Setbacks Really Suck

I have debated on whether or not I should post about what is going on with Chloe and the Kidd family lately, but I decided what the hell. So here goes.

We ended 2017 on a high. We were happy, healthy, and everything seemed to be improving. Life had gotten so manageable that I even completed a 2 month fitness challenge–and tied for 1st place! I felt like we were starting to get our lives back and figure out our new normal.

Well, that didn’t last long.

Connor went back to school on January 8th and I figured this week would be the perfect time to start potty training. I mean, why not?! She was thriving and consistent. She’s smart and ready….let’s do this….

I did everything I could to make this easy and fun. I bought her a stupid pink princess toilet that plays a song if you tinkle in it. I bought these cute little underwear that I knew she would love and started from there. I had a lot of time at home and Darren was slow with work so I knew we could tackle this together.

PSSSSHHHHH. What a nightmare this was.

Day one of potty training was absolute hell. For some reason, Chloe is terrified of her toilet and refused with every ounce of will power in her body to avoid that damn thing. So, we tried for an entire day and after numerous attempts and so many pairs of wet underwear, we let up on the potty training and decided we would try again a month or so later.

I wish that was the end of the story. It is not.

I am not sure if the potty training was what caused this regression or if it was something in our diet that we got relaxed with, but she started getting constipated again. BAD. So we did what we knew best and did a suppository if she was holding it in or if she seemed uncomfortable.

If you’ve never had to use a suppository on your child, you are lucky. If you’ve never had to watch your child in pure agonizing pain just to poop, you’re lucky.

Well, us Kidd’s aren’t so lucky.

After about 2 weeks of daily or every other day suppositories, she started withholding her urine and bowels completely. Like I said, this has been a nightmare.

Finally, she would scream her head off when she needed to pee, so I decided to take her in to her pediatrician because I assumed she had given herself a bladder infection.

We go to the doctor and the test came back negative. I sat and explained to the doctor everything that had been going on and the doctor then diagnosed Chloe with Encopresis. If you don’t know what this word means, you are lucky my friend. Encopresis is the medical term used to describe children who have mastered the ability to withhold their bodily functions. This is usually a psychological thing for kids who have most likely struggled with constipation for a majority of their life, just like Chloe. These kids have learned that pooping equals pain so they just simply do not do it. The doctor told me to lay off potty training and just go from there.

I left the appointment in tears and filled with disappointment. I felt like this was all my fault because I tried to push potty training. I felt like I had gotten lazy with her diet and maybe this is why she got backed up and scared. I also was just pissed. Pissed that we have taken so many intense lifestyle and diet changes and we are right back to square one. I know we are not anywhere near where we were 8 months ago, but regressing at all has made me feel like a failure as a mother.

I went home and immediately started googling Encopresis. Everything we had been going through completely was explained. It sucks and this is going to be an extremely long road to recovery. Pediatricians do not specialize in fixing this disorder, only offered words of encouragement.

I found a Facebook group for kids who have this problem and immediately joined. I got a lot of insightful information from parents who are going through the same thing. One thing that was suggested numerous times was Occupational Therapy and I thought this should be my next route. I mean good hell, I have tried everything else at this point, why not?! I called my bestie and cried to her about all of the hell I am going through and she told me she has a friend who actually owns an Occupational Therapy facility right here in Phoenix and she would reach out to her. I was thrilled. The therapist friend of Brandee’s actually specializes in Pediatric Incontinence and has a special therapist in her facility who deals with this and Encopresis especially. I finally felt like I was headed in the right direction. Anyways, I pull up the website and I am happy with everything I see and immediately made an appointment. I got in the next day.

Chloe and I went to this appointment and once again I explained everything that had been going on from the time she started getting constipated, to the diet changes, the miralax, etc. After over 30 minutes of explaining our situation (and a few tears from this mama,) I finally felt like I was talking to the right person. She gave me lots of useful information and tools to begin with. She told me to completely forget about potty training and to not even mention rewards or treats or anything to her and just let her do her own thing.

She also emailed me a bunch of homework to do until our next visit. This kind of homework is the kind that makes you wish you were writing a research paper instead.

For the next month or so, I am logging every single thing Chloe does from peeing, pooping, eating, asking for diaper changes, fluid intake, food intake, behaviors and so much more.

Like I said, I would rather write a 50 page research paper. This shit is intense!!!

We are now getting used to the log and starting to see patterns within her. This is super helpful for me and I am noticing her fluids and fiber intake has been a bit low. This has helped Darren and I to really pay attention to her foods and everything else. She is starting to get better. We still had to do one enema and one suppository this week, but that is better than daily! We are still dealing with her trying to withhold so we are back to adding Magnesium Citrate to her daily diet until she cannot withhold.

