Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Are the Liver Capsules Working?

It has been a couple of weeks now since I took my first liver capsule.  (most people I've talked to have said "why don't you just eat liver?" I wish I could . . . . maybe one day I can get over my aversion to it!) I can't say as I've noticed any huge differences - except maybe in my energy level.  Not that I've been bouncing off the walls!  But I haven't felt the need for a nap in a while - which I actually find quite amazing considering that I've been working outside in my garden in the hot sun nearly every day, for many hours.  I often get quite tired, and there have been days that I feel completely wore out by days end - but overall I feel my energy level is higher (not high - just higher :).   On top of the liver capsules I've also been adding some raw egg yokes to my diet.

Raw egg yolks??

Yes! :)  

Since my eggs are fresh and come from a source that I trust (I would be very afraid of consuming raw egg yolks from off the grocery store shelves!) I have no problems consuming them raw.

Here is an excerpt I found from this article:

Many people’s diets are deficient in high quality proteins and fats, and eggs are one the very best sources of these. Raw eggs have many benefits, they contain essential nutrients for the brain, nerves, glands and hormones, they are nutritionally balanced, and we highly recommend the addition of raw eggs to your nutritional programme. The sulphur amino acids help to keep you young, raw eggs also contain an abundance of other vital substances including protein, essential fatty acids along with niacin, riboflavin, biotin, choline, vitamins A, D and E, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron, iodine, copper, zinc and sulphur. Egg yolks are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D.

I've read about raw egg yolks in a couple of different books I've read - of course I can't remember exactly which ones right now . . .

My favourite way to eat them is in a cold coffee drink and in homemade ice cream.  The cold coffee drink is a bit of coffee, honey and then lots of cream, milk and one egg yolk.  I often add cocoa powder.  It also tastes amazing with some mint in it.   The cold coffee drink is really like ice cream except it's not frozen :) 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Surprising Hotdog Bun

A few weeks ago we had our first wiener roast.  I used to absolutely love the simplicity of having a wiener roast.  Pick up hotdogs, buns, chips, maybe some watermelon and you're set!  Maybe even throw in a bag of store bought cookies. 

Thankfully I am still able to buy hotdogs (the more natural ones) - but once again I have to reinvent the wheel with the buns.  I was able to find some gluten free ones locally but at over a dollar a bun I had to leave them at the store.  I could have tried making something, but that particular weekend I was played out and had no interest in baking anything - let alone experimenting!   I ended up buying a loaf of gluten free bread that had some pretty questionable ingredients in it.  It worked, but it was expensive and it really didn't taste all that great. 

This past weekend we had another wiener roast and this time we were inviting some wheat eating folks over.  I warned them that if they wanted bread they would have to bring their own.  Near the time they were to come I was starting to feel a little bad that I didn't have more to serve them and this idea popped into my head.

This is not how I cut it for the hotdogs - this picture was taken the first time I made the bread.

What about cheese bread?  My dear friend had told me about this recipe and we had already made it a few times and loved it.  But would it work for hotdogs?  I figured that if it didn't work we would still have some tasty bread to eat on the side.  I make the recipe exactly as it says except for the pinch of cayenne pepper.

Cheesy Bread

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup packed grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup packed shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tb plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Mix all ingredients together with a hand mixer.  Lay on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.  Make it as flat as possible without holes (it will expand some as it bakes. I find it always looks like more when I take it out of the oven).  Bake 20-22 minutes until lightly brown.

 I love how fast and easy this is.  For the hotdogs I cut the bread in to narrow rectangles.  This bread made enough for 6 hotdogs with a little left over.  It probably could have been stretched to 7 if I'd cut the bread a little smaller.

It was so good!!!!!!

Even my wheat eating guests enjoyed it and asked for the recipe :)

The one downside is that TR can't eat so much cheese, so he wasn't able to eat it.  I'll have to keep looking for a hotdog bun alternative that works for him.  It is also expensive if you're making this in large quantities - but even buying the expensive cheese that I do this is still cheaper (and much tastier!) than buying pre-made buns or bread.   

