I’m back!

I have taken a long break from writing posts for my blog or actually replying to comments. I apologize for the long delay for some of you on your questions/comments. As you know, even the strongest warrior moms need a break…so I took one. I’m replying to comments each day and hope to be caught up by the end of the week. Next week I hope to start writing again. Stay tuned to hear about our experience with yeast and leaky gut issues (yet again!).  I’m really into whole foods and diet changes, so look for posts about that and how to incorporate it into your child’s diet.

Cheers!

Bottled Water, Filtration, or RO?

Water splashing into glassDrinking plenty of water is important for the health of everyone in your family. Our bodily water percentage varies between 50% – 75%. Infants and children have the highest at around 70%. Women tend to average 50%. We must constantly replenish our body’s water supply. It’s especially important during the hot summer months when we perspire and lose water.

Our family drinks a lot of water since we don’t drink sodas, flavored juices, or other sugary drinks like Gatorade. The more water you drink, the more your body craves it. Nothing will quench my thirst like a cold, tall, glass of water.

So how do you get the most healthy, clean, great tasting water for your family? I’ve struggled with this for years. We started out with bottled water and since we live in L.A. we never drink our tap water.( Nasty stuff!) Then I learned that perhaps all the BPA and plastic waste from bottled water was making it a poor option. We also don’t really know the source of water manufacturers of bottled water use or their purification process since they aren’t required to disclose the results of its testing. To learn more about your water supply and tests on bottled water, visit EWG’s website. http://www.ewg.org/key-issues/water/bottled-water

So I researched water filters and went with PUR water filtration pitchers for our family’s drinking water. This is a good option since it removed chlorine, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, and industrial pollutants. But it did not filter out fluoride that is added into our drinking water. After a lot of research I decided to get the fluoride out of our drinking water.

After a year or so of using the PUR filters, I decided to get a Reverse Osmosis (RO) water filtration system for our family’s drinking water. Reverse osmosis can remove many contaminants not removed by activated carbon filters alone, including arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrates and perchlorate. RO systems that also have the carbon filters (like the one we purchased) remove chlorine, trihalomethanes or volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). RO water tastes the best, in my opinion. The fact that it filters out chloramines, fluoride, and all that other nasty stuff is the main reason we use a reverse osmosis system. Yes it strips the water of all minerals, but if your family does not get enough minerals through their diet or supplementation, you can add the minerals back into your water with a special filter on a RO system. And yes, it does waste water during the RO process. It takes approximately 2-3 gallons of water to produce one gallon of pure RO water. I still made this my choice of water filtration. The main reason was to get the fluoride out of our drinking water.

Click here to learn more about the research I did on fluoride: http://healingautismandadhd.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/fluoride-too-much-of-a-good-thing/

What is your preferred choice of filtering your drinking water? Bottled, tap filters, RO?

GI Distress and Autism

http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/science-news/immune-cells-linked-regression-gi-distress-repetitive-behaviors

Autism Speaks Trailblazer scientists link increases in dendritic cells with autistic regression, brain changes, repetitive behaviors and GI distress. Image courtesy of Elaine Hsiao/CalTech.

Finally some credible research that proves autism is linked to gut dysfunction. It’s the gut-brain-immune system triad that I keep going back to every time I research anything to do with treating autism bio-medically.  We’ve got to heal our children’s gut in order to get the immune system and brain to function normally.  They are interconnected.

ADHD: Prescription Drugs or Not?!

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I’ve been listening to so many stories from friends, acquaintances, and strangers that have experienced their child’s school teacher/psychologist/administrators either hint at or outright suggest their child be put on prescribed meds for their ADHD/autistic behaviors. I personally have felt the constant pressure that I should do more for my kids and the “he just doesn’t focus and that is his main problem” statements during IEP meetings or parent/teacher conferences.

Over the years I have presented my natural approach to my sons’ school and have also received tremendous support. But it seems lately with the school budget cuts, and teachers/staff stress over increased classroom sizes that the “quick fix” of ADHD drugs seems to be the popular method of controlling the kids in the classroom. I have always said that the decision to put any child on prescription medications is a personal family choice. One that should not be made without careful consideration as to the ramifications, side affects, and health and well being of the child. This is not something that others should put upon parents whether guilting them into it, or painting a scenario that “he just isn’t working at his full potential”.

