, kale and cucumber. Green smoothies are my secret weapon.
If there is an ingredient that you or your child can't tolerate, feel free to sub out with something else. These recipes are very easy to customize and are general guidelines to recipes that work for us.
They change somewhat on a weekly basis as they are greatly based on whatever produce is seasonably available or comes in our organic produce box.
We eat as seasonally and locally as we can. Not just to reduce our carbon footprint, but also because food that is put in cold storage isn't as nutritionally dense as that that is picked and eaten fresh.

Ok, on to the recipes.

Basic Smoothie

3 large Kale leaves, ribs removed
1 large Chard or Collard leaf
1/2 Apple
1/2 Banana
1/2 Pear or 1 kiwi
1tsp freshly grated Ginger
1 small or 1/2 large Celery rib
3c Filtered Water

Blend on medium until incorporated then increase to high for 2-3min
Add more or less water for desired consistency
You can either serve the smoothie as is or strain through nut bag/cheese cloth
Store in glass pitchers, refrigerate
Use within 4 days

Creamy Smoothie

2 large Kale leaves, ribs removed
1/2 Cucumber
1 Banana
1/2 Apple
1 Carrot
1/2 Avocado
3c Filtered Water

Berry Smoothie

2c Berries of choice
1 Banana
2c Coconut Milk
2tsp Chia Seeds

That's it for now. Hope you enjoy these recipes.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Next recipe blog will focus on dinners.

Happy New Years Eve!!