Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Gluten Free Dairy Free Potato Soup

Who Does Not Love a Yummy Comfort Food

 That Tastes Good??!

This soup is very easy and delicious! :)

You will need one bag of organic potatoes (I use russet), or 5 large potatoes (Organic potatoes are SUPER important.)
One carton of organic, gluten free chicken broth (or about 3 cups of your own fresh chicken stock) I use Pacific. You can add more water as needed to achieve the desired thickness of the soup.
One chicken gf bullion cube, "Not Chick'n" vegan brand
Sea salt, pepper
Hot sauce

Peel your potatoes, cut into 3 large sections. Put in Medium/large pot and cover with broth. Add the bullion cube and cook potatoes down, smashing them as you go. Cook approximately one- two hours.  Add sea salt, pepper, and hot sauce as needed. This with give it the appearance of a thick cheesy soup, and the bullion gives it a delicious taste! Add fresh bacon bits to the top and serve. Or for a diet with dairy, add shredded cheddar cheese as desired...while cooking, and on top!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Five Years Later


"Life is 10% what happens to you

and 90% how you react to it."

-Charles R. Swindoll

I know this is a LOOOOOOONG overdue post, so I'm just going to jump right in here. But first, an apology. I normally try to mix in a little humor or light heartedness...but today it just didn't happen. This is what was on my heart. I hope it makes you think, and encourages you. Here we go!
REACTION.  Reaction is "an action performed or a feeling experienced in response to a situation or event."  Reaction defines us on the outside. People categorize other people by the way they respond. When something does not go your way, do you react in anger or fear? When you have been pushed to the limit, what is your response? Do you turn to God? Do you give up? Do you make your mind up that you can make it through? 
 There are people in this world who have become known because their reaction set them apart (and I mean in a GOOD way). They did not let their circumstances define them. Instead, they used them as a platform to move forward. Our reaction has a strong influence on the end result. For some, that result is bitterness and anger. For others, it is joy and peace.

I heard Beth Moore tell a story about a man who had lost two of his children. He had grown old and had a big get together with the
family. He told his kids something like "I'm glad we didn't miss out on you, because we missed out on them." He put his time and energy into loving the kids that were still here, rather than letting bitterness overtake him and blind him from what he still had. I think that is a powerful lesson. In our human nature it's so easy to focus on the negative. We become controlled BY our reaction, rather than controlling HOW we react.
 In dealing with chronic sickness it can be the same way.  Don't be so consumed by your child's illness that it blinds you from living. Do not let the sad parts of their life take away your joy, and change your focus from what really matters. I know as moms we want to FIX the problem. I remember when I was fighting for Emma Kate's health and how all consuming that was! Mentally IT WAS HARD!!! But I was determined God would lead us through, and He did! Even in my brokenness, I did not give up. My reaction was never to quit, also, to never miss out. I did not want to miss out on Grant because I was so busy with her. Had my reaction been different, I feel quite certain we would be living a different life right now. Do not be so blind sided by the gravity of the problem, that you forget God is there to help. When you can't see, He can. What you don't know, He does. So when you feel like your 90% reaction is going into negativity and stealing your energy, allow God to take control. Our heart controls our reaction, and our heart should be given to God. When this is the case, our reaction to chaos and confusion can still be PEACE. The peace that passes understanding.
So my question is, what do your kids see when they watch you? Do they see parents who are so unsure of their future that they cannot even focus on today? Do they learn to worry because they see you do it? Or are you showing them that NO MATTER WHAT you TRUST GOD, and react with the best calm spirit you know how? I encourage you to let your reaction be one that you want them to copy. Do you want them to live in fear because of their health? Do you want them to have a "life's not fair" mentality? All we can do is take the circumstances we are dealing with and make the best of them. Worry changes nothing, and unquenched anger breeds bitterness.
 We are getting ready to do an addition on our house. Now, every time I pull up and look at my house I do not see it as what is currently standing. I SEE my future house! I have a vision and a plan to get there. It's no different with your children. When you look at them, do not see them as a child with a chronic illness...even though that may be your current reality. See them for what they CAN do! See how bright their future CAN be! When we finish our house, it may turn out different than my initial vision. We could love it, we could hate it. Either way, we will embrace it and choose joy because that is where our journey took us and it was a purposeful path. Just like with your kids. Make a plan for better health, take action, but don't be alarmed if things turn out a little different than you had expected. And no matter what, choose joy!  I speak with complete honesty and understanding when I say I know it's NOT EASY. However difficult it is, change your thoughts minute by minute if you have to! When you see limitations, ask God to help you see the positive! Do not think that just because I'm writing this, this was easy for me. I had to take thoughts captive daily!!


