Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"You're Going To Prove Me Wrong"

"You're Going to Prove Me Wrong" - Seriously I couldn't help but smile at hearing those words out of the doctor's mouth today.  He was thrilled with how well our oldest is doing. 

That came on the heals of yesterday's doctor giving him a clean bill of health and saying that unless something changes he doesn't need to see him for a month.

I know we still have such a long way to go.  There are still issues and medical concerns to deal with and there may be relapses with but it has now been over 2 weeks with no medication and he's doing fabulous.

So for today I'm again focusing on how far we have come instead of how long we still have to go.  It's going to be a long journey but progress is being made and that makes me smile.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Moderation & Focusing on Progress not Perfection

Moderation in all things.

Progress not perfection.

Those are the things I keep telling myself.

I've spent so much time lately researching health and nutrition and have found myself so overwhelmed and honestly quite confused. Everything I read is often so convincing but in direct contradiction with the convincing thing I had just read.

What perplexes me more than anything currently is grain and meat.

Good or Bad?

I have a friend with celiac's disease so for her obviously most grains are bad. But what about for the average person. Much of what I've read says that grain is not good at all if it has been refined which I totally believe but much of what I read also say it's not good for most people. Yet the Word of Wisdom calls it the Staff of Life so how to reconcile that?

And meat - how to define sparingly? I've read books on vegetarianism and books on the Paleo diet which are totally opposites and yet they both make perfect sense to me.  But they both seem to contradict the word of wisdom in my opinion. There is nothing sparingly about eating meat at every meal and the Word of Wisdom clearly states that there are times to eat meat.

So for now I've just had to go back to the saying Moderation In All Things since I can't come to a decision that makes sense to me other than that.

I'm trying hard to focus on our progress instead of being such a perfectionist.  We are eating much healthier than we were 2 months ago.  We are making progress and I'm trying to look at the good instead of all that is still lacking.  But honestly it is all so overwhelming to me it is quite frustrating to me right now.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

2 Steps Forward - 1 Step Back

How I wish I always knew what to do...

One thing I'm fairly certain of is that yeast is a huge problem for most people.  With the overuse of antibiotics and the refined, sugar filled foods we eat I think most of have some sort of yeast overgrowth issues.  At least this is true for my family.

This week I started our oldest son the yeast beaters cleanse.  The first attempt to get him to take it was not pretty.  The stuff tastes nasty!   I tried it before giving it to him and seriously it is horrible.  He took one mouthful of the juice I made him and he gaged and spewed it everywhere.  There was no way I could make him take it again.  So I opted to put the powder into capsules and have him swallow it.  I'm sure it is not as effective this way or they wouldn't make people endure drinking the nasty stuff but I paid good money for the stuff and wasn't going to have it go to waste.

The next day my son had a horrible day.  Seriously the worst he's had in a while.  His tic was back and he was irritable and ornery and anxious and he didn't sleep well.  I was sick thinking I would have to put him back on medication.  I was so discouraged and really feeling quite distraught. It took me a while to put 2 and 2 together to come up with 4.  I had a good cry and then it finally hit me - yeast die-off.  I had been warned by Shari of The Enlightened Homemaker - at least I think it was her who warned me that things get pretty bad when yeast die off occurs and many people quit.  So I cut back a little on what I was giving him and he started to improve.  I'll give him a day or two to rest and then we'll up the dose again and see what happens.

Another week of trial and error but I'm thankful we are in such a better place than where we were 2 months ago.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Book Review: Sweet Deception by Joseph Mercola

Sweet Deception: Why Splenda, NutraSweet, and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health

Most people believe that sucralose (Splenda) is a perfectly safe artificial sweetener. Big business and the FDA have fostered that dangerous misconception. The truth is Splenda is by no means safe; and the same is true for many of the other artificial sweeteners being marketed today. Dr. Joseph Mercola---supported by extensive studies and research---exposes the fact that Splenda actually contributes to a host of serious diseases. Sweet Deception will lay out how the FDA really works for big food companies and should not be trusted when it comes to your health.