Even dealing with all of this, I am still so grateful that I stay home with her. I can’t imagine if I had to be away from her for 40+ hours a week and having to worry about this with a caretaker. I am beyond grateful. Even this week alone I had to leave her twice and it gave me wicked anxiety. Darren and I had dinner with my brother and sister in law on Wednesday and it was so nice to get a break from all of this. Darren and I have not been out to dinner or even at a restaurant together SINCE AUGUST. I am not even joking. We cook and meal prep so much that it takes like 5 months for us to get away. We are stuck at home for a long time and that is okay, as long as we get Chloe better. That is literally the most important thing for us. Once we get Chloe’s diet down to a perfect science and the fear gone, we will start potty training again. It may be weeks from now, it may be months, hell it could even be years! But as long as we stick to this plan, I think we can fix her.

Potty training with Encopresis is going to be even more intense. I have read that it takes kids months of practicing toilet time after every meal before they solve the problem. So, I will be here in the bathroom with Chloe for months on end. If this doesn’t sound like fun, then I don’t know what does! If we do not handle this properly, she could be having this issues for years to come. The therapist told me I am a saint for tackling this now because she has seen teenagers with this condition who have never pooped in a toilet. My jaw dropped. If this is what I have to look forward to, I might run away. Just kidding. I know we can do this, I know the road to recovery is long, but nothing in life is more important to me than being the best mom I can to Little Miss Chloe and Little Mr. Connor.

Connor has been such a trooper through all of this. He is such a stud and such a great kid. He has had some of his own personal struggles lately and it is so hard for me as a mommy to watch both of my kids in turmoil. Connor has had a bully at school this entire school year and it has gotten significantly worse since Christmas break. I have given him my best advice, I have addressed it with the teacher, the principal, and this mama bear approached the kid myself. Finally, I got a call from the school social worker last week because it had reached an escalating point. Connor finally stood up to this kid and it made the backlash even worse. This kid was finally suspended last week and the problem I am hoping will be solved. On a positive note, I also had Parent Teacher Conference this week and they decided to put Connor into the Gifted Program at school. He is surpassing every requirement for his grade and needed more of a challenge. This was such a proud mom moment for me, I could’ve cried right there! I have one kid struggling so much and one kid who is thriving. I have my work cut out for me to keep them balanced, but there is no other job I would rather be doing than raising my beautiful babies.

 

 

 

 

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Sloppy Joe Baked Potato Recipe

One of our favorite meals we were sad to say goodbye to was Sloppy Joe’s. We were big fans of that giant, white breaded bun topped with that delicious Manwich flavored beef and piled with a mountain of cheddar cheese. 

Well, that doesn’t work for a gluten free and dairy free family, so we’ve had to improvise. I’ve mentioned before that I buy all my spices from a company called Wildtree. If you want their information, send me a message. I have an independent distributor who I work with. 

Anyway, one of the first spices I ordered from Wildtree was the Sloppy Joe blend. I was so excited to have that yummy Manwich flavor without any of the preservatives, MSG, or cornstarch. 

The recipe listed on the side of the jar said to add tomato paste with the spice and beef. Then to boil pasta and make a spaghetti out of it. I didn’t like that idea, so I came up with my own. Thanks to Pinterest and an amazing amount of Facebook and Instagram feeds to follow, I’ve found so many recipes worth trying. As I was searching for the best Sloppy Joe alternative, I found one that used baked potatoes. Being the Idaho girl that I am, I was all over this. 

Here is the recipe I concocted and pictures of the exact products I used. 

1 medium, organic yellow onion


1 pound of 100% grass fed beef


1 can of organic, diced tomatoes


3 TBSP of Wildtree Sloppy Joe Blend


8 organic, russet potatoes

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put potatoes in oven for 45-55 minutes based on potato and oven size.


Once potatoes are cooked, let rest on counter for up to 30 minutes. 

I usually let the potatoes rest while I cook the Sloppy Joe mix. 

Once the potatoes are cooled off, slice in half the long way. Then scoop out the center of each potato and set aside for later use. 

(We usually save the potato insides for potato cakes.)


Then, back to the Sloppy Joe mix. Get a medium skillet heated on a unit with a splash of olive oil. 

Add chopped onions. Cook until Sautéed. 


Add ground beef and cook until brown. 

Add diced tomatoes and Wildtree Sloppy Joe Blend. Stir until mixed.


Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Scoop out Sloppy Joe mix into potato skins. 


Add Sloppy Joe dish back to the oven at 350 degrees for an additional 5 minutes. (I use a glass Pyrex dish)

Remove from oven. Let cool and enjoy! 

Recipe will serve 6-8 people. It feeds my family of four twice.

