Saturday, April 23, 2011


So I have a little explaining to do for anyone who follows my blog. I have had a few wonderful people who have friend requested me through Facebook and asked in a roundabout way "so what's up, you haven't blogged lately". That is true.

My family and I took off for California to spend my birthday and the kids' spring break at Disneyland for a few days. On the day we were set to return, my Dad collapsed and died suddenly. Luckily we were just an hour and a half away and I could get there quickly to mourn with my family. I have the world's best friend, Jen P., and have been so blessed to have had her by my side since 3rd grade. She dropped everything and was my "husband" for the next week and a half as I muddled through my new "normal", a life without my big strong father whom I adore. My husband was so wonderful, keeping my kids away from their mom falling apart and the parts of death that I do not feel they are ready to see yet. My dear mother in law put our crew up and helped my husband with all of the things that go into our lives, and the fact that we have a child with Autism which adds to the normal chaos that comes with small children. Constant supervision, lots of food prep and shopping were all required as were the on-the-fly arrangements for overnight shipments of supplements that we could not live without for my son.

We had just gotten home and settled when Jen needed a heart catheterization procedure the following Friday to see what has been going on with her heart. You see Jen has had a pacemaker since we were 10, she has Tetralogy of Fallot which is congenital heart disorder. My world was shaken again. She made it through just fine but certainly anytime anything regarding your heart is involved, it is scary. And the findings of the procedure point to the necessity of another open heart surgery in her somewhat near future.

The very next week my husband was out of town and the day he returned, Friday, was the anniversary of HIS Dad's death. We got the stunning news that my mother in law has colon cancer. Eric made the trip back to San Diego to be there with her. I am happy to say it went well and she is recovering now.

The day after her surgery we learned our very good friends who moved to North Carolina last year were hit by a tornado. The blows just seem to keep coming.

This last week Eric was gone again for work. We are finally taking a big breath and just trying to find this new normal and heal as a family. Losing a parent shakes you to the core, and maybe you have no idea what that means until it happens to you. I have been so overwhelmed at the outpouring of love and support though, some from people I only know through the internet. It is humbling and wonderful. It is times like these that you really understand who will be beside you no matter what. And this experience has really shown me how fleeting life can be and I need to support those who are truly there for me and let the rest of the stuff go. The pain of losing my Dad continues to hit me, a memory that I can never again ask him about, a picture that brings me to a time when I could still hug him, the fact that I will never again get his advice on something, and the most searing pain, the fact that my children will grow up without the blessing of this man in their physical lives makes my heart literally ache.

So, that is why I have not blogged much since early March. I am trying to get back into the swing of things but it is taking time. I thank each of my blog readers so much, I have learned so much just doing this blog because of the great questions and interacting with people I would never have gotten the chance to. So please bear with me while I try and get back into my stride. The blog will continue, and I do have lots of wonderful news to share about my son's recovery from Autism. This week has been especially astounding and I will be sharing that soon, I promise. But in the meantime, please know that I have not given up this blog and very soon I will be back to it!! And again, thanks for reading and your support!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Toxins in our kids' foods

No shocker here, just more information, especially for moms out there feeding our families. This type of stuff should be criminal, using ingredients that are known to cause issues, especially in our little ones. And to add insult to injury, they make a SAFER product to ship overseas? Right, because evidently they have tougher regulations or subscribe to the "dangerous until proven safe" theory. Why don't we subscribe to that as well? Childhood diabetes, on the rise, childhood obesity, on the rise, childhood arthritis, on the rise, Autism, on the rise, ADHD, on the rise, allergies, on the rise. Clearly we are not doing something right. At what point do we wake up and realize what we let little Johnny put into his body is having a detrimental effect? Does it take the call from the teacher suggesting ADHD? Does it take developing diabetes? Does it take them growing up to have a child with Autism? When do we start leaving the crap on the shelves, understanding WHAT those ingredients are and until we KNOW what they do to us, don't feed it to our kids. What happened to fresh fruit, cut up carrots and broccoli? Nowadays the school "snacks" are cheetos and "peanut butter" crackers. Read the ingredients, get involved, know what you are doing to your kids' bodies. WE make the decisions, WE need to take control and make a positive impact on our kids and the next generation. Did you know that the lovely combo of citric acid and sodium benzoate (when heated) create benzene in the body? Benzene is a carcinogen that is only excreted very, very slowly from the body. See how many products have those two (I will give you a hint, quite a few). This was just one tidbit presented at a DAN! conference, the class? Protecting your child from a toxic world by Dr. Freedenfeld. That's right, WE have to protect our kids. Our FDA will not, the food manufacturers will not. If you assume that a product on the shelf is safe then you need to think again. And how many other ingredients react with other ingredients, trying to do that matrix is overwhelming. If you can't pronounce it, it comes in artificial colors/flavors or you don't know what it does, I challenge you to NOT put it in your child for the next week. And just for fun, keep a log of behaviors. We all need to educate ourselves on these ingredients that are commonplace in this country and what detrimental impact they may be having on your child's health. Our kids are counting on us!

