Tuesday, December 15, 2009

omega-6 fats

OK, so, here's what you need to know about fats.

Our ancestors ate a lot of fat. A LOT. Most of this fat came from animals, as we have been hunter gatherers for far longer than we've been growing grains.

It's important to note that most of the fat in question was from WILD animals. In the tissue of any animal, you'll find both omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats.

Omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory. Omega-6 fats are pro-inflammatory.

The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in grass fed cows is around 1:2. That is, there's roughly double the amount of omega-6 when compared to omega-3 in an animal eating the diet it's supposed to be eating.

But take that same cow and feed it a diet of grains, and you end up with quite a different ratio. Something around 1 part omega-3 to TWENTY parts omega-6.

That's not so good, especially when you have an inflammatory illness -- illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, Crohn's, heart disease, and more.

Dr. Briffa's blog has an article here explaining a bit about this relationship, and how polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are a rich source of omega-6 fats.

So if you are already eating a diet of grains and grain-filled meats, you have a skyrocketing amount of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats in your diet.

OK, so we can't all afford that grass fed cow. But we can reduce the amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids in our diets with other steps.

The first step is easy -- don't eat grains. And reduce the amount of omega-6 fats from other sources.

So what are other rich sources of PUFAs? The richest source in the human diet is from linoleic acid. Let's see what Wikipedia has to say about that:

Dietary sources of linoleic acid (high in omega 6):


If you'll notice, the highest sources are oils from seeds. Guess what grains are? Yep, seeds. Nuts tend to also have a high percentage, so limiting those (and their oils) is often a good idea as well.

You'll notice also that almost everything from canola oil on up cannot be obtained without heavy processing methods. And when oils are heavily processed, whatever omega-3 benefits they might have had are often destroyed. Think about it. Would a caveman be able to produce corn or canola oil? Of course not. They're unnatural foods.

There's a good article from Mark's Daily Apple about why you shouldn't eat canola oil, so check that out as well.

And what's at the bottom of the list, with the lowest amount of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids? Real, natural fats that people have been eating for generations -- fats like coconut oil, butter, and even lard!

These fats are real food -- and far better for you than you probably thought.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

get healthy now

I am sure that a lot of people who read this blog are not necessarily full blown SCDers just yet. Maybe they're individuals who aren't quite ready to take the plunge. Maybe they're people who think it's all too complicated and difficult.

There was a nice post from Fitness Spotlight today called Get Healthy Now, with eight simple tips on getting healthier.

However, I'd cut it down to just one -- eat real food 90 percent of the time.

It's simpler than you might think, and close to the principals of SCD. In many ways, it's easier than GFCF living, because instead of scrutinizing endless packages, all you have to do is buy and eat real, unadulterated food.

An apple has no list of additives to read through for places where gluten might hide. Ditto for a frozen side of salmon or avocado.

If even that step is too much for you, I will give you the perfect baby step.

Stop drinking sugar sweetened beverages.

OK, OK, maybe it's not a baby step. It's more of a significant step for some of you. Yes, I know this is hard. I have spoken with people who can't abide the taste of diet soft drinks.

So don't drink those either.

When you constantly drink sugar sweetened beverages, your body becomes inured to the taste. What that means is that, as time goes on, you need a higher level of sweetness in foods and drinks so that they continue to taste sweet to you.

All of that extra sugar also puts your body on a rollercoaster ride of insulin levels, driving you to consume more and more sugar to fight off crankiness brought on by the lowering of your blood sugar.

Both effects combined will lead you to consume all sorts of unfortunate foods.

So, make life a little easier on yourself and remove those awful sugary drinks from the equation, if you are still consuming them.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

alternative therapies for autism

I came across the Chicago Tribune's series on autism. There are three articles:

Risky alternative therapies have little basis in science

Success stories more persuasive to some than hard data

Questionable treatments for children with autism

I have not read all of the articles in their entirety. However, the information presented on faulty testing that fools parents into thinking their children require chelation is enough to give anyone pause.

I also think that, for many disorders of the mind and body, very little attention has been paid to the food people eat. How many of you out there have colitis or Crohn's, and have had your doctor tell you that the food you eat had nothing to do with your condition? How many autistic kids out there have digestive problems, and have had their doctors shrug and say that food has nothing to do with it?

It kind of flies in the face of common sense, don't you think?

I've posted before about gluten free, casein free diets, and why they're often not enough to resolve the issues of autistic kids. Give it a look if you missed it the first time around.

But the good thing is that dietary interventions like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet are very unlikely to be harmful to anyone. Cutting processed and refined carbohydrates is a good way to improve pretty much anyone's diet -- and state of mind to boot.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

scd apple cranberry sauce

OK, so I wasn't going to post anymore.

But!

I came up with this recipe for apple cranberry sauce. It's so good, I had to share it with you. Plus, it doesn't have an obscene amount of honey in it like some other recipes I've seen.

No photo because it's chilling in the fridge and I forgot. Sorry!

EASY SCD APPLE CRANBERRY SAUCE

3 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries
3 apples, peeled and cut into reasonable chunks
1 cup SCD legal grape juice (Welch's 100 percent grape juice without any calcium)
3 tablespoons honey

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to boil. Turn down to low heat. Simmer on LOW (watch for sticking, so give them a stir now and then) until most of the cranberries have popped and the apples are softened, about 20 minutes. Stir and taste after it's cooled down a bit. Add more honey if desired (I like my cranberry sauce kinda tart).


And there ya go! Gluten free, grain free, egg free, soy free... you get the idea. :P

Now, I admit that I don't know how many cranberries are in a standard bag -- I believe that 3 cups equals 12 ounces, so 4 cups would be a one pound bag. I measured from the giant bag of fresh cranberries I got at Costco.

But this recipe can be adjusted to whatever amount you have. For every cup of cranberries, you add 1 apple, 1/3 cup grape juice, and 1 tbsp honey. It's very straightforward.

As for the fresh cranberries, I immediately threw the bag in the freezer after I bought it, because they go bad kinda fast in the fridge. I learned that the hard way.

Hope you enjoy the recipe! Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Susan :)

turkey and disneyland

I am very much looking forward to cooking turkey this year!

I won't be doing it until after the actual day, though; this year, we'll be spending Thanksgiving in Disneyland. I may call ahead and ask them to make us some turkey that Clark and I can eat, but I'm not sure yet.

In case you are not aware, Disneyland and Disney World can handle pretty much any food allergy/intolerance situation, as long as you give them a little bit of notice. Heck, they can deal with it at their sit-down restaurants with no notice. So Disney gets high marks in my book!

Also, this year I am going to indulge in some Meyenberg goat butter! I asked my local Henry's Market to order some for me, and they said yes!

I have heard from other SCDers that Meyenberg goat butter is legal. It does have "natural flavoring" listed on the package, but another SCDer cleared this with a rep. I do not remember all of the details, so please use with caution if there's any doubt in your mind.

I am going to be paying $5.99 for 8 oz of goat butter. I thought that was kind of high, but then again, the holidays are coming. It will be nice to have something special, I thought.

But then, I happened to drop by Whole Foods to get a bag of almond flour (my son wants pizza for his birthday). They had a different brand of goat butter in their dairy case -- $9.99 for 8 oz! So I guess I'm getting a deal!

I also have a link to share with you. If you're wondering why your turkey is dry and tasteless, blame the bird. Mark's Daily Apple has a nice blog post on heritage turkeys but the PARSNIPS ARE ILLEGAL, OK? So just ignore that part. :)

I certainly won't miss the potatoes, and I never cared for parsnips anyway. My son and I have been snacking on butternut squash and pumpkin all week. Mmmm...

I'm also planning to make some pumpkin cheesecake bars with dripped yogurt. Stay tuned. If it works, I will post the recipe.

Oh! And if you are looking for a great SCD dairy free pumpkin pie recipe, head on over to Beth's Blog. I purchased her Turtle Soup cookbook. I really enjoyed the simple recipes, and the pie is just GREAT!

Have a great holiday, guys and gals!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

rice vinegar

I'm always on the hunt for new SCD legal ingredients, so I picked up some rice vinegar to try.

Just so you are aware, rice vinegar is very sweet tasting. I was pretty amazed at how sweet it was. But it reminded me of something.

A few weeks ago, I went out with some of my former work colleagues to a Japanese-style restaurant. I quizzed the waitress carefully on the sashimi salad, and asked her to bring me dressing on the side. I specifically asked for a dressing of only sesame oil and vinegar.

I didn't specify the type of vinegar, but I have to think it must have been rice vinegar. It tasted simply amazing, to be perfectly honest, and I really enjoyed my meal.

I hope this gives you an option when you're confronted with sushi (which is, of course, SCD illegal). Sashimi can be boring when the wasabi and soy sauce are illegal, so I think that asking for a dish of sesame oil and rice vinegar on the side is the perfect solution!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trader Joe's canned pumpkin

I received a response from Trader Joe's regarding their canned pumpkin.

Looks like the news is good, SCDers. *grin*

Hi Susan,

There are no allergins present in the facility where our Trader Joe's Organic Pumpkin is manufactured.

Our statement is voluntary, and just because another retailer or manufacturer doesn't have similar statements on their packaging doesn't mean they have separated their manufacturing processes.

Every supplier of Trader Joe's will follow a ten step cleaning process in between each production run. This includes breaking down the equipment and cleaning with a solution. They are very careful to process products that contain allergens separately then other. However this warning is on these products because there still is a chance of cross contamination.

