Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gluten Free Granola Bars and Gluten Free Cereal

When going gluten free, many kids miss granola bars that are easy to pack for snack and lunch. Here are some gluten free alternatives to try. I would suggest trying to find them at Whole Foods or a health food store nearby before you commit to a case. If you can't find them and order the case, just realize that kids are picky and you might get stuck eating them yourself!

Although I have never tried them, I am ordering a case of the Bakery on Main Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars because I love the Bakery on Main brand and I am guessing they will be super tasty. (My daughter's school has a peanut free classroom and table so she is allowed to bring snacks with peanut butter since she isn't in the peanut free classroom!) These Cranberry Granola bars from Bakery on Main also look delicious but they aren't available right now from Amazon. You can go to their store locator to find a location that does.

I know a gluten free friend who takes these Envirokidz brand Granola Bars for snack everyday. They come in three varieties, but these are the ones we like:
EnviroKidz Organic Koala Crispy Rice Bars, Chocolate
EnviroKidz Organic Panda Crispy Rice Bars, Peanut Butter

These are gluten free cereals that might work to bring for a snack:
Bakery on Main, Gluten Free Granola, Cranberry Maple
EnviroKidz Snack Pack Organic Gorilla Munch
or this one is cheaper, but not in convenient snack packs:
EnviroKidz Organic Gorilla Munch

Related posts:
Healthy Snack Options
Snack Trays
Processed Food Versus Homemade Food

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Testing Yourself

I just tried goat's milk to see if I could tolerate it--more out of curiosity than actually wanting yogurt. It's just everyone raves about how well they feel on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and yogurt seems to be critical part of the recovery on this healing plan. Research indicates goat's milk is healthier than cow's milk (which I totally believe since I think cow's milk is just not that healthy a food). Anyway, I felt stoned on the goat's milk yogurt. I took some enzymes so hopefully it will go away. I love how crisp and clear my brain feels being gluten and dairy and soy free. Anyway, then I remembered reading that eating yogurt was a really inefficient way of getting probiotics so I think I will stick with probiotics. I can't wait till this tingly feeling in my brain goes away. I definitely don't need a casein peptide test to know that I am sensitive to the protein in milk!

If you have put your kids on a gluten free/dairy free/soy free diet I highly recommend that you put yourself on the same eating plan. Not only does it make it easier, but you can empathize with them. When we go somewhere and my son or daughter is bummed about not being able to eat something I can say "I can't eat it either." I know that they feel less alone and it makes it easier for them to not be the only one who can't partake in something. In addition, if you clean yourself up and find you have similar sensitivities then you can use yourself as a guinea pig to see how you react to things.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It took me 18 months to finally find two nutritionists who knew more than I do. Before I found them, I checked all the vitamins and supplements with many doctors before I gave them to my kids. Too bad most doctors only get a few hours of nutrition in medical school so checking with them, which put my mind at ease, didn't really mean much. (No offense to any doctors who are reading this blog--it's more a dig at the medical school curriculum than any doctors--although if I am in an accident it's you I will call.) Both these nutritionists suggested similar plans for my daughter, who isn't absorbing necessary nutrients and is way too moody--although her SI issues and low muscle tone got better through the GF diet.

Everyone who is on a restricted diet should consult with a nutritionist at some point about supplements. Of course, you need to find a nutritionist who understands the importance of a gluten free/casein free/soy free diet! This is the most difficult part about finding a nutritionist to work with.

Here are my recommendations for nutritionists:

Kelly Dorfman is in the Washington area. I consulted with her over the phone. She works with people all over the world and is very knowledgeable about children. You can read the articles about children online at her website or go to Developmental Delay Resources to listen to her speak. Although I can't get my daughter to take the Thorne research effervescent calcium and magnesium supplement Kelly recommended I am grateful for the vitamin D drops that she suggested which my daughter does take.