If you try this recipe, please let me know how you like it! 

My hubby says it tastes like a natural and healthy Sheperd’s Pie. I agree. ❤️

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

The most important part of changing your lifestyle so drastically to live healthier is to have a tasty little treat that you actually like. No. I’m not joking.  This is the only reason we’ve been able to stick to this lifestyle so well. We still get a “treat” that makes everything seem worth it. So. I am going to start sharing our favorite treats. This past week I have made fudge in a crock pot, black bean brownies, and my absolute favorite, almond butter chocolate chip cookies. 

I’ve made a lot of cookies in the past with Sunbutter-which is derived from sunflower seeds. It tastes like heaven and is Chloe’s kryptonite. She can never get enough. 

Well, today I was running low on Sunbutter and opted to change my recipe up a bit. I had this collection of peanut/almond butters and decided to improvise. The results were better than amazing, so here is the recipe. 

2 cups organic, light brown sugar

4 eggs

2/3 cup Wild Friends Chocolate Almond Butter

2/3 cup Barney Almond Butter

2/3 cup Wild Friends Sugar Cookie Peanut Butter Blend 

2 Tbsp. McCormick’s Vanilla Extract

2 cups Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Chips

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and spoon cookie size balls onto a greased cookie sheet. Cook at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. 

This will make anywhere from 48-60 cookies. 
This gluten free recipe is great for a kids snack and it’s great for a party. 

6 months of Being a Gluten Free Family…

So the past 6 months have been some of the hardest and challenging times of my life. Not only because of our diet changes, but life has definitely thrown me some curve balls to keep things interesting. As I look back at everything we have endured and how far we have come, I can’t help but feel so proud of our accomplishments. I know if I can make it through a year like 2017, I can make it through anything.

So, I knew Darren and I would have some weight loss during this process and I was totally okay with that. I just had no idea how much better we would all feel and how different we would all look. I was scrolling through the pictures on my phone this morning looking for old photos of us to truly see the difference. It was hard for me to find a full body photo because apparently I was trying to hide my fat from the world….Anyways, I found a picture I snapped in April. I remember trying on these shorts and making them my “goal shorts” for the summer. They were way too tight and I could barely button them up. I was mad that I had so much weight to lose and it wasn’t happening fast enough. I was working out 4-6 times a week and I still had a spare tire, chubby thighs, and love handles. I was pissed and determined to lose the rest so I snapped the photo for motivation. Today I decided to put on that exact same outfit and see the difference. The results speak for themselves.

 

My diet was key in the losing the last of the weight I wanted to get rid of. Read the book Wheat Belly. It fully describes how spare tires and love handles all come from wheat consumption. Even man boobs are from wheat consumption. Yep, I said it. Man boobs.

Apparently that was my problem too. Once I stopped eating wheat and dairy, the weight fell right off. It was so easy for me to lose that last bit of weight just by altering my diet to organic produce and getting rid of gluten and dairy. My energy levels are completely different by cutting down on the carbs and other garbage I was consuming. Now I work out the same amount and my heart rate is lower and I am overall way healthier. I will never go back to gluten and dairy.

Sure every now and again Darren and I will indulge in a few treats. I still eat cheese on a burger or taco every so often and Darren still eats out during work sometimes, but I would say that 97% of the time, we stick to this diet. I usually feel like shit if I eat any gluten or dairy, so I avoid it most of the time. Once you eat this healthy a majority of the time, you don’t want bad food anymore. That is the craziest thing to me. I don’t even crave Taco Bell at all anymore. I haven’t had a cheesy gordita crunch or breadsticks from Olive Garden in OVER 6 MONTHS! That blows me away just typing that. If we eat out, we stick to Chipotle, In N Out, or Chick Fil A. These are the only fast food restaurants that have high quality meat and the least amount of processed foods.

Next is Darren. This guy right here has lost about 40 pounds from this diet change. I kind of hate him for it. Just kidding. He has had the biggest health changes from this. I am so glad he feels good again. Our entire marriage he has suffered with heart burn, gout, and hemorrhoids. Now he feels great and looks like he is 20. He is totally ripped and in great shape. Again, I hate him for it. I have only lost like 30 pounds and my muscles are still hidden. He looks like Channing Tatum. Check out the difference.

 

Next is little Chloe. I am so glad we did this for her. She is such a different kiddo. She went from 24.4 pounds in May to 27.2 pounds as of last week. Her hair has gotten thicker, she has regular bowel movements now, her attitude is night and day difference, and she is happy again. I am ecstatic to see her improve so much. Her vocabulary has improved and her separation anxiety has completely dissipated as well. It is so nice to be able to leave her with Darren or his mom without a complete meltdown and me feeling like a horrible mom.  She really was suffering from some severe anxiety and I hated watching her act like this. It was heart breaking. Even my buddy Johnny mentioned that he wouldn’t want to come in our house after work sometimes because he was afraid of how Chloe would respond. Now she runs out to Johnny and Darren with a giant hug and smile.