We require FDA regulated GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) program of our vendors. HACCP is a systematic approach to identifying, evaluating and controlling food safety hazards. In addition, our Quality Assurance Team audits our vendors to monitor their facilities and practices.

Also, please know that all of our TJ'S labeled products will always have all ingredients used fully disclosed under the ingredients panel.

This is the only form of response we can give you to your inquiry,
therefore a company letterhead cannot be possible.

Thank you,

Nicki K.
Trader Joe's
Customer Relations


So according to Miss Nicki, there is nothing in the can other than pumpkin (as listed), and it's produced in an allergen free facility. If a Trader Joe's brand product is produced in a facility that has allergens, it will be clearly denoted on the label.

As she stated, she cannot provide me a letter on letterhead, so please use your best judgment when deciding if this product will fit your needs.

Hope that helps! :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

mechanics and nutritionists

OK, I admit -- I've been saving up a bunch of links to post for you guys, once I get my act together.

But today, I have to give a big grinning round of applause to Mr. Tom Naughton of Fat Head fame.

Go ahead and give it a read. I promise it's worth it.

What if mechanics and nutritionists switched jobs?

Friday, October 23, 2009

silicone and egg bread

I am sure at least a few of you out there are a little confused about silicone. I know I was!

First of all, you may already be familiar with silicone if you have parchment paper. Parchment paper is paper that has been dipped in silicone. This is in stark contrast to waxed paper, which has been dipped in -- duh! -- wax.

Silicone has some advantages over waxed paper, though. For one, you can make egg bread on it! Let me repost the recipe here. I am trying to get organized, I swear I am, but I just haven't had a chance to go back and make a cleaner recipe archive yet.

EGG "BREAD" (STAGE ONE)

Five eggs, whites and yolks separated
1/2 cup well cooked vegetables

Separate the whites into a large bowl and put the yolks into a smaller bowl. Beat whites with a pinch of salt until glossy and fluffy.

Squeeze the water out of the vegetables with some paper towels. They don't have to be dry, but using two to three paper towels folded over will allow you to get a substantial amount of water out. Plop them into the bowl with the egg yolks. Beat the yolks with the vegetables until the vegetables are nearly pureed. You can use a stick blender for this if you like.

Fold the yolk mixture into the egg whites, mixing well. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and dump the mixture in, spreading around with a spatula.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. The bread will puff up a little and settle as it cools. You can carefully flip the whole bread over and bake the other side for an additional 10 minutes if you like, but it doesn't seem to make all that much difference so I don't.

I cut it into 12 square pieces and sprinkle with sea salt. You can use them for sandwiches or snacks.

Here's a tip: DO NOT USE ANYTHING OTHER THAN PARCHMENT PAPER. I tried. I used foil with olive oil, foil with lots of olive oil, and wax paper (which melted and stuck to the pan) before I gave up and just bought the damned stuff. It's like magic. Food does not stick to it AT ALL. Comes right off. Parchment paper is full of win.


So! As you can see, parchment paper is necessary for this recipe.

One small problem -- I moved.

And none of the stores near me had parchment paper!

I finally gave up and purchased silicone pan liners at Target... these ones.



If you click on the link, it will take you to Amazon where you can read more about them. I got two of these, and now I don't have to buy parchment paper anymore.

Anyway, another way I was using the parchment was to cook pineapple. Before this, I was just cooking it by lining a pan with foil, then lining the pan with parchment, and covering the whole thing with more foil. The reason for my crazy double layering? Well, you don't want the pineapple acids to leach aluminum into your food.

So, silicone pan liners to the rescue! I do have the size listed above, and it fits in a 9 x 13 Pyrex pan pretty well.



You will notice that my Pyrex pan looks dirty. That is because it is. See, I have rheumatoid arthritis, which makes it not so easy to scrub stuff off pans like this. I am also just a teeny bit lazy.

I never plop anything directly into a Pyrex pan for this reason -- it's always lined with foil, sometimes double lined, so I never ever have to scrub the inside out. :D Unfortunately, stuff does still get on the outside sometimes, and that is where the lazy part comes in. :)

Also, be warned that the silicone liners do stain over time. It's not dangerous or anything -- just be sure to wash them as thoroughly as possible between uses.

Oh, and I also bought these to make almond butter brownies for my son:



I totally LOVE these. Fair warning -- the first few times I've used these types of molds, I've noticed a distinct plasticky flavor, despite washing them. My son doesn't seem to mind. But after the first few uses, they're completely fine. I have several different ones and I usually buy a new set or two yearly.

Happy baking!

Monday, October 12, 2009

pie pumpkins

I sent out my letter requests this year to Libby's and to another company called Stahlbush Island farms to see about confirming the legalty of their pumpkin products. I'll keep you posted when I hear anything, but don't hold your breath with Libby's.

Two years ago, Libby's refused to provide me with a letter that said that their 100 percent canned pumpkin only contained pumpkin and nothing else.

Nice, huh?

Anyway, I cooked my first pie pumpkin the other day. I decided to try cooking it whole. It worked GREAT! It wasn't too wet either, which can happen when you cook a cut pumpkin.

I pricked the skin all over with a fork and cooked it at 400 degrees for about 2 hours, in an 8 inch pyrex pan lined with foil, just in case it leaked.

Sorry I don't have a photo. You'll have to use the magic of your imagination! Ahem. :)

The pumpkin was lightly browned all over, and was very soft and easy to pull apart with just a fork.

I know you may be tempted to cook the seeds separately after it's done baking. Seeds are legal on SCD in small amounts, but be careful.

Friday, October 9, 2009

diet soda

I've been on SCD for a long time now, and so occasionally I will indulge in a diet soda.

Just to be clear, diet sodas are NOT SCD legal. I know that Elaine (who wrote Breaking the Vicious Cycle) allowed one diet soda every so often, but she mentioned saccharine sweetened beverages, which are pretty rare these days. I'm sure she didn't anticipate the wide variety of illegal ingredients which are present in diet sodas today, either.

Understanding why these drinks are illegal, though, is important, and if you ARE going to have the occasional diet soda it's still REALLY important that you READ the LABEL.

I was in for a very rude awakening when I started searching around for a diet soda that didn't have too much bad stuff in it. Here are some of the things you should be on the lookout for:

Sugar and corn syrup: In a diet drink? Say it ain't so! However, guess what? Diet orange Crush contains sugar! Yep. Those 25 calories per serving are from corn syrup. From CrushSoda.com:

"Diet Crush has 25 calories per 12oz. can due to the perfect marriage between corn syrup and aspartame."


That is an absolute no-no on SCD. Avoid!

Modified food starch or corn starch: In diet soda? Yah you betcha!

According to MugRootBeer.com, Mug brand sodas contain modified corn starch. That makes them gluten free, but not corn free. So this soda (and others containing food starch) would not be suitable for SCDers.

Gum arabic or acacia gum: These can be found in many diet sodas, including Diet Mountain Dew. Here's an excerpt of what wikipedia says about gum arabic:

"Gum arabic is a complex mixture of polysaccharides and glycoproteins that is used primarily in the food industry as a stabilizer."


Polysaccharides, as we know, are a BIG no-no on SCD.

OK, so what should we do? Make our own diet drinks? Well...

Packeted sugar substitutes usually contain maltodextrin (from corn) as a bulking agent. If you purchase a diet drink or soda, though, this bulking agent is not present, but it IS present in packets and granulated sugar substitutes sold in stores. Online, you can find low carb people grumbling about Splenda not being zero carb -- and that's why. The corn adds about 1 gram of carb per tablespoon.

The new Truvia sweetener has erythritol as a bulking agent, and so it may be a better choice -- if you use it occasionally.

So, just to be clear, diet sodas ARE illegal. But if you are an advanced SCDer who is going to occasionally have one, steer clear of any sodas with the above bold ingredients.

You may also want to consider Zevia. Elaine approved small amounts of stevia in some things, but as with everything, try a little bit and see how you react.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

sick

So, it's official: I'm sick!

The irony is 1) I'm the only sick person in my house and 2) I'm a pretty big germophobe. How frustrating!

I keep Purell (or the generic equivalent) on my kitchen counter. Any time I'm handling raw meat, I end up washing my hands something like every five minutes.

Of course, I have been doing a lot of networking, and so I've been shaking a lot of hands. Perhaps that did it. My last meeting with people was on Sunday so... dang it!

Anyway, I'm attacking this with as much gusto as I can muster. Here's my treatment plan.

Chicken soup/stock: I am lucky that I have about four cups of chicken stock in the fridge right now for me to drink. I will likely be throwing some of my reserved chicken back pieces in the crock pot today so that I'll have a fresh batch for tomorrow.

Chicken stock is full of vitamins and minerals, and it is a natural decongestant. Pretty great.

Coconut oil and/or milk: After a big warm cup of stock this morning, I am having my morning coffee with a generous amount of coconut milk. Coconut has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties -- all very important in fighting off a cold.

Vitamin D: I haven't kept up with my vitamin D supplementation as much as I should have. Part of it was due to not being able to find an SCD legal vitamin D supplement for a while, and part of it was due to me getting quite a lot of sun exposure last week. However, I've decided that for every day I'm sick, I'll be taking 6,000 IUs. Here's the link to my blog post about vitamin D and influenza.