Vicky Kobliner is in Connecticut. She works with Dr. Nancy O'Hara who is a top DAN doctor. I saw Vicky in person. She is very knowledgeable about the GFCF diet, as well as other healing diets. She wrote up a report on my daughter with a step by step treatment plan which included a detailed history. It's great to have everything we discussed written down so I can share her treatment recommendations with other people--and I can return to it when I am confused about what I am doing.

Both Kelly and Vicky recommended similar treatment plans which seemed to confirm what the other one was saying. They both suggested going one step at a time and monitoring with each supplement introduction and most important, they both understood that kids can react differently to supplements and what works for one child doesn't work for another. These top nutritionists can help you to heal your children through diet and supplements and give you more specific advice on what to feed your kids!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Red Cheeks in Children, Infants and Toddlers

My son's red cheeks were a concern of mine long before my son got seriously sick. And from the number of people who visit my blog searching for answers for their children's bright red cheeks, I would say that red cheeks are a concern of many parents. Although for many doctors it is a common, benign symptom, parents know that it is not normal and they suspect there is something wrong when they watch their child turn bright red on a regular basis. For my son, his red cheeks were a sign of food intolerance, inflammation and an underlying magnesium deficiency. And they were definitely a symptom of a profound underlying biomedical problem that needed to be addressed. I actually think his red cheeks were a blessing in disguise. If you have a child with red cheeks you know when they are reacting to something and you can do something about it.

My son also got a clear runny nose when he was reacting to something. Sometimes he even got a cough. It looked like he was always sick--only it cured up instantly when we eliminated the foods he was sensitive to using an ALCAT intolerance test and it came back immediately when we introduced the foods. It was quite remarkable and I am so grateful to the mother who showed me her son's ALCAT test. I knew immediately when I saw it that it would help Alex and I even got the test done for myself (mostly so I could compare our results and see how accurate the testing was.) Because it wasn't an allergy and he wasn't going to die from his red cheeks mainstream medicine wasn't able to help much, but an alternative doctor who has seen results using intolerance testing was able to help us pinpoint the foods that were triggering the

We tried to figure out the triggers ourself but it was impossible--and I am a pretty vigilant detective. I kept a detailed weekly list of what he ate and when his reactions occurred but it never revealed the triggers. When a child is reacting to one food it is easy to tease out
what is making them sick, but when it is multiple foods it gets more difficult. I kept on thinking that I could figure it out myself and then having little success. When I got the test results (and added that to our GF/CF/SF organic diet) he got better.

Related posts:
Allergic Red Cheeks

ALCAT Food Sensitivity Testing
Allergies and Food Intolerances
Red Cheeks in Infants in Toddlers

Is Your Child's Brain Starving?

This is an interesting video by Gordon McDowell which explains all the different problems that can cause children to have learning and behavioral problems and why changing the diet can make all the difference for many kids. It also goes into food intolerance testing and why it is important. Dr. McDowell wrote a book called "ADHD-Is Your Child's Brain Starving?" which didn't get a great review on Amazon. But it is impressive that he doesn't take royalties from the
book or the supplements he promotes. He seems genuinely on a mission to get the word out about the importance of nutrition and how it affects brain function.

It was made in 2003 and is a little outdated and has some inaccuracies. (He oversimplifies things and suggests DHA is the most important part of fish oil when newer research suggests it is the ratio of DHA to EPA that is most important. He suggests Tuna Oil when fish oil is actually made of small fish like anchovies and tuna is full of mercury.) But overall it is a video worth watching.

At the end of the video he says that in Australia they have actually passed a law that says that doctors have to look at nutritional factors and behavioral modification before they can consider
prescribing drugs like Ritalin or they will be audited and they could actually lose their prescribing privileges.

WOW! Australia is way ahead of the US.

Friday, November 21, 2008

FUN FRIDAY: Gluten Free Pear Cashew Tart Recipe

For dinner tonight I made beef stew, homemade french fries, a salad and this pear tart. I am usually exhausted on Friday night but tonight I was too busy cooking and then enjoying dinner to feel tired. I adapted this recipe from substituted cashews for almonds. My new favorite thing is making
a homemade dessert on the weekend. It makes the weekend special and gives us something sweet to snack on.