Most of the side effects from Miralax have went away. She still has random tics that I hope she grows out of, but overall we have seen major improvements with her development and that is super relieving. I can’t even tell you how worried I was about the long term effects from that poison. Every time I see Miralax at the grocery store, I have to refrain myself from knocking over the aisle filled with that poison. I may have a problem. Who knows.


I can’t say that Connor has changed that much. He has always been thin and healthy and since he has been back at school since August, we haven’t been strict with him on the gluten free diet. I have tried my best to keep his life as normal as possible throughout all of this. I take him to get donuts and other treats whenever we are out of the house and Chloe isn’t present. I make sure he still gets to have his special time, but our house is officially gluten free and I like it this way. We have healthy dinners and breakfasts daily and the boys get to eat what they want for lunch. Chloe and I usually have leftovers from the night before and Darren still brings a lunch a good portion of the time.

I can honestly say this has been the best thing I have ever made my family do! It has been challenging for sure, but the knowledge I have gained and the health benefits are life changing. I know we can do hard things and come out on top. We are warriors.

Pizza. I love you, but we are breaking up. For good.

Last night was Connor’s school fundraiser Costume Party hosted by Peter Piper Pizza. Our entire family used to LOVE Peter Piper Pizza. The pizza tastes so good and we used to go there just for the food as a family. Well, last night was completely different. Just us going to Peter Piper was a challenge to say the least. We used to eat everything. Wings, bread sticks, pizza, soda, the cinnamon dessert pizza, etc. We loved it. Like LOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVEEEEEDDDD it. Now? Well wow. I personally haven’t had any pizza since this whole diet shift started. The first week of our gluten free life we ordered a gluten free pizza and it was pretty good. We were clueless about these diet changes back then and now we realize that was a horrible idea. Dairy, hello?! Darren has had pizza a few times at work since we changed our lifestyle and he has instantly regretted it. He told me months ago that he would never eat pizza again after how sick it made him. I really didn’t think he was serious until last night.

We start getting ready to leave around 5. We start making a plan for food because let’s face it, there is not one damn thing Chloe can eat at Peter Piper and we know Connor is drooling to get some stupid pizza. So, Darren and I decide to prep our own dinner so we could make it when we got home. Dinner consisted of grilled chicken and rice for us so I got the chicken marinating in olive oil and Braggs marinade then we headed out the door. We stopped at Chick-Fil-A on the way and got Chloe her usual grilled nugget meal combo. Then, we headed over to Peter Piper for the party. Once we get there, Chloe and I went to a table so I could bribe her into eating her food to go play games. She ate all of her nuggets, fries and drank her lemonade by the time the boys got done ordering. We got our tokens and played away. When the food came for Connor, I made a point to keep Chloe at the games so she wouldn’t see the pizza and be sad she couldn’t have any.

This is HARD. Daily. Weekly. Monthly. Always.

Why can’t we be normal again?! Why do we have to do this nonsense?! Well this is why. Darren ordered 2 personal pizzas for Connor. One with pepperoni and one with cheese. The boys are eating and I come back to the table to get a diaper. Darren is sitting there eating applesauce, carrots and celery. I almost started laughing. This is so not my husband sitting here at a pizza joint munching on vegetables. Who is this man?! Did aliens take over his body??? I am still a fat kid at heart so I grabbed a slice of cheese pizza. Oops. I didn’t care, I wanted it. I was hungry and I missed pizza. Darren looks at me and says “You’re going to regret that.” Shut up hubby. Don’t tell me what I already know and be right. I am supposed to be right. So I eat this delicious tiny slice of pizza and I am so happy. It tasted like pure heaven and I missed that flavor SOOOOO much. Darren sees the pleasure oozing out of my face and he grabs a slice too. We are so perfect for each other. We both have one tiny slice of a personal pizza, you know, the kiddo size ones. Then we both feel instant guilt. What were we thinking?! We have dinner prepped at home and we can’t even say no to a damn slice of pizza. We have a problem.

We successfully distracted Chloe enough so that the food wasn’t an issue. Plus, she had a full tummy and wasn’t interested in anything but games. That was a relief. We played for a little while longer and came home. I was super glad my guts weren’t upset from the pizza and we came home to make our own dinner. The night went just fine and while we were hanging out after we ate, I noticed Darren going to the cupboard for heart burn pills. Oh no. This poor guy has been doing so good without heartburn! Like I don’t even remember the last time I saw him pop a Tums. Last night he popped about 10 of them.

