Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Yeast Control Pack for kids with Autism

If you have a child who suffers from yeast overgrowth and who doesn't swallow pills, this may be what you have been looking for! I just found out that New Beginnings has a NEW yeast control package designed specifically for kiddos who can't swallow pills! I will be ordering mine ASAP! Click the New Beginnings logo/link on the right side of my blog to go to their website. Here's the info:

New Beginnings is now offering a liquid Yeast Control Package designed for younger children who do not swallow capsules. The following potent single herbal products have been placed together in this package to provide better and more palatable (better tasting) broad spectrum Candida and bacteria control. When the suggested protocol is followed, this package provides yeast control support for at least three consecutive months while reducing the possibility of the yeast building resistance to the herbs:

Black Walnut Extract

Golden Seal Extract

Uva Ursi Extract


Suggested Dosage/Protocol: Dose 6 – 10 drops of each herb with breakfast and dinner for five (5) consecutive days or as suggested by your healthcare practitioner. Start with any one herb and keep rotating through all the herbs (every 5 days) for a period of three months. Probiotics should be dosed at bedtime or at least two hours away from herbal doses. This protocol can be used whenever Candida symptoms appear.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Explaining Autism to Classmates

Well Monday was unexpectedly emotional for me. I had asked M's 1st grade teacher if I could come in and talk to the kids about Autism. Eventually I knew this would happen. As kids get older, differences regardless of how small, do become magnified. Kids are alternately incredibly sweet and terribly mean depending on the situation. We have thankfully gotten to the point where he is virtually indistinguishable from his peers, yet has his unique "quirks". I once spoke with Roseanne, Adam's mother from Autism The Musical (whom I related to on a very deep level, her career, her life, her personality type, etc). She told me she always makes it a point to go into her son's class and tell them about Adam and his Autism. M was in preschool at the time and didn't seem like a time to broach this subject as most of those children also had some form of disability. But, 1st grade, the kids begin developing at different rates, there are the more "mature" kids and certainly any gap in development becomes very apparent. So, now seemed like a good time as there had been a couple of "mother hens" in the class always trying to make M do something he didn't want to. He does not like to take orders from many people, just his authority figures. He gets that from me so I can't say that I blame him. So I searched online for resources. I found a book HERE that I ordered. Then I found this awesome blog HERE

OK so here's where it got emotional. I am so thankful for my children, I am so thankful for my son's progress but I had myself a little pity party. The realization sank in (again) that Autism will always be a part of our lives. I know this, don't get me wrong, I am not delusional. As my son "recovers" we do leave many pieces of the proverbial puzzle behind but Autism will always be in his history, in his now, and probably in his future. I realize this but sometimes it slaps you in the face a little harder than usual. I was sad at the realization that I needed to talk to my son about his Autism. See for him (and his sisters) it has always been this way. Life is filled with OT visits, Speech therapy, music therapy and for a long while, tantrums and screams at sensory issues in his environment. Trouble sleeping, constant supplements and special diets has also been part of our family's status quo. But for the child living it, I realized we had never spoken of it, had to explain it. And it kind of broke my heart just a little to have to do so. I looked at the unfairness of it (Why do I have to talk to MY child about this?). But my true self kicked in and said "Why NOT my child?". So I proceeded to write something that I could say to the kids to help them understand my son better. My goal was to explain in small bits, just how different his brain can be. I used a super hero analogy about a super hero with a cape that makes him fly. But, when you swim with that cape it can be heavy and hard to swim with. The same is true for my son's super sonic hearing. Yeah when he's older he may have a blast with that but right now, trying to listen to the teacher when other kids are talking, rustling paper, etc. can be a real challenge. And, his reaction to noises that no one else can hear may set him apart. I told the class that EVERYONE is different, that's what makes each person special but M's brain does work just a little differently and that is OK! I covered repetitious speech, I used the analogy of getting a song stuck in your head, they could ALL relate to that. I also told them that sometimes he needs to repeat stuff back to himself to make sure his brain hears the important stuff. At the end I passed out silly bands from the National Autism Association in the shape of puzzle pieces, found HERE . I can't even tell you what a hit those were!