If any of you have some good links or remedies to share, please do! For now, I'm just going to veg out while I drink my coffee. :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

chicken

I love chicken. I really do. I used to purchase frozen boneless and skinless SCD legal chicken breasts, but eventually I got tired of them being totally tasteless. Plus, they're expensive.

So, here's a great way to cut your chicken costs.

Look for sale prices on SCD legal, bone-in chicken breasts. I've seen several legal brands of these available fresh. Foster Farms and Sanderson Farms are two brands local to me (I live in Los Angeles).

Much of the time, I can get these for $2 per pound regular price, and 99 cents per pound while on sale!

But of course, this is an SCD blog. And one of the major themes of SCD is "make it yourself"!

This overwhelms a lot of people, but the secret to surviving is to buy, and cook, in bulk.

So! Here is about 10 pounds worth of bone-in chicken breasts, ready to go into the oven. I can fit two 9x13 glass pans side by side on the top shelf, and I have a slightly larger glass pan that I put on the bottom shelf.



I cook these at 450 degrees for about an hour and fifteen minutes. There's no need to cover them if you leave the skin on.

I was going to take a picture of the chicken after it cooked, but I forgot. Sorry!

Anyway, what I usually do is I cook all of this chicken. Then, I personally eat all of the skin. This is a meal for me, because my son is the only child in the history of the universe who does not like chicken skin. I know, I know. What is the world coming to?

After the chicken has had time to cool down, I pull all the meat off and store it like so in the refrigerator:



This way, I have food for at least four days or so, and it took at most an hour of work total. I eat it on salads, or alone with olive oil, salt and pepper. You will have to re-season it, though, since most of the seasoning was probably on the chicken skin.

Once you've eaten chicken breast off the bone, I swear that you will never want to go back to frozen chicken breasts. This stuff tastes WAY better.

And guess what else? You can save all those bones to make the best chicken stock ever. If I'm not ready to make stock, I just throw all the bones and leftover little pieces of chicken and cartilage and stuff into large ziploc bags for later use. Occasionally I'll just throw a bunch of bones in the crock pot and let it cook all night long.

So there you go -- cheap, fast, easy, delicious (and convenient) chicken!

Friday, September 25, 2009

kitchen stuff giveaway

All of us SCDers could do with some help around the kitchen. The Sweeps4Bloggers blog is giving away an assortment of items from Chef'n.

Items include some nice mixing bowls with spouts, measuring cups, and one-piece spatulas that are easy to clean.

Check out the rules and enter here!

Friday, September 11, 2009

canning jars

Next on my list of things to buy are canning jars.

I haven't made the foray into real canning as of yet, but these jars are so useful, I can't believe I haven't picked up more of them yet. Here's what led to my revelation.

If you're on the specific carbohydrate diet, you have to be careful with many things. Things such as spices.

I go out of my way to find additive free garlic and onion powders and granulations at places such as The Spice House and Penzey's. I often buy them in bulk.

Of course, when buying in bulk, you want to be able to store your spices neatly. I purchased a large 8 oz jar for spice storage around the same time that I bought my last batch of spices. I got really annoyed when I found out that the cardboard inside the lid wasn't removable, and the big glob of cement-like glue was impossible to remove.

If I'd known the lid wasn't washable, I wouldn't have purchased it.

Thinking about this, I noticed my other larger Ball jars on the counter (holding kosher salt and coffee), and realized I could buy jelly jars for my spices.

Canning jars are fantastic for this kind of storage. They're always washable in the dishwasher, and the lids are replaceable. Plus, the jars are cheap. I checked at the grocery store, and a dozen jelly jars only costs $10.

Instead of struggling to get your measuring spoon into your spice containers, wouldn't it be nice to have that nice big jar opening? I admit you don't need this for all spices, but I'd definitely appreciate it for things I use all the time, like garlic and onion.

It's ridiculous I didn't think of this sooner, but there ya go.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

eggs

A good example of a food that varies widely due to how it's produced is the humble egg.

I can very easily tell the difference between the organic omega-3 eggs I purchase at Costco (about $4.50 for 18 eggs) and the "regular" grocery store eggs.

For one thing, the regular egg is much thinner. I could easily crush it in my hand, and the shell would just disintegrate without causing me discomfort.

If I tried to do that with one of the organic omega-3 eggs, I'd end up with some painful, hard shell pieces poking me. I think I'd be afraid to try it, honestly. The shells of the omega-3 eggs are at least twice as thick as those of their conventionally produced cousins.

Conventional egg yolks tend to be pale. The organic omega-3 eggs have a much darker, firmer yolk that stands up well in a frying pan.

Remember that "free range" and "cage free" don't necessarily mean the egg is any better for you or for the hens. The hens might have been treated well -- or they might not have. They might have been outdoors -- or they might have been kept indoors the entire time with no access to bugs and other healthy morsels.

In terms of egg quality, it means nothing at all.

Check out the Food Renegade's guide to eggs for more detailed information on what you should look for in an egg.

Monday, September 7, 2009

cooking marathon returns!

I went back through my old posts with the intention of organizing my past recipes a bit better.

I did make some headway on that, although some of those recipes need to stay in the archives. A few are just embarrassing. :)

Anyway, I had forgotten that I used to do these cooking marathon posts. The thing is, I don't do all that many cooking marathons anymore. I still cook in bulk a lot of the time, though, and I will often make two or three things in a day, but rarely will I devote the entire day to cooking.

I've made quite a lot of food over the last two days, however, so I will share that with you. Cooking marathon returns!

Yesterday it was still hot, although not quite hot enough to keep the apartment shut tight, thank goodness. Air quality has been an issue, due to the Station Fire here in SoCal. We kept the windows open while I cooked a whole butternut squash in the oven. If you've never cooked squash this way, I highly recommend it. My hands aren't a fan of cutting up anything as hard as that, so it's very nice to just set it in a small glass pan, prick it with a fork, and leave it for about 90 minutes at 400.

At the same time, I made some hard boiled eggs. When they were done, I rinsed out the pan and then used it to start a large batch of SCD ketchup. You just reduce Campbell's tomato juice to the thickness you'd like. I posted about how to make ketchup here, and that's one of the posts I wish would be lost to the sands of time. I now simmer it in a very large pan with a mesh screen on top and I leave it alone. I bought the screen for $2 at Ikea. So now I don't have to watch it at all anymore!

Later in the evening, I pulled together what was left in the produce drawer and made a vaguely Mexican skillet meal. I really can't share the recipe, because I haven't truly yet succeeded in making anything taste really Mexican. I used some nice lean ground beef and chopped up some green onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos. I then heavily seasoned it, but like I said, it wasn't all that great. :)

The next day (today), we went shopping. First, I made Karianne's bread, and left it out to cool (after Clark begged a piece, of course).

We bought the following SCD legal items while out:

--almond butter
--coconut milk
--goat milk cheddar
--2 pounds frozen spinach
--red peppers
--yellow peppers
--1 bunch red leaf lettuce
--1 bunch romaine
--6 bunches green onions
--bok choy
--tomatoes
--zucchini
--organic raspberries (99 cents for a little container, yay)

Now, the almond butter, coconut milk and goat cheddar will likely last at least two weeks, but most of the other food will likely last around 10 days (if we're lucky).

Due to my bargain hunting ways, this trip did not break the bank. At Trader Joe's, the almond butter is $5 per jar. The coconut milk is 99 cents a can. The goat milk cheddar is around $10 per pound (I don't buy it often; it's more a treat for my son), which is half the price of any other goat cheddar.

The most expensive produce I purchased was the yellow peppers and the frozen spinach. Both were $1.29 per pound.

OK! Next, I left the spinach on the counter to thaw, and then I decided to be brave and bold and try a triple batch of totally safe mayo in the blender. It worked! It was also delicious so *cough* it's already half gone *cough*.

My last cooking task of the day was meatloaf. I took the now-thawed spinach and dumped both pounds of it into a large bowl. Then I realized it was really really wet, and I figured that wouldn't work well for meatloaf, so I decided to drain it. I dumped it into my colander over another pan and drained it just by pressing down with my hands, since I was short on time.

Once that was done, I put what was left of the spinach back in the big bowl, along with four pounds of beef, about 1/2 a cup of SCD legal ketchup, and spices and seasonings. I made four small meatloaves and tossed them in the oven at 400 for about an hour and a half (I think I accidentally set the oven at 375, which is why they took so long. Argh.)

They turned out OK. Nothing to write home about, but they'll be adequate for the coming week.

So that's all for me. *sigh of relief* I guess it kind of was a marathon, wasn't it?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

karianne's grain free bread

I've been hanging on to this recipe for a while, and I've been looking forward to sharing it with you!

Months ago, on the Pecanbread mailing list, member Karianne (who has Asperger's) posted a recipe for a loaf of specific carbohydrate diet bread.

It was so simple it was hard to believe.

Many of us scrambled to try this bread. We had to do some recipe conversion, since Karianne lives in Europe, but we managed!

This bread is moist, delicious, holds its shape well, and can be toasted.

And it's made from almond butter! No flour required.

Karianne made hers with cinnamon. I left it out and made a few more tweaks to be more like a sandwich bread, but I'm still going to call it hers. Thank you, Karianne, for your amazing recipe!

KARIANNE'S BREAD

1 16 oz jar of almond butter
1/2 c cooked butternut squash
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp baking soda
5 eggs
1/4 tsp salt (if almond butter is unsalted)

Beat ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Pour into a parchment paper-lined loaf pan (or well greased loaf pan). Bake at 325-350 degrees for one hour.

