Angie started her first radiation treatment yesterday. She said it was a weird experience. She threw up last night and felt really tired so I guess the effects are pretty immediate. I was studying that Milk Thistle is an herb that helps detox the liver. I have milk thistle tea or you can take it in the capsules, but it will help with getting the radiation effects from your body quicker. Also if you take any kind of pain killers often or other medications, Milk Thistle is a great idea.

I got some questions from one of my good friends so I thought I would just post her questions on here incase any of you have the same ones. Of course, this is just my opinion and I am not a doctor. Just a mom who wants to raise the healthiest family I can and provide the best chance of them and myself to live the best life possible. Here is the email question:

Denise my friend!!!!

So I’ve got a couple questions here for ya. Really looking into studying a little more on the paleo diet. I liked the vegan diet but keep leaning more towards paleo, but the one thing I keep reading when looking up foods to eat is to eat as much bacon as one desires. So I question pork in general? I always thought that was a big no no. What’s your thoughts? Also, meal preps I read about it has meat in at least two of the 3 meals per day. I was kinda thinking to only add lean meats like 2-3 a week for one meal?
Also, what do you send your kids to school with for lunch? And what are your most often made breakfasts? Besides green smoothies? It is time I do this for my family! It’s been nagging at me for years and I finally feel like I’m at a state in my life, with no baby…baby, no pure exhaustion, from being up at night, and such that I can handle taking the time to feed my family properly. My son really struggles at school, with a few subjects…just the really important ones like, math, reading, English, and I feel like if I could get him on the right eating path then he might be able to do better. I keep hearing this anyway. Also my other two are young and I know that one has digestive problems, he’s so skinny, he doesn’t want to eat anything, and he’s got reflux really bad. And then my youngest two-year-old he wants to eat everything that’s not veggies. He’s so picky!! My family has committed to eating no treats this month. It’s been the hardest on me!!! Sad to say! My kids eat like crap, and I feel a huge weight and responsibility because of it!
One more question…my 2 year old, is allergic to dairy, all my kids have been at this age, until they are about 4. Really I think forever. We drink very little of milk around here, we don’t really eat a lot of dairy actually. So I give Nash almond milk instead of cows milk. The dr’s say they are fine with it only because he is chunky enough that he doesn’t need the extra fat in cows milk like a lot of babies do. But I randomly heard, maybe it was one if your posts, can’t remember, that almond milk is bad for babies because they have a hard time digesting almonds, so it wasn’t really good for them until they are much older and can digest almonds. Do you know anything like that?”

Thanks for the questions. It means a lot to me that she would even take the time to write. Some of her questions are ones that I have had myself over the years and every year there are more studies so even now my opinion can change if enough testing can be done, by the right doctors. The Paleo diet is probably the closest diet to the way I eat and my family eats. When I was Vegan, you listen and learn things that Vegan’s put out there and so it really easy to just close your mind to everything else and believe that eating that way is the only right way. For me, my hormones got worse on a Vegan Diet even though my skin and eye sight got much better from the amount of greens I was eating. I started listening to a few more opinions, which led me to more doctors and experts about hormones and I kept hearing about good animal fats and organic grass fed meats and organ meats. I think the first interview that really changed what I thought was Terry Whals and the Whals Diet. She is a doctor that has MS and with her diet she has basically given herself a life back and went from a wheel chair to now running and biking. She has a great Ted talk by the way if any of you haven’t watched it. So, I just kept reading and listening to podcast until I realized that I needed to give this a try instead of going on medication, like two doctors wanted me to do, to get my period back to being regular. You really have to custom how much meat and protein with how you feel, digestion, sleep, skin, and others signs and know for you if the amount is right. I do eat protein now with almost every meal and it is usually animal protein. I am very strict though and only maybe two or three occasions have I eaten any meat that wasn’t organic and wild or grass fed. If I don’t have that option, I make that meal a Vegan meal. The cruise was one of those occasions, I had a steak one night but the rest of the week I only had fish and tried to get the wild fish whenever possible. I believe if you feel good on this, you can have it at every meal with no problem. It is really the quality that matters and if you don’t have good quality meat, then stick with plant and good fats for your meal. It is great for your kids and husbands because they feel satisfied and full. When I eat just a salad, it is huge because I need it to be that big to get full for the meal.

