Mother and Daughter

The difference in care was astonishing. I don't think the clinic doctor we saw is a bad guy. I don't think he is stupid. I just think he is about twenty-years behind the research institutions. We have to be our own healthcare advocates. We have to do our own research. We have to ask tough questions and READ. Healing is every bit as much a spiritual and mental game as it is a physical one. We have to believe we have the ability to heal.

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The Clean Gut Saga

At a friend's prompting I am blogging my way through 21 days to a Clean Gut. 
I have philosophical problems with this for several reasons. First, I think both blogging and cleansing are very self-centered endeavors. I was raised a Presbyterian. We work hard and put others before ourselves. Blogging and cleansing are very unnatural to me.

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Grain Brain Family Journey Pt 2

Here are some of the amazing things I have noticed about Cecelia’s food journey. At four, she understood that we were trying to change her food to make her feel better. In fact, she was on board with the idea. She didn’t like feeling bad all the time. The fourth day, I dropped her off at her grandparents’ for a few hours with a bag of food. I told them it was Mike’s idea to change her diet to lend the move some credibility, and thankfully, they didn’t say anything. When I picked her up Opa told me, “She was telling us how healthy food makes her happy.”

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Grain Brain Family Journey Pt 3

With food, I don’t serve her anything I really know she won’t eat, but she does not leave the table until it is eaten. The first few days were quite possibly the longest days of my life. Once she started eating everything on her plate, I added tiny bits of vegetables. I am talking a pinch of a carrot, a speck of a green bean, a crumb of broccoli.  And she couldn’t leave until she ate it. We are now up to half sized pieces of veggies. She voluntarily puts hands-full of spinach in her smoothies.

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Grain Brain Family Pt 4: Funk Out February

February has always been my funk out month. I hate being cold and by February I am sick of it. Today is the last day of February and I finally cried. My husband says it shows I need my meds. Maybe. Thanks to western medicine, I cry about four times a year. Usually, if I am off of an SSRI, I cry at least once a week. I have been off of medicine for five weeks and cried twice. Twice, off meds, in February - I am hopeful.

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Much Overdue Grain Brain Family Update

I don't think it was the change in food that "fixed" her. It was certainly a big part. Cecelia was existing on carbs and sugars prior to our change. White rice, chicken nuggets, breakfast bars, apple sauce. That was about it. I didn't realize how unhealthy she was, despite the vitamins we fed her daily. We thought it was a phase. We thought she would grow out of it. We thought the dark circles under her eyes were genetic, even though no one else in the family has them. She is the third child, and we were tired.

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Breathing New Life into Easter

I was worried about Easter this year, though. With our family's health journey, Easter would not be what it used to be. Easter is the last of the sugar holidays starting with Halloween. We skipped all eight of the community egg hunts and the Easter party at school. But I knew we couldn't get around church and I wanted my kids to love Easter like I always had growing up. 

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Brain Grain Family Update

I wanted to give an update on our Brain Grain Family Journey. I was reminded about how it started six months ago from talking with three separate folks who have been courageous enough to take this journey with their own families recently. It makes my decision to share our family trials publicly seem worth while when I know it has inspired others to make hard changes. I'm sure when my children realize what I have done as teenagers, they will not agree.

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Making Healthy Meals Happen

Making Healthy Meals Happen

Because I don't cook well, I don't know things like mixing the wet ingredients together first before you add them to the dry ingredients matters. Substituting different gluten-free flours means different measurements. I don't know how to cut a lemon restaurant style. I don't know that letting something cool completely if the recipes calls for it means the difference between success and a total flop. I am learning, but these things mostly require patience, of which I am in in short supply.

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Changes

We are like that poor child on the news who bawled for his abusive mother as well-meaning protectors took him away. We choose pain, harmful relationships, and disease because we know them. We believe in our fast food, our desserts, our alcohol, our pills, our big spending, our bad attitudes, our diagnoses, our prejudices, our search for more, our numbing comforts, and or justified selves more than we believe in the life that could exist without them. For those of us who try and be faithful, we don't really want a life without the things we control. We may believe in God, but we don't believe in that life. It couldn't possibly be better that what we create on our own. Could it?

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Be Brave

Thank God for my children. If I hadn't had the sheer panic of motherhood thrown on me, I am sure I would look like the lady who hangs out by the gas station where I pump gas. I'm not sure if she works there, or if she has deemed herself some unofficial smoker-greeter, or what her deal is. But there she is, waving at me and talking through her exhale and wrinkles every time I stop to fill up, reminding me of my alter-future.

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Travel with Food Allergies

It wasn't so much that we couldn't find things that were healthy, it was the sheer overload of things that weren't. I swear 90% of the food was saw had gluten or sugar in it. My husband and boys went crazy! They were so happy to be away from our normal diet that I am surprised one didn't end up in a coma. Max saved forty dollars for the trip and spent every last bit on cotton candy, Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, and Skittles. I watched him thinking my parenting attempts may have backfired in a big way.

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The List

People feel bad when I say we have to eat gluten free because of Cecelia's allergies. I used to feel bad for us too! But here are some of the things the things that have disappeared from our life since we changed our diet: allergies, eczema, depression, and a sensory disorder. Do I want a loaf of french bread with my soup? Of corse I do. But do I want those health issues to return as a trade off? No bread is that good.

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Women's Wellness

Women's Wellness

It is that time again! The very first weekend retreat we hosted when The Homestead opened its doors was The Women's Wellness Retreat. We are about to host our third and I start to get this exciting feeling in my stomach at the beginning of January just thinking about reconnecting with women in such a special way. This blog post is from Mandi Sanders, a natural family educator and herbalist who has taught workshops at The Homestead since it started.

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