Friday, May 17, 2013

When You are Negative

I've done some posts lately that show my frustration with the medical system.  I thought it was time I posted about how thankful I am for a certain needle that has brought joy to my family! 

Thankful?  For a needle?  Joy?  YES! 

You see, my blood type is negative.  Which means that if I have a baby with positive blood there could be serious consequences.  If you're not familiar with what RH Negative means, check out this website - they can describe it better than I.  Here's an excerpt:

If you're Rh-negative and carrying a baby who is Rh-positive (like the baby's father), your baby may be at risk for a serious disease. When your immune system (which fights off invaders to keep you healthy) is exposed to your baby's Rh-positive blood, it will begin producing antibodies that are sensitized (designed specifically) to destroy these "foreign" blood cells.
If this is your first pregnancy, chances are everything will be fine. These sensitized antibodies are typically not dangerous until subsequent pregnancies, when they've had time to grow in strength and number. However, all subsequent pregnancies would be at great risk. That is why you must act now to prevent your immune system from being exposed to Rh-positive blood.


TR has positive blood.  For me that means that I would have Chloe.  Only Chloe.  No Benjamin. No Karalyna Rose.  (Ben and Kara both have positive blood) If the latter two had managed to live after being attacked by my body they would likely suffer from serious health complications.  

Last week I had to receive the Rhogram shot that protects my unborn baby from my immune system.  I was doing some research the night before to see exactly what is in the needle.  I was a little afraid to find out because what could I do if they put nasty things in there like they do in vaccinations?  I'm still not entirely sure what they all put in the needle.  I know that they use consenting adults blood.  Blood that has been thoroughly screened against diseases.  It is a little scary to think about someone elses blood being put into my veins!  But mostly I am just very thankful that there is this option for me.  The thought of becoming pregnant again and again only to lose my baby because my own body is fighting against them is enough to make me very willing to hope that there is nothing wrong with the injection!  I am thankful that a negative woman like  me and a positive man like TR can have such sweet lovely babies that bring us so much joy. 

I would like to just say that I have 5 sisters.  2 of them have already had children and they both know they have positive blood.  I inherited my negative blood from my Mom.  I am so curious to see what my other 3 sisters blood type is and whether they will need the shots.  So far in my journey as a Mom I can't recall any other who needs this needle.  My Mom needed it, I need it.  I can't remember what Chloe's blood type is, but I know that Kara is positive.   I know that I am in the minority (the site says that 15% of Caucasian women are negative), but I'm curious if there's any other Mom's out there who have benefited from these shots?

I know I have a lot of negative things to say about our medical system - but I also know that they save many lives.  And two of those lives are Ben and Kara.  For that I am very very thankful.  The system isn't perfect and I don't trust them blindly anymore, but God has used them to also do much good and for that I am very thankful.  Thankful that I live in this country where I can have these shots.  Thankful that God has given life to my children.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Vitamin B12 Deficiency - Dehydrated Liver Capsules

Several weeks ago I was told that I am low in vitamin B12.  Not terribly low, but lower than I should be.  I guess even a minor deficiency can cause problems.  So like any good woman who is quite against taking synthetic drugs I began to look for a more natural approach to restoring my B12. 

First of all - where do you get B12? 
  1.  Clams, oysters, mussels
  2. Liver
  3. Fish eggs
  4. Octopus
  5. Fish
  6. Crab and lobster
  7. Beef
  8. Lamb
  9. Cheese
  10.  Eggs (raw yellow)
(The best place is #1 with eggs being the least.  Source)

So what could I do with  my diet to increase my B12?  The options for seafood are enough to make me sick.  I absolutely gag over liver.  I already eat beef and cheese.  I eat my eggs over easy with the yoke still mostly raw.  Pregnant women are advised against eating raw eggs, but I do anyway as my eggs come from a very good source that I feel safe about.  