Pear Cashew Tart

1/4 c. coconut butter or oil
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. ground cashews
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 pears (Bosc work well)

Cream butter and sugar together. Add ground cashews. Add eggs one at a
time. Pour into an unbaked pie crust. Cook for 1 hour at 400 degrees.
To make the glaze, mix 1/4 c. of apricot jam with 2 T. water. Bring to
a boil and then pour carefully over the tart.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gluten Free Fish Sticks

Starfish Crispy Battered Gluten Free Cod Fish Sticks have a flaky batter that you would find on traditional fish and chips in England. We stumbled upon them at the Whole Foods in NYC at the Time Warner Center. They are not only better than the Dr. Praeger's Gluten Free Fish Sticks, but they are better than any frozen fish sticks we have had--with our without gluten. They aren't crumbly but are super crispy. I cooked them as directed and then I turned off the oven and let them sit for a while and they got even crispier and tastier. They are not only gluten free, but also dairy free and soy free for those of you who have other sensitivites. Best of all BOTH MY KIDS LIKED THEM--which is a huge thumbs up. I can count on my hand the number of entrees BOTH my kids like.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Healthy Living During the Holidays

I thought I would offer some my tips for staying healthy this holiday season.

1) Make your body more alkaline and less acidic. See my post on Why Alkaline Foods Might Keep You Healthy.

2) Give Up Dairy When You Are Sick...see my post on More Milk Info if you need inspiration. Interestingly, bacteria and viruses thrive in an acidic environment so by tweaking your diet, you can make your body less of a comfy home for bugs. Dairy is a food group that people who are sick might want to think about giving up. I am not into dairy for a bunch of reasons, but if you do use milk, I would recommend the non-homogenized milk they sell at Dean and Deluca with the cream on top-which is still dairy but at least it is slightly less processed. Or go to France. It is really the processing of milk that is the problem. And the giant vat of milk is probably the biggest difference between milk in France and here. But try giving up dairy if you have a cough and congestion that won't go away. Interestingly, strep needs a dairy environment to take hold and one doctor said that he had never seen a child who was dairy free with strep.

3) Begin or Add Probiotics. See my post on Probiotics for all the health benefits of probiotics as well as ordering information. Probiotics make your body less acidic which means that the viruses and bacteria aren't as likely to take hold. And by increasing the good bacteria in your gut you are strengthening your immune system. Also, most probiotics are cultured on milk. Which supposedly makes the milk less allergenic because it is fermented, but I have experienced that to not be true with my son who is super sensitive to dairy. He can not tolerate any of the over counter "casein free" probiotics. The one we use is casein (dairy) free and several top integrated doctors sell it because it is a really clean product. For a long time it was sold only through doctors because they want to make sure the product was refrigerated but now you can get it through Invite Health. I just thought I would mention it in case you wanted to upgrade your probiotics! It is good to switch up probiotics because they each contain different strains.

4) Make Some Tea for yourself or your kids when you are sick...see my post on Mint, Chamomile and Ginger Tea for some ideas on which teas are best to use for which symptoms.

5) Manuka Honey is supposed to break down the biofilm that surrounds the virus. Getting rid of the biofilm is really important if you have an illness that won't go away. Only specific honeys can break down the biofilm so try to get Manuka honey from New Zealand. If you are thinking of reaching for some antibiotics, you might want to try some honey first after reading about The Antibacterial Activity of Honey Against Antiobiotic Resistant Strains of Staph or Other Manuka Honey Evidence.

5) Oscillococcinum: This is probably my most way out there, but most well tested (by me!) recommendation: take some oscillococcinum at the first signs of getting the flu. It is a homeopathic remedy made in France that really works. No one knows why. It might be a placebo, but if it is a placebo it is a top notch placebo that works for many people. Here is a coupon for Oscillo.

And finally...

6) Get some coconut oil which is antiviral/antibacterial.For more info see Coconut Oil: Antiviral and Antimicrobial. Run, don't walk to your nearest health food store for the coconut oil. It is a staple in my house.

