Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The importance of Zinc

I recently attended a mental health conference put on by Great Plains Labs. New Beginnings Nutritionals has recently released a whole line of supplements geared to support mental health functioning, with the advice and guidance of Dr. Greenblatt. Dr. Greenblatt is the chief medical officer for Walden Behavioral Care in Massachusetts. He has successfully treated many patients (adults and adolescents) with mental disorders ranging from eating disorders to other psychiatric problems. He was talking about the use of zinc in many functions of the body. I had no idea zinc was so important. Zinc is critical for neurological and behavioral development in young children, immune function and even in DNA replication and RNA transcription.

If you'd like to learn more about zinc, here is a great article written by New Beginnings. We use the liquid zinc as both my children cannot taste the zinc (which means you are deficient). It is so easy to put a few drops in their water cups (away from calcium supplementation).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


As it is Thanksgiving eve, I am reflecting even more on what I am grateful for. I try and start each day with my gratitudes, I believe that gratitude opens the door for even more abundance in our lives. But this year what is going through my head is the statement "What am I NOT grateful for?". I am hard pressed to think of one thing in my life that I am not grateful for. No, I am not going all "Pollyana" on you guys but I think I have tried to change my mindset this year. Could I focus on all the negatives like never having enough money, enough time, enough patience? Sure I could, just like everyone else I have things I like to complain about. But then getting into that negative downward spiral is a bad thing. I am sure you all have those "energy vampires" whom always seem to take a turn to negative town and you can't help but follow them even though you really hate the trip. I feel like I need to sage or do a cleanse after I am around them. That is not how I want to live my life, constantly thinking of the things I don't have, haven't done, can't seem to attain or who has pissed me off (that alone would probably be a long list). Instead, this year all I can think is that I am grateful for every piece (or peace) of my life right now. I am grateful for a loving husband who supports me, listens to me, and loves me in spite of (or because) of my faults. I have the most wonderful children on the planet. There is not a day that goes by where I don't think how much I love them and how proud of them I am. My son is continually able to make his recovery from Autism, he is doing what many say cannot be done, he is DOING IT! He is so full of life, makes everyone laugh and has a smile that will melt your heart. My daughter is simply amazing, funny, sweet, empathetic, charming and sassy as HELL. I love it! She will be able to take my place easily when the time comes. My step-daughter is a beautiful, intelligent and caring young woman. My family listens to me and supports me, even though I am pretty sure many of them think I am a little crazy. Unless they have seen my son's recovery first hand, then they are the ones asking my advice on diet and supplements! My friends are the greatest, new and old and this last year I have been able to reconnect with several of them and it has been the greatest just spending time with them after many years physically apart. And I am so thankful for my blogging friends, ones I know in person or just in the blogosphere. You have enriched my life, made me think even more, encouraged me to look at things I may not have otherwise and I am so grateful. So while this year is lean and we struggle to make the ends meet like many, we never lose our grasp on the truly important things. It isn't what stuff you give your kids, it is the time you spend with them and by that definition our children are rich! We will spend a very quiet Thanksgiving tomorrow, just us, preparing a meal together that nourishes our body and our souls. We will give thanks for our many blessings, the food we have and the love that we share. So from our family to yours, happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Help protect small farmers and growers

Thanks to your phone calls and emails the Tester-Hagan Amendment is now attached to the Food Safety Bill known as S510! Read about it here. That is wonderful progress but we still have work to do! Now that we know this amendment is at least attached, we can urge Senators to vote NO on the whole bill. Here is a great website that explains why this bill is bad overall and has a link where you can send emails right to your senators. If the bill passes, we at least know there are some safeties put in place to help protect our small farmers. The best things is still to defeat this bill entirely. But, now we at least have a better version, should it pass. Thanks for anyone who made calls/emails. If you can make one more telling them to VOTE NO on S510 that would be awesome!!! Food safety is critically important but this bill does not help protect our food supply.


There is legislation that is being negotiated today that, if passed without this amendment would severely cripple local growers. I for one am much more comfortable buying my family's food from local growers whom I can meet, ask about their growing procedures, etc. than I am the giant food producers who see our food simply as dollars going out the door. Our food supply should be diverse, as it was intended to be, and we should have local options available to us. Consumers should make the choice to support small, local growers if we want. Legislation should not mandate unrealistic requirements suited to large scale producers, it would effectively shut down most local growers. If legislators want to "protect" our food supply they should focus on things like removing the hidden sources of MSG (a known neurotoxin and chemical designed to addict people to their food) and other chemicals that most consumers don't even know about rather than shutting down the local farmers who are producing the real, healthy food we should be eating. Call your senator today and ask them to support the Tester-Hagan Amendment!! Here are links explaining the issue more.

Letter from an organization supporting the Tester-Hagan Amendment.

Information on what the existing legislation would require and what the Tester-Hagan Amendment would change.

For those in Arizona, our Senators are:

John McCain (602) 952-2410
Jon Kyl (602) 840-1891

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cholesterol levels, Autism, and brain function - how low is too low?

If you are like me, your trips to the doctor sometimes include lab workups and for the most part, your cholesterol focus is on lowering, not raising. I have always been "blessed" with low cholesterol. I have been praised for my cholesterol levels and even tried to reduce them to below 100, because if low is good, lower is better right?? Well, having a child with Autism has definitely been an education in all aspects of health, including my own. Did you know that adequate levels of cholesterol are needed to activate oxytocin receptors? Maybe that contributed in some way to why I never went into labor on my own, had a failed induction after tons of pitocin, had to have a c-section and then had problems with milk supply (many of these things are influenced by oxytocin). My son also had low cholesterol which we were able to raise thanks to a supplement called Sonic Cholesterol from New Beginnings. My son also had an egg allergy which made it very tough to get dietary levels of cholesterol into him. So, here we are a few years later and I am finally getting my own act together with labs, check ups, etc. Cholesterol levels for me? 119. YIKES! Normal range is about 160. And this is with a hard boiled egg every morning! So, looks like I will be taking Sonic Cholesterol as well to bring my number up to at least 160. Why is cholesterol important? Here is a great article by Dr. William Shaw on the importance of cholesterol and brain function. So maybe we can stop focusing only on high cholesterol and look at people with low cholesterol and how that may negatively impact their brain function. People with low cholesterol suffer more from mental conditions like schizophrenia than people with cholesterol in normal ranges. Please note, a physician's referral is needed to order Sonic Cholesterol. You need to be under the guidance and supervision of a physician while taking this and periodic labs need to be run to check your progress.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More info on Respen-A from Dr. Kurt Woeller

Dr. Woeller, my son's DAN! physician, was interviewed on The Autism Tomorrow internet TV site yesterday. Clink HERE to listen to what Dr. Woeller has to say about Respen-A. We were among the first of his clients to try Respen-A and it has been one of the most transformational therapies for my son. It is available by prescription, easy to apply and so worthwhile, in my opinion. I have blogged our experiences with Respen-A since we started.

And, if you want some additional info on some of the frequently asked questions about Respen-A, you can click HERE to watch Dr. Woeller answer, and address, some of these issues. Hopefully if you are curious about Respen-A and whether it may be a good therapy to try for your child, this will help.