So where did that leave me? 

Back to pills. 

I turned to the company that I have consumed in the past.  Garden of Life.  They have a raw B12 vitamin that looked good.  Until I read a little more and saw that it was "vegan".   B12 only comes from animals - so how can they make it "vegan"?  Every pill I looked at I doubted and questioned.  Why am I so against taking pills?  Mostly because they come from unnatural sources that can cause harm to the body instead of healing.  I like to take my vitamins as a whole food.  I look for pills that come in gel capsules that actually come from food.   It's very similar to how the garden works.  You can put synthetic fertilizers on the garden and it will seem to do very well.  You'll see great improvements over a very short time.   But those fertilizers do damage in the long run and end up causing problems in the soil.  You're much better off to add compost, manure, leaves, grass - natural things.  It will take a little longer, but you'll build up the soil and be rewarded for decades to come.  Over time your soil will be rich and full of life.  I feel that it is the same with humans.

So what was I going to do?

I must admit that I immediately had a plan.  But I was fighting against it.  You see I have perfectly good liver from a grass raised cow sitting in my freezer.  There's nothing wrong with it but for the fact that when I tried to eat it I was very nearly vomiting.  No matter how much "mind over matter" I just couldn't seem to get it down.  But I recalled reading a blog post about dehydrating liver and grinding it to a powder and then stuffing it in gel capsules.  I could do that!  

I wish I could say that it was easy and I did it right away.  But it was a work in progress and I had to overcome my aversion to it.  First I had to thaw the liver.  Cut it up.  Place it in my dehydrator.  Check on it from time to time (thus smelling it again!).  Once it was done I put it in a bowl and covered it and left it for about 2 weeks.  I did it right before our vacation - but there was still a lot of procrastinating going on.

In the meantime I continued to check out pills, hoping that I might find one that I could take with a clear conscience.  I almost bought one.  But I'm frugal and it was expensive and I had perfectly good, cheap liver just waiting to be ground up and swallowed.

So yesterday I did it.  I finally was able to do it.  The smell was awful.  It took about 10 minutes to grind it in my food processor.  And then I took some alfafa capsules, emptied them (saved the powder for TR) and filled them with liver.  Then I carefully wiped them with a dry cloth so I wouldn't taste any powder.  I added a few other pills (raspberry leaf and nettle and alfalfa) to my hand and swallowed, followed by a large glass of juice.  And you know what?  I didn't taste liver.  I didn't even burp up liver.  Thank goodness!                                           

I'm not sure how often I should take them.  I've read that you should eat liver twice a week.  So I think maybe I'll take the pills every day for a week to catch my body up and then just take it every 3 days or so. 

Maybe I'm a little crazy - after all it would have been so much simpler to just go and buy a bottle of B12 from the drug store.  But how could I when I had a perfectly good liver in my freezer . . .


What is erythromycin?  It is an antibiotic cream that is used soon after birth.  It is placed in the new baby's eyes in order to prevent serious infection.  

Up until this moment all three of my babies have gotten it.  With Kara I almost didn't give it to her but then changed my mind after delivery.  I was tired and couldn't remember what I had researched about it.  This time I want to be more prepared and make my decision prior to birth. 

So what exactly is it?

The Open Door Midwifery has this to say about it. 

Basically there is a risk that if the Mom has chlamydia or gonorrhea (both sexually transmitted diseases) the baby will contact the disease through the birth canal.  This contact will lead to an infection and quite possibly blindness if untreated.  From some research I was doing it appears that in some of the USA it is illegal for a parent to refuse this treatment.  As far as I can tell, Canada does not have that law.  (thank goodness!!!  The medical system taking away rights from parents is to me outrageous, dangerous and another post for another time :)

Here is another paper on the administration of erythromycin.   

