It only matters what works for you.

Archive for June, 2012

A call to parents of asthmatic children.

Is there anything more frightening than waking in the middle of the night to hear your child wheezing and choking and unable to breathe?


It’s being that child wheezing and choking and unable to breathe.

I’ve been asthmatic all my life. I experienced every horrific frightening minute to the fullest. When I was a child, albuterol hadn’t been invented yet. No Advair. No Singulair. Theophylline was the latest greatest thing, after about a week of building up in the system. They don’t even use that one any more.

No in home nebulizers. It was a trip to the emergency room every time.

So please, please carefully consider what I’m going to suggest next.

Put your child on a 2 week dairy free trial.

2 weeks is not enough time for your child to become seriously deficient in those supposedly all important nutrients in milk. It is enough time to see if your child has a casein allergy that is triggering the asthma and allergies.

I posted a blog about how I went dairy free. What I didn’t discuss was how much I wish I’d known years ago. If I hadn’t been sick then, how many social activities wouldn’t I have missed? Would I be as fat as I am now if I could have participated more in sports? If I could have run? Played harder without always worrying about breathing? Would I have missed less school? Gotten better grades?

If you think I’m playing on your worries and fears as a parent, you’re right. I am. Because I was there and my story could be your child’s story. Its not a bad story, but could it have been better? We’ll never know. But maybe your child can. Every parent wants the very best of everything for their child. Try this.

Yes, working around a food sensitivity can be complicated. The good news is, its never been easier. There are milk alternatives. Almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, all right in the dairy case. (I think soy is evil, that’s a post for another day.) Coconut based yogurt. Coconut and rice based ice creams. Even dairy free cheese. Ingredients listed on each and every product at the grocery store.

If you have an asthmatic child, please, consider what I’m saying. Spend some time Googling other people’s stories. Figure out how you could implement it. It can’t hurt to try it and just think how wonderful it would be to NOT wake up some night frantic.

Your kid is worth it.


It isn’t always reasonable.

A few days ago I experimented with a packaged food.

I usually avoid packaged food. They put a lot of weird stuff in them that is often harmful or poisonous to me. But since I’m doing hcg right now and not eating those things anyway, I thought I’d get something that looked like my ever patient husband would enjoy and try it out.

I should have known better.

The box was marked as gluten free. I read the ingredients and I thought it looked fine. I missed something. Yeast extract can be made from beer processing and isn’t always gluten free. Or, it might have been that yeast extract is closely related to MSG. Either way, I should have known that, but live and learn. I only tasted a few grains to check for doneness and then a partial spoonful afterwards to actually check the taste. That shouldn’t have much of an effect, right?


If I ate a whole teaspoon full of rice, I’ll be shocked. I really was going for just a taste. That has no apparent bearing on how sick it made me.

My entire day yesterday was a wash, focusing on a nap, a heating pad for my gut, and my usual pain reliever and marshmallow root, which is my preferred palliative for a gluten poisoning. I also got a reminder of the horrible pain in my shoulder that used to be part of my daily life until I went gluten free and it suddenly went completely away. Phantom pains are actually a quite common side effect of gluten sensitivity, did you know?

But seriously. 1tsp of rice, coated with a seasoning mix on which yeast extract was the last ingredient. It just isn’t reasonable that it could have that kind of effect.

Except that it did. On hcg I’ve eaten nothing but an endless round of 8 foods for the last 3 weeks*. Reasonable or not, there is no other possibility.

We get really caught up, as people and as a culture, in what we can track and what we can measure and discounting anything that we don’t currently know how to quantify. I think it would be good if we all learned to spend a little bit more time reviewing what is, and figure out the how and why after that.

*HCG doesn’t have to be quite that monotonous, if you don’t have a ton of food allergies. Its just easier for me that way.