Monday, November 17, 2014

Bone Broth goes Mainstream...We love this stuff

With all the great nutrients in bone broth, what's not to love?!  I happened to see this article on Yahoo! the other day reporting on all the health benefits and the laundry list of goodness lingering in each bite.  I still notice a huge difference when I feed this to my baby regularly, her skin clears up right before my eyes.  Lately she's been sucking it out of a medicine dropper prior to meals. (Baby girl just turned 11 months!)

Other ways I use the bone broth is to make the baby's rice cereal, or make arborio rice--both substituting the broth in place of water, and of course as a soup base.  I always start with an organic chicken, and I'll use the bones for two batches of broth.  The second is always lighter in color, but it still works well.  The bones are pretty disintegrated by the time the second batch is done.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Press Announcements FDA study helps provide an understanding of rising rates of whooping cough and response to vaccination

Press Announcements FDA study helps provide an understanding of rising rates of whooping cough and response to vaccination

Taken from this FDA press release...."This research suggests that although individuals immunized with an acellular pertussis vaccine may be protected from disease, they may still become infected with the bacteria without always getting sick and are able to spread infection to others, including young infants who are susceptible to pertussis disease."

This may to explain the increase in Whooping Cough.  When I asked our Pediatrician about the DTaP vaccine, she said the recent variation drives the allergists crazy with all the side effects. Wow.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Neglected Blog

Oh my poor neglected blog.  I'm so sorry for the long delays in posts.  I really do have the best intentions.  Part of the reason for my slacking is that allergies and eczema are not controlling our lives these days, and the other part is due to internet browser issues (I.E. won't allow me to write new posts, so I'm forced to visit this blog via a seldom used browser on my part.)

I do have a couple updates.  The baby's skin is continuing to look lovely.  Aside from a reaction after she rubbed against my husband who had deet bug spray on his clothes which caused this terrible outbreak:

Given her brother's history and the bug spray reaction, the Ped recommended that the baby see an allergist.  The allergist skin tested her for a handful of environmental and food allergies.  Only egg came back as potentially problematic.  This doesn't mean much to me seeing how my son's skin test showed absolutely no reaction to peanuts. Crazy that in this day and age that this is still the best that they have to offer.  Fortunately the baby didn't make a peep during this entire test, it didn't even phase her:

The upper left is the positive control (histamine), just underneath is the negative control (water I think).  You can see the bottom right is very inflamed--this is egg.

The allergist also recommended that we refrain from the multiple disease/combination vaccines for now, and stick to the single vaccines.  He didn't deem Polio or Hep B necessary (neither do I), although he does recommend the HIB and the Prevnar.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Baby Naet Treatment & Reaction

My baby girl had another NAET treatment.  After explaining to the doctor how her skin cleared up while on chicken broth, the doctor treated her for 'small intestines' since that's where food is absorbed.  Within 2 hours baby was hot to the touch and then she vomited.  After that she was fine.  If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that we've seen reactions like these in the past and the end result has always been positive.  It's been a week, and so far so good.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chicken Soup, It's Good for What Ails You

Hello...anybody still out there?  My apologies on neglecting this blog.  I knew having a baby would keep things hopping around here, but Whoa!  I don't even have time to jump on the computer after I get home from work.

Baby is now 5 months old!  She pretty much stopped nursing after I returned to work. She figured out that it was much easier to be fed from a bottle, and that-was-that.  Unfortunately, just like my son, once she went to formula full time eczema reared it's ugly head.  She was getting the giant welt like patches on her arms and legs.  I was having terrible flashbacks and was hell-bent on preventing another nightmare.

I realize a baby's immune and digestive systems are immature and need time to develop.  From what I've gathered, a baby's stomach is permeable to allow the antibodies from breast milk to enter the baby's system.  The stomach will eventually 'seal up'; however, prior to doing so other foods can more easily seep through and the body may attack the foods in the form of an allergic reaction.  If this is all true, it makes sense to me that the baby's system was not liking the formula components and was creating inflammation in the form of eczema.

So what to do about this?  Changing formulas is an option, but to me that's not getting to the root cause.  I was looking for ways to help 'seal up' the stomach.  Was that even possible?  With some digging, I discovered that homemade bone broths have the potential to do just that.  Homemade broths are gelatinous and are chock full of nutrients and minerals that help aid with the digestive system, among other things.  We turned to homemade chicken broth when my son was going through the worst of his crisis to help heal his body.