If you want some dry reading here is the FDA's version of the drug.  It uses a lot of big words that I don't understand -but what I do get from the article just by briefly glancing over it is that nursing mothers should be given the drug with caution, and yet every newborn baby is given the drug regardless of whether they need it.  There have been no tests done (to my knowledge) that show it has serious harmful effects to a baby.  To me that doesn't mean anything.  I trust the FDA about as much as I trust Monsanto or DOW. 

I'm going to be giving this some thought and discussing it with TR, but here are my initial thoughts from some basic googling:

  • I don't like giving antibiotics unless absolutely necessary.  And what the doctor thinks is needed, is not what I think is needed.   Antibiotics can cause harm.  A baby is born with a clean slate in their gut and the last thing I want to do is give them antibiotics causing their gut to be off-balance.  When I google erythromycin and see wikipedia's answer they give a list of side effects that these other sites don't have.  It makes me wonder why?  Is there something different about the treatment they give to babies compared to what they give adults?  Or are they sugar coating the possible side effects that could occur in a baby?
  • If a baby receives no cream in their eyes at birth and then contacts the disease, it looks to me that they can then apply the treatment and the baby will be fine. 
So as it looks now I am seriously leaning towards not treating this baby's eyes. 

What do you think?  Do you think this cream is necessary for every baby?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why I Refused the Diabetes Test

If I was 22 year old me and pregnant with my second child I would have had a yucky tasting pop-like beverage yesterday.  I would have sat for an hour and had my blood taken to test whether I had markers for gestational diabetes. 

But now I am no longer that woman.  Now I ask questions.  I have doubts.  I have concerns about what exactly they are giving me. 

I refused the test with Kara.

I refused the test with this baby too. 


Orange/Fruit Punch/Lemon Lime flavors:

Dextrose from corn
Citric Acid from corn
Natural Flavoring corn
Sodium Benzoate
Yellow #6
Purified Water

Simply Pure flavor:

Dextrose from corn
Potassium Sorbate
Purified Water

If found this list of ingredients for the drink here.

Do you know that the test does not reveal whether or not you have diabetes?  Which of those ingredients in the above list do you suppose are actually good for my unborn baby?  Or even good for me?  Do you know that if you have diabetes there will be sugar in your urine that a routine test in the clinic.  I am thankful to have a doctor that does not pressure me into doing it "just because everyone else is".  I have no other indicators for g.diabetes - the primary one they can see without the test is the sugar in urine.  When I was pregnant with Kara I did take a blood test without drinking the "pop" to test for sugar levels.  I told the doctor I would take the drink if my blood gave any indication that I might have diabetes.  If you google it you can read of people who have taken alternative drinks before having their blood tested. 

Why am I so against it? 

Mostly because of the ingredients.  I see no reason to subject myself and my baby to them just because I am pregnant.  It is hard enough for me to stay away from harmful things without doing it for no reason.  If ever there was concern that I had diabetes I would search for an alternative drink and then take the test.  But for now I feel good about refusing the test.

Do I suggest you do the same?

I suggest that you think about it.  Do a little research.  You don't have to just blindly do whatever the medical community says without knowing more about it.           

* This is my own opinion - make sure you do your own research before refusing the test.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Wheat Free Pancakes

My sister asked how I make pancakes, so here it is :)  

1 cup flour (I usually use 1/2 cup almond flour & 1/2 cup brown rice flour)
Spoonful of starch (arrowroot or tapioca are my favourites) (optional)
Spoonful of guar gum or xanthum gum (optional)
1 cup milk (I like to add a bit of yogurt, whey or buttermilk to this for fluffier pancakes)

Mix these together and let it sit awhile.  It will seem very runny at first and the first tendancy is to add more flour.  Wait.  It will thicken.  If you are in a hurry use a hand mixer and blend it for a while, that will thicken it faster. 

1 egg
about 1/3 cup melted coconut oil  

Mix altogether.   Add 2 tsp. baking powder.  Mix lightly.   At this point you can add chocolate chips or fruit if you like. 

