Raising A Healthy Family; Mind, Body, and Spirit

Mind, Body, Spirit, Gluten-free, Food Allergies

Parents today no doubt have their work cut out for them. We fight for our children’s attention-simultaneously, they fight for ours. This world has gotten down right noisy on so many levels. There is technology buzzing around us-and, certainly no lack of temptation whirling about. Has it always been like this? Top it all off with an astounding number of health related issues in children-we have ourselves a recipe for disaster.

Raising my food intolerant, food sensitive, gluten free, dairy free, food allergy kids is not always easy but it’s the cards we were dealt and I hope it inspires you in your present situation. We can’t always control what happens around us, but we can choose to make it the best we know how. 

For me that means raising the healthiest family I possibly can with what means I have been given. A truly healthy person feeds their mind with worthwhile knowledge, their body with healthy food, and feeds their spirit with the things that lead to action. Coincidentally when I think of what makes my homestead the happiest it is when these three things align-mind, body, spirit. I also venture to say that is the same for you, your spouse, children, friends, and family. When one piece to the puzzle is missing we remain incomplete. Puzzles are made to be put together, take apart, and rebuild. Every once in awhile we need to evaluate the pieces and see what is most deserving or in need of our attention.
Since this is Easter week I intend to spend sometime filling my family’s spirit. We have been blessed in so many ways therefore, we will be reflecting, praying, giving forward, and giving thanks.

3 Ways to Fill Your Family’s Spirit 

  • Make cards for residents in a nearby nursing home.

  •  Deliver a special treat to your local fire department as a special ‘thank you’ for all that they do.

  •  Plant a tree, clean up trash, or take a field trip to a local recycling facility to learn more about how you can give back to our planet.

3 Ways We Will Be Filling Ours

    • We will make cards for a family whom I’ve never met but their story has moved my soul. Their recent loss of their baby girl has moved me to action. We will also be visiting a nearby butterfly house in Kate’s honor and be sending happy mail (aka snail mail) to her siblings. 
    • We will continue with our neighborhood clean up.
    • We will also be baking some gluten free treats to share with some much deserving friends. 

    What will you be doing?  How will you fill your family’s spirit this upcoming week? 

    More on butterfly’s for Kate here….

    What Is Nightshade Intolerance

    What Is Nightshade Intolerance

    What is a nightshade - nightshade intolerance, what is it, nightshades in the garden, a celiac and gluten free intolerance must read


    From the time I first found out I was pregnant with our fourth child, I prayed “please just let him be easy going and a good sleeper“. We can pray that when we have had three other bad sleepers, right? Well, that little speedy-bee has in-fact been quite easy going, with a bit of added spunk in his step. I guess you need that when you are the fourth child?

    He has however, won the Olympic Gold medal for his lack of sleep. A terrible sleeper from the start-often times only sleeping 1.5-2 hour stretches and typically followed by 1-2 hour wake period, or an occasional all-nighter thrown in for an extra good time. After going through so many bottles of “Gripe Water”, I started thinking I should be able to write the stuff off on my taxes (I’m of coarse kidding) but, I did eventually started making my own. He was a gassy mess but usually only at night. I attributed this to an enlarged adenoid that had to be removed, and caused him to sleep with his mouth open. Well, when the adenoid came out and the problem remained, I was officially at a loss.

    With every passing day my frustrations grew and my patience dwindled. I repeatedly told myself – “God is trying to tell you something in these extra 12 hours a day that you are up and the house is quite.” Just listen. My prayers switched from “please let him sleep“, to “give me wisdom“, “give me strength to make it through the day ahead“, “guide me” and “show me“. People would say “I don’t know how you do it” and I’m telling you I didn’t know either. I will never know how I survived so long with so little sleep, but what I do know is the message was clear. Speedy-bee has a number of food sensitivities including a nightshade intolerance. Here is your opportunity to learn all about it;

    The “belladonna plant” and “deadly nightshades”….

    The Belladonna Plant and Deadly Nightshades, what is a nightshade, celiac disease and nightshades, and inflammation what is to blame?

    You may or may not be familiar with the historically colorful “belladonna plant” or something called “deadly nightshades” -“belladonna” meaning “beautiful lady” in Italian. In ancient history, the juice from the berries would be used as eye-drops in women causing them to dilate creating a desirable “striking appearance”. This practice was extremely unsafe due to the belladonna’s poisonous capabilities.

    The leaves and roots have long been used throughout history to make nerve blocking/sedative like medications – its uses ranging from treatment of whooping cough, joint pain, asthma, nerve pain (neuralgia), and various psychiatric/behavioral disorders.
    By now, I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with food. What many people don’t know is that the nightshade family includes many common food plants including potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and chili peppers. The foliage of these common food plants especially potato and tomato can be quite harmful to humans and pets.