Please let me know if you have other ways of staying healthy that I have overlooked. And an early happy and healthy holiday season from

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oxalates, PH and Acidity

By Catherine

This is a reprint of a post on a yahoo group which contains important information about a question a mother had about a dark grit in the stool that was fine, sand like and sticky. The grit seemed to be present when the child was eating yogurt on the SCD diet.

Kathleen - I do believe the grit in the stool is probably calcium oxalate crystals, but I think your son is producing the oxalate internally. I've been paying attention to oxalates for over three years now and the symptoms I've seen, in my kids and others, just can't be explained by dietary intake.
There is an enzyme in the body that can produce oxalates when pH drops (becomes more acidic), with no genetic mutation needed, and I believe that enzyme is churning out oxalates in kids with autism.

First place you should start with the K2 protocol is actually the baking soda baths. The skin can absorb sodium bicarbonate, which goes into the bloodstream and neutralized a little bit of acid. Use 8 cups per bath. Baking soda is cheap - you can buy 12-pound bags at big discount stores like Costco or Sam's Club for under $5 a bag. Be very diligent about giving your son a baking soda bath every single day (sometimes my son gets them TWICE a day) so that you can push his pH up closes towards normal. About every 3rd or 4th day, use 2 cups of sea salt in the tub instead of the baking soda.

Oral magnesium is next - for a 4-year-old you want to aim for 400-500 mg per day in divided doses. Also get a bottle of Klaire Labs Bi-Carb Formula capsules, which are sodium and potassium bicarbonate, and give your son one per day, also in divided doses. Let him have as much dietary salt as he wants.

The liquid phosphorus helps the kidneys clear acid from circulation. Give about 2 teaspoons per day, in as many divided doses as you can because this particular supplement works much more effectively if it's given in many small doses throughout the day.

I have puzzled for a long time over why SCD yogurt has that effect on the children, and here is my hypothesis: the kids are clearly having great difficulty in maintaining acid-base balance because of chronic acidity. I think the cells have a lot of acid stored in them, acid which the body
couldn't excrete and had to get out of circulation. The phosphorus in the yogurt is upregulating cellular detoxification, which means the cells start increasing the amount of acid waste they move into circulation - and the kidneys can't get it out so pH drops, triggering responses such as oxalate production. pH control is highly dependent on having adequate amounts of minerals available, so the more minerals (especially lithium, sodium, potassium and magnesium which are in Groups I and II on the periodic table) and bicarbonate (a base which neutralizes acid) you can get into your child the more you assist his body in dealing with excess acid.

Just about every child on this list who has been tested has elevated calcium, which is wreaking havoc with the nervous system. Calcium is a bioactive mineral that can trigger overstimulation of the neurons. The kids just DON"T need calcium. The body is pulling calcium and phosphate from the bones in an attempt to buffer acidity, and the excess calcium is causing a number of the symptoms we call "autism." Your child is far better off without the supplemental calcium.

For the record, I don't think that chelation is a high priority. My observation, in my son and others, is that it makes acidity worse in the kids, and neither DMSA nor DMPS is particularly effective if the kidneys are acidic (which they are). The acid-base problem did not arise because of mercury and it will not go away even if all the mercury is removed. From a physiological perspective, it's far more important to get pH under control than it is to chelate.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Methylation and ADHD medications

Dr. Stuart Freedenfeld practices integrative medicine in New Jersey and has a comprehensive lecture on avoiding environmental toxins I have seen twice, but he also has a great overview of ADD/ADHD and the Biologic Causes and Non-Pharmaceutical Treatments. In it he discusses treatment options including B12 and Folic Acid (methylcobalamin and methyltetrahydrofolate) and says " There is growing evidence of defective methylation underlying ADHD and all ASD. There is also growing evidence that this is directly related to toxic effects of heavy metals especially mercury from the environment. " It is interesting to read up on methylation and to realize that methylation is a chemical process that is critical for so many reactions in the body--and that ritalin which is often prescribed for ADHD is a METHYL DONOR. Another popular methyl donor is coffee! According to one article I read from CARE: "A person with impairments in methylation is likely to be more susceptible to viral infection and to adverse reactions to live viral vaccines." And according to the Journal In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology, it looks like methyl-donor nutrients inhibit breast cancer cell growth.