Reading the book on Autism to them and then just talking to them about the way M's brain works is something that I never thought I would have to do when I pictured motherhood. But, not only is this a chance for my child to gain greater acceptance of his "quirks" but also for the kids to grow in their tolerance and love for those who are different. I reiterated that M is still just a 1st grader, just like each of them. He wants to come to school, learn, make friends and have fun. His Autism can make that harder for him. Some of his kindergarten friends in the class made some comments about helping him and his kinder class really was just so kind and loving. I can only hope that his 1st grade class is the same way. But whatever comes our way, I promise to use these experiences as ways to grow as individuals and as a family. Sitting down with my son and talking to him about his Autism was certainly never what I expected I would have to do but it is what it is. He asks to read that book now and maybe this process has even helped him understand a little better why some things are just a bit harder for him. And regardless, it gave us another chance to tell him that WE KNOW that he does have to work harder than a lot of people and how proud we are of him and the hard work he does each day.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dairy and headaches

A friend from my son's kindergarten class' mom was also a holistic momma and wanted to know who I take my kids to as a pediatrician. I referred her to Dr. Carrie Rittling from East Valley Naturopathic Doctors. Over the summer this child began suffering from headaches and they began to investigate. After her prior pediatrician wanted to send her to a neurologist and then explore medications, her mom decided to take her to our doctor. After a lengthy appointment where her concerns were actually heard and all bases explored, they determined that dairy could be a trigger. After removing dairy, no more headaches.

As a GFCFSF cooking mom, I do have my own weakness, which is dairy. My son get NONE, and I am STRICT on his diet (i.e. fanatical). I don't use enzymes so he can eat regular pizza at birthdays, I don't let him eat gluten or dairy AT ALL, no exceptions. I love enzymes but I am a firm believer there is NO replacement for the diet, period. Immune stimulation and inflammation is still occuring when you give these kids foods that they react to, regardless of what enzymes you want to give them. That is my personal belief. But, I am more loose with my own diet and yet my body continually sends me signals. I am so great at reading my kids but not so great at reading myself.

For years I have suffered from headaches with weather changes. When a system moves in or it clouds over I have a headache for 2 days straight. Not fun. This has gone on my whole life. After a really bad experience with a cheese ball last week I said enough was enough. Besides my last container of greek yogurt, the past week has been dairy free for me as well as wheat free (which I have been very faithful about). As the clouds rolled in yesterday I felt the pressure of the weather changes as usual but there was no PAIN. No headache above my eyes, no throbbing sinuses! I can usually count on this pain anytime we get the monsoons in or anytime the weather goes from clear and sunny to cloudy. This was the first time I had no pain. I could tell my body was still reacting to the changes which is normal but there was no pain associated with it.

So again, I would suggest exploring a wheat and/or dairy free lifestyle if you are suffering from unexplained health issues (gut issues, headaches, etc) as many of these things are closely tied to diet. If I eat or drink anything with excitotoxins like artificial sweeteners or MSG (which also includes autolyzed yeast, natural flavors, maltodextrin, etc) found in so many boxed and prepared foods I immediately get a headache. Sometimes it takes a while to clean out your system but when you do your body is a pretty good barometer of what you should or should not put in it, if we just listen and heed. Clearly I am still working on this one, but getting better at it every day!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What's On Your Food?

Here is a lovely little website if you are feeling a little too jolly about the world. Take a gander, it will show you the pesticides and chemicals that are sprayed on our foods. It has little color coded pie charts that show which are known carcinogens (cancer causing agents), what are hormone dysrupters, which are neurotoxins, etc. You can click on "Conventional vs. Organic" for each pesticide and see what the range is on organic versions of these products. Take a look at strawberries and see if you want to buy those $1 for a pound baskets on sale at most of the stores right now.

If we take a hard look at reality we see a world that is constantly being polluted. From the oil in our own gulf (and around the world as well) to the air, to our food, it is no wonder we see a rise in almost every auto-immune disorder and even now in our children being born with these disorders. Maybe all of our kids are being poisoned but these days its not just by environmental catastrophes but by juice box and otter pop. Between dyes (and do the research on those bad boys, there is a reason why other countries have banned many food colorings from foods), high fructose corn syrup (data just out about cancer cells feeding off fructose not to mention the other ills of HFCS) and the other crap in the foods that are SO commonplace, especially for children, it is not even funny.

We cannot control oil spills, we cannot control exhaust fumes, toxic waste dumping into our water supply, but we CAN control the foods we put into our children. I try and challenge parents that you can have healthy foods that also taste good. And yes, sometimes it is a process. You do have to get un-used to the heavy sweet tastes of HFCS and the MSG and additives in foods so that you can appreciate the sweetness of pure fruit and REAL ingredients. But what I am saying is that your kids will be healthier for it. There is only so much we can do in this toxic world, but I would challenge you that food is the biggest source of toxins. Household cleaners are probably the 2nd largest offenders. But food is meant to nourish and fuel growing bodies and brains. It is the building block. And if you dare, check this website out HERE and take a look at your top 3 items that you DON'T buy organic. Then learn about what these pesticides can do to us. It may change the way you shop. We vote with every dollar we spend. If we support organic (or local CSA's, local farmers markets, etc) we can have healthier options for ourselves and our families more readily available.