As you know we've been off sugar for nearly a month.  I admit I had a couple small pieces of candy while babysitting the other day. It was a total stressed out overtired emotional eating breakdown.  But I kept it in control and only had a little. I allowed the kids to put a little real maple syrup on their pancakes and we put some honey on some dry, tasteless gluten free cornbread that I made. 

There are times when it is necessary to sweeten something so I gleaned a lot from this book.   For quite a while I've told my kids I would rather they ate sugar instead of an artificial sweetener.  This book reaffirmed that belief.   Although natural sweeteners are better than artificial ones they too cause a whole host of health problems.  Although we've never consumed much in the way of artificial sweeteners I'll be going out of my way to avoid them in the future and doing my best to limit all sweeteners in general.

On that note my kids just came home with "all natural" snow cones that had no sugar in them.   That didn't sound right to me so I went over to the neighbors to look at the bottle of sweetener.  Aspartame and Acesulfame Potassium were both on the ingredient label along with a host of other ingredients I didn't recognize and couldn't say.   The snow cone my thoughtful daughter brought home for my oldest son got dumped down the sink and my kids were told no more snow cones at the neighbors.  If they've got to have a snow cone then I'll get them some juice for next time.

My son came home from school listing off 3 different things he didn't eat today.  There is less than a week of school left and the celebrating has started.  Celebration in the form of sugary treats.  Thank goodness for the reward of Disneyland that is just a week away and I'm so proud of my kids for resisting the sugar!

If you are interested in learning more about artificial sweeteners then give this book a try.  If you can't or won't live without your diet Coke then perhaps skip this book because you won't like what it has to say.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

My husband & I watched this video yesterday. It was so convincing I'm afraid my kids are going to be quite disappointed at the end of our no sugar month. Sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup will not be making a reappearance in our home.

Here is what my take aways were:

Drink only water - he did say water or milk but we no longer drink milk - milk is for baby cows not humans - until recently I was unaware that most of the world does not drink milk.  We've given it up except for turning it into Kefir, the kids still drink it elsewhere but not in our house.

Eat your carbohydrates with fiber. The more fiber the better.

Wait 20 minutes before having a second portion.

Exercise - Make them earn their screen time minute for minute.

My favorite quote from the movie: "When God made the poison, he packed it with the antidote" - in reference to fructose being the poison and fiber being the antidote.

Our oldest had a pear this morning but the other kids all ate school breakfast this morning which I'm sure was full of sugar and unhealthy foods and I'm sure they drank some of their milk. 9 more days of school and then I'll have a little more control over their diets. I've compromised and let them have school lunch until the school year ends but they are not eating the dessert.  This morning we were running late and my kitchen was a mess - last night our kitchen sink stopped draining so I couldn't get the dishes done.  With as much cooking from scratch as I've been doing I can't believe how many dishes I have to do.  3 loads and their are still dishes in the sink!

For breakfast today my husband and I had green smoothies made from:

1 carrot
1 mango
1 pineapple
1 banana

It tasted great. I then added some blackberries to turn it purple so the kids would drink the left overs after school. There is something that is just unappetizing to them about drink a cup of green sludge.  It no longers bothers me but the first few times I had to psych myself up to drink it.  Thank goodness for blackberries because the kids will drink purple smoothies without much complaint.

I've never been much of a raw vegetable fan. Not my favorite thing but I'm learning to like them. Lunch today was a left over smoothie and a green salad with romaine, spinach, tomatoes, celery, broccoli, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. It actually tasted really good to me. I put a little ranch on a plate and just dipped the ends of my fork in it. I used barely any of the dressing. I still need to come up with replacement salad dressings but just haven't had the time or energy to do so yet. Considering the fact that I didn't even eat salad as a child and until recently Caesar Salad or salad from the Olive Garden was about the only kind of salad I really enjoyed I think I'm doing great.

Dinner tonight is supposed to be a modified Mexican Chef Salad but I just looked at the bottle of Thousand Island which is made from Soybean Oil and High Fructose Corn Syrup :( We'll probably have it anyway and hope that all the fiber from the salad portion cancels out the poison from the HFCS.  I should probably be more dedicated and just throw the bottle away and come up with something else for dinner but the salad is already cut up so I'll likely be a slacker on this one.