Related posts:

Ritalin and Chomosomal Damage--A Small Study Draws Sweeping Conclusions
Epsom Salts, Magnesium Deficiency and Sensory Integration Disorder
Gluten and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Friday, November 14, 2008

FUN FRIDAY: Martha Stewart - Blog Contest

My blog didn't win the Martha Stewart blog contest, but I got a beautiful picture with Martha when I visited the Martha Stewart show last month with The Gourmet Club! Martha was really nice when the camera was rolling and when it wasn't. Not just to our group, but to the entire audience. After taping was over she spent fifteen minutes graciously answering questions from the audience. And I got to tell her about my blog and my passion for how nutrition impacts development. The Gourmet Club, I am a part of, is, by the way, so Martha. Once a month two members pair up and create an eight course meal. It's the most fun I have had in years. The Cardamom Spice Cake I made tonight (for the second time this week!) was from a recent dinner that Liz threw. You can find the recipes on the TheGourmetClubNYC blog and more pictures at Liz's blog. It was fun to have an outing to the Martha Stewart show and I am so grateful to Martha and everyone at Martha Stewart who got us this picture and to my husband, David, who supports me in all my "It's always an adventure with you" (said with a southern accent) escapades. You can click on the picture to get a closer look.

ps I have been on my soapbox a lot this week, so I thought I would get off the soapbox and enjoy my kids and my fun life for a moment! Maybe I should have a FUN FRIDAY post that is on the light side. What do you think???

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Snopes and the Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) Recall

We haven't used any cold, cough or fever reducing medication-- especially Tylenol-- in the last 18 months since I realized changing my kids diets and healing them worked better than treating their symptoms. Although we live an urban life in New York City, our life has been very much a return to the 18th century in terms of what things go into my kids. If my grandmother didn't have it available to her or wouldn't recognize it, we don't use it. What this mostly means for my family is that chemicals in foods (and medicines) don't go into my kids bodies. I read labels and package inserts and reject anything that has chemicals I can't pronounce and/or don't understand.

A friend sent me an email today that products containing phenylpropanolamine (PPA) have been recalled by the FDA. The Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) Information Page from the FDA website has the history of this product which explains in detail why PPA has been reclassified as unsafe. has some more info on this recall (which is true but outdated.) Anyway, even though the info is outdated it's nice to see the FDA actually recalled something back in 2006! If you get an email that says "important send to everyone", check it out on to see if it is true.

It looks like you need to read the ingredients of any over the counter medicine carefully to make sure that it doesn't contain unsafe chemicals--including phenylpropanolamine. And while you are at it check out to see if the things you hear are true. Interestingly, the last line of the Snopes report on PPA made me chuckle:

"Barbara 'Better a head cold than six-feet-deep-cold' Mikkelson"

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Persian Spice Cake

This is a recipe my friend Liz was making for The Gourmet Club which meets tonight. Each month we meet and someone hosts a themed 8 course dinner party. Liz chose "Spice: Journey of the senses through the Souk of Morocco." The original recipe is from Epicurious, but my gluten free adaptation which tastes remarkably buttery. I was planning on bringing the whole thing to the party, but my kids and a playdate ate half of it at lunch with some homemade chicken soup. So I will only be bringing two pieces. My daughter said to her friend "Isn't my Mom the best cook?" as they each ate their second piece of cardamom spice cake. I might have to make baking a cake on a Saturday a tradition.