Dammit. Stupid pizza.

So after Darren got his heartburn under control, we went to bed. I thought I got off scott free from indulging in pizza. I was so happy and was mildly rubbing it in Darren’s face. Then karma got me. I woke up at 3 am thinking my head was about to explode. My sinus pressure was so bad that it woke me up. I haven’t had an ounce of sinus pressure in a really long time and now I was dying. I go out to my kitchen and grab my Breathe Again essential oil and doused myself in it hoping it would help. It did not. Then Darren hears me and asks what’s wrong to which I respond “I hate pizza.” He laughed, I did not. I can not believe that one tiny slice of pizza flared up my sinuses bad enough to wake me up. This huge change in our lifestyle has opened my eyes to so many things and I will be forever grateful for that. I have never felt healthier when I eat well and I have never felt worse when I eat poorly. Simple as that. After last night, I will never eat pizza again. 

I love you pizza, but we are breaking up. For good. Have a nice life. I know you will find someone new who will love you just as much as I did.

Teal Pumpkin Project

Since it is October, Halloween has been on my mind a lot lately. How in the hell do you still let a 3 year old enjoy Trick-or-Treating when they can not come home and eat the treat? Chloe is just like her mama and LOVES Halloween. She has been asking for weeks to put on her Wonder Woman costume while she wanders around the house pretending she is trick or treating. Doesn’t help that every cartoon on lately is Halloween related. I am worried sick that Chloe will feel left out or different from the other kids and that is the last thing I want for her. I don’t know what to do! I plan on making pumpkin cupcakes that day and some other gluten free nonsense like cookies and brownies and maybe just secretly give her candy to Connor?? I don’t know!

However, I am so thankful we live in a day and age where food allergies are becoming more prominent and prevalent in our lives so there are plenty of resources available. I got on that lovely internet machine today and did some research. I found some Halloween candy specifically designed for these special kiddos. I purchased candy from Enjoy Life Foods brand because they make all of their treats in a designated facility free from the Top 8 Food Allergies. Which are dairy, wheat, soy, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. The ones I bought were corn free as well. I have been buying their chocolate chips for months now and they are amazing. I am super excited to see how their treats taste. I ordered 5 different bags of fun size candies and it cost me almost $50 with shipping. Yay. No one said living this way was cheap!

Now I have to continue to brain storm on how to make Halloween nothing short of awesome and nothing short of amazing. My little wonder woman deserves it. If anyone has any ideas of what to do to make this day extra special for her, please let me know! I am always looking for more ways to learn and grow.

tealpumpkin

Also, have you heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project? I remember hearing about it a few years back and never imagined I would be a part of it. Funny how life works that way. The Teal Pumpkin Project was started for kids with food allergies so that they have a way to enjoy Halloween like the rest of the kids. What you do is put a teal colored pumpkin outside of your home before Halloween to let Trick-or-Treaters know that you have non-food items at your house. Also, you can sign up at https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project and put your house on the map so people in your area can come to your house to get goodies. I am going to buy some little toys and what not and have in a special bucket for these kiddos. These kids deserve to have a great Halloween too.

Pumpkin Spice is Everything Nice!

I am a total Basic Witch. Fall is my most favorite time of the year. I really miss seeing the leaves change and all of the beautiful fall colors that Idaho had to offer. It is still 95 degrees in Phoenix today and that is a bit toasty for me. I am longing for cooler temps and Halloween. Oh my goodness, I love me some Halloween!! Nothing is better than spooky decorations, horror movies, and of course, dressing up. It is magical. I have a legit obsession with this holiday and time of year. Nothing beats pumpkin spice. NOTHING.

So, naturally, when September 20th-ish hit, I was on a mission to find as much pumpkin spice, gluten free goodies I could. And I did not disappoint. There are so many yummy treats available! So, I loaded up Darren and Chloe and hit Trader Joe’s one day. If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen some of my yummy pumpkin treats. Darren actually asked me if I smoked a pumpkin before we went to Trader Joe’s because he was blown away with how much pumpkin stuff I left with. Thanks D. Anyways, the first treat I tried was the Pumpkin Spice Granola Bark pictured below. This stuff was heaven. I ate half the bag before we got home and made Darren really question if I was a baked pumpkin. Anyways, it was vegan, gluten free, packed with tons of vitamins and minerals, and was just basically the tastiest treat ever.


Next, I tried the pumpkin spice almond milk creamer. WOW. This should be sold all year round. This creamer only lasted like a week. I looked so forward to this creamer every morning that I drank way more coffee than I needed to. Oh well, it was amazing. It was also gluten free, vegan, and super healthy. Finding food that tastes amazing and is really good for you is the best thing ever. No more guilt.