Where We Are Now...And Commonly Asked Q's


Right now Emma Kate is 8 years old and in the second grade. She excels in school and has a very disciplined, perfectionistic personality = ) . She is now the big sister of a brother AND sister, and is a wonderful one! She is still a very healthy eater by nature, but I'm pretty sure she take's pride in that now! ;)  I am overjoyed to say nephrotic syndrome is a thing of the past for her. It's been so long since she had it that she really doesn't remember a whole lot. However, I will never allow us to become so far removed that we lose sight of what God did for us! I made a book that we like to look through from time to time that shows her journey. I highly recommend doing that. Even if you are still in the middle of it. It's good to help them understand, help friends and family understand, and hopefully look back on little victories along the way.
This blog has AMAZED me!! I really never expected many people to come across it. However, God had a greater plan. I get email and facebook messages regularly from people going through the same thing. People thankful they found some hope and ENCOURAGEMENT through this site. Others with success stories where they did some or all of the same steps we took and also achieved complete remission. And of course lots of questions! So, I will try to answer some of those here:
1. Is Emma Kate still in remission? Yes
2. Has she ever had another spill over the years? No, with one exception when she had some gluten by mistake.
3. Does she still take all the vitamins and supplements? Yes, however not regularly. I have really slacked off but I'm trying to do better!
4. Do we still stick to the same diet? Yes, she is 100% gluten free and will be forever. She also eats very little dairy. It does not make her spill protein but I know it does not really agree with her so I don't over do it.
5. Does she get vaccines? Yes, very spread out. We took a two year break though when she was sick and recovering. I strongly recommend do your research and do not get the flu shot.
6. The PRP spray and powder seem to have dairy...technically yes, however my NP explained it to me that the form it's in the body does not recognize it as dairy and even the MOST dairy reactive people have been perfectly fine with it. It will not interfere with a dairy free diet.
7. Do you still test her urine? Only when she is sick, about 1x a year. It's always negative so I just don't.
CONTACT: I do not get notified when people comment on here. I am happy to talk with anyone. You can find me on facebook as Meredith Cook, or you can email me at mkcook07@yahoo.com

"A wise person is hungry for knowledge,

while the fool feeds on trash.

 For the despondent everyday brings trouble;

for the happy heart, life is a continual feast."

Proverbs 15: 14-15

Despondent = low in spirit from loss of hope or courage.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Two Years Now, Full Remission!

"Broken Crayons Still Color...Live in the Present & Make it BEAUTIFUL!"

As I sit outside on this beautiful day, I am reminded of God's grace. Grace, "the free and unmerited favor or help of God." To see my daughter ride her bike with no care in the world. To be able to buy her clothes and know they will fit because swelling is not a concern. To be able to eat food and not worry if it has salt in it. To not panic each time her nose gets sniffly. These things are all blessings to us, blessings most people would never even think to thank God for, that is, unless your child was told they had nephrotic syndrome. And you were told they may never be off steroids and their childhood could easily consist of multiple hospital visits, along with daily concerns about blood pressure, clots, swelling, and scarring.