The bread will be firm to the touch and a knife will come out clean when it's done.

Storage: Allow bread to cool completely (this is important). Place loaf in a large ziploc bag on top of a folded paper towel. Squeeze air out and store in refrigerator.


Here's what it looks like coming out. Believe me when I say it's very solid. It will not fall apart!



And here's my little guy enjoying it!



Now go make some bread! The recipe is very forgiving, so try some different ingredients out with it. It's awesome!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

salads and a new blogger

I eat salads at least once a day, sometimes twice. So I thought I would post my of-the-moment salad ingredients.

On the menu this week:

Broccoli slaw (2 pounds for $2 at Smart n Final, yay!)
Romaine lettuce
Some kind of green curly leafed lettuce
Radishes (cheap and tasty)
Cilantro (also cheap and tasty, and good for detoxing, I understand)

The dressing I've been making is olive oil, cider vinegar, and spicy mustard. Salt and pepper, and garlic and onion powder (from Penzey's, since their spices are SCD legal) occasionally make an appearance as well.

In other news, I was recently contacted by a gluten free (non SCD) blogger who goes by Ariana, so stop by her blog over here if you're interested and would like to follow her food escapades. :)

In other news, I have been having difficulty with images, which is why I haven't posted too many recipes lately. I would like to blame this on the fact that I have to use my husband's digital camera -- I have to ask him to download the images, and then ask him to put them on my computer, since I don't have my own camera. But the real problem is that I didn't have good image editing software. Now I do, and once it's installed, you should be seeing a few more recipes!

I'd still like my own camera though. :)

Enjoy the rest of your week and I hope to post more soon!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

veal

I myself think that most veal cannot be trusted, so I do not eat it.

However, I am a fan of a certain BBC America show called The F Word. In a very recent episode, one of Gordon Ramsay's friends, Janet Street-Porter, raised two veal calves to raise awareness about British veal. There's an interview about it here.

I was absolutely touched by this episode. The animals were well cared for, and we as the viewers were able to accompany them to a small, family-owned slaughterhouse.

I wasn't sure I'd be able to watch, but I did.

Up to the moment the animals were stunned with a captive bolt gun, they were under no stress at all. They were not frightened. They were calm and placid up to the end.

I was completely impressed.

I think many people feel that those of us who do eat meat are "for" factory farming. I myself am not. Most people who believe in real food are against factory farming. It's unhealthy for the animals, which in turn is unhealthy for us. I certainly do not want to eat food that has been made to suffer unduly. But in addition, meats that are conventionally raised are just bad for us in general.

The fat in conventionally raised beef, for example, has a terrible profile. It's very high in omega 6 fats, which is not good for you.

In order to get meat that is high in omega 3 fats, the animals need to be fed a species-appropriate diet. The feed that beef cattle are generally fed -- corn and soy -- is not what they'd be eating in the wild.

Currently, my finances do not allow me to buy the quality of meat I would like to buy. I do the best I can with what I can afford, and I take fish oil capsules to raise the levels of omega 3 fats that I consume.

But I do applaud The F Word for its unflinching view of slaughterhouse practices, and its commitment to local, healthy, and sustainable ingredients.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

tropical traditions coconut oil... free book offer

Tropical Traditions sent me a big jar of their gold label coconut oil to try out and report my findings.



I've always wanted to incorporate more coconut oil into my diet, but I've had trouble doing so before. I was never really sure what the heck I was supposed to do with it. I was also concerned that the flavor would be overwhelming.

First off, I just want to say that the coconut oil was packaged beautifully in a very sturdy box. I was impressed as soon as I opened the box.

They also sent me a copy of their book, Virgin Coconut Oil. In it is the rather harrowing account of how they brought virgin coconut oil to the United States (they were the first exporter in the Philippines to do so).

There's information on how their coconut oil is different from the refined products in stores, on the way they continue to use traditional methods to harvest it, and on coconut's antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties -- which should pique the interest of anyone on SCD!

They also assured me that their coconut oil is 100 percent coconut and thus suitable for SCDers. They also provided me with a link to other specifically gluten free products. Please feel free to contact them regarding any further product information -- they have been very communicative!

The book also has lots of first-person accounts on the many ways coconut oil has benefited people, and there are a ton of recipes in the back.

I have to say, I enjoyed my trial period. Here are some of the ways I ended up using coconut oil:

Cooking: I tried coconut oil in a few Indian skillet meals that already called for coconut milk. It added a sweeter flavor, without adding additional carbs from sugar or honey.

I do not like the smell of coconut oil when it first heats up, but I did try scrambling some eggs in it as well. I sprinkled a bit of salt and cloves on them. Cinnamon would be good too along with a bit of honey. They taste like french toast eggs!

Cradle cap: My son is six years old and still has cradle cap. It's not too surprising -- he has gut dysbiosis, and cradle cap is fungal in nature. I've treated my son's head for a while with coconut oil, and guess what? Refined oils do not work on it at all. I tried the Tropical Traditions coconut oil and it worked fine. So it's definitely up to snuff in that regard.

Eating it straight: I decided to try eating it straight from the spoon, as others have reported doing. I was pleased to notice that the coconut flavor was pronounced, and there was a definite sweetness to it. It tasted surprisingly good this way.

Body moisturizer: My son has always had extremely dry skin. I tried the coconut oil on myself first, and I was pleased to note that the coconut smell was not completely overwhelming, and it faded within a few hours even further. If you are careful and don't use too much oil, it absorbs quickly. I was surprised at how little I needed.

Face moisturizer: Whoa, nelly. A very teeny bit goes a long, long, long way. Please keep this in mind.

Hair conditioner: I tried a small amount in the shower and ended up with an incredibly slippery tub. Use with care!

Here's a little video interview with Brian Shilhavy, CEO of Tropical Traditions:



You can visit the Tropical Traditions site and check out their other products too. They have sales all the time! I want to try their coconut cream next -- I hear you can use the coconut cream to make very inexpensive coconut milk.

How to get your free book!

Tropical Traditions has a Referral Program, so if you place an order with them as a first-time customer, please select “Referred by a friend” and in the box that says “How did you hear of us?” enter my sponsor ID number, which is 5376580. By telling Tropical Traditions that I referred you, you will receive a complimentary copy of the book Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours! by Brian and Marianita Shilhavy with your first order!

Hope you give it a try! I'm really glad I did, and I will definitely be ordering from them again soon!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

win free organic coconut flakes

Fellow blogger Christy at Christy's Creations is giving away a WHOLE gallon of organic unsweetened coconut flakes from the good people at Tropical Traditions.

I would kill to have some of these. All the coconut you buy in the store is SWEETENED. Ew, gross. No thank you.

Enter to win here!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

real food

I want to take a moment to clear up some misconceptions that I think are out there regarding not only myself, but other people who are trying to educate the public on the benefits of real foods as well as lower carb eating plans.

Let's go through a few points, simply.

I believe in real food. I think that most of the food that's commonly consumed by people the world over is not good for us. I think refined grains and sugars have damaged the health of many individuals in irreparable ways that we have only started to understand.

What's worse, however, is that people do not yet realize exactly how damaging these foods can be. In my case, had I not done my own research, I would be crippled and confined to a wheelchair today. I truly believe that.

One diet does not necessarily fit all. While I do believe that most people should be dumping grains and sugars into the garbage can where they belong, I realize that for some people, their health, weight, and state of functioning is not adversely affected by a high carb way of eating. Some people are genetically lucky. Some people will not have problems at all until late in life.

But there are many people who will have problems long before that. And doctors then do those people a disservice by telling them to continue following a high carb, low fat diet plan. They are putting people into early graves with this misguided advice. I hope that with my blog, I am letting people know that there are alternatives that have been proven through scientific study -- alternatives to that low fat, high carb diet -- that WILL work to dramatically lower your blood pressure, reduce your weight, and lower your triglyceride levels (which is far more important than lowering your total cholesterol).

I also believe many people suffer from undiagnosed food intolerances. It is crucially important for people to figure out for themselves which foods work for them and which do not. In my experience, the only definitive way to do this is through an elimination diet. The Pecanbread web site has an intro diet that qualifies.

Once you know what you can eat and what you can't, then you have your eating plan. It doesn't get more personalized than that!

The SCD diet is not just for autistic kids, or just for those with colitis and Crohn's. While the SCD works very well for those conditions, there are many stories from parents on the Pecanbread Yahoo! group regarding other conditions. Among them are rheumatoid arthritis (myself), attention deficit disorder, ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.

Diets that are free from refined starches and sugars are anti-inflammatory in nature. Inflammation can take many forms throughout the body, and its role in many disorders is only just recently coming to light.

We did not evolve to eat high amounts of carbohydrates. This relates to my previous point. Most high carb foods are foods made with refined sugars and starches.

Of course, there are people who can definitely eat more carbs than others. Most low carb eating plans have a way of figuring out exactly how many carbs you can eat before you start to suffer ill effects. For some people, it's quite a lot. For others, it's not.

The point is, just because you can eat Twinkies without ill effects does not mean you should. This returns to point number one, about real food.

There's a reason that the SCD mantra is "Make it yourself!"

Be well.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

gluten free, casein free

As school is right around the corner, we're trying to figure out what to send with my son for school lunches.