After that, I moved on to the Pumpkin O’s cereal. Also, vegan, gluten free, etc. This cereal has a similar taste to Life Cereal with an added pumpkin kick. These are Chloe’s favorites. No one gets to touch them if she is looking. She has some territory issues with her food and I don’t blame her.


Next was Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Blend from Wildtree. Um yum. This one Chloe can not touch because it has traces of dairy in it, but that just means more for Mama! I found a recipe online that uses this pumpkin pie spice with cream cheese to make a fruit dip. Since I don’t do a lot of dairy, I found this brand called Daiya that makes dairy free cheese. They have mozzarella, cheddar, and cream cheese that is all dairy free. Sounds crazy I know, but it all tastes amazing! I have used the mozzarella and cheddar on Cauliflower Pizza and we really didn’t notice much difference. This dip is my go to for the next few months. It also pairs so well with apples and bananas. I highly recommend it.


No, I am not done. I really love me some of that pumpkin shit so this is a long list. Hence why its all in one post. Anyways, I also got ambitious and found one of those silly Facebook food videos. You know the videos that makes you drool over the food they are preparing so you think you can do it yourself. Yep, one of those. They were making vegan pumpkin cupcakes with coconut butter frosting. Oh yeah. Saved that bad boy and attempted it once I had everything. They were amazing. Making them was harder than I thought and I was super worried that my baking skills weren’t up to par. However, they turned out delicious and my whole family loved them. If you want to try them, here is the link to the recipe I used. Also, I would not try this unless you have a food processor. Way too complex without one.

https://www.feastingonfruit.com/pumpkin-spice-cupcakes/

Now, as we are approaching Halloween pretty soon, I am still on a mission for the best pumpkin spice treat I can find. Wish me luck. 

Gluten Free and Finally Three!

Man, it has been a minute since I have updated my blog! No other reason then well, life. This is a fun hobby for me, but I also am trying to get balance back into my life and that sometimes involves little to no writing. Sorry!

Anyways, I have finally started to feel like a human again. We are back to our school routine and life has finally calmed down. I am no longer on edge 24-7 wondering if Chloe’s intestines are okay. They are and she is doing better than ever. I can honestly say that I have never seen her so happy or so healthy. As her mom, this is the greatest gift I could ever receive. She went from barely pooping every 3-4 days to going daily. If she skips a day, it’s never more than one. I can not believe what a difference this diet change has made for her and the rest of us are still obsessed with how amazing we feel.

Darren still packs his lunch everyday and we have been sticking to our meal plans so we make sure we have enough leftovers for our lunches. This helps me so much so I am not stuck in the kitchen cooking 5 course gourmet meals anymore. I am pretty much down to just cooking a big dinner and a big breakfast on the weekends.

We also had some exciting stuff happen around here too. CHLOE TURNED 3!!! Yay! We were thrilled to throw a party for her and celebrate all of her accomplishments this past year. The last 365 days were hell for her, so to be able to throw a bash in her honor was great. I debated a lot about what to do and where to have the party. I am glad I ended up making all of the gluten free food and having the party at my house. It could not have been better. We set up the bounce house in the back yard and had appetizers for our guests. Everything we made was gluten free, dairy free, and corn free. We fed around 40 people so this was a bit of a challenge. We stuck with food that everyone seems to like. We made deviled eggs with avocado mayo and organic mustard. We made chocolate gluten free cupcakes with gluten free/dairy free frosting. We even did a fruit tray with dip made from sunbutter, cinnamon, almond milk, and maple syrup. Then we made a veggie tray with our own special ranch dressing. I even whipped up a gluten free pasta salad! The cake was the only thing that we did not prepare. The food took Darren and I all day Sunday to make, but it was worth every second of it to see her happiness and not stress about getting her sick.


We partied our hearts out and let her eat as much cake and cupcakes as she wanted. Pretty sure she didn’t even have dinner that night and I am 100% okay with that. The only exception I had for the party was soda and that was because Chloe has never been a soda drinker and could care less about it. (Soda has high fructose corn syrup in it, so that’s why she can’t have it if you were wondering.) 

Today was very exciting as well because I took her back to the pediatrician for her 3 year check up. Since we were there in May when all hell was breaking loose, she has gained 2 pounds 2 ounces and almost grew an entire inch!! Her percentage in weight went from 8% to 11%. The doctor even noticed the huge difference in her, so I had to tell her about what we did. She was very impressed I stepped up and tested her for food allergies. Once I explained what we found out, her jaw dropped. She even asked if she was still on Miralax. Hell to the NO! Haven’t touched that poison in ages and she is better than ever. We had a long talk about how cutting out gluten and dairy highly reduces the inflammatory response in our bodies and how much better off she will be because we are doing the changes now. My entire family has witnessed this firsthand. Darren and I had no idea how inflamed our own bodies were and the difference is monumental. 