On another note I put our microwave out in the garage. I'll eventually replace it with a toaster/convection oven. My son went to heat up a bowl of oatmeal last night and wasn't sure how to do it without the microwave. He learned how to make it on the stove instead. I've read all the controversy over microwaves being good or bad and decided since we are trying to eat as much raw food as we can it would be better to just get rid of it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rough Start - Great Finish

Despite the fact that this morning my son stubbornly refused to take any vitamins, minerals or supplements today was a great day.  Why? Because he refused to take anything a sure sign that he is back to being a typical teenager who thinks his mother doesn't know a thing.
Nothing I said would convince him that he needed to take his vitamins and supplements. I was so frustrated. My husband brought it into perspective by asking if it would really matter if he missed one day. Well I guess not... but he's been doing so well I didn't want to change anything we've been doing but it really wasn't worth the power struggle so I backed off.

By the end of the day he ended up willing taking his vitamins. Why? Because he wanted me to make spaghetti for dinner. So we made a deal - he took his supplements and agreed to do so all week without complaint and I made spaghetti for dinner. Don't tell him but I think I got the better end of the deal.

Another reason why today was a great day... I can't tell you the last time my son took a nap except for the times he was turned into a zombie from his medication. My other teenage son takes naps all the time but my oldest never has. My oldest son came home from church today and went to lay in bed while I was making lunch. It was 3 hours later before he emerged. And he's already in bed tonight. Seriously sleep or the lack of it has been such a huge stress around here it is such a blessing to have getting sleep.

Another positive thing - My son has never liked to be touched. Our youngest daughter is the only person he usually willing lets give him a hug - probably because she's the "baby". It's been hard on our other daughter because he seems to play favorites with our youngest. The past week he's given our oldest daughter a hug each night at bedtime when she asks for one. Tonight she asked for a hug and he gave her one along with a kiss on the cheek. Silly to have such a simple thing bring tears to my eyes but it did. Our oldest daughter had the hugest smile on her face. Another thing - backrubs. Who doesn't like to have their backrubbed or scratched? Our oldest son hasn't liked it for a long time, perhaps he liked it when he was younger but instead of relaxing him it has just annoyed him. But that too has changed, he now willingly accepts an invitation for a back scratch.

I feel a lot like the story of the frog in boiling water. I just kept swimming around not realizing the water was boiling and thing were not well. But hindsight is 20/20 and when you are living with something you don't understand it is hard to know that something isn't right. I'm so amazed what a change in diet and some vitamin & mineral supplements have done.

Here is an interesting thing from Our son's blood work. When we got the bloodwork back I feared his Vitamin D level would be too high. We had been supplementing him with 5,000 IUs which is more than double the recommended daily limit. But our research had lead us to believe he was Vitamin D deficient. When his blood work came back his Vitamin D levels were half what they should be. I have no clue how low they were a couple months back but I'm sure they were way too low and much of what he suffered was due to his deficiency in Vitamin D as well as I'm sure deficiencies in several other vitamins & minerals. After talking to a specialist at the U of U the pediatrician is going to rerun all the bloodwork next month along with a couple additional tests. It will be interesting to see what has changed.

Word of Wisdom Do's & Don'ts

In my what seems to be never ending quest to learn more about health, nutrition and disease today's google search was a "diet based on the word of wisdom". I came across some really interesting discussions and information. The Word of Wisdom: The Forgotten Verses. For most of my life obeying the word of wisdom has simply been the don'ts - no coffee, no tea, no tobacco, no drugs, etc. I've never really focused on the Do's of the Word of Wisdom as part of obeying the word of wisdom.