The bacon debate is still out there. We do eat bacon, but not everyday. I never thought I would ever eat bacon again about five years ago, but if you use it as a treat and get the right quality then I think it is absolutely fine to eat bacon. It’s really hard to find pastured bacon, but that is your best option. Pete’s paleo is an online company that I have ordered from that will ship it to you. I also buy the the uncured bacon by Applegate farms at Costco. You will pay more, so just eat it less. Bacon adds tons of flavor and if you can find pastured bacon that you don’t have to worry as much. I will save one or two pieces and use them on my salads with a pastured egg, yolk should be runny, and this makes an amazing salad. I have read to avoid Pork all together and believed and wrote about it years ago, but now I believe that it’s ok, but don’t believe that you should have as much as you want, everyday. Some paleo writers eat bacon constantly and I think if we just use are basic knowledge and instincts we know that isn’t the right answer. Just like I would say about Paleo treats or most foods, more isn’t always better. It just adds up and then it is taking the place of more nutritious foods in your diet. Enjoy it though when you do have it, with no guilt.
The diet your kids have definitly makes a difference in behavior, focus, and health for our kids. I have seen it and lived it. I remember a friend telling me they saw no difference in their kids when they ate healthy, but I knew that the one meal isn’t going to really show you. He had never really restricted wheat, dairy, and processed sugar for even one whole day so it’s pretty hard to see a difference if it’s still in their system. It can take weeks to see a difference so be patient. You have to do it day after day and be consistant, get it out of their diet completely, then after a few weeks add it in and see how they act. I would look into taking gluten out of your diet for you and your kids. There is just too many studies and research now to ignore it and the effects it has on us and our kids. That is something I am still trying to get my other kids to do, besides Isaac who always does it. The hardest part of this is that if you don’t homeschool your kids than they will get offered treats everyday at school, at every sporting event, at church every week, every stranger and worker at Walmart, ect. ect. It’s basically at every turn. It is REALLY HARD! I just try and control what they eat at home the best I can, make healthy treats for them so they never feel deprived, educate them, and then let them decide and live. It is still a work in progress here, but it’s worth the battle and tears. My kids are not picky eaters at all, but it wasn’t always like that. You just have to stick with it. Even now, I give them a very small amount at meals. They have to eat it and then can have more if they would like. There is no choice and I always have a consequence if they don’t do it and often a positive reward when they do. We are so hard on ourselves as moms but we are really where it all has to start. We are in charge of buying the food and preparing it for the most part. It helps if you can get your husband on board too because it is easy to get sabotaged by goodies brought in by him. The GAPS diet is something to research for any kids with food allergies. If you have anytype of leaky gut issues, then you have food allergies and so much of what we are fed doesn’t get absorbed. This may be part of the reason he is so skinny. I am going to also study gaps diet because I believe it would help some of our issues in our family that we just can’t seem to fix with the other foods and things we are doing. We still have some eczema issues, even though it has improved and we have seasonal allergies in some of the kids. My kids don’t really ever get sick so I know it has helped in so many ways, but still there are things to work on. You have to be committed but if you look up Gaps Diet and Real Foods on Youtube, you will see a series that can teach you a lot about it. I will post my journey with it in February. I am having our whole family see a specialist in Gaps and run some tests on everyone.
As far as almond milk goes, it really is a good idea to wait until they are older before they get almond milk on a daily basis. Nuts, even when soaked can be hard on a little gut and you also don’t want them to develop an allergy to them. I made homemade almond milk yesterday. I do it about once a month but besides that, I use Trader Joe’s light coconut milk and dilute it in water. It is $.99 a can there and is in a BPA free can, has only coconut milk and water in the ingredient list. Just because of money and it works for my family, we pour two cans into a glass half gallon milk container and fill the rest with water and mix up. We use this in all our baking, smoothies, hot chocolates or whatever you would use regular milk in. It works great and the fats in it are awesome for kids and adults. You can use three cans of milk or whatever you want. It’s so thick that it works great for recipes even when diluted. We go through a lot of it so this is our solution. If you do use milk, I would only do raw organic milk and never pastured milk.
Breakfast can be hard. We still do smoothie’s every morning usually even though mine have changed over the past year. We use coconut milk and I add 1 TBS MCT oil. I don’t use fruit or if I do, just a small amount of organic berries. I use and rotate between good protein powders and then I use greens and other super foods. We usually do a small cup of smoothie and then I rotate between eggs, bacon, organic sausage, or even some gluten free toast with tons of grass fed butter on it. Remember that even those that can’t do dairy can usually do grassfed butter or ghee is even better and easy to make at home. I really just get some good fats in them and some high quality protein and they get a few servings of veggies with their smoothies. Sometimes we have left overs like sweet potatoes in butter, coconut cream and cinnamon or some left over grass fed burgers for breakfast. We have bone broth instead of smoothie’s sometimes and just mix it all up. We never do cereal and I rarely do toast without eggs or another protein and fat to go with it. Just think outside the box. Kids also don’t need tons of variety. Just a few different meals you can rotate through. Remember to use lots of good fats, like coconut oil, grassfed butter, avocadoes (can put in smoothie’s if kids don’t like them) and organic animal fats like tallow, duck fat, even bacon fat to cook up your eggs or veggies. This fat is so important for their brain development and it will keep them full and stop the need for snacking.

I know this is really long answers but hopefully it can help a little. If any of you have some other ideas, just post a comment and I will share them with others. It is worth the effort and it will make a difference in their health, even if it is in ways we don’t see for awhile.

Here are a few more photos from our cruise last week. I am missing the sun shine!