 So today, I sit here soaking in God's grace and mercy with overflowing thankfulness for Emma Kate's good health. A day I remember longing for a couple years ago. I watched her stroll across the drive way on her bike, looking less like herself because she was swelling and we were fighting a protein spill. However hard those days were, God was still there, leading me. The tears streaming down my face, He saw every one. God's mercy can show itself in a number of ways, and during that time God's mercy was given to me in the form of guidance. I could not see it at the time, but I knew God was there and I just kept trusting. After all, what other choice did I have? So to sit where I am today is such an amazing place to be...it is hard to even put it into words. It has now been TWO full years of remission and ZERO meds! Emma Kate recently celebrated her sixth birthday, and is as healthy as ever! We are truly blessed, but most importantly we know it and humbly give ALL the glory to God.

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

One thing that is very clear to me now, is that God had a plan for our journey. His plan was to use us to encourage others and give hope that maybe steroids are not the only solution. Doctors can be so negative and the internet is even worse. After her diagnosis I remember searching the web for hours at a time to find ONE story of HOPE. Everything was so sad and negative. And understandably so. But I craved to find just one story I could cling to that people found an alternative solution. Now, by the grace of God, that is exactly what this blog has turned into.  I am reminded of the verse "For I know the plans I have for you declares The Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jer. 29:11 It is so hard for us sometimes because we live in the moment. It's easy to forget God knows exactly where you will be 10 years from now. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He has a plan for us, and if we trust Him, each step by step He will be faithful to lead us. Though it may not always be in the way we anticipated.

In the past 8 months I have been through some personal trials that have reminded me, that when we do not understand, we still have to trust in God's greater plan. And God has been gracious to give me verses to cling to as I wait on Him. And He reminds me of how He has brought me through time and time again. We can't always see it with our human eyes, but GOD IS FAITHFUL.

When we were in those dark days I never allowed my self to think in terms of "why" or "this is not fair", and I still don't. My dad taught me a hard truth early on that "life's not fair." It stinks, but some times that unfairness works out in your favor! Just like this blog. The changes we have made will not work for everyone, some kids will still end up needing a transplant. However, it just may change a life. And more importantly, it may help someone to find peace and learn to trust God. All I do know is this is what God wants me to be doing, so I am.

I am daily amazed how many people this blog has reached. I remember when I first started it, I thought maybe 5 people would come across it. Well, over 130,000 people have come across it! Considering the specifics of this blog, that number blows my mind! I have gotten personal email from people in Jamaica, India, England, Canada, U.K. and the U.S. I love being able to encourage others and answer questions about diet. It is truly the work of God and I feel blessed to be His vessel!

Emma Kate:

The only recent news with her is that for the first time in two years (that I am aware ) she actually did have some protein show up in her urine. She is getting older and approaching the age that she goes to play with friends with out me there. Well, at a friend's house she accidentally ate something she thought was gluten free. She is generally very cautious about her diet, so we had to have a talk about that! She ended up having about a 30 on the dipstick the next day. The day after that it was trace, and a day later it was back to negative. I was disappointed that so little did cause some spilling, however, it did confirm that we are certainly doing the right thing by keeping her on a strict gluten free diet!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

10 Steps to Wellness/Treat a Protein Spill


Our Step by Step, All In One Place

"The best six doctors anywhere

 and no one can deny it

 are sunshine, water, rest, air, exercise, and diet"

 -Wayne Fields

I have been so blessed by all the email I have received letting us know how inspiring our story is, and questions about what to do. I have to admit, this blog has become far more than I ever imagined, but I am so thankful for that! Sometimes all you need is a little *glimmer* of HOPE and then you are able to relax and see things in a new way. With all the email I have been responding to, I find myself writing the same things over and over, to different people. So I decided it is time to put together a list of what "we did" and what I "recommend", just so it's easy for people to see.
 I want to reiterate that I am not a doctor, and this is no guarantee to perfect health. This is simply what we did, and what worked for us. There is a good chance that if you follow it step by step you too will see improvement, or total healing. However, all results vary and no one can know until they try!
Everything listed below has more detail in a different place on my blog. So if you are wanting more details on the "WHY" factor, just search through older posts. :)