I'm going to send him with cooked chicken in salads, or hamburgers on bread made with almond butter. I make homemade ketchup and I have found mustards that don't have added sugars or mystery spice blends. If he were at a school where almond butter was not allowed, I would send his sandwich with a bread I can make with eggs. It holds together well. He also liked hard boiled eggs.

Now, this is not your typical gluten free, casein free fare (although most of his meals would fall under this guideline). My son has autism, and he is on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), 100 percent of the time. What that means is that he eats no grains, no potatoes, no soy, no cow dairy (as per the autistic recommendations on the Pecanbread site), and no corn.

It's easier to talk in terms of what he CAN eat, which is most meats (with no broths/flavorings), eggs, goat cheddar, almond butter, and small amounts of honey and fruit juices (usually diluted and made into gelatin).

I wanted to take this opportunity to talk a little bit about GFCF diets, and why they don't create huge, wonderful results for some autistic kids.

We went on the GFCF diet first with Clark, before SCD. I had a leg up in this area; I had already been avoiding gluten for about a year before Clark was diagnosed. So I already knew about the link.

Many, many parents have found that going off gluten and casein (the protein found in dairy) has helped their autistic kids.

But for many of those kids, after going GFCF, they've traded one addiction for another.

Picky eating habits are often demonstrated by autistic kids to an extreme. They simply will not eat more than a few foods. Almost universally those foods are high in simple starches, sugars, wheat, and/or dairy.

It is not uncommon to find an autistic child who eats nothing but potato chips, for example.

When parents realize that their child's eating habits resemble that of a drug addict (the drug being food), many times they switch over to a gluten free, casein free diet. There is usually some improvement.

But then, as time goes on, the child just replaces the old addictive foods with new ones -- and their diet is still starch plus sugar. Gluten free diets are often very high in refined starches.

Now, my son has never been as picky as some other autistic kids. I've never been a picky eater either. However, I can't deny that eating my son's gluten free bread made me extremely irritable. I personally did not see that many changes in my son when he went GFCF either. It took a test -- a plate of wheat pasta -- to see what a huge change had actually occurred. The week following that plate of pasta was one of the saddest of our lives, because "new" Clark was gone, and "old" Clark was back in business.

But still, I did not see the huge improvements that other parents had seen. Yes, my son was better -- but was there something I was missing?

I started researching diets, and I came across the SCD. This was where I found my answers.

Most gluten free breads are filled with easily digestible starches. They hit your bloodstream much like pure sugar.

In autistic kids, the parent may misinterpret this to mean the GFCF diet will not work for their child when in fact their child likely needs MORE than just a restriction in gluten and casein to see real results.

To break this cycle, my son and I went on the SCD. It is very much in line with Paleo diets. Humans did not evolve to eat grains, nor did they evolve to eat corn and starchy potatoes morning, noon, and night.

The difference in my son was remarkable once we eliminated all of those simple sugars and starches. Many other autistic children have had similar success, especially with correcting bowel problems which plague many autistic children. As the SCD was originally only used to treat colitis and Crohn's, this makes a lot of sense.

But the best part is that suddenly, in many cases, these children who would NEVER even think about trying a food outside of their sugar and starch-soaked world -- they start to try new foods!

And they start to like them.

If you would like more information on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I have some links in my sidebar to the Pecanbread site and Yahoo! group.

It has been used to treat autism as well as IBD, colitis, Crohn's, and rheumatoid arthritis in my case. Paleo-style diets have a high rate of success in treating a number of conditions. Many people suffer from undiagnosed food intolerances, and since Paleo diets eliminate many of the top food allergens, they help restore balance to the body.

If you have digestive healing to do, you may need to go through "the stages" and I urge you to check out Pecanbread.com for advice.

So take a moment to REALLY think about food, if you're gluten free, or GFCF. Just because it's labeled "gluten free" does not mean it's healthy. Whole, real foods are the way to go.

Friday, August 7, 2009

gordon ramsay

I admit, I have something of an unholy love for all things Gordon Ramsay.

I have been indulging in his programs nearly nightly since I became unemployed.

I know a lot of people think he's a jerk. I don't. I see him as a man who is committed to standards, and he gets upset when people don't hold themselves to a high standard.

I can respect that. A lot.

I hold myself to standards that I consider to be unreasonably high at times. I am so hard on myself that I get angry when I am criticized by others, not because they are challenging my genius, but because I've already heard the critique in my own mind.

But anyway, throughout all of my struggles to find out what kinds of foods my son and I could eat, I lost my passion for cooking somewhere along the way.

I've always enjoyed cooking. I grew up in my grandmother's kitchen, who was a full blooded Italian woman. Until I was 10 years old, I lived below her with my parents, brother, and sister in a duplex. I sat next to her while she chopped salads and baked nut breads. During holiday baking sessions, my siblings and I would pound up and down the stairs all day long, carefully sorting a dozen varieties of cookies into tins with waxed paper between the layers, to await Christmas.

As time went on, I learned how to cook without making any of the recipes I'd known and loved since I was a child. I remember that I used to be so proud, making my grandmother's Easter bread recipe, passed down through the generations. That all went away.

And as time went on, I think I became a little bit embarrassed by it.

One day, my husband wanted to try something I made for my son and myself. I let him try it, expecting that he would hate it. After all, I didn't think of it as really cooking. I was just making food for my son and myself. It wasn't anything special.

Well, he liked it. A lot.

I started to think that maybe my new, simple recipes and methods of cooking might not be that bad.

Around this time, Gordon Ramsay entered my life.

Through watching Kitchen Nightmares (I far prefer the BBC's edition), Gordon constantly urged restauranteurs to keep their recipes simple. At some point during the program, he would start to cook. And nine times out of ten, the recipe would be something that I could actually make and eat, with few adjustments. When he described his broccoli soup recipe as just broccoli and water, I was amazed.

And I started to feel proud of the food I made again.

A week or so ago, I finally succeeded in making a piece of salmon that wasn't overcooked. I put garlic butter on it. And my husband, who HATES fish in all forms, actually tried it. And he LIKED it!

Today, I sauteed some asparagus and leftover chicken in garlic butter. It wasn't quite right, so I added some goat cheddar to it. That did the trick. It tasted wonderful! I will have to work on the proportions, but there was some real potential there.

I'm no longer afraid to experiment, and if something tastes good, I trust myself.

I don't have fancy pans or fancy ingredients. I cook a lot of things in my $2 nonstick pan from Ikea. But I can pull together ingredients right from my pantry or fridge, and make something that tastes good.

And I am starting to find that pride again.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

technical difficulties

This blog entry is in two parts!

Part one: Dear Low Carb Curmudgeon,

I really like your blog. I would love to converse with you on said blog.

However, I can't for the life of me figure out how to leave a comment on your entries.

I tried signing into Wordpress (which I never use normally) through the links on your comment sections. Wordpress will not recognize my Wordpress username there.

However, if I go directly to Wordpress.com, I can login fine there.

I am wondering if there is a problem with your comment pages, or if I am just technically inept. I'm hoping that it's not the latter, seeing as I work in a technological field normally (but not now, since I have lost my job recently).

Sincerely,

SCDgirl

*******

Part 2: Yes, dear readers, I lost my job about a month ago. My account was downsized, and I'm now in full-on panic mode. It's also my birthday today, which somehow makes things all the worse.

I did have In-n-Out protein burgers for my birthday today. That was nice and yummy. Low carb and SCD legal, too!

If anyone is looking for a nice project coordinator or project manager (level 1) in the Los Angeles or Burbank area, please let me know. I have technical and contracts administration experience, I'm PMP certified, and I have worked in an IT asset and change management environment. I will also consider more administrative positions, but I'm looking for contract to hire or direct placement opportunities only.

My e-mail is in the sidebar and I'm also on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter (just e-mail me for adds).

Thanks for putting up with me today. I promise to have more content for you soon!

Susan

Monday, July 27, 2009

the sustainability of meat

As most of my blog readers are also meat eaters (we people on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, or the Paleo diet, or on Atkins are all familiar with our friend, meat), I thought I would pass along this link.

Can a Paleo/Primal Lifestyle Be Sustainable? - Meat Production

Thanks to the good people at Fitness Spotlight for such an interesting and insightful article.

Friday, July 24, 2009

fast food

OK, I am going to lay it on the line for you.

I am a low carber. I am on the SCD diet. I have an autoimmune disease.

And I have managed to stick COMPLETELY to SCD for years. Years!

So here's what I'm saying: You have no excuse to not eat the way you want to eat.

I was listening to one of Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low Carb podcasts, and he was interviewing a doctor. The doctor was talking about some study participants who were eating a low carb diet. He said one of the participants dropped out because they got into a car accident and "couldn't" do the diet anymore.

Oh really?

I will be the first to tell you that a hospital is one of the most challenging environments for those with food intolerances and allergies. In fact, you'd be best off if you had somebody bring you food. Even nutritionists screw up and I have heard of celiac people getting glutened in hospitals despite the best of precautions.

Going into the hospital for surgery? You've got an oven and a freezer. Make stuff ahead of time and have it all ready to go for whoever is handling your food arrangements (and you should have someone to do this, if you do have serious food intolerances or allergies).

Even if I were in a car accident and ended up with broken body parts, you can bet your ass that I would NEVER pick up a wheat filled crappy hospital sandwich even if I'd been in a car accident the night before. I would find someone to bring me real food and I would tell the hospital that if I did not get real, low carb food I would get VERY VERY SICK.