There has been quite a learning curve in the past month in our house. Due to the never ending contradictory amount of information it's hard to know what to do. We've tried to follow Dr. Mercola's nutrition plan but here is my problem with his plan - meat is most definitely not used "sparingly" in his plan - it is used at every meal which seems to be in direct contradiction to the word of wisdom. We've looked into Gluten Free and Casein Free Diets. I have concluded that cutting out milk, especially pasteurized milk is a wise choice for us. But can't seem to wrap my mind around needing to give up wheat because it is specifically mentioned in the Word of Wisdom as being for man. I am really stumped on this one because much of the research being done suggests the need to give up gluten for gut healing. For now it's not a "staple" in our diet but we are still eating some wheat just much less than we typically eat and it's all fresh ground whole wheat.

Here are some quotes that I've been thinking about:

President Heber J. Grant stated, "I think that another reason I have very splendid strength for an old man is that during the years we have had a cafeteria... I have not, with exception of not more than a dozen times, ordered meat of any kind. ...I have endeavored to live the Word of Wisdom and that, in my opinion, is one reason for my good health." (Conference Report, April 1937, p. 15)

Gordon B. Hinckley, admonished, "We must observe the Word of Wisdom. As we read our newspapers, as we watch the television news, these remarkable words first spoken in 1833 come to life before our very eyes...People are becoming more health conscious. We have a running start on the world, a code so simple and easily understood." (Ensign, November 1997, pg. 69)

Here is my conclusion for the day.... moderation in all things. No we are not going completely vegetarian but we are going to eat meat much more sparingly than we have. I'm trying to keep our diet as close to a natural state as I possibly can - eating foods the way God created them instead of how man has altered and refined them. My library book requests today were all for books on Living the Word of Wisdom.

A New Adventure - Welcome to the World of Nutritional Healing

My sister-in-law recently asked my brother if I was ok.  Why?  Because I was not blogging anymore more.  There are many reasons why I haven't been blogging as much.  I actually had been blogging quite a bit but it was on my book blog.  I was really enjoying book blogging until one of my children got sick about 3 months ago.  Then all my time and energy went to him and trying to figure out how to help him.  There were just not enough hours in the day and something had to go... reading for pleasure and blogging went.

What exactly was wrong with my son ... no one really knows.  He has not slept well in a really long time.  At least a year and a half and probably closer to two years.  Personally I believe lack of sleep brought on his recent health issues.  When you don't get enough sleep, especially as a growing teenager it can cause a lot of problems.  But what was causing the lack of sleep? medical illness, mental illness, a combination of both?  What brought on those conditions?

What do you do when medical doctors don't have the answers and their only solution is to put your child on medication, medication that doesn't cure but just treats the symptoms.  Medication that has horrible side effects and when one medication isn't doing the job they add another one. Medications that costs $1600 a month that we have to pay 25% of making out portion $400 a month. Oh and by the way we should tell you that the medication is known to cause diabetes and often causes uncontrollable weight gain no matter how healthy you eat and a host of other symptoms as well but sorry your child needs to be on this medication possibly for life.  What do you do.... you find a new doctor!  One who is willing to work with you to find the cause, not just mask the symptoms.

What else do you do?  Well if you are like my husband & I you read and study and pray and read some more and have faith that things will turn out ok in the end.

We are LDS.  I have a very strong testimony and belief in God.  I was given a blessing that said as I read and studied and prayed I would be inspired to know how to help our son, that he would be fine and the outcome would be positive. My son was given a blessing that he would be healed.  So that is where I put my faith, in the power of the priesthood and in the power of God.  I know the Lord can heal our son and that he can inspire my husband & I to know what to do and how to help him so that those blessing will be fulfilled.  We will do everything in our power to ensure that blessing is fulfilled.

So we turn to the internet and dozens of books on a myriad of topics.  I've drawn my conclusions and started to make some major changes.  

Nearly 2 years ago I started couponing.  I loved going shopping and getting free and dirt cheap items.  The problem is nearly everything I bought was processed, refined, sugar filled garbage.  From cold cereal to hamburger helper, canned foods to freezer pizza, almost everything nutritionally speaking was not healthy.  Little Caesar's pizza and Taco Tuesdays at Del Taco became weekly outings and home cooked meals were few and far between. It was much easier to put a Costco lasagna in the oven instead of making a meal from scratch.  There were weeks when I didn't have a single piece of fresh fruit or vegetables in the house.  Lucky Charms for breakfast, hot pocket for lunch and pizza for dinner with cookies, brownies and chips for snacks. Not a healthy way to eat.