1 cup gluten free flour mix (or 1/2 c. gluten free flour mix+1/2 cup ground raw cashews*)
14 tablespoons baker's sugar or superfine sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
3 large eggs, separated
6 tablespoons sparkling water
1/4 cup macadamia nut oil or canola oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds (removed from about 5 green cardamom pods)

For cake:
-Preheat oven to 325°F.
-Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides.
-Line pan bottoms with parchment paper; butter parchment.
-Sift flour, 7 tablespoons baker's sugar, baking powder, and salt into large bowl.
-Whisk yolks and next 4 ingredients in small bowl until smooth.
-Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk until smooth.
-Beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form.
-Gradually add 7 tablespoons baker's sugar; beat until whites resemble thick marshmallow fluff. Fold whites into batter in 3 additions.
-Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until cakes are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
-Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks, peel off parchment, and cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap and store at room temperature.)

also: I like to put it in the freezer so it hardens which makes it easier to frost.

If you eat whip cream you can check out the original Persian Love Cake recipe at Epicurious. If you are gluten free and casein free, you can use a super thin layer of my coconut frosting.

*I grind nuts in a coffee grinder to make nut flour, which adds some protein and healthy fat to sweet treats.

Gluten Free Flour Mix

This is a flour mix from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts, which is by far my favorite gluten free cookbook. If you are gluten free or know someone who is gluten free, this is a must have cookbook. This recipe makes 9 cups of a gluten free flour mix. I use this with a little xanthum gum (1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp depending on how much flour is being used) and it is easy to translate any regular baking recipe into a gluten free recipe--with a little practice.

6 cups finely ground brown rice flour (I like Authentic Foods) or Energ-G White Rice flour (I find Bob's Red Mill brown rice flour to be too grainy for baking)
2 cups Ener-G potato starch (not potato flour)
1 cup tapioca flour

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ritalin and Chomosomal Damage--A Small Study Draws Sweeping Conclusions

This is an excerpt from a journal article about a study looking at children who were prescribed Ritalin over a 3 month period. I bring it up to show how studies can be reassuring, but also misleading. The conclusion of the study is that
"therapeutic levels of methylphenidate do not induce cytogenetic damage in humans. Furthermore, our results indicate that amphetamine-based products do not pose a risk for cytogenetic damage in children."

The previous studies which found chromosomal damage in children, could have been more of a cross section of kids who end up having methylphenidate (Ritalin) prescribed to them--some in overall good health and others with poor health and for an extended period of time. Some kids who are prescribed Ritalin are not in overall good health and this study does nothing to reassure me that it is safe for kids who aren't in overall good health. I think the study needs to be extended beyond 3 months--most of these kids are on these medications for years. And the population size needs to be increased to reach this type of broad conclusion. Of course, it is reassuring for parents of kids who are on these medications and it is important that this type of study is done to assess the safety for children. I just object to the sweeping conclusion from a three month study when only 47 children took the medication for the full three months.

It reminds me of the years of studies which said there was "no link between food dyes and behavioral problems" until a clear link showed up in a study in 2007 in England which was then written about in the New York Times article "Some Food Additives Raise Hyperactivity, Study Finds" which revealed even typical kids will have problems with food dyes. There were a ton of smaller studies negating Feingold's research. The earlier studies all used unnaturally low levels of dyes to "prove" that there was no link between dyes and behavioral problems. I am going to end before I start talking about the vaccine safety studies.

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2008 Oct 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Methylphenidate and Amphetamine Do Not Induce Cytogenetic Damage in Lymphocytes of Children With ADHD.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Parents Can Do

How you help your child depends on the severity of the symptoms. If your child has one problem (speech delay OR not sleeping through the night OR needs OT or PT OR is constantly sick OR has ear infections) then you could do research on the problem and try things that can help heal the underlying cause of the problem. But if your child has several issues (speech delay, poor sleeper, many ear infections, low muscle tone etc.) that are stacking up over time, then you need to try a more intensive intervention. There are several ways parents can begin to heal their kids before they find the right doctor or nutritionist that can tailor a nutritional program specifically for a child's digestive, developmental or behavioral problems.