One approach that helps kids with ADHD and autism (all kids for that matter) is physical exercise EVERY day. Good, aerobic, physical activity. School budget cuts have forced schools to eliminate regular P.E. classes at the elementary school level, and team sports in middle school at a time when children and adolescents need daily physical activity to help them grow and learn. Thanks to the advances in technology, kids now have more electronic devices to occupy their free time instead of going outside to run, bike, skateboard, and play. Parents seem to be at a loss for what to do for their child and prescription meds are a seemingly sensible solution.

What prompted me to write about this is an article I read today about how low-income kids are being prescribed ADHD meds to boost academic performance. I know this sound like an outrage and “how can anyone do that?!” To me it’s really no different than kids given this for ADHD or autism. Unless a family has fully tried all methods of helping their child with natural approaches like a healthy, organic diet, addressing food allergies, supplements, getting the right amount of sleep and enough daily exercise, just to name a few, then perhaps researching how prescription meds can help the child is in order. More often than not, the natural approach is not taken. Most of the time I see this because the parents don’t even know they had other options available to them besides prescription drugs. Thanks to their doctor and the pharmaceutical industry capitalizing on today’s fast-paced, quick fix mindset of overworked, overextended, stressed out families, prescription medication for ADHD is the go to solution.

http://news.yahoo.com/medication-prescribed-low-income-kids-boost-academic-performance-133319856.html

The goal of my blog is to help educate parents that turn to their computer’s search engine for answers or ways to help their child. The results I’ve seen in helping my own children merits sharing and the extensive research I’ve done can help others to know that there are alternatives to prescription drugs for their child. I am humbled each and every day by the comments of parents and individuals that I’ve helped through this blog. Please spread the word. Biomedical approach works, heals, and offers a lifetime of health!

More Effective Than the Seasonal Flu Vaccine!

Did you know there is a safer, more effective option to the flu shot? A study published found Colostrum to be 3 times more effective than vaccination for flu prevention.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17456621

Colostrum boosts the immune system, has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. To learn more about Colostrum, read my post:  http://healingautismandadhd.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/colostrum-isnt-just-for-babies/

To purchase the brand of Colostrum we use in our home, click here: http://kirkmanlabs.com/ProductKirkman/60/1/ColostrumGoldandtrade;Liquid%E2%80%93Unflavored%E2%80%93Hypoallergenic/

Fluoride: Too much of a good thing?

I’m not a fan of fluoride in our toothpaste and definitely believe it should not be in our water supply. When I take my sons to the dentist for cleanings, I skip the fluoride treatment. Their toothpaste is fluoride-free. Not one cavity for both of my boys! Their only source of fluoride is our drinking water. But that’s about to change since we just purchased a reverse osmosis water filtration system for our home.

Reverse osmosis is one of the only ways to filter out fluoride in your home tap water. EWG (Environmental Working Group) recommends drinking filtered tap water. This is primarily due to manufacturers of bottled water are not listing water sources or purification methods on their labels. More to the point, tap water is regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) under stricter standards than the FDA’s (Food & Drug Administration) regulation of bottled water. The FDA sends inspectors to bottling plants every 2-3 years. In 2009, almost 50% of bottled water sources came from tap water. I know that if I’m going to drink tap water, I would want to know how it’s filtered and also use a reusable bottle made from stainless steel or BPA-free plastic than buy it in a non reusable, non BPA-free plastic bottle. I digress…back to fluoride and it’s dangers of over-consumption.

Everything in moderation…but not in America. According to FAN’s (Fluoride Action Network) website:

Most developed nations, including Japan and 97% of Western Europe do not fluoridate their water supply. However, comprehensive data from the World Health Organization reveals that there is no discernible difference in tooth decay between the minority of western nations that fluoridate water, and the majority that do not. In fact, the tooth decay rates in many non-fluoridated countries are now lower than the tooth decay rates in fluoridated ones.

 The most obvious reason to end fluoridation of our water supply is that it is now known that fluoride’s main benefit comes from topical contact with the teeth, not from ingestion. Even the CDC’s Oral Health Division now acknowledges this. There is simply no need, therefore, to swallow fluoride, whether in the water, toothpaste, or any other form.

Health Problems From Fluoride

There are many health concerns other than dental fluorosis (excess levels of fluoride causing tooth enamel to mottle and discolor, then decay).  Studies by The Lancet and National Research Council indicate that fluoride is a neurotoxin that interferes with the function of the brain and body and also reduces IQ levels, indicating that fluoride intake causes cognitive damage.

