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Archive for September, 2010

I can’t quit you…

I gave up drinking alcohol about three years ago–no problem. Drinking too much red wine after Ella was born, I was waking up too often with a headache and feeling like crap.  I’ve had no problem with cravings or slip ups with alcohol, I feel and see the benefits of not drinking. I wake up feeling great, my nose is not always stuffy, my head is always clear, I’ve lost weight and our dinner bill when we dine out is so much cheaper. Why can’t I quit sugar and dairy??

I have been seeing the same nutritionist as Ella https://juliepeoplesclark.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/remarkable/ for the past six weeks. She has made a  huge difference in Ella’s overall health with dietary changes, quite remarkable changes. I wanted to see what changes she would have me make in my diet. No surprise here, eliminate dairy and sugar. Overall my health is very good, I eat well, exercise everyday and feel very little stress. However, I always feel– hummm…. not so great when I eat dairy and sugar. Dairy hurts my stomach (and effects a few other things, but that would be TMI to talk about here) and sugar gives me a headache. BUT… I LOVE CHEESE AND CHOCOLATE! One of my nephew’s spelling words last week was cheese. His homework was to write sentences for each spelling word, his sentence for cheese was, “My Aunt loves cheese.” It’s true! and I love all kinds the stinky most expensive kind and the crap that comes out of a can (although I don’t eat the crap anymore–that was my college munchies days.) This cheese habit started very early with me. When I was a kid I ate so many American cheese slices each day that I hid the evidence by stuffing the wrappers in our family’s couch. After I moved out to attend college my Mom found thousands of cheese wrappers that I hid in shame and my ugly secret was exposed. Sugar, I am not quite as addicted to, but every few days I fall off the no sugar wagon. I was doing really well abstaining from sugar and dairy until this past weekend, Friday night I had homemade mac and cheese and an ice cream cone, then Saturday I went to a friend’s birthday party and had a pretty large piece of an amazing flourless chocolate cake and ice cream, then Sunday, I don’t even want to talk about Sunday–Let’s just say nachos were involved. With all that said starting Monday I went back on the no sugar/no dairy wagon, let’s see how far I travel this time.

Ella eats so well, sugar and dairy have never touched her lips. Her skin and hair are beautiful and her digestion and elimination are right on track. She never whines about the lack of cheese and chocolate in her diet. Once again Ella is my teacher, my guru ( https://juliepeoplesclark.wordpress.com/yoga-and-healing/.)

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Ella has a friend who also has cerebral palsy, she is very limited in her mobility like Ella, however she does speak a few words. Mostly, she says four words Hi and I love you. She is very sweet and always says I love you at the appropriate, most perfect time—-the time when you need to hear I love you (when is it not a good time to hear I love you?). I was thinking about how these words became her first and only.  It makes perfect sense when I think about the amount of times a day I tell Ella that I love her and I am sure Ella’s friend’s Mom does the same thing.  Dave and I  have never spoken a harsh word to Ella and  are always expressing our love and appreciation to each other in front of Ella. Ella is surrounded by love, her cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends at school only express love and kindness to her. At times it has been quite painful for me to think about the fact that I will never hear Ella call me mom or tell me that she loves me. But meeting Ella’s friend has brought me some resolve. Ella is extremely expressive, you can see the love and joy all ever her face. She doesn’t need to say it, I know she loves me. When I look at the harmful and at times hateful images on TV and in our world it is so nice to know that there are perfect loving beings like Ella and her friend who are filled with and give unconditional love and trust.

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Since February, when Ella had pneumonia she has been suffering with colds and allergies. Every other week she would get a cold and was always dealing with lots and lots of mucus. She has been on antibiotics three times since February for sinus infections. Prior to this year, she went 7 years without antibiotics. The antibiotics would clear up the infections and mucus for about a week and then it would be back again and the cycle would continue. If we took Ella into the woods, to the beach, or anywhere where allergens were high the mucus would build up, she would suffer with her breathing leading to a sinus infection. Our pediatrician tried her best to help Ella, she prescribed the antibiotics, Flonase, Singular and was going to send us to an Allergist at the hospital (who most likely would prescribe Ella Flonse and Singular.) Something just didn’t seem right, I felt like we kept doing the same things to help Ella and were expecting different results. Isn’t that one definition of insanity? I had a feeling that the extra mucus and inflammation was due to something she was eating. Ella’s diet is very healthy and pretty limited, so what could it be?

I started doing research on food allergies, inflammation, and nutrition. I read about Nutrition Response Testing. Nutrition Response Testing is an analysis used to determine exactly which nutrients you need in order for your body to heal itself. Nutritional deficiencies and imbalances lead to a breakdown in the immune system and a loss of the ability to cope with environmental stresses, chemical, microbial or otherwise. Nutrition Response Testing utilizes muscle strength testing to find weakness in neurological and organ reflexes. The doctor determines the exact cause of the weakness and which nutrients are needed to support your body in healing. This approach provides a healing program specific to your body’s needs. I found  Dr. Suzy Harris http://www.cedarwood-chiropractic.com/nutrition.shtml a chiropractor in our area who practices Nutrition Response Testing. We took Ella to see Dr. Harris and have been seeing her every week for the past 5 weeks. Through the testing we figured out that Ella was having a sensitivity to several things in the environment and her diet, the big ones being sugar, oatmeal and sweet potato. Sugar not a big deal, Ella hardly gets any sugar. But  NOOOOOOO!  Not Sweet Potato and Oatmeal! Two of the staples of Ella’s diet since we started feeding her solid foods as a baby. Sweet potato has been my savior–I always knew that I could get Ella to eat anything as long as I mixed it with sweet potato–chicken, fish, kale, peas and broccoli. And Oatmeal has been our filler for everything. Ella’s food is blended with water to ensure proper fluid intake, and we use baby oatmeal to get the mixture to the desired consistency. The sweet potato was pretty easy to cut out but the oatmeal left us at a loss. So the experimenting began…we tried flax meal—to grainy, hemp powder—made the food taste like dirt, nutritional yeast— not the right consistency and worried about uric acid build up. Now you can understand my lack of blog posts recently. Then we found it!  Quinoa flakes! It is a gluten free breakfast cereal, we grind it up into a powder and cook it with Ella’s food as we heat it and it’s the perfect filler. So finally we got Ella off of oats and sweet potato and the change in her health so far is pretty remarkable. The reduction in the amount of mucus she has been producing is (let me say it again) remarkable. You can just tell she feels better, she is always pretty happy, but now she feels good too. We have been to the beach and outside a lot this week and the difference in her breathing is (again) remarkable.

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