Why? Because hospital staples such as mashed potatoes, juice, and jello are damaging to my body, and I know that they are, so why on earth would I eat them? Because it's an emergency?

It's not. Sure, your health is of course the emergency, but your next meal is really not an emergency. You will not keel over dead if you miss a meal. I know, this is shocking news. Chances are, you will not damage your metabolism or any of that other crap they tell you either. Show me a caveman that ate three square meals every day and I might change my mind.

I am also assuming you have other, supportive people in your life who would give you a hand and support you if you were ever in such a position -- people who would help you get real food! And if you don't, then get them on board or tell 'em to go fly a kite. You don't need people telling you how dumb you are for not eating chicken McNuggets. Those people need to go away.

I have NEVER been in the position where I had nothing to eat and I "had" to go to McDonald's. Nobody ever had to go to McDonald's. Their chicken salad has wheat gluten in it. Why would I eat that? Gross.

If I forget my lunch, guess where I go? The grocery store! Usually I can find a can of tuna without additives (if I can't, I get a can of salmon), an avocado, and maybe a raw veggie to eat. I grab a plastic knife and fork from my office kitchen (or you can have your own supply) and I'm good -- I eat right out of the can, and right out of the avocado peel (salt optional but nice if you have some around). I don't need a knife to cut up a red pepper, but if you start eating it like an apple, be prepared for some strange looks.

So here are my top fast food choices for advanced SCDers (and low carbers):

1. Raw prewashed salad greens

You know, I saw these at the supermarket all the time. They cost about $5.50 for a very big clear plastic tub of prewashed organic salad greens. I thought that was kind of expensive, because I shop CHEAP, people.

But one time I thought... OK, I'll try it.

My husband now calls that tub the Salad Bin of Holding because you get so many salads out of it, you can't believe it. Really. Try it. It will save you time and you will eat more salad, which is a good thing.

2. Coleslaw mix

I know, this is kind of related. But you can get a decent sized bag of shredded cabbage and carrot pieces for about $1.25. It's low carb and SCD legal, and it is really fun to use oil and vinegar and mix it in with every salad you can think of. I've made tuna and egg salads with it and they are always totally yum.

3. Hardboiled eggs

Yes, the humble hardboiled egg. Why aren't you making these for yourself already? Boil up a dozen or so and stick them in the fridge. You've got cheap, fast protein all week. Unless you're intolerant or allergic, and if you are, I am sorry. I have a slight sensitivity to eggs and it annoys me, because I would eat tons of them if I could.

4. Canned salmon/tuna

You don't have to cook it. Enough said. Most of the canned tuna out there has soy broth in it, so stay away from those. Trader Joe's has decent water pack tuna that's just tuna and water. There is also a fancier kind of tuna that comes in olive oil, but I don't remember the name of it. Just READ LABELS and you will be fine. I get the canned wild salmon at Costco. A six pack of cans is $9. Plus, you can throw it in those gourmet salads you'll be making with the above ingredients.

5. Cheese

If you are one of the lucky ones on SCD who can tolerate aged cow cheeses, then hooray for you! I can't, so I occasionally indulge in goat cheddar. It is around $10/pound at Trader Joe's, which is half the price of Chevre Noir. And I really don't even like Chevre Noir, so it's all good. Cut it with a knife, and eat it. The end!

6. Steamed veggie of your choice

I just recently figured out that I can steam broccoli in the microwave for, like, three minutes. It's easy. Just put the pieces on a plate wet (you washed it anyway, right?) and you have cooked broccoli in three minutes. Done!

I have TONS of other food I cook in bulk, but I will save that for another post.

Just remember: If you are on SCD, it is better to eat an advanced food that's available rather than a non-SCD food.

And if you're low carb, you CAN find food. If you can't find food, you will probably feel OK anyway until you can find food, because your blood sugar will be stable from you already being low carb!

Never apologize for taking care of yourself. You're too important.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

everything in moderation

I started talking to my co-worker, who has done low carb before and always falls off the bandwagon, as he says.

And another co-worker eventually wandered up as we were discussing carbs, and he said, "Everything in moderation!"

At the time I didn't think to say, hey, that doesn't work for all of us.

Exhibit 1: My husband. He's tall, relatively lean, and eats whatever he wants. I'd say he eats relatively high carb.

Exhibit 2: Me. I'm shorter, a bit fatter, and I've recently gained some weight -- not much, just enough for me to notice, and I eat relatively low carb.

I can hear some people saying, "So see? More carbs, skinnier person."

But that's not what I see, and here's why.

If I consumed the amount of carbs that my husband consumed, I would instantly gain weight. I would even go so far to say that within the course of six months, I would easily weigh over 300 pounds. I could prove this, but I would rather not, for obvious reasons.

At certain times, I weighed over 200 pounds while I was eating the same way he was, and it was extremely difficult to control my weight during those times.

I do not believe that one diet fits all, but I do believe that refined carbs and refined sugar are toxic foods to any person who is morbidly obese. To some degree, they are toxic to everybody, but some people can handle those foods better than others. Obese people are NOT those people.

Being obese does not mean that a person does not have self control. It does not mean that they eat too much and exercise too little.

In my estimation, it means that person cannot process refined carbs correctly. And why not? What's wrong with them?

Nothing.

To be perfectly frank, NONE of us should be able to digest that crap. It's an honest to God miracle that the obesity rate isn't 100 percent in my opinion. Through the evolution of mankind, refined foods have had no place. And yet we have the government touting six to eleven servings of grain PER DAY.

The hardest part for an obese person will be the first two weeks of going low carb. Why? Because they are addicted. I know. I was. Your body can barely tell the difference between a candy bar, a piece of bread, and a piece of pizza, and if you go through the daily meal plan of most Americans, you're eating carbs all day long. Why? Well, your doctor told you to cut fat! So you eat carbs, and your blood sugar stays high. And then you crash, and then you need more carbs, because your blood sugar has to stay high so that you don't feel like you're going to fall asleep, and your body will SCREAM at you if you try to change that state. In obese people, all of that sugar -- and yes, I mean potato chips and bread, those count too -- tells your body to store fat. Lots and lots of fat.

I was finally able to kick the sugar addiction after YEARS of effort. It wasn't easy for me. The first week I was off all bread and sugar (yes, even off gluten free substitutes), I felt like I would die. I'm not kidding. Why? Because I was an addict. And that's why people feel crappy on low carb diets in the beginning. Your body has to adjust back down to the amount of sugar it has evolved to take in -- which is far less than you're eating with the standard American diet.

Yet, there's resistance. People are horrified by talk of a diet that will make you feel bad in the short term. Although, I'm sure nobody tells people that they shouldn't quit smoking because they'll feel crappy for a few weeks.

After that, the fog lifted, and I was free. I could look at a muffin or a piece of pizza and not want it. In the entire course of my life, this had never happened before. But for my thinner husband, this happens to him all the time. He will put candy in the fridge and forget about it for weeks. Before I cut out sugar and bread, I would think about the candy in the fridge every single day until he ate it. Every. Single. Day.

For me, and for other people like me who cannot handle refined carbs at all, the whole "Everything in moderation!" concept is a joke.

I know full well that if I were to eat something high carb now, I would not be able to stop eating it. I have proof of this. I ate too much fruit at Disneyland, because they give you this giant serving. I was cranky and irritable for hours later when my blood sugar crashed. Why? Because my body had adjusted to less sugar. So when it was hit with all of that fruit, my body cleared that sugar out of my bloodstream quick as a flash -- now that it wasn't tired from doing that 24/7 -- and then I was hit by that cranky low. I don't care to repeat that experience.

Before I went low carb, I had made some changes. I had stopped buying cookies and cakes and I almost never had potato chips around. But that still wasn't good enough. Not when you're an addict.

Do people tell alcoholics that they should consume alcohol in moderation? Of course not. It's a trigger for them (and a trigger that has been tied to -- surprise!-- carb addiction).

But yet everybody seems to think that carb addicts should be able to eat a donut now and then.

Well, I can't. And other obese people can't either, unless they find or make reasonable low carb substitutes. Although I might not even want those. Sometimes I think about wanting a donut, but now I'd probably think they were so sweet I wouldn't want it.

So, that's what I think about this whole moderation thing. It might work for people who are physically like my husband, but certainly not for me -- and I seriously doubt there will be any measure of success for any obese person out there.

I am pleased to also report that when you eat low carb, you get a normal appetite.

Before, I was always, constantly hungry. Every obese person is, I think. I had no idea what real hunger felt like, because I was always jonesing for a starch fix.

It is such a relief to not be a slave to food anymore.

Sorry I veered off topic today. SCD by itself is not a low carb diet, but I think there are MANY people with digestive dysfunction who need to LOSE weight. I think every obese person can benefit from SCD, because SCD also cuts sugars and starches. If you have IBS, Crohn's, colitis, and are obese, you can benefit from a lower carb version of SCD. You will heal and you will feel better. If you need to gain weight, pile on the carbs! It's a proven method.

My heart goes out to every obese person out there. I have several in my own family. I want to help my family change, but it's very difficult to change the behavior of an addict -- especially when the government tells them that they are eating the correct foods to lose weight.

Quick link: This lecture by Gary Taubes is fantastic. He's talking to a bunch of doctors about why telling their patients to eat less, exercise more does not work at all. If you have an hour to spare, I highly recommend it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

bacon and low cost SCD food

Again, I must apologize for lack of posting!