The First 12 months- *CONSISTENCY IS KEY!!!
1. Immediately eliminate allergenic foods.
What I recommend: completely 100% CUT OUT GLUTEN/WHEAT, DAIRY, PORK, SHELLFISH and PEANUTS. As much as possible cut out SOY, UNORGANIC FOODS, DYES, PRESERVATIVES, EGGS (only organic when you do eat them) and SUGAR.
Why? Wheat has been altered and is heavily processed to the point it is even hard for "healthy" people to digest it. Dairy is the same. Peanuts are highly allergenic in nature. Sugar is an inflammatory and is also heavily treated. Soy protein is very similar to dairy, but being dairy free sometimes you have to eat a soy alternative. This is okay on occasion so long as it's not in a strong form like milk or ice cream. The other things are just really bad for you. Read up on gluten to understand it, and to know what ingredients to avoid.
2.  Order and start taking supplements.
All on amazon:
-Immuno PRP powder (1/2 scoop every other day/ use hand mixer to blend into almond milk).
-PRP spray by NuMedica (take one spray each night under tongue, work up to 3 sprays daily. If sick, take 5 sprays.)
-Micellized vitamin D drops (mine are in a blue glass bottle/MUST be micellized/ one drop daily)
-Culturelle kids POWDER probiotic. (give one pack on alternating days with the PRP powder/every other day).
-Animal parade multi vitamin for kids (give as directed)
-Animal parade kids Zinc (one a day)
-All natural vitamin C (we use Target gummy/every other day)
-Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Gummies (every other day)
-Bragg Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (add 1 tsp to morning juice/ a couple days a week)
-Fiber gummies (Target brand- if needed to help soften stools. 1/2 to 1 daily or as needed).
3.  Switch to NATURAL shampoos and soaps. We use "Just Natural" shampoo and Baby Ganics and we love them! The key is to recognize all the ingredients.
4.  Make a natural cleaner (I may have a recipe somewhere on my blog, EASY) and use it in the kitchen on all cooking and eating surfaces. I use other cleaners in certain areas of my house, but ONLY natural in my kitchen.
5.  Have blood allergy testing done to determine what hidden allergies (food and other) are going on, then cut them as much as you can also. At least for six months. We ordered a kit online and took it to a local clinic to have the blood drawn, then mailed it off.
*DO not be alarmed if the test shows no reaction to wheat. This was the case with us, and more specific testing showed gluten as Emma Kate's main problem. Either way, the gluten/wheat needs to be cut, so it doesn't really matter. These tests are not strongly accurate, but they certainly give insight you would not other wise have. Also, I think it's important because you may find what a main trigger is that you would not have suspected.
6. *ROTATE FOODS*! This is important because autoimmune bodies can build allergy to things so easily. If you eat the same thing all the time your body could start reacting to it, and you wouldn't suspect the food. This includes fruit, veggies, everything. I try to buy different meats, fruits, and cereals each week.
7. Think 1900's. Try to simplify, everything. Think about how people ate back then, the exercise they got, the sun they got, the amount of FRESH organic foods they ate, the lack of detergents and chemicals they breathed in, the lack of technology they were immersed in. Cover your pillowcase with a hypoallergenic case. Be aware of everything that goes on your child's body. Some kids relapse due to sunscreen...because of the chemicals of course. Try coconut oil instead! Wear a hat....do what you can to not have to use it.
8. Test urine DAILY, in the morning.
 If you notice a little spike,
- Immediately add Raw Apple Cider Vinegar to every drink you can (best in orange or apple juice)-Give a full scoop of the PRP powder, combined with the probiotic
- Increase the spray at night to 5
-Avoid all the occasionally okay foods
-*Get the bowels clear (100% prune juice/ suppository if needed, if they are constipated and prune juice is not doing the trick).
- Have a diet including organic cucumber, asparagus, garlic, and fresh lemon (diuretic/non-inflammatory).
- Drink the herbal tea from my blog at night.
- If the child is old enough and can tolerate it, do a netty pot.
- If you suspect an ear infection, do ear candles.
- Keep this up until the protein is back to trace/negative for at least one day.
-And keep the diet at ALMOST NO SODIUM, as much as you can.
-Doing this helps keep the kidneys going, flushing toxins, allows the immune system to fight off what it may be fighting, and gives the body it's best chance at allowing the protein to come back down naturally.
-After day 4 at 300+ spilling in a row, or on/off spilling for 2 weeks, that's when we went ahead with prednisone.
-Make sure they stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, but also get at least 30 min of fresh air each day. Walking is ideal.
9. Keep a journal. It can be as detailed as you like. Make a note of everything the child ate for the 2-3 days leading up to a relapse. Put a star by things you think may have contributed to the spill. Keep up with strange symptoms like constipation, runny nose, headache, rash, sneezing....try to see if any of the symptoms correlate with a particular food. Also, note swimming pools, sunscreen, fast food...anything out of the ordinary.
10. These are not exactly in order of most important to least, because this really should be at the top of the list. Surround yourself with people who support you, who understand your goal, and who are willing to do what you need when it concerns your child. Join a church, have people put your child on a prayer list. Believe God for wisdom and direction in everything regarding your child. And DON'T GIVE UP!!!
-The point in doing all of this is to CALM the body, since the system is over reacting and attacking itself. And by eliminating foods that can be taxing on the system, you allow the body to fight off things it needs to, like germs and bacteria that make you sick.