Fluoride also decreases thyroid function. Women are more susceptible to this and symptoms of low thyroid function are:

  • Lack of energy
  • Low body temperature
  • Dry skin
  • Not sweating well
  • Tendency towards constipation

Fluoride exposure disrupts the synthesis of collagen and leads to the breakdown of collagen in bone, tendon, muscle, skin, cartilage, lungs, kidney and trachea. It also confuses the immune system (that can’t be good!) and causes it to attack the body’s own tissues. It will increase the tumor growth rate in cancer prone individuals and promotes development of bone cancer. Fluorides accumulate in the brain over time to reach neurologically harmful levels. And of course, fluoride causes premature aging of the human body.*

How Much is Too Much?

In 2003, the National Research Council appointed one of the most balanced and objective panels of experts that has ever objectively investigated fluoride. They spent about three years studying it and determined that the current “safe” drinking water standard of 4 ppm (parts per million) set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for fluoride is too high and should be lowered. But in the four years since, the EPA has not completed a new health-risk assessment, and thus we still live with this outdated and unsafe standard, even though the NRC study was specifically requested by the EPA.

(Dr. Joseph Mercola; The Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/warning-this-daily-habit-_b_741635.html )

The contents of a family-size tube of fluoridated toothpaste is enough to kill a 25-pound child.  Even Proctor and Gamble, the makers of Crest, acknowledge that a family-sized tube “theoretically contains enough fluoride to kill a small child.”

So to answer my question, YES, we are getting too much fluoride and it’s NOT a good thing. Fluoride is toxic and you must have a prescription from a doctor to get it. But our municipal water suppliers are purchasing it and adding it to our water. Once it’s in the water, you can’t control the dose of any individual’s daily consumption. There is no oversight nor a doctor prescribing it for you and your family.

To learn more about your local water supply, log onto http://www.epa.gov/enviro/facts/sdwis/search.html .

Source * – http://www.robertgammal.com/PDFs/SciFactsFluoride.pdf

Back to School – Back to Lunch Packing

Just about a week or two before school begins, I start to look forward to my kids getting out of the house (or my hair) and into a routine again. I crave the routine too, but not all of the obligations that go with it. The one I dread the most is packing lunches everyday for both my sons. It’s not only the chore of it, but it’s the pressure to come up with a variety of lunches so they don’t get “lunch burn out” by Thanksgiving. And I won’t cave to letting them buy school lunches until Jamie Oliver is the personal chef at my son’s school, so that’s not an option.

I’d like to share with you a simple idea I came up with that my son thinks is awesome. Now if your child is GF/CF, you’d have to come up with alternatives to replace the gluten and casein in my idea. I’m sure you have seen, heard, or perhaps bought Lunchables for kids. I happen to think its a genius of an idea for kids that are sick of sandwiches, but of course the packaged food industry takes a simple idea and adds a ton of crap to it. I don’t like any product that Kraft puts on the supermarket shelf. Even Lunchables “healthy” alternatives like their ones with fruit and 100% fruit Capri Sun has a ton of sugar and sodium in it, plus artificial colors, flavors and enough preservatives to choke a horse (has several plus that nasty one BHT), high fructose corn syrup, and American Cheese. American Cheese is not cheese in my opinion and it’s pretty gross. So I put together a clean Lunchables version for my kids.

Homemade Lunchables:

  • Crackers (your kids’ healthy, favorite choice)
  • Cheddar Cheese (rBST hormone free dairy) sliced in 2″ squares
  • Canadian Bacon (try to find a brand that is nitrite free)
  • Green/red grapes
  • 2 cookies (I like Trader Joe’s brands without all the artificial stuff, or no cookies if your child is sugar-free)
  • Water

Now this is enough food for my 9-year-old but I do have to add more to the lunch for my eating machine 13-year-old. As for the cracker choice, read the ingredient labels and try to find one that is organic and GMO free. That’s a tough one to find when it comes to grains.

As for more ideas other than sandwiches, I’ve also switched out the Canadian bacon for slices of turkey. My youngest also loves hard-boiled eggs so I give him that with the crackers sometimes too. As you see here, my goal is to get healthy proteins in my kids at lunch without filling them up with a ton of carbs that will slow their brain down in the class after lunch. Protein will convert to the necessary neurotransmitters dopamine for cognition: focus and attention. Plus give them energy for the rest of their afternoon.

What healthy lunch ideas do you pack for school?

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