Happy Halloween!

Kaelyn was unrecognizable this year as a vampire. She thoroughly enjoyed trying to scare people. :)
You would think a kid with extreme food allergies would dislike Halloween, but not this kiddo. It didn't bother her at all. She was fine with her own special treats at school and had LOTS of fun handing out candy to other kids.
Hope you had a great Halloween!


Quick Self Allergy Test

Sorry, this is a wordy post, but had to share my experience. In the last post I touched on the subject that I found I had even more allergies than I previously knew about. I started the day by feeling the size of the lump in my neck. I do this regularly. I've had it for about a year and a half. The doctors wanted to cut it out and biopsy it but I had the strong feeling that I could overcome it naturally. The doctor who wanted to cut it out was clueless about gut health and how the whole body works together, so it was an easy decision for me to not return. After getting real strict with my diet and only eating Candida friendly foods that I believed were safe I really felt like I could heal myself. Well on this particular morning I still felt the lump there, yes, it has gone down significantly in size, (it used to be like the size of a gumball and now was about pea size) but I was frustrated it was still there after working so hard. I openly said, "God, why is this lump still there? What am I doing wrong? Please show me!!!" Then I went on with my day. That afternoon I was making a loaf of bread that I thought was working really well for my daughter and I. It was egg, dairy (cow), gluten, wheat, nut, nightshade and yeast free. When I was scooping the batter into the pan I decided to try a dab to see how it tasted. Who doesn't like to try dough/batter when they are baking? :) Anyway, I guess I was being messy and the batter dripped down my lip and went onto the skin below my lip. Not thinking much of it and I just wiped my lip and continued getting the bread dough in the oven. Not long after I felt my lip/skin getting itchy. A few minutes go by, and it is still bothering. I go to the bathroom and see that my skin is red, inflamed and it is still itchy. It hits me that something in the batter does not like me. Oh no! What can it be? I thought everything was safe that I was using. I do not like bland food. When I make food, I tend to go spice happy and add other foods that will give bursts of flavor. So my bread is no plain bread. My first thought was it was the goat yogurt I put in this batch (a newish food brought back) so I decided to put a dab of it on my lip/skin area that hadn't been inflamed by the dough batter. Nothing happened, so I proceeded to try the rest of the ingredients I had used. I gave plenty of time between each item to see if something would happen. Sure enough, when I came to ginger, my lip stung like crazy and my skin turned red. It didn't stop until I washed it off. When my skin returned to normal I continued with testing to see if there was anything else. (the gluten free flours, onion, garlic, other seasonings...) Cinnamon and oregano also reacted. I use oregano in EVERYTHING! I love it for flavor. I was not happy at all. At first I was thinking, God, I've already taken out soooo many foods and now this?! I gave up sugar, my seasonings were my replacement to get by and now I have to take these out too??? I felt like breaking down. I started to think if I had one more reaction to food I would completely lose it. It is NO easy task giving up all your favorite foods (favorite foods back then anyway) and then when you find out you react to things that are supposedly healthy, it isn't easy to take. My daughter was freaked out when she came home and saw I had an allergic reaction to cinnamon. She loves cinnamon and uses it often and we were both worried she would react the same way since we have so many of the same health problems. But praise the Lord she didn't react!!! To be honest I had a small pity party for myself. Then I realized God had answered my prayer that I had spoke that morning. When I asked why my neck lump was still there. He showed me! He had guided me to figure it out! How amazing was that?! I was filled with hope pretty quickly. The next day when Kaelyn asked if I was still sad and upset about the seasonings I couldn't have, I said no. I really felt like everything was going to be fine. I had a sense of peace that came over me and I didn't have any more negative feelings about it. God is good!
I had been shown a pretty simple way to test for allergies. Not sure why I didn't think of it sooner as when Kaelyn was a baby she would also break out in rashes from foods she ate that got on her skin first. We should have known right away to remove milk and egg from her diet right away when we saw those signs, but silly us, I think we were in a bit of denial and waited for official tests from the doctors that ended up showing what we already knew.
A ways into my own health struggles I really wanted my doctor to do allergy tests on me. She wouldn't. She said they are unreliable, that doing your own elimination food tests are a better route to go. I wasn't too happy at the time, because I wanted something fast and simple to tell me what I couldn't/shouldn't have. I had already done my own 2 week elimination diet of main food categories and knew several foods I responded poorly to. My doctor wanted me to retest all foods again but leave them out for 3 weeks and gradually reintroduce one at a time again. Well I got the same results by doing just the 2 week elimination and then gradually adding one back at a time. I can go into more depth on that process in another post if someone is interested.
Back to the easiest test we found, not saying it will work for everyone or for all kinds of allergy testing but it is certainly an easy one to try for a first stage test. Just mix a dry ingredient with a tiny bit of water and put on your lip and down into the skin below, no need to add water if it is a liquid. If you get a stinging and itching sensation that won't go away with red inflammation, you aren't reacting well to it and should remove the food for a good amount of time. Your body can heal itself so the good news is if it is a good healthy food that you are reacting to, in time you should be able to bring it back into your diet. Your gut health just needs time to restrengthen and heal.
Here is a picture of me about an hour and a half after one of my reactions, I think this one was from the oregano...
The inflammation had looked quite a bit worse but I didn't think to take a photo until it was going away. This is me in the all natural by the way, no editing, no make up... I hadn't even done my hair that day. Who has time for that? :) Really I don't care what I look like in the photo I just wanted to share my experience in hopes it will help someone else figure out their offending foods.