Emma Kate often gets more concerned about making sure a food is "safe" than I do. It's amazing what kids can understand if we just let them try. I tell her certain foods are not good for her body, but they are okay for other people. Just like someone with a severe peanut allergy avoids peanuts, we avoid gluten, and that is that.
After the First 12 months:
Asses your child's health. How has the year gone? No relapse? Were they able to come off meds? If you can see a change in your child and KNOW they are much healthier, then it's time you can add back some of the forbidden foods! Cheers! You have to be careful doing this, but you can try to add a little baked in dairy. If their protein is fine the next day, let they try a small piece of cheese. If the urine is still fine, then they are probably fine to have small amounts of cheese or baked in dairy on occasion. Same with peanuts, pork, and shell fish. As for the other "occasional" foods, you just have to see if their body can tolerate them on a regular basis. Eggs always need to be organic and GLUTEN/WHEAT still is NEVER AN OPTION. You have spent one year allowing the gut to heal at this point. Things that used to enter the blood stream and cause a problem, probably don't anymore. However, gluten is so harsh, it would likely tear down that healthy wall you spent so long healing.
As for supplements, you can cut back on the PRP powder and probiotic. Take a one week break from the PRP spray (just to let your system get a break) and then continue it every day for another year, and so on. You can save the Raw Apple Cider Vinegar for when the child is sick, or starting to spill protein. The V D can be given a few days a week, rather than every day.
So there you have it, our not so condensed 10 steps to wellness! Give it a GO!
Then God said
 "I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth
and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food."
Gen 1:29


Sunday, February 2, 2014

One Year of Full Remission! (With Video)

365 Days.

No Protein Spill. No Meds.

Praise God!!!