Ultimately I think our son's issues stemmed from poor diet and nutrition.  I fully realize there is the possibility of other things going on but diet and lack of nutrition compounded the problem.  If my blessing is to be fulfilled and My son is to be fine than there are things we can do to help, diet and nutrition being the first and most important.

Many a medical doctor would tell me I'm crazy but it was the father of medicine Hippocrates who said "All disease begins in the gut" & "Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food".  Everything I've read leads me to believe that there is more truth in those statements that I would have believed could be possible.

Dr. Campbell-McBride is one doctor whose research fascinates me - she's written a book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome - I've not yet read the book but have ordered it and plan on reading it.  A quote from her that has really got me thinking is: "Left untreated, gut dysfunction can snowball into a lifelong struggle with neuropsychological and physical disorders from chronic fatigue and IBS to depression and bi-polar".

There is a wealth of information out there - everyone claims there way is the right way and everyone has contradictory information!  There is only one food everyone agrees is safe to eat in unlimited quantities and that is vegetables!  Everything else from fruit to milk to wheat to meat is objected to by someone.

I just received a timely email today from a site called Incredible Smoothies and here is what is said:
Today's focus is on diet. What is the healthiest diet? The truth is, nobody really knows! 
Every health expert has a strong opinion on what the healthiest diet is and is not. Every dietary philosophy contradicts and confuses. Nutrition science just gives me a migraine.  Some experts recommend a vegetarian or vegan diet while others say you need to eat meat in order to be healthy.  Some say you should eat lots of carbohydrates or fruit while others say you should avoid carbohydrates and especially fruit.  Some experts promote a raw food diet while others say cooking "made us human".  If you tried to follow every piece of diet advice out there, you'd lose your mind, and probably your health just trying to make sense of it all.

Boy did she nail exactly what I am feeling right on the head!

I don't know who is right and who is wrong but I figure the best bet for me is to go with the Word of Wisdom.

1 A Word of Wisdom, for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion—
2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom, showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days—
3 Given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints.
4 Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—
5 That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
6 And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.
7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.
8 And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.
9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.
10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.
12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
14 All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;
15 And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.
16 All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—
17 Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.
18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.

That email had some other advice that I totally feels fits right in with the course we are on...
The good news is, there are core fundamentals that nearly every health expert agrees on: 
1 - Eat a plant-based diet.... Whatever you do, be sure to eat at minimum 5 servings (better if you eat 10 or more servings) of fresh, whole, ripe, raw fruits and vegetables every day!
Health experts and gurus who do eat meat strongly recommend seeking out grass-fed products from small farms and to avoid, at all costs, anything that was raised in a factory farm (sadly, the vast majority of animal foods in supermarkets and restaurants).

2 - Avoid processed, modern convenience foods. I prefer to call them "manufactured" foods. Anything that has been processed and comes in a package, box or bag, or that has been dehydrated, pre-cooked, refined or tampered with in any way from it's natural state, should not play any more than a miniscule role in your diet. 
3 - Health is more than just what you eat. You can eat the healthiest diet on the planet and still fall short of being healthy if the rest of your life is out of balance. A healthy diet is no substitute for exercise, sunshine, positive outlook and fulfilling relationships. 
If you recognize that your diet is in need of a serious overhaul, don't feel pressured to change it overnight. It takes time to establish a new habit.

I do feel pressure, tremendous pressure to make overnight changes.

Armed with the knowledge we have started to make drastic changes in the way we eat.  It has meant that I have cleaned out my kitchen and food storage of almost everything processed or refined.  Most everything that has additives, sugar, preservatives, etc. has been thrown away or given away. No corn syrup, no refined sugar, no MSG, no aspartme or splenda, no additives - if I can't pronounce it then we can't eat it.  I'm working on getting rid of the rest of the processed food and trying to replace it with healthy alternatives. Anyone know of a good alternative to ranch dressing to make raw vegetables edible?