    Nightshade Basics

    Cayenne Pepper

    Chili powder

    Curry powder


    Goji Berries

    Ground Cherries


    Peppers (sweet, hot chili peppers, banana peppers)






    * Sweet potatoes and peppercorns are not part of the nightshade family and therefore are ok to eat.

    What is a nightshade - nightshade intolerance, what is it, nightshades in the garden, a celiac and gluten free intolerance must read Although all of these foods do in-fact look very different, they are all part of the same extended solanceae family. Nightshades are not harmful to everyone, but they are of growing concern to those individuals with a preexisting autoimmune disease such as Celiac Disease and to those individuals with a family history of other autoimmune related diseases.

    Many solanceae “family” members contain potent alkaloid compounds, some of which are/can be highly toxic if consumed in large enough quantities. Let’s just say Mother Nature has done her job well in order to protect these plants from harmful insects and other harmful organisms. The alkaloids poison the insects by destroying their cell membranes much like a natural pesticide. [Pretty gross, huh?] Unfortunately, these same compounds have a similar effect on the human body. They have been found to increase inflammation and aid in the permeability of some human membranes, including the small intestine [this is also known as leaky gut syndrome]. To your average individual harboring a minimal amount of inflammation, no family history of autoimmune disease, and who has an over-all healthy digestive system, nightshade consumption is likely not to be of great concern. However, there is still much to be debated and researched on the long term effects of ingesting these little buggers verses their overall human health benefits.**

    **My personal opinion is, first talk to you doctor about any concerns you might have with consuming foods from the nightshade family. As many of these do in-fact provide our bodies with a number of beneficial vitamins and pack a good antioxidant punch. However, I would also note that consumption of these in moderation is probably your best bet. Although the nightshade foods we consume as a general public do have a significant lower toxic alkaloid level than other plants within the same family, you should take note that the nightshade family has well over 200 plant species in it and a vast majority are inedible.

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    10 Gluten-Free Facts

    gluten free, no gluten, celiac disease 10 Gluten-Free Facts

    You have probably consumed a few gluten-free products and if not you have certainly seen a label or two in this day in age. For some like myself and my family it is a way of life. There is no “maybe I will try this” or “hmmmm, this doesn’t taste so great“-gluten-free is the only option.

    Find out why-and, who is affected. 

    Did you know?

    1) 1 in every 133 Americans has Celiac Disease. That is approximately 1% of the population, with an expected 50-60% to be diagnosed by the year 2019*.

    Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disorder in which the villi of the small intestine have been damaged, causing a direct interference with the proper absorption of the nutrients.

    2) Celiac can affect men and women of all ages and races.

    3) It is estimated that as much as 95% of the population is not yet diagnosed as having a gluten intolerance/sensitivity, Celiac, or other potential gluten related disorder. So if you think you are “not affected” by gluten, yeah, sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you just don’t know it yet.

    4) A 100% Gluten free diet is the only existing treatment. (I know bad news for the poor pharmaceutical companies).

    5) Other gluten linked or related issues (including but limited to); Infertility, Thyroid disease, Diabetes, Intestinal Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Osteoporosis, Anxiety, Depression, ADD/ADHD, Liver Disease, Migraines and other Neuropathic conditions.

    Why you ask? Because gluten has destroyed the interior wall of the small intestine, allowing toxins to leak into the blood stream, and be carried throughout your body to reside in places it never should have been (your brain, thyroid, reproductive glands, etc.) So, what once was thought to be solely an intestinal issue is in fact so much more; it’s an inflammation issue too.

    6) As of August 2014 new FDA Gluten-Free food labeling regulations will take place. “Gluten free is a voluntary claim manufacturers may elect to use when labeling their food.” However, as of August 2014 manufacturers will be required to meet the minimum 20 PPM (parts per million) for all foods labeled “gluten free“, “without gluten“, “no gluten“, and “free of gluten“. Most people with Celiac or gluten sensitivity can in fact safely consume and tolerate food containing this tiny amount. *

    **This “INCLUDES” restaurants and other food serves. Did you know  96% of gluten-free individuals are brand loyal.

    7) Gluten-free does not necessarily mean “better for you“.

    8) Gluten-free sales reached $4.2 billion in 2012 and are expected to increase to $6.6 billion by 2017*. Gluten-free food production is a booming business and since it’s the only known “cure” for Celiac those statistics are not going to be changing anytime soon.

    9) 50% of ones’ success is taking action; the other 50% is our attitude.

    10) Antibiotics, pain killers, and preservatives which all affect the natural gut flora have also been to blame for the increased number of gluten sensitive people.

    Without a sufficient amount of good bacteria in our body we become unable to produce enough enzymes to aid in the break-down of the gluten protein. Our increased/overuse of pain killers over the years has also aided in the loss of good bacteria. According to Dr.Brogan, use of these drugs “increases intestinal permeability allowing for [food particles] to access the immune system; setting off autoimmune and inflammatory processes.” [A.k.a. a gluten sensitive/celiac type response]



    Datamonitor Group, 2009

    Packaged Facts “Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages in the US”