From the Enviroblog

Toxins in Our Kids' Foods: Where is the FDA?
April 4, 2011
Guest Post by Laurie David and Robyn O'Brien, EWG Board Member

Yesterday, in the face of a just- released report by the National Cancer Institute that showed a 9.4% increase in childhood cancer between 1992 and 2007(1), the FDA let moms and dads all across America, down. Instead of making the long overdue move to do something serious about getting rid of toxic food dyes so ubiquitous in our food supply, they instead fell back on those two simple words so often used to stall, delay and deny..."more research." In kitchens across this country, eight dyes, currently being used by manufacturers can be found in everything from packaged macaroni and cheese, breakfast cereal to practically every piece of candy your child has ever put in its mouth. Links are being found to hyperactivity in kids (ADHD), cancer and serious food allergies. (2) But here is the truly crazy thing. Kraft, Coca Cola and Wal-Mart have already removed these artificial food colors and dyes from the same products that they distribute in other countries. They did it in response to consumer demand and an extraordinary study called the Southampton Study. The Southampton Study (3) was unusual in that it tested children on a combination of two ingredients: tartrazine (yellow #5) and sodium benzoate. The study's designers knew that a child very rarely has occasion to ingest just a synthetic color or just a preservative; rather, a child who is gobbling up multicolored candies is probably taking in several colors and at least one preservative. What's amazing is that in the U.K., the federal food safety agency actually funded the Southampton Study that led to even U.S. corporations eliminating synthetic colors and sodium benzoate from their U.K. products. And in response, a whole host of companies, including the U.K. branches of Wal-Mart, Kraft, Coca Cola and the Mars candy company (who make M&Ms), have voluntarily removed artificial colors, the preservative sodium benzoate, and even aspartame from their products. Particularly those marketed to kids. Take a close look at the ingredient list for the product below.

Our American companies had removed these harmful ingredients from their products overseas--but not here! Kraft, Coca Cola and Wal-mart are living proof that it is possible for giant corporations to make and sell kid-friendly, family-friendly, and healthy processed food without necessarily exposing them to a chemical cocktail that might also give them allergic reactions, brain tumors, or leukemia, or the symptoms of ADHD, as the Center for Science in the Public Interest recently highlighted in their report "Rainbow of Risks". No need to go through all the numbers for increased health problems here. You've heard them all and it isn't pretty. For goodness sake, no more research necessary. Lets stop poisoning our own kids. Lets start assuming chemicals are dangerous until proven safe, not the other way around. Is it too much to ask the FDA and the processed food companies for the same value to be placed on the lives of the American kids in their cost-benefit analyses that has been placed on the lives of kids in the UK? Moms, we can create that same change here. And with 51 million moms waking up to the dangers that toxins present to the health of our kids, our numbers are equivalent to the entire population of Spain. Time to get down to business, level the playing field for our kids, and send a message to these companies. Vote with your pocketbook today, this weekend, next month as you grocery shop for your family. Because while the American children only represent 30% of our population, they are 100% of our future. So while the FDA may not value their lives accordingly, we can. Notes: 1. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, March 31, 2011 DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djr141 2. Rainbow of Risks, 3. Southampton Study

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Low Cholesterol in Autism

We hear a lot about high cholesterol but usually the only thing we hear about low cholesterol is "way to go" from our mainstream doctors. But, too low levels of cholesterol is a bad thing and can inhibit lots of brain functions. Did you know that oxytocin receptors are not activated without adequate levels of cholesterol? Oxytocin and Autism has already been explored and so for ASD kiddos with low cholesterol, this could be even more of an impact from all of the other biomedical issues we know to be at play. We've successfully raised my son's cholesterol into normal ranges using Sonic Cholesterol from New Beginnings because both he and I have low cholesterol AND egg allergies. So, a cholesterol supplement was necessary. Want to know more about this issue? Dr. Woeller, our son's specialist, does free webinars through Great Plains Labs to help parents understand more of the issues surrounding Autism and their next one is on Cholesterol and Autism. Click HERE to go to the link to register. It is April 13th at 6:00 pm Pacific time.