So with that, homemade chicken broth was baby's first food.  After three days her skin showed marked improvement.  My neighbor who initially thought I was nuts for feeding the baby broth, is completely sold on the idea after seeing the undeniable difference.  It's been 3 weeks now, and baby's skin is smooth and soft and her cradle cap has cleared up.  It reminds me of how dog owners are told to feed dogs chicken soup to get their shiny coats.

So how does one make homemade chicken broth?  It's so simple.  I take a whole, organic chicken and toss it in the crock pot on high for 4-6 hours.  I add a little sea salt.  If this wasn't for baby, I'd add some veggies and spices.  After it's cooked (the legs start to separate form the body when it's done), de-bone the chicken and use the meat for whatever.  Put the bones and joints back in the crockpot, fill with 6-8 cups of water, add 1-3T apple cider vinegar, and cook on low over night.  Strain into containers.

Baby loves it.  She gets 1-2 ounces prior to a formula bottle 3-4 times a day.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Baby's First NAET Visit

Not Allergic?  Can that be possible?  I took the baby for her first NAET consultation and she was tested against all of the basics (about 16), plus a slew of other items including seafood, nuts, and the Baby's Only formula.  Amazingly she held strong to everything and no treatments were recommended at this time.  HUH?  I'll take it.  I decided to bring her in as she had some baby acne and a little cradle cap going on, which is pretty standard stuff at this age.  But I wanted to make sure I wasn't in denial that there were some deeper underlying issues given our past experience. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome at this time.

So far she has been a textbook baby.  At 9 weeks she's very content, calm, happy, and alert.  She has a routine already, where she takes a 90 minute nap in the morning and a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon, followed by a shorter nap later in the day, then bed time by 9pm  She wakes at 5:45am for a snack, and then sleeps for another 2 hours.  If she would have been my first I probably would have had 3 or 4 babies. She's absolutely amazing.

Next week we have her 2-month appointment (a bit late due to scheduling conflicts.) Then the following week she's having her hip ultrasound as we want to rule out hip dysplasia as it runs in the family (so far there really is no concern, just family history.)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

What's in that baby formula?

When I was pregnant with my first I always thought I would breastfeed and that would be that.  I mean, it's how our bodies provide for our babies so it must be the best and easiest way to nourish them.  Well, that's only half correct.  It is the best way, but I found it to be a far cry from easy!  Breastfeeding turned out to be the most challenging thing I had ever taken on in my life.  It was literally like having the life sucked right out of me.  My son was so sleepy, he could have cared less about eating.  We had to torture him with cold, wet wash clothes to try to wake him up enough to eat.  "They" say babies will eat when they're hungry, they won't die.  Well, my husband and I are convinced this one would have and given the amount of weight he was rapidly losing his nourishment was a huge concern during the early days.  Feeling defeated on the breastfeeding front, I resorted to pumping.  That lasted all of 4 months before my supply dried up and he was put on formula (Similac.)  It was then that the eczema first appeared and the rest is history.

Fast forward to baby number two.  She's been a great eater from the start.  She wakes, latches, and eats.  It's been awesome.  But prior to her birth I was well aware that I may need to formula feed so I started doing my research.  I seriously considered making my own following the Weston A. Price recipe, but the thoughts of seeking out raw milk and going through the whole process was overwhelming to me.  I then started to look at organic formulas, and this article stood out on the Food Babe's website.  It's absolutely astounding what goes into formula.  GMO's, palm oil that forms a soap in the baby stomach, synthetic nutrients, to name a few.  Even the word "organic" does not guarantee a healthy formula. In the end I decided that if I have to supplement it would be with the Baby's Only brand, but there are still a few areas that are left to be desired.

Friday, January 24, 2014

What we do to Stay Healthy!

With a newborn in the house and a school age kid I find it even more important to stay on top of our health.  I try not to let all the talk of this year's flu scare me, but I'm the first to admit that it is down right scary when you hear about 20 & 30 year-olds dying from the flu.  It's then that I have to take a step back and remind myself that it comes down to keeping one's immune system functioning optimally.  Last last year's flu shot was only about 56% effective overall according to the CDC, and the effectiveness for the media hyped H1N1 vaccine was 47% overall. So basically about the toss of a coin.  It comes down to the fact that although it would be nice to rely on a medical intervention to keep us healthy, in the end we are responsible for our own health.