1) Begin an elimination diet. You can try a gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free diet or begin researching and making changes based on severe symptoms. TACA has a dietary calendar that tells you in detail how to go GFCF in 10 weeks. Because the cerebellum is gluten and food sensitive and so many people have a problem with gluten it might make sense to give up gluten. Dairy is also a huge factor for kids with allergies, ear infections and developmental problems. And processed soy is not healthy for ANY child who is developing. For these reasons, starting an elimination diet makes sense for many chronic health problems that children face today. Some parents find it is easier to implement a restricted diet if a doctor or nutritionist recommends the change and testing confirms a problem. In this case, parents can wait to make changes.

Eliminating foods will make testing inconclusive--especially for celiac. I believe ALL kids with developmental problems should be tested for celiac BEFORE starting a gluten free diet. But while waiting for testing, parents can begin swapping products for more suitable products so everything is in place to begin an elimination diet when testing is finished. Moving toward a more nourishing diet with organic, homemade food and away from processed food is something any parent can try doing themselves. After testing, you still should try dietary intervention --kids who don't test positive for celiac can also recover through a GFCF diet. Sometimes making dietary changes will reveal sensitivities and there is no better test for food intolerance than seeing your child recover from digestive or behavioral problems.

2) Probiotics are important for restoring healthy bacteria in the gut and most people can benefit from supplementation. This is especially important if your child is chronically sick, has digestive problems (especially constipation or diarrhea), repeated ear infections or problems absorbing iron. Processed food, repeated courses of antibiotics and too much sugar can all lead to an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria. An overgrowth of bad bacteria

3) Plant based enzymes are available from Houston Enzymes and they help break down food allowing more nutrients to be absorbed and reduce inflammation. Because the body has to do less to break down the food, it can attend to other necessary activities like detoxifying, healing and growing. Houston Enzymes have helped both my kids get better. My two year old with severe digestive problems takes 2 capsules of Tri-Enza and 1 capsule of No-Phenol before each meal. (I open them into a few tablespoons of water or rice milk) My seven year old has two AFP Peptizide chewables if she is going to be eating any dairy or soy. The AFP Peptizyde allow her to eat food that might give her a stomach ache. With the chewables she can have a gluten free pizza at a party or ice cream.

Great Gluten Free Research/Articles for Parents
Our Gluten Free Story: A Speech Delay is actually an allergy syndrome
Benign Congenital Hypotonia (Low Muscle Tone) and the Gluten Free Diet
Top 10 Things that have helped our children get better...
Mystery Diagnosis: Celiac and Seizures

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Quote of the Day: Germ Theory

"I have been wrong. The germ is nothing. The terrain is everything."
--Louis Pasteur, who championed the germ theory,
on his deathbed conceding the fight to Claude Bernard.

Why Alkaline Foods Might Keep You Healthy

Dr. Jeffrey Klass, a licensed Naturopathic Physician and Mary Coyle, a homeopathic practioner spoke at NAA-NYC Metro Chapter last month. One thing that I took away from the lecture was how a person's body being acid or alkaline influences their susceptibility to getting sick. Basically, bacteria and viruses thrive in an acidic environment. Sugar, wheat and meat all increase acidity in the body. Most fruits and vegetables decrease acidity and increase alkalinity. Sugar promotes an acidic environment allowing bugs to take hold. While sugar in my household on Halloween is a given, if you wake up with a cough or a cold, you don't get any sugar until you are better.

Interestingly, body acidity is implicated in many diseases and many diseases can be signs of long-term acidity. Osteoporosis, digestive problems, poor immunity, arthritis, kidney diseases and gout, and cancer can all be triggered by long-term acidity according to one website, While no one knows what causes cancer, the macrobiotic diet that some have found helpful is based on the Acid & Alkaline theory written about by Herman Aihara. I found at that "At a pH slightly above 7.4 cancer becomes dormant and at a pH 8.5 cancer cells will die while healthy cells will live." There is a food chart at that has a list of alkaline foods. Interestingly, probiotics are alkaline!

But, my mantra has always been "Theory is one thing, reality is another." Listen to your body. I just want to give people tools so they can try to shift their health away from sickness toward health.