My learning doesn't end there. After my allergy testing experience I was a little worried about other foods I may be eating that I may be allergic to and not know it. Well, thank the Lord for his nudging in my life because he led me to the most amazing revelation. After Jesus died for us, he gave us His Holy Spirit to live in each and every one of us, right? And I guess I was originally thinking that was how He guides us, which is true but the part I was missing is just how powerful He is and ALL the things He can help us do. God is the most powerful, the number one HEALER and He lives in ME and you!!! It really hit me, I don't need to take anymore evil going on in my body. The Lord lives in me and can overcome it! I just have to believe, trust, and remember what all Jesus did for me (and everyone else) on the cross. I can allow my body to let the Holy Spirit overcome any sickness, disease, or other negativity in my body.  I don't know about you but that sure got me excited! And guess what, my neck lump is almost gone!!! So, so thankful! I strongly encourage you to turn to the Lord when you think a struggle in your life is too strong. Give it up to Him to overcome. I will go into more depth on my revelation soon.


What we ate Wednesday { for Health }

{ beet greens and stems }
It wasn't very long ago my mom called and asked if I could eat beet greens. I had never tried them before and when I looked up information on them it looked like I should be able to. So I decided to make a veggie dish by sauteing them with zucchini, yellow summer squash, kale, fresh parsley, garlic and onion. It turned out so good! Even my six year old loved the dish! That is one good thing about all our health issues/allergies, it pushes us to try new foods, to eat veggies we normally wouldn't and for the most part we end up really enjoying them. Beet greens and stems will definitely stay on our menu list. :) Thank you mom for sharing your veggies!

So onto what we ate this last week; hope it inspires you in the kitchen:

Wednesday: Lunch-homemade ground chicken sausage and bone broth soup, Supper-goose and gravy on homemade bread
Thursday: fresh caught goose (from my dad) with sauteed greens veggie dish (liked described above)
Friday: cooked veggie mix with bone broth in creamed zucchini soup, homemade bread
Saturday: Breakfast-teff porridge (second attempt on making this, this one turned out good!), Lunch-opened face homemade bread with chunks of goose and veggie cream sauce, Supper-chicken breasts, sauteed broccoli with a drizzle of lemon juice
Sunday: Breakfast-K had leftover teff porridge, I had homemade chicken sausage with avocado and sauerkraut, Lunch- Salmon grilled on cedar (by hubby) with lemon drizzle and browned asparagus, Supper-opened face homemade bread with chunks of goose and veggie cream sauce leftovers
Monday: chicken, cooked cauliflower/spinach/fresh parsley mix
Tuesday: creamed spinach with ground turkey

Like last week, breakfast usually consisted of goat kefir or goat yogurt, homemade chicken sausage and veggies, or meat/veggie leftovers. I had salmon and veggies a few mornings which was delicious! Love Hubby's Sunday grilling! K likes to have certified gluten free oatmeal a few mornings out of the week. Lunch for Kaelyn and I consists of leftovers reheated on the stove. I heat Kaelyns before school and she takes it in a thermos.

My crazy health journey continues as I found out I have even more allergies. Seriously!?! You probably are thinking what else is left to take out after the long list of foods I already can't have. Well seasonings, ginger, cinnamon and oregano are all out for me. I'll admit I was NOT a happy camper when I found that out... the hard way. More to come about that in the next post. I keep on learning, not always willingly...



for so much. Praise the Lord for all He has done and is doing!
{Grandma Shari grew a little pumpkin patch and let Kaelyn pick one for Halloween. She chose the biggest.}
Fall ~ Welcoming the change of seasons. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE summer and the heat but I'm also enjoying the colorful trees, the crisp fallen leaves, and the brisk fresh air. Kaelyn is also getting excited for the quickly approaching holidays.

Sunday Morning Bible Study ~ We are working through Lifeguide's Forgiveness, Making Peace with the Past by Douglas Connelly which is really pushing me to think differently about situations and is opening my heart. It is GOOD.