What a wonderful day! To celebrate one year of FULL REMISSION! Changing your diet and changing your life can be hard. Mostly though, it's inconvenient....and people do not like to be inconvenienced. However, I think the momentary inconvenience pales in comparison to the lifetime of better health one receives. I know everyone may not have the same success with life change as we have had. I do know this though, IT WILL AT LEAST HELP EVERYONE who gives it 100%. How could eating and living better Not help? That's the catch though- most people are only willing to try "a little". I know from experience that trying to go gluten free even "mostly" is not enough to cut it. It has to be 100%! I talk to people all the time with different autoimmune problems, who want to know what we did. As soon as I give them the scoop on diet change, they lose hope. I can see on their face they think it's not for them, because it seems like too much work. But anything in life worth having, is worth fighting for, and your health should be at the top of the list! It can be upsetting how many people I meet that just want a quick, easy solution. The body is so complex, nothing about it is simple. It takes time, energy, sacrifice, research, and patience to try and figure out what may work for you. And my heart aches for those who DO put in the effort with little results. But, you never know what may or may not help you until you try. So be brave! Give better health a shot, you are worth it!
Below is our story of encouragement. I made the video because when Emma Kate was first diagnosed I did what many parents do...I looked up things about it on the web. And I looked at youTube videos. And EVERYTHING I saw was so sad and very discouraging. I wanted to see a story with a happy ending. A story that did not end in a transplant or years upon years of high dose meds with serious side effects. Don't get me wrong, I know that is a reality for many kidney patients. But my heart needed something to give me hope. Something that said it is not always that way. And I am overjoyed to be able to have made that type of video myself. That is the purpose behind it; to lift spirits by presenting a different approach to treating NS or FSGS. May you be inspired and able to make your own encouraging video one day! That is my prayer! (For some reason the video is not showing up on mobile devices, but will work from a regular computer.)
We just celebrated Emma Kate's 5th birthday, and we took her to Disney World! We all had a blast! I am so excited to say that WDW was SO wonderful about food allergies! Every place we ate had gluten free options. And not only that but it was SO GOOD! They were super nice about making sure you were taken care of and that was fantastic. We were also able to bring our own food into the park, and that was wonderful.

"Let us not become weary in good doing;

for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Gal 6:9

Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's a Wonderful Life

"She Is Clothed With Strength & Dignity and Laughs Without Fear of the Future."

Proverbs 31:25
This day has seemed so long awaited...ONE YEAR! From the day Emma Kate was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome, I have looked forward to the day she could celebrate a year free of relapses, and free of medicine. The actual day is January 23. That was when we ended her last dose of steroids, and she has had negative urine every day since. Even through colds, fevers, antibiotics, and sickness.
 It was this time last year that she was right in the middle of a relapse. It was then we made the decision to go 100% gluten free and dairy free. We had already cut out "most" of those foods. As I soon learned though, "most" doesn't cut it. That ended up being one of the best decisions we ever made! It was life changing in more than one way, but so well worth the time, effort, and sacrifices.
Emma Kate is now doing so well that her nephrologist said he does not even need to see her back for another year! Quite different from her previous appointment when he spoke of putting her on a medicine year round, to help prevent relapses. :(
Emma Kate with her fun Doctor, Dr. Greenbaum
This was the happiest visit we ever had with him... All good news!

This is my most favorite supplement. This is what we added this past year, along with Ultra Care for Kids. You just add the powder to a drink (we use chocolate almond milk), mix it well, and you can't even taste it.                                             Why I love it...It's the only supplement, other than pro-biotics, that has actually regulated her bowel movements. If we skip too many days, and she gets constipated, I just give a big dose of this powder and she will be sure to go! It helps to restore the lining of the gut, and having a good strong gut is vital to having good health. I feel pretty strong that this supplement is partly to credit for our stellar year. It can be ordered on amazon. I give Emma Kate a 1/2 scoop every 2-3 days.

Other than that, in new news Emma Kate failed her pre-K eye exam and had to get glasses! We were very surprised, but she has done amazing. And of course, she rocks them...
I am still having to get used to seeing them on her though! Ha!
I can't believe we are about to be celebrating this sweet girl's 5th birthday! It has been almost 2 years now since Emma Kate was diagnosed.

We are now to the point, that most days I forget to test her urine. And I think that is a good thing.