The doctor also wanted to give her a flu shot, which I turned down. I vaccinate my kids, but I am just not ready to do any more damage to my poor little Chloe. Preventative or not, I am so sick of seeing her suffer. I feel like people will think I am weirdo for having my take on all of this, but I don’t care one bit. I am trying to make the best decisions for my daughter who is finally back on track to being a healthy kiddo. Everyone around her has noticed so much improvement in her health and overall demeanor. I am so thrilled for the positive changes so we just keep plugging along and doing whatever we can to succeed.

I also started making some new goals for myself and my family. We are still incorporating a new dish once a week. This week it is going to be cauliflower pizza with dairy free mozzarella. That should be interesting, so I will keep you posted! I am finally getting back to a workout routine too. Last week I went hiking twice, did kickboxing once, and even did some weight lifting. I need to make time for me and working out is my escape. I am a much better wife and mom when I find at least 30 minutes to sweat out my stress. Life is hard and it can be a lot harder when you don’t take care of yourself. Believe me, I know. So we are now back to the happy Kidd’s rather than the stressed out crazy Kidd’s from the beginning of the summer. I feel so blessed to be right here at this spot finally. We deserve it.

 

 

Natural Disasters

There is so much going on in the world today that I can not control. There is so much hate and violence that it terrifies me to raise kids in this world. Our country is falling apart so much that Mother Nature is pissed off. I am heartbroken for the people in Texas and what they are going through. Now we have to worry about Hurricane Irma hitting Florida as well as all of the fires in California, Montana, and Oregon. Even my tiny hometown of Preston was hit with several earthquakes this past weekend. The fires, the hurricanes, the flooding, the earthquakes, the protests, the hate that is separating our nation…and the scary possibility that North Korea wants to blow us up! Yikes. All of this is insane. I can’t even believe this is where our nation is headed while I write this.  This is like a bad dream. I lose sleep at night thinking about all of this and the proper ways to inform my children about everything. When President Trump was here a few weeks ago, there was so much hate and anger with the protests, I cried. I don’t like seeing this crap in my town. I don’t like explaining to my 7 year old why people are acting like this. Why there is so much hate and anger in our society and why we can’t all come together and love one another. It sucks. I have a hard time grasping the words to help my kids feel safe and not worry because I can barely do that on my own.

If this stuff doesn’t bother you, you probably aren’t paying attention. No matter what your political views are, this shit is scary.

I know I have no control over what happens next, so all I can do is be the best Torrie I can be. I think a lot about what if I lived in Texas and lost everything. How would I be prepared to feed my daughter with all of her food allergies?  Soooo, I put some time and money into helping Texas. I didn’t do this for attention or for praise. I did it because it makes me feel good and I enjoy helping people out. Heaven forbid I am ever in this situation, I hope someone will think of us! This is just my personality, I am a giver. I help as much as I possibly can to whomever I feel needs it. My hubby is the same way, we have always been like this. Sometimes we get completely taken advantage of (even by close friends) and sometimes we get a much needed good dose of Karma, but no matter what…we know we did the right thing. I hope my kids learn that this is what life is truly about. Helping others, not stepping on them to get to the top. If I teach my kids nothing else, I hope that they learn the value of service and humanity.

So, once I found out Sprouts was donating 100% of their proceeds to Texas, I went and bought a bunch of non-perishable, gluten free items to send to San Antonio. I know everything online says to just donate money, which I did as well, but I know how desperately these people need food they can actually eat.

If you would like to donate to help people with a Gluten Intolerance, here is the info:

San Antonio Food Bank

5200 Enrique M. Barrera Parkway

San Antonio, Texas 78227

Then write DISASTER RELIEF GLUTEN FREE on the package so they know it is Gluten Free and gets to the proper people.

I packaged up cereal, rice, mac & cheese, granola bars, crackers, oatmeal and even a pancake mix. So, the money I spent and the food I bought will all go directly to the victims. Win, win.

Doing these little acts of service make me feel good and like I am actually being proactive to help our country.

I am also making a major goal this week to start making my own Emergency Kit for my family. We need to be prepared for whatever happens next. I feel dumb I don’t already have a plan for a natural disaster. I SHOULD! So I am making that happen so we will be prepared for whatever this crazy world decides to throw at us. Once I have it all together, I will share what I added to make our kit work for us.

Pray for our country. Pray for our world. Pray for things to get better. 

We all need it. 🙏🏻

Going Against the Grains. Literally.