Healing ~ I've been feeling so much better. I'm seeing some of my health prayers being answered which is sooo exciting. For most it would be little things taken for granted but in my world they are big improvements and I am so thankful! Praying they continue and there aren't more setbacks.

Growth ~ Kaelyn has grown up so much. She helps cut and peel veggies in the kitchen, is taking BB target shooting lessons with her dad, reading complicated stories for a first grader and is loving and doing so well in school. So proud of my kiddo. :)

Holy COW ~ K started attending church school on Wednesdays and is loving it. She wishes it was everyday. I understand why Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Mathew 19:14 It is fun watching her faith grow.

Apple picking ~ Great mother/daughter time together and we get to visit Kaelyn's great grandma and spend time with her. There was a negative that came when I was throwing a fallen apple and got stung by a bee. I hadn't seen the bee in the apple but K did. At first I thought Buggers! I am not thankful for that happening to me, but after thinking about it a bit, I was. I was thankful it hadn't stung Kaelyn or my grandma who is 91 and allergic to them. She is regularly picking up the fallen apples with bees in them. This was the first time being stung and boy did the sting last a long time. Maybe part of the stinger is still in me? Oh well, we all learned to be more careful around the fallen apples. None of us thought the funny looking bees would actually sting. Another lesson learned, ANYTHING is possible.

Kite Flying ~ We had nice fall weather this last weekend. It was windy but that made for great kite flying. What age doesn't like flying kites??? K was delighted!

{daddy daughter time}

{She would get so excited to see how well she shot.}

What are you thankful for?


What we ate Wednesday {for Health}

Every so often I will try and share one of our weeks menus with you. Hopefully this post will help inspire food planning for someone trying to eat healthier, working on overcoming illnesses through food, or maybe it will just give an insight to what we eat to those who are curious. :)

Here is what we ate this last week...
{allergy free pumpkin spice pancakes}
{Kaelyn likes hers topped with ghee, cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of stevia. I choose pumpkin butter and cinnamon.}
Wednesday: duck, salad, sauteed broccoli
Thursday: cabbage casserole
Friday: ground beef in bone broth soup with homemade allergy free bread
Saturday: Breakfast-pancakes, Lunch-chicken breasts and sauteed veggie mix (zucchini, summer squash, beet greens, kale & onions), Supper-beef roast and candied green beans
Sunday: Breakfast-leftover pancakes heated in the toaster on low, Lunch-grilled hamburgers & hotdogs done by hubby (I don't eat the hotdogs) with sauerkraut & avocado and candied green beans, Supper-liver and onions with sauerkraut and avocado and sauteed veggie mix
Monday: goose, cooked beet greens and kale dish
Tuesday: roast, candied green beans, fotatoes (cooked cauliflower that tastes like potatoes)

Breakfast usually consists of goat kefir, homemade chicken sausage and veggies, or meat/veggie leftovers. K likes to have certified gluten free oatmeal a few mornings out of the week. Lunch for Kaelyn and I consists of leftovers reheated on the stove. I heat Kaelyns before school and she takes it in a thermos.

*When on my strict Candida diet I did not eat any form of grains or drink much goat kefir, but otherwise this is a similar list of meals I ate during those months. Just recently I added in the homemade bread and pancakes and so far they have been going good. (Praying they continue to!) I make up my own recipes using mainly buckwheat and teff.

If anyone has questions or would like more info about something please ask. I'd be glad to share! Happy Wednesday!


Friday Favorites {Good Books}

The majority of books read in our household are kid books but every once in awhile I get around to reading something... usually about health or faith. 
Here are a few of our recent favorites that we recommend:
Quiet Times with God ~ for kids; we read Bible stories every night before bed. This has been our favorite so far. Even I look forward to what the next verse and reading will be.

The English Roses by Madonna ~ fantastic girly book; super fun illustrations and the story is wonderful and heartfelt. The story teaches about not judging others; you never know what someone is dealing with in their life. I would highly recommend for any girl age 5 to around 12.

Twelve Ordinary Men ~ This was recommended in our church class last year and I bought it for my Grandma. She read it and thought it was good and loaned it back to me to read. I have only a few pages left. The book shares information on how the twelve disciples chosen by Jesus really weren't much different from you or me. I love how it reminds us that God uses perfectly ordinary people in remarkable ways, we only have to trust and be faithful.

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration~ An eye opening book about a dentist who really wanted to know why some people had good teeth and others didn't. He went all over to research what people ate and what their structure and teeth looked like. The book really tells how much nutrition impacts our health. You will not be surprised why there are so many more illnesses today after reading this book.

After looking for the book a few times at Barnes and Noble and having no luck, I found the pdf online for free! So happy about that. If you are interested in reading it, click HERE.

Happy reading!