It's a brief update, but I'm very thankful it is! We are so blessed and still thank God every step of the way. It has been one terrific year and we look forward to many, many more!

It's a Wonderful Life!!!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Gluten CRAZE...

Gluten Free! What's the Deal??

Fresh baked bread, warm from the oven, coated with butter and melt in your mouth good! Who doesn't like delicious bread?! Grains and bread have been considered staple foods for years and years. Our great grand parents ate bread, and our grand parents, and our parents... So why now, all of a sudden do you hear it's BAD for you? How could that be? Is it just another fad diet? You constantly hear about people going GLUTEN FREE but maybe you don't even know what gluten is. Well, let me put it in a nut shell for you:


A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Oats are often excluded too, because they are contaminated.
That doesn't seem too bad until you consider that gluten, and or wheat, are added ingredients to the vast majority of foods in the average persons pantry. And certainly in foods you eat out. So we know what it is, and that it is in almost everything, but why is gluten free becoming such a big deal? Short answer, because it is not the same grains your great grandparents ate. Many people simply have problems with it because the wheat has been altered so much from the way God designed it, and people eat it ALL the time (unknowingly). The text below talks about the increase in the number of people with celiac disease from over 60 years ago, compared to now. People with celiac disease cannot eat gluten at all with out harming their body:
In a novel study, researchers at the Mayo Clinic tested blood samples taken from 9,133 young Air Force recruits in the 1950s and found that about 1 in 700 had undiagnosed celiac disease at that time. Tests on subjects exactly the same age now found that the rate was nearly five times as high today.
"Human genes haven't changed that much, so there has to be something pervasive in the environment that is making this disease more common," says Joseph Murray, a Mayo gastroenterologist who led the study, published in the journal Gastroenterology last year. It may be that people are more susceptible because we are eating much more wheat today—or that wheat is being processed or cultivated differently.
This information taken from Paleohacks.com
"Modern wheat not only differs from older strains genetically, it is also processed and eaten in dramatically different ways.  Due to the emphasis of the commercial grain industry on surplus production, much of cereal grain is stored for up to a year onsite before it is milled and likely stored again for lengthy periods in flour form.  Furthermore, grain silos are prone to pest infestation and mold.  For this reason they are routinely treated with antifungal agents and industrial pesticides."
The genetic change "strong woman" is talking about is the chromosomes. Wheat used to have 24 chromosomes, and now has 42. It was originally tall and is now shorter and more stout. Very interesting!
Now you know the difference. What we haven't talked about yet is how going gluten free is quite literally changing some people's lives. In particular, people with autoimmune disease. Autoimmune means your body is attacking itself and tends to OVER respond to things. The immune system is hyper sensitive. That is why often times a disease will "flare up" during times of stress or illness. Gluten is known to cause inflammation. Autoimmune thrives on inflammation, therefore it makes sense that cutting it out of ones diet would help "calm" the body. It sort of goes back to "you are what you eat". If you eat fatty foods all the time you are likely to get clogged arteries, if you eat "inflammatory foods" you are likely become inflamed. If you are not too sure, just google "gluten and autoimmune" and you will be enlightened :).

Here is a list of some of the problems a "gluten sensitive" person may have (however, you could have no noticeable symptom like Emma Kate, which does not mean it is not damaging your body):

  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Nutritional deficiencies due to malabsorption e.g. low iron levels
  • Gastro-intestinal problems (bloating, pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea)
  • Fat in the stools (due to poor digestion)
  • Aching joints
  • Depression
  • Eczema
  • Head aches
  • Exhaustion
  • Irritability and behavioural changes
  • Infertility, irregular menstrual cycle and miscarriage
  • Cramps, tingling and numbness
  • Slow infant and child growth
  • Decline in dental health
  • "Undiagnosed for long periods of time, food intolerances have been found to contribute to diabetes, bowel cancer, anemia and osteoporosis." 