Changes that have been made so far been embraced fairly well by most of the family.  A little bribery helped - if the kids go off sugar for the month they get to go to Disneyland.  My 4 youngest children have been very good about not eating sugar.  They have all turned down multiple offers of sugar and other sweets and I'm so proud of them.  

Of course I'm just the mom and don't know anything according to my teenage son because I'm not a doctor but at least after giving me a hard time and saying he won't do something he usually complies with my ideas.  He has willing sat through countless doctors appointments sometimes as many as 3 or 4 a week.  He's submitted to several rounds of bloodwork including the most recent round which included 16 vials of blood being drawn, he's willing taken what seems like a zillion supplements a day and for the most part embraced our new diet (if it weren't for those dang church activities where all they serve are sugar filled processed refreshments he'd be doing much better).  

Today I picked up my bountiful basket of fruit and vegetables.  We didn't order just one basket for the week we ordered 3.  (Anyone want any artichokes - we made a valiant effort and tried them tonight but once this week was more than enough). I walk through the aisles of the grocery store chanting - whole foods, unprocessed food, no sugar, no refined foods, no additives and end up putting very little in my cart that is not found in the produce aisle.  

I've learned how to make green smoothies which are more often than not quite good or at least edible in most cases. I've taught myself to tolerate raw vegetables by forcing myself to just take a couple bites of them each day.  I am trying to cook everything we eat from scratch.  It is time consuming.  My dishwasher needs to be run 3 or 4 times a day.  Other things are not getting done like folding the laundry and cleaning the toilets.  But I can only run so fast each day and at the end of the day try to focus on what did get done instead of what didn't.

My family blog is titled - It May Not Be Easy But It Sure Is Worth It....  I decided to keep the same title for this new blog.  It is not easy but I am sure it will be worth it!

The good news is my oldest son has now been off all his medication for a week!  The last couple nights he has even gone to sleep without any melatonin or other herbs or supplements to help him sleep.  He's happier than I have seen him in the past year. 

I realize there might be set backs coming.  There may be times when medication will be necessary again. I've consulted with 3 different doctors and have back up plans in place.  It's a lot of trial and error and I don't have all the answers but for now the stress of the last couple months is gone.  I don't wake up wondering and worrying what the day will bring.  I don't cringe because I'm no longer handing my son pills that I know are going to have long term side effects.

I'm grateful for simple things like having the technology to draw and analyze blood to tell us there are deficiencies in vitamins and amino acids and inflammation that needs to be addressed.  I'm grateful for a husband who stays up late researching and gives up some of his favorite foods and sits down to a dinner that is definitely not steak and potatoes without complaint and that he didn't look at me like I'm crazy when I got rid of the microwave.  I'm grateful for simple things like walking into the library and seeing a book on the counter that has the exact information I need.  For doing an online search based on something my sister in law suggested and finding out there is a free class on that subject the very next day here is my small town.  For arriving at the health food store at the same time a knowledgeable health food person is making a delivery and can answer my questions.  I'm grateful for my Uncle and Aunt and don't even want to think of where we would be at without their intervention and help. I'm grateful for my dad who knew things were tight for us and helped out with medical bills and took our 4 younger kids for a week so we could have a week to focus all our attention on just our oldest.  I'm grateful for my brother who cared enough to get involved and sought out help when we didn't know what to do or where to turn.  I'm grateful for the fasting and prayers of family members and friends.  In case you can't tell I'm feeling very grateful for answers to prayers that have come in small and simple ways.  So here we go on a new grand adventure of trial and error and we try to become healthier.

Another Blog??

Another blog?  Yes I'm sure I'm crazy because I now have 3 blogs.  I've got my family blog and my book blog and now this blog.  Why 3 blogs?  I've suddenly become obsessed with nutrition.  Much of my reading now focuses on nutritional healing and health.  A year ago my family blog was being taken over by book related posts so I created a book blog.  Now my family blog is being taken over by nutrition related posts so I decided to start a separate blog for all things health related.  This blog will focus mainly on health related topics - book reviews, articles, and the new things we are trying and attempting to implement in our home.