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Grow Where You're Planted

Life is like a garden and is filled with both flowers and weeds. It can be a beautiful. It can be unpredictable. Grow where you're planted.

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Eating

Gluten Free Banana Bread (Bread Machine)

Gluten free and DELICIOUS! This bread rises nicely and has a very soft and light texture with a crispy crust. This could probably be made without a bread machine, but if you own one, why not use it?

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3 Large Eggs, beaten

2 Bananas (1 cup), mashed

6 TBSP Butter, melted

2 TBSP Coconut Oil, Melted

1 TSP Vanilla

Place wet ingredients into bread machine baking pan.

2 Cups Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour

3 TSP Baking Powder

1 TSP Baking Soda

3/4 C Granulated Sugar

1/2 TSP Salt

Mix dry ingredients with whisk, then sprinkle on top of wet ingredients in bread pan. Ingredients will float on top.

Use “Cake” cycle on bread machine and let it do its thing! This loaf was made in the Hamilton Beach Bread Maker. The cycle ran for 3 hours.

*Optional: 1/2 C Chocolate Chips or walnuts.

When beep sounds before last knead, add desired add-in.

 

 

 

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The Search for Health – Gluten

My son is highly sensitive to gluten. His symptoms include stomachs aches, abdominal pain, vomiting, irritability, moodiness, anxiety, difficulty writing (truly…it was actually diagnosed!), and SO much more. Needless to say, we avoid gluten and wheat products like the plague. Unfortunately, he is still having some of these issues despite the removal of all things gluten. So, we are on the search for other triggers that might be causing his discomfort. Sadly, we are beginning to realize that one intolerance may be indicative that there are many more hidden ones lurking behind the scenes. Recently, we discovered corn might be a culprit. Because being GF isn’t hard enough for an 11 year old, right?!?!

Anyhow, in this search for hidden culprits, I found this great chart on the multiple effects of gluten (which we already know first hand) that others might benefit from reading. I know that “internet medicine” isn’t necessarily the way to diagnose health issues; however, when the pediatrician tells you that “he probably isn’t having as many issues as I think” (which he IS!), we have to turn to the community who will listen…and sometimes, that means the internet!

 

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A Celiac’s Infographic

Over the past few years, my son experienced several frustrating symptoms that we attributed to a plethora of maladies: tummy aches (he must be eating too much or is playing sick to avoid going to school), feeling sick after eating milk products (he must be lactose intolerant), a resistance to writing (could it be a processing disorder?), moodiness (that must just be his personality…well…except for the fact that he is a fabulous and joyous kid…it didn’t mesh), lack of focus (better get him tested for ADHD), headaches (hmmm….is his eye prescription okay?) and more. I began to read a lot about the possible correlation between ADHD-like symptoms and consuming gluten. I {finally} decided to take him off gluten to see if it would make a difference. Magically, these symptoms disappeared (or were at least significantly reduced)…immediately…like within 24 hours. WHAT?!?! He is more focused and alert in school, he has a newly discovered “can-do” attitude, and he didn’t have a tummy ache for weeks! We are just in the very beginning stages of this new discovery, but so far, it has made a believer out of me (and most certainly out of his teacher!).

Now, we are still investigating whether my son is Celiac or simply has sensitivities, but in my research, I found this¬†fabulous infographic outlining the symptoms of Celiac Disease on glutendude.com and wanted to share it with anyone who is also facing a variety of symptoms that they can’t seem to explain. In some people, the effects of gluten reach farther than most people would ever expect.

Gluten intolerance was so new to us that we didn’t see the writing on the wall. We didn’t even know what we were looking at or what to look for, for that matter. It took personal research, time and thinking ‘outside the box’ to finally figure out why he was suffering. Not once did the doctors “hear” what we were saying nor did they recommend any courses of action related to changing his diet. Most everyone else (including ourselves) jumped to inaccurate conclusions about why he was feeling the way he was. At times, we need to solve our challenges using our own devices. Think – research – probe, then grow.

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Live, Learn and Journey On

Over the years, “Keep Calm and Carry On” has become a motto of sorts. I also live by old adage that there is a season for everything and a purpose for everyone. I am a wife, a mother, and an educator. This blog is definitely a reflection of my here-and-now, my own experiences in education and in raising kids, my ‘what’s trending’ now, school days, parties, fun and pain. It is a reflection that how we react to life is greater than what life throws at us.

Though this journey called life provides enough fodder to fill many pages of this blog, the main reason for starting this blog was the realization too many times we get caught up in the little stuff and let it take over the big stuff. People often ask how I can stay so “calm” when the bigger challenges come along. Simple – I see the forest through the trees. I look at the big picture and realize that there is a reason for everything…even is we aren’t privy to that information yet.

A few years ago, our school principal told me that we may want to consider ADHD meds for my son. I was not totally opposed, but the thought of him being on meds for the rest of his life was a tad devastating. As a last ditch effort, we¬†tested out removing gluten from my son’s diet as we suspected that gluten was exacerbating some of his symptoms. We took him off gluten and he had a profound transformation. Not only did his focus improve (somewhat), his stomach aches went away (he was throwing up several times per week), his mood improved, he was happier and the spring in his step returned to his life. His instant transformation was so profound that it made me step back and think how one challenge led us down a path to discovering a food sensitivity that had been negatively impacting our lives for YEARS. In the end, this challenge ended up improving our quality of living and it restored emotional balance, health, and happiness in my son. Living gluten-free presents its own challenges, of course, but the blessing of health and happiness outweighs that struggle by leaps and bounds. We found the flower amidst the weeds.

 

 

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