    A Turning Point For Us-

    As I mentioned in my last post, we had more testing done on both of my children. We tested for delayed allergies to gluten, dairy, soy, and eggs. Both of my children had a reaction to ALL the food groups   :(. That part was disappointing but honestly not shocking. What was shocking though, was the numbers. Emma Kate was tested while ON steroids and off of dairy for almost a year. Steroids suppress the immune system. They told us that her results would most likely not show as strong as they truly are, but hopefully they would show some. The test works on a number scale. Any number under 10 is considered a normal reaction. Reading the test results is one of those things where I remember exactly where I was sitting and what I was doing...because I was FLOORED by the results. Emma Kate's gluten was 364, ON STEROIDS! Unreal. So of course I had to look back and make sure I was reading it correctly. Sure enough, I saw the number right. The test goes up to 500 I believe, and I think that's probably what her number would have been off meds. Her dairy was 60 while being off it for almost a year, so who knows how high it would have been had she been eating it. My son's gluten reaction was 130, also high. The genetic testing showed my son carries two gluten intolerant genes, and my daughter carries one. That means both my husband and I have at least one gluten intolerant gene.

     I have to say, even my daughter's pediatrician was stunned by her test results. She encouraged us to pursue testing for celiac, however it was too late since we had already changed her diet. The celiac diagnosis would only give Emma Kate more reason to stick with her diet as she gets older. The cure for celiac is to eat gluten free, so we didn't bother.
    Going into this testing I had a simple prayer. That God would make it evident to us if we should take Emma Kate off gluten completely, or not. We had done GF before, but I was not convinced it bothered her, so we let her eat it again. No one would ever wish that diet on a child, especially one who already can't eat dairy and has to watch her sodium. I got a CLEAR answer, but I am so thankful I did.
    So where are we now? In a MUCH better place. I am SO happy and THANKFUL to be able to say Emma Kate has made it through 2 colds and 1 fever with NO PROTEIN SPILL!!! (Since being 100% gluten and dairy free). I give all the glory to God for that. Last year, that did not happen. And honestly, a couple times she would start spilling protein a day or two before we even noticed she was even fighting something. For us gluten free is a way of life. I praise God that my daughter is able to eat a special diet that has helped her stay well. So that's the BIG deal. There are SO many people with stories about going into full or partial remission of a disease by going gluten and dairy free. For us cutting back on gluten did nothing, cutting OUT gluten did everything. If you are suffering from some type of chronic condition or autoimmune disease, just TRY it. It couldn't hurt. Obviously everyone will not have miraculous results going gluten free, however, you don't know until you try.

    What difference did it make for me? ENERGY!!!!!!! Wow, I thought being tired and easily worn out was just a mom thing. Seriously. Chasing around a 20 month old and 4 year old wears you out, right?! Well, to my GREAT SURPRISE (shock actually) I realized one day that I had energy like NEVER before when eating gluten free. I used to take my kids on about 2 errands and then be done. The grocery store, target, unloading at home....wore me out. When I have been entirely gluten free for two weeks I can do 12 errands and still come home and cook dinner. Amazing?? Yes. I had no idea how little energy I had until I went gf. And I would never say something like that just to get people to like gluten free. In fact, I had read about people "getting more energy" from gf and I sort of thought they were making it up. Turns out it's real. And I am so happy to have realized it!
    In conclusion, the reason you are hearing so much about gluten free and noticing companies and stores making efforts to change there products, is because they are realizing it is not just a fad. Of course you always have people who will try it "just because", but it really is making people feel better, healing some, and giving them more energy. Just to clarify, there is a great percentage of the population that is not bothered by gluten at all. And there are others who( like us ) think it is not a problem, when it really is. Companies have recognized the need for gluten free options and labels and are working hard to accommodate. As for Emma Kate, she is doing wonderfully and embraces her gf, df diet with open arms. God bless my sweet girl!

     "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

    John 16:33