However, I do have several recipes in the works, but I'm not quite ready to post them yet.

Tonight, though, we'll be having legal bacon for dinner!

It's hard to find legal bacon, so I always check packages whenever I go shopping. So I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that Ralph's brand low sodium bacon was SCD legal!

I do believe that Ralph's is part of the Albertson's/Jewel family of stores so you may find similarly marked store brands of bacon at those stores as well. It's usually on sale, too -- 2 packages for $6 or $7.

One caveat: I have heard that some companies use undeclared corn starch to keep bacon slices from sticking together. I do not know if this is true, and I go by the label. My son is pretty sensitive to most SCD illegals and he has had no issues, but if you have an allergy, by all means contact the company to ask about any additives during processing.

I also wanted to share some of my bargain basement food finds with you.

Guys, it really, REALLY pays to shop around when you are on SCD. The variance in prices is simply astonishing. In my area, the major supermarkets (like Ralph's for example) sell produce at a huge markup. In fact, most of it is what I would consider to be unaffordable.

When I was living in my old neighborhood, I was about a block away from a store called Jon's. I never went there, for some reason. I usually drove down to Albertson's. We are creatures of habit, after all.

Anyway, one day I ran out of something and I didn't have time to go to Albertson's, so I decided to walk to Jon's and check it out.

I found the most amazing prices on produce I'd ever SEEN.

Apricots for 59 cents per pound. Roma tomatoes, 2 pounds for a dollar. Oranges, 3 pounds for a dollar. Big bunches of fresh herbs for 89 cents apiece. Pickling cucumbers for 99 cents a pound. And about ten different kinds of peppers (this is southern California, after all). Yellow onions, four pounds for a dollar.

The entire department was humming with activity, and all of the produce was incredibly fresh. I was absolutely STUNNED.

So now, I always go to Jon's for produce. I recently moved, and one of the first stores I looked up was the closest Jon's. Recently I got raspberries for 99 cents per little container (which I don't think is quite a pint ... or is it?) and fresh strawberries for $1.50 per pound. I've gone home with something like ten pounds of produce for under ten bucks more often than not.

Now, I amuse myself by looking at the prices at Ralph's when I go there!

I do still go to Ralph's for cheap fresh chicken parts without additives. I can buy large amounts of fresh Foster Farms chicken parts at Costco, but when I want to buy smaller quantities, I go to Ralph's. Read the packages and you'll likely find some kind without additives. Sanderson Farms is one of the good brands.

I also check their meat markdown section -- if it's expiring in a day, that's fine by me!

Where else have I found some great prices? Trader Joe's. Cheap food at Trader Joe's? It's true! I had someone snort at me when I told them Trader Joe's had cheap frozen spinach. They thought my definition of cheap was somehow different from theirs.

Try $1.29 per pound -- and it's pesticide free!

I usually can't afford organic produce all of the time, much as I'd like to be able to. So I make do with what I can get. I get five pound bags of organic green beans at Costco for about $5. I get five pound bags of organic baby carrots there, too, for about the same price. The pesticide free spinach at Trader Joe's isn't organic, but it's certainly better than the conventional stuff -- and it's even cheaper than the conventional stuff!

I also get light coconut milk at Trader Joe's. It's SCD legal, and only a dollar per can. Their almond butter is only $5 per jar, which is cheaper than the Whole Foods 365 brand. And TJ's also has goat cheddar for around $7-$8 per block -- far cheaper than Chevre Noir, and better tasting to boot.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the olive oil, however.

If you love the taste of good olive oil, check out the TJ's California olive oil. A 16 oz bottle costs $6 and it is AMAZING in my opinion. A review is here. I am no snob when it comes to food, but I can't get enough of this stuff. It tastes so good!

And one other thing to look for -- the NutriClean Certified sticker. I recently bought a butternut squash with this shiny purple sticker on it. I had no idea what it meant.

Turns out it is part of a program that tests produce for pesticide residue. If there's no detectable levels of pesticides, the food is then NutriClean Certified.

So if you can't afford organic, then look for NutriClean! It's pretty great for those of us who can't exactly break the bank when it comes to food.

So! Hope that helps you save a few bucks. In this economy, we can use all the help we can get.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jamaican Jerk chicken... crock pot style

I really should not be writing this.

I'm in the midst of a very big project, I'm supposed to be working on a LONG self-paced training session, I've got scripts to read, and a newsletter to lay out.

Sigh.

But I had to share this recipe with you.

My family recently moved to a nice new neighborhood, and my husband had the good fortune to try out Zankou chicken. He had never eaten hummus, or tabbouleh, or anything like that, and I got jealous because I was missing all sorts of ethnic foods.

First, I want to mention that if you do want to try out some more ethnic recipes, try out Raman Prasad's cookbook here. I've been meaning to do a proper review but my food tolerances have only recently gotten to the point where I can actually try some of the recipes I really want to try.

But anyway, I started poking around on the Internet and I stumbled across Jamaican Jerk chicken.

I read several recipes before deciding to attempt it. I made it at first in a skillet without marinating it first, because I didn't have time for that. It was OK.

But then the long traditional marination time struck me as something useful for a crock pot.

Of course it's not barbecued like true Jamaican Jerk chicken would be, but it's still pretty good.

The interesting thing is, my son LOVES this chicken. It's spicy as all get out, but then I realized that most of the heat is in the sauce. In the crock pot, this dish becomes extremely saucy. So as long as I went easy on the sauce when I served it to my guy, he was fine and ended up eating three bowls!

By the way, if you've never gotten smoked paprika, you are missing out. It's delicious. I buy the big McCormick brand at Costco. It's not spicy but it helps to impart a smoky flavor. Yum!

JAMAICAN JERK CROCK POT CHICKEN

4-6 fresh chicken thighs with bones (about 3 pounds)
6 cloves garlic, thrown in whole
1-2 onions, chopped
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp original Tabasco (only the original is SCD legal)
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp honey
1-2 tsp allspice (I did not have this)

Put all ingredients in the crock with the chicken on the bottom. Cook on high for about six hours. Done!


Personally I think putting some spinach in the crock would taste really good, but there wasn't enough room in my crock to do that (I have a 4 quart one).

As I mentioned, I did not have allspice. Until recently I thought allspice was a blend of spices. Well, it isn't! It's a single spice and as we know, single spices without additives are legal. Allspice is a traditional jerk chicken spice.

Oh, and one more thing -- you'll probably need to add more salt at the end to the individual bowls of food. When you cook anything for a long time with salt added, the salty taste fades, even though the sodium content of the food remains the same. So you end up adding way more salt than you need to if you add a lot at the start of cooking.

Enjoy!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Math is hard

I know that many of my posts seem to be about medical studies, or about how grains are just flat out bad for you.

I think it's important that people know that studies lie, and that the information that's out there right now -- the information that mainstream doctors are using to treat people in this country -- is not necessarily accurate.

I think that's an essential part of starting to understand just why the SCD works for people, and why it's one of the healthiest diets around.

So bear with me. *grin*

This article from the Fat Head blog explains what kind of scare tactics researchers like to employ while talking about their latest study results. Have an excerpt:

Multiplication and division can produce big, impressive-sounding percentages that are in fact nearly meaningless. Here’s an example that helped enshrine the “cholesterol kills” theory:

After a major study with the acronym MRFIT was concluded, the researchers announced that people with high cholesterol were over 400% more likely to die of heart disease. Ohmigosh!! Get me into an Ornish program, now! I must reduce my cholesterol!

That’s a big, scary number. Let’s see how they came up with it.

Over the course of the study, 0.3% of the men whose cholesterol was below 170 died from heart disease. Meanwhile, 1.3% of the men whose cholesterol was over 265 died of heart disease. Over 265?! Dead man walking! Buy your casket now and save!

And in fact, since 1.3/0.3 = 4.33, you could say that 1.3 is over 400% higher.

Now flip the numbers and look at the actual difference. In the low cholesterol group, 99.7% did not die from a heart attack. Among the very high cholesterol group, 98.7% did not die from a heart attack. That’s a difference of 1.0%. In other words, if you go up the scale from low cholesterol to very high cholesterol (nearly 100 points higher), the real difference is that an extra 1 in 100 men died of heart disease. Not quite such a scary number, is it?


and one more quote regarding statins...

"In the study cited by Pfizer, men with known risk factors for heart disease took either Lipitor or a placebo. In the placebo group, barely more than 3% had a heart attack. In the Lipitor group, 2% had a heart attack. Use division, and you get that impressive 36% reduction. But the difference, once again, is 1 in 100, or 1%. Boy, that’s worth giving your liver a major smack-down.

And by the way, the difference in the heart-attack rate for women who take statins and women who don’t is: zero. You can multiply that difference, divide it, square it, triangle it, stick it inside a trapezoid, whatever … you still can’t come up with a reason for women to take statins - ever."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We need grains ... or do we?

Dr. Eades has a great blog post regarding a very interesting paper.

Nutrition and health in agriculturalists and hunter-gatherers

Send this one to a friend the next time they start lauding that laughable food pyramid again.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sweet and healthy

I know I haven't been updating much. I'm in the midst of moving, and I am training for a certain certification at work, so you will all have to just bear with me, I'm afraid. :)

But I had something to share with you anyway!

We just got the TV hooked up in our new place, and my husband and I were watching American Idol. During a commercial break was a promo for the news following. The pert broadcaster simply said, "Sweet AND healthy? Details at 11."