I have always went against the grains. My whole life I haven’t been one to do what other people are doing or even what people expect me to do. I do what I want, when I want, and that drives some people crazy. I don’t care!! I have always been an individual who never quite fully fit in. That’s okay. I don’t need sympathy, I like being different. I never fit into Utah or Idaho standards, I was always an outcast. I never was a good Mormon. My views are completely different. Some people admire me for that, some people judge the living shit out of me for that. Oh well, life goes on…When I met my husband almost a decade ago, one of the first conversations we had was whether we were leaders or followers. I think as an adolescent, you figure this out on your own. We both said we were leaders and that made us have an instant connection. We both have a “I don’t give a shit what you think” attitude and that is what keeps people intrigued.

I believe this is why our new lifestyle is so captivating to so many people. What we are doing with our health changes are completely unpopular and not what “so called society” agrees with. When I go off on a tangent about health and nutrition to people, I get looked at like I am some hippie wearing Birkenstocks with dreadlocks and hairy armpits who lives in a cabin in the woods. Sometimes this bothers me, sometimes it makes me laugh. Whatevs. I don’t need anyone’s approval other than my children’s and they seem to like me.

I have had so many people unfollow or unfriend me throughout this journey and that is interesting to me. I used to be just like everyone else in society not paying attention to the food I consumed or the products I bought. I used to be chubby, full of anxiety, horrific sinus pain, high blood pressure, inflammation, and just basically unhealthy. Now, I am happy, healthy, skinny(er,) and I feel great. The only time I don’t feel good is when I cheat and eat some garbage. I really had no idea that my anxiety, sinus pressure, inflammation, etc. all was rooted from my diet.

I have no reason to make any of this up. This is me. A real person who finally had a life altering situation to wake me the hell up. Now, here I am over 3 months into this and am a changed person. FOR THE BETTER! If someone would’ve told us 6 months ago that we would be living like this, we would’ve laughed in their face. HARD. We loved our weekly Olive Garden trips or our takeout meals. Now, we cook everything from scratch and love every second of it. Eh, mostly. Those damn dishes though…but we now know what a difference proper nutrition does to the human body. I would’ve done this a year ago if I had the proper tools and was ready to make this change. I was so worn out from wondering if Chloe would poop and how horrendous each movement would be. Now, she is going daily and it is easy. No more blood curdling screams and shitting out soda cans. Yes, it was that bad. If you have a kid experiencing this kind of trauma, I beg you to get them tested for food allergies. Kids should not be this constipated. It all roots from diet.

On the plus side, I have had so much support from so many people. Some I know, some are complete strangers who have been down this road and are just willing to help. I have had lots of people tell me that my blog is inspiring to them and their families. When people send me messages and ask for help, I jump for joy! Please don’t hesitate to ask me anything! Honestly, even if it is about poop.  I don’t have all the answers, but I have dedicated the past 3 months of my life to learning as much as I possibly can about health and nutrition. I have read so much and learned so much that I am happy to share my wisdom with anyone. I am no nutritionist or doctor, just another mom doing whatever she can to heal her sick daughter. I have learned that ALL disease starts in the gut. Yes, ALL of them. If you have a leaky gut, your body has a much harder time fighting germs and infections. Plus, if you have to take antibiotics for any infection, this leads to a leakier gut and causing more problems.

I fully believe all of my problems have been caused by this. I mean hello! Ulcers, appendicitis, sinusitis, pancreatitis, and even the lump I found in my left breast back in November. All caused by inflammation in my gut. Damn. I did go see my OB/GYN back in January and had a mammogram which came back fine, but my doctor recommended I take primrose oil to lower the inflammation in my body. That is nice and all, but why don’t doctors suggest to change your crappy diet? Why is it always a pill or prescription? I sure like doctors who take a natural approach and try to get to the root of the issues. These “doctors” look like witch doctors to “society” and people are so skeptical. Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Holistic Doctors, Acupuncturists, etc. People scoff when they hear these words. I did too, but the doctors who prescribe meds they get a kick back off of are the ones we can trust?! Hmmm. Don’t get me wrong, I have lots of people I respect that work in the medical field and I understand that certain meds are necessary, but I personally have never had a normal doctor tell me to change my diet. Not one.

I trust doctors just like everyone else. They save lives and they do what they know best, but not a lot of doctors are even familiar with Celiac or the leaky gut. Only the past 5 years have people started to pay attention to Gastrointestinal issues and how vital of a role they play into our health. Wow, I just heard how hippie like I sound. I feel like such a weirdo, but I feel it is my moral obligation to share what I have learned. I have reached out to friends who had doctors prescribe their kids Miralax, I have stopped people in the grocery store to talk to them, I have reached out to many parents on my support groups, I have shared recipes and bone broth info and so much more. I am a fuckin’ hippie! And I do not care. I am me. Like me or not, you’re still reading.