Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gluten free, Dairy free, Egg free - Have I lost you?

Yep, my 2 1/2 year old has food intolerences (we 'can't' call them allergies because she doesn't have an IgE response to these foods). Instead she likely has an IgA or IgG response, which isn't as testable. The 'golden standard' for food sensitivities is trial and error. Basically, remove offending foods from your diet, until you are symptom-free then add them back in, rinse and repeat. If you have a negative reaction then you have a food allergy/sensitivity/intolerance. Luckily I found foodlab, a Yahoo group of people figuring out their or their child(ren)'s food issues.

First as a hypothyroid patient, then as an infertility patient, then dealing with dyshidrotic eczema, and now with a daughter with food issues, I have discovered that doctors don't know everything. Big heavy sigh. But they think they do.
In all of these health issues I have lucked upon very knowledgeable groups of people who through trial, error, research and collective experience know more than our GPs, gynecologists, endocrinologists and dermatologists about our particular issue and how to treat them. Basically, it boils down to a bunch of people becoming experts in one field, their own condition. When you're dealing with issues the doctor doesn't give a good answer for, you dig and dig and talk, and dig some more, while the doc meets other patients dealing with a different issue. So, it really isn't all that surprising that the patients would eventually know more about their 'pet problem' while the doc only has a superficial understanding of the issue.
Unfortunately, the medical community goes to college to learn everything. They pay big bucks to soak up whatever the pharmaceutically funded college spits out.
And medical schools teach the accepted practices and knowledge that has been voted on by medical people after prolonged *funded* research.
Obviously, as one's own advocate you have to be careful and shrewd. Don't take one person's word for it. Don't pay for anything without thoroughly researching first.
Resources I have found in my web travels:

I'm not saying to skip the doctor. Just be an informed patient.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Local Art

I recently got a taste of the local skill here in what I consider nowhere, California... (If you love California, this valley probably doesn't even register, you may have heard of Fresno, or Bakersfield, but neither are one's destination. Unless you're crazy enough to move here. Sigh.) Anyway, eventually you can find the riches in the midst of the ugh.
Two Visalia artisans with serious skills delivered some gems. Below is a portrait of my daughter by Fulgere Photography wearing a gorgeous dragon fly hair clip by Swanky Baby Gear.
Melissa of Swanky Baby Gear made a solar veil ring sling for me back when the munchkin was tiny, so I'd known about her sewing and accessories for awhile. But Arielle of Fulgere Photography just recently started showing off her photography skills and we were lucky to get a photo shoot while she was building her portfolio.

Monday, October 4, 2010


My co-sleeping munchkin used the sidecar bed last night for the first time. The crib has been attached to the bed  for a long time, mostly collecting toys.  But for the first time she moved over there on her own and stayed for at least 8 hours. Sigh, talk about bitter sweet.
Perhaps that's why I went on a sugar frenzy this weekend... I whipped up:
  • chocolate chip and date cookies based on the Gluten-Free Gourmand's Scone recipe
  • experimented with orange coconut milk ice cream
  • attempted candy orange peels - not a success, I guess next time I'll have to actually pay attention to the sugar temps
  • chocolate coconut milk ice cream with double the maple syrup and 2 T arrowroot - super yum!
  • and to add something really good for me, started my first batch of fermented carrots.
Note the still solidifying homemade chocolate candy shell over the ice cream. Clearly I have a sugar issue. But oh my, that ice cream is wonderful. The munchkin can't have eggs (or wheat or a few other things) and the spouse can't have pasteurized dairy, so I've had to alter my ice creamaholicism to special brands that are rather pricey and don't help our budget... So, I am thrilled to find a handmade ice cream that is actually edible with little 'ole me as the ice cream maker. Coconut milk seems to be a natural ingredient in 'ice cream', since it is full of healthy fat and hardens creamily when put in the freezer.