Some steps that my family takes to optimize our health include:

  • Healthy eating--we try to minimize sugar and cook from scratch as much as possible so we can control what goes into our food while avoiding processed foods to a large extent, and focusing on antioxidant rich vegetables.  We recently bought a Nutramix blender and have been adding greens to our smoothies.  We also add coconut oil and local raw honey to our foods when possible.  The nice thing about making healthy dinners is that we always save enough left overs for lunches the next day.
  • Vitamins--Each day starts with probiotics to help with immune function. We all take vitamin D, Astaxanthin, Omega 3s, and a multi.
  • We take a homeopathic flu remedy as a preventative strategy twice a month called Mucococcinium. It's formulated to elevate the body’s immune system to combat all types of influenza and respiratory colds.  It’s clinically proven to be 88% effective at preventing the flu and 82% effective at treating the flu-- more effective than the flu vaccine.  
  • Hand washing, which we've taken to a new level now that we have a baby in the house.  Thank goodness for coconut oil to lather on afterwards to help with the dryness!
  • Rest.  It's not the easiest thing to get with a newborn around, but we try.
  • Moderate exercise.  I've learned over the years that my body needs to take things in moderation, and that goes for exercise, too.  As a hobby, I've been teaching group fitness for over a decade.  At one point I was teaching 11 classes per week.  I can honestly say that I was in the best shape of my life teaching only 2 classes per week than the ll (or anytime I wasn't allowing my body the recovery time it needed.)  I've read studies on long distance runners, too, that are at risk for severe health issues due to over-training.  The key is MODERATION!  You can get too much of a good thing.
Those are all I can think of right now, what are some of things your family does to stay ahead of cold and flu season?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Witch Hazel for Skin Care

I'm not sure how good witch hazel works on eczema, but it does seem to work really well on diaper rash!  My little girl has a huge appetite, making it nearly impossible to keep a dry diaper on her.  She's only 3 weeks old and has had her first diaper rash despite our best efforts.  It was looking pretty bad, and then I sprayed on some witch hazel, patted her dry, and followed that up with using a hair dryer on a warm/cool setting to completely dry her after her diaper changes.  I then applied diaper cream, either Butt Paste or my homemade cream of shea butter, coconut oil, & zinc (recipe is here).  Within 24 hours she was almost as good as new!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What I've Been Working on in 2013

We had a little unexpected surprise in 2013.  In April I found out that we would be having a special Christmas present, and we welcomed our baby girl 10 days early on December 15th.
So far she has been polar opposite from my son.  She eats a ton!  She sleeps.  She goes back to sleep after eating.  She has tons of wet diapers.  And she poops!  Since having her I can see why people decide to have more children.  With my son, I could never understand that concept.  He was such a challenge for us and I never would have willingly decided to have another one.  Quite the contrary.  But what a pleasant surprise she's turned out to be.  I count my blessings everyday.

Going into this pregnancy, my body was so much healthier than with my first.  I religiously take probiotics and vitamin D, I have avoided process foods as much as I can, and also avoid soy and GMOs to a large extent.  I also try to use more pure cosmetics and skin care products.  Earlier this year I also started NAET in case it could positively impact the baby, and I was able to make it through the basic 16--hormones took me 3 treatments to pass.

So far breastfeeding has been a breeze (aside from the initial pain that it causes.)  Baby seems to actually enjoy nursing, which is apparent when my husband tries to top her off with a bottle and she looks at him like he's crazy if he thinks she'll drink it (she's so hungry she'll eat for an hour+ and sometimes I just need a break.)

When she was born we declined the  HepB vaccine and opted for oral Vitamin K (the Vitamin K shots have a large amount of aluminum.)  We delayed cord cutting, which we had planned on only for a minute or two but ended up being much longer as the doctors worked on stitching me up and she just laid on my chest during that time.  The cord was bone dry by the time it was cut.

All-in-all it's been a very positive experience so far, and I'm optimistic about what the New Year has in store for us.  Big brother is so proud and helpful, it really is a joy watching him interact with her.

Happy New Year from my family to yours!