At the time, I was eating mostly thawed frozen strawberries out of a mug. In fact, I had a strawberry speared on a fork as she said this. I turned to my husband, fork in hand. "Hmm, sweet AND healthy...I can't imagine," I said.

He said, "Don't get smart."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

red meat? yes please!

If you're a little worried about all the negative press red meat consumption has been getting, stop by Mark's Daily Apple and check out his piece, appropriately titled The Red Scare.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

tired

There are so many different things I could post in here, sometimes it gets kind of overwhelming.

It's not really a recipe blog, or a diet blog, or a rheumatoid arthritis blog. It's not strictly an autism blog, or a colitis blog.

It's just... an SCD blog, I guess. Our journey.

With that, I have an update on my condition.

I'm currently taking doxycycline to combat my rheumatoid arthritis. Antibiotic therapy is not widely used, but the research behind it is interesting to be sure.

I've been on the antibiotic now for almost three months. My doctor went over my lab results with me, which were drawn after one month on the antibiotic.

At the time, I was in a lot of pain and discomfort. But all of my disease activity markers... are trending downward. Also, I'm able to tolerate more advanced foods, like raw fruits and veggies in small amounts. Yay!

But, if all of these markers are looking good, why do I still feel bad? My wrist is still all swelled up. So are my hands.

The hypothesis is, I'm experiencing a Herxheimer reaction.

In simpler terms, I'm going through a massive round of die-off of bad bacteria -- which pretty much everyone on SCD can identify with.

So! My doctor thinks I should stay the course, because the medication is actually working.

And contrary to popular belief, you CAN be on medication and do SCD at the same time. Now, many medications have ingredients that you probably should steer clear of, but you can either choose to take them (which will delay or slow healing) or you can get them compounded at a compounding pharmacy.

So. I am doing OK, even if I am in a lot of pain right now.

I have another recipe to post for you when I have a bit more energy, I promise.

And man, I just can't stop making pickles!! They taste so awesome!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

pickles

So after much consulting of the Internets, I have come up with my own refrigerator pickle recipe. They are a lot of fun to make and they are very crisp like Claussen's... or at least, what I remember Claussen pickles to taste like.

I was told at one point there is a legal pickle at Trader Joe's. They were called half sour dills with whole spices in the jars. So far, I have never found them, but if you do... they're accepted as legal by the SCD populace.

On to my recipe!

You might want to cut the brine recipe in half if you are not making a lot. I found that if I stuffed a quart jar with cucumbers, I needed 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 1/2 cups water (and thus 1 1/2 tsp salt). So that is 1/4 of the recipe. At least I think it was a quart jar. Now it is full of pickles, so I can't check.

MY REFRIGERATOR PICKLE RECIPE

2 cups apple cider vinegar (or distilled white vinegar, wine vinegar, whatever you want)
4 cups cold water
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon dried dill (or fresh sprigs of dill)
pickling cucumbers, cut into spears (peeled if you're still symptomatic)
whole peeled garlic cloves (if you want)

Mix up the vinegar, cold water, and salt. Peel if you are still peeling your veggies to cook them.

Cut cucumbers into spears or rounds or whatever. Toss in the jar with the dill and garlic, and refrigerate. Ready in about 10 days.


I found pickling cucumbers at my local grocery store, but I live in a really strange ethnic neighborhood, so I can't say that they're available everywhere. I'm told the dark green ones with lots of warty spots are the freshest. As you can see from the photos, the ones I got are not the freshest. But they still worked fine! I just picked the ones that felt really hard.

Heh.


My not-fresh pickling cucumbers

Here you can see our very big pickle jar in progress. This jar holds half a gallon I think. I needed the whole brine recipe and then some for it. Luckily you can do the math and cut it down or multiply as needed. Well, at least I hope you can. I can't really assume. One time while I was working retail, these 11-year-olds asked me how much 50 percent off a pair of earrings was. After I finished laughing, I realized they were serious. And then I was sad.


See? Dill bits abound.

The fresh sprigs of dill are a much better idea than the dried. The dried dill sticks to the pickles and then you have to worry about dill in your teeth. A social faux pas if ever there was one.


Finished jar, ready for refrigeration!

So there you have it. You can start eating the pickles in about 10 days. Anything before that, they don't really taste much like pickles. They will become more pickle-like as time goes on. The brine and pickles should keep for about a month after the 10-day period.

Oh, and I did have a pickle helper...



He hasn't exactly been behaving lately, so he hasn't had a chance to try them. But I am sure he will be thrilled when he does. :)

Enjoy!

Monday, March 2, 2009

the brady bunch!

OK, so I had this totally brilliant idea!

I'm ruining it already, aren't I?

Anyway.

Today, I was thinking about Clark, and about other autistic kids, and one popular way for them to learn appropriate interactions with other kids is through modeling.

Video modeling is popular, where the kids are shown appropriate videos of peer interactions.

Anyway, I was just thinking...the Brady Bunch would be PERFECT for this.

There are a TON of kid interactions, and they are ALL appropriate. If somebody hurts someone else, they have to apologize. If somebody lies, they get called on it.

Plus, it's NOT SUBTLE at all. Autistic kids have a terrible time with subtleties. I think TV viewers today would complain about how sanitized and simplified the Brady Bunch is, but those qualities make it perfect for autistic kids, in my opinion.

I totally want to show Clark Brady Bunch reruns now. I think it would be a great and fun thing to watch with him and discuss what was happening in the episode during the commercial breaks.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

grapefruit!

I am in love with grapefruit right now.

They are three for a dollar -- and they are humongous -- at Jon's, because I live in SoCal, where citrus lives. I like to peel them like oranges and then peel open each individual section and just eat the insides. The amount of peel is thus quite immense. I munch happily despite the mess.

Jon's is right down the street. So usually, I walk there. And then I only buy three grapefruit because there is not a lot of room in the refrigerator, and I don't really want to carry more than that.

And then I eat them all within 48 hours, and thus I must go back.

But I am now out of grapefruit. And it is now too late to go walking to Jon's.

Boo for no grapefruit!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

No, statins really aren't good for you

I thought I'd post about the latest statin madness here, courtesy of Dr. Eades:

More statin madness

I love this article with all of my heart. Key quote below!

"What they’re saying here is that statins have been shown to reduce mortality from heart disease in those who have elevated LDL, which is true.

But this decrease in deaths from heart disease is compensated for by an increase in deaths from cancer and other causes, so there really isn’t a gain. You’re still dead. Just maybe not from heart disease, but what difference does it make?

Are you going to spend $200 per month for the rest of your life and stay on medications that may make you feel lousy and lose your memory just so you can die of something other than heart disease?"


It also includes an interesting side note: people who regularly take their prescriptions (known as "adherers") live longer than people who don't -- even if it's a placebo.

It's fascinating stuff. I admit it -- I think I have a girly crush on Dr. Eades. Woo!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Vanilla extract

As you probably already know, only vanilla extracts without sugars and colors added are SCD legal.

This may surprise you. I know it surprised me. But most commercial vanilla extracts are full of all kinds of junk these days -- caramel color and sugar are two of the more popular offenders.

I recently found a bottle of legal vanilla extract at Smart and Final, but it only lists "alcohol" on it. Now I personally have to write and find out if the alcohol they used is distilled -- and thus, gluten free. My son and I remain gluten free due to demonstrated sensitivity to gluten, you see.

Anyway! I started thinking. I thought, Self, why do you do this to yourself? Why don't you try to make my own?

I haven't yet. But when I do, I'm going to use this web site.

From that site, I learned that most of the people on the Internet are making vanilla incorrectly, which is why some sites say that making it on your own just doesn't work all that well.

Some takeaway points, if you are going to attempt this:

--use a dark brown, blue, or green bottle or other airtight container
--remember that only LIGHT rum is SCD legal, if you decide to use rum
--Vodka is the most neutral tasting alcohol
--shoot for 80 proof (40 percent alcohol)
--try to get "grade B" vanilla beans, which create a better and stronger extract
--use at MINIMUM 8 beans per 8 ounces of alcohol. Commercial vanilla producers have ways to bang all the good stuff out of the beans -- we're just cutting them lengthwise. So we have to use more.
--don't be afraid to use more beans! There are plenty of "double strength" brands of vanilla out there. Go for it.

By the way, I have taste tested my pickles and they are DIVINE. I am going to be posting photos and a recipe soon, so stay tuned! :D

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cognitive leap!

Yesterday, my darling six-year-old son did something he's never done before.

I've talked before about how his autism has been much improved since starting the SCD diet), and at this point, I feel he really doesn't have much in the way of cognitive delays. All of his delays now are behavioral with some very very mild speech delays. But he's starting to catch up on the behavior side, even though he does have a long way to go in some respects.

The day didn't start off well. My son had not been well behaved at school. In fact, he was sent to the principal's office not once, but twice.

He was soundly punished upon his arrival home, with much time sitting in bed and no games, toys, or books.

During dinner, he started acting up again. My husband pointed out that he was going to end up back in bed at the rate he was going. I chimed in to tell Clark that I agreed.

Clark got very angry. He then turned to me and said, "SHUT UP, YOU JERK!"

I was completely stunned. Jeffrey wasted no time in sending our darling child to bed again. I giggled in spite of myself.

He used an insult appropriately! Isn't that cool?!

Parents of autistic kids get excited about some weird stuff.