When you're frying the pancakes take care not to have the burner too high.

And that's it :)

Serve with lots of butter, maple syrup and fruit if you have it.  A sprinkle of cinnamon tastes great too. 

* If you mix it without the starch and gum be a little more careful in the frying pan as they will fall apart a little more.  They'll still taste great, but the texture will be a little different. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

27 Weeks

This pregnancy is just flying by!  It amazes me how easy it is to be distracted from this baby.  I will sometimes go for hours without noticing any movements.  Not that this baby is not active!  So far this baby seems to be just like all my other ones - lots of movement :) 

When we came home from our vacation it was as if I "popped" as the saying goes.  All of a sudden I felt very pregnant.  Up until then my belly was hidden in certain shirts, I wasn't too uncomfortable sleeping, or walking or bending.   Now sleeping can be difficult, it's becoming uncomfortable to bend over, to have a child on my lap while reading . . . Ah well.  Such is the way it goes when you are only about 3 months away.  I am becoming so excited to meet this little one!  I can hardly wait to introduce him/her to Chloe, Ben and Kara and see their reactions.  Chloe is so cute - she's always so careful when she hugs me so she "doesn't hurt the baby".  She makes sure she doesn't knock me off balance :)  Today in the store she says "Mom I miss you.   Do you know why I miss you even though I can see you?  It's because you're pregnant!"  Not sure exactly what she meant!  But she talks about the baby and my growing belly all the time.  She was made to be the biggest sister :) 

Chloe took this picture of me when we were visiting our bunnies this afternoon:)

Despite all the discomforts and aches and pains it is such a blessing to be able to carry new life.  It is such a gift and I treasure this time with my baby when it's just me and him/her.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

What's for Breakfast?

I have to say that being wheat-free breakfast has been one of the hardest meals to change.  If we all eat toast then we go through about a loaf every morning - and that means I have to make lots of wheat free bread! 

So for breakfast here's a few things that we've eaten lately:

  • pumpkin squares
  • pumpkin pie - made with spelt crust
  • peanut butter cookies
  • eggs & fried potatoes (this is my favourite and I eat it almost every day.  I've found that I just don't like sweet so much first thing in the morning)
  • omelets with peppers and ham (the ham is a post for another day!  If you know me you know how we usually avoid pork) This one TR eats when he's home for the morning.  
  • Almond coconut bars
  • Leftover pancakes 
  • Oatmeal with cream and maple syrup (with a little brown sugar sprinkled on top)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Wheat Free on Vacation

TR and I had a lovely 6 day vacation. We had a wonderful vacation and were able to relax and refresh. A lot of people where we live like to go where it's warm when they vacation - especially during our cold months. We're not like most people and so while we did travel south we didn't go where it was much warmer and that suited us just fine :)

 Traveling while nearly 6 months pregnant and unable to eat wheat was interesting, but actually much easier than I'd expected - for which I was very thankful!  The hardest was when we were driving.  Have you ever walked into a convenience store and noticed how much wheat is on the shelves?  Stopping by fast food isn't a very safe option either.  But I was able to find some things to eat.  A granola bar at one place, some healthier chips in another.  We stopped by a grocery store and picked up some cheese, fruit and gluten free salami.   I found the restaurants to be very accommodating.   Some even had gluten free written right in the menu!  One restaurant brought out gluten free bread to dip into oil/vinegar before our meal.  Another had a gluten free sandwich on their menu.  When I asked if there was any wheat in the meal I wanted, not one looked at me like they had no idea what I was talking about.  I enjoyed some very good meals and experienced nearly no stomach pains.  It was great!!  I am so thankful for all the people who have gone before me.  I know that not too long ago most people didn't understand Celiac (I don't have Celiac, just a wheat sensitivity) and it was extremely difficult to find food without gluten.   I am surely reaping the benefits!