Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Liam

Today is Liam's 4th Birthday. I cannot believe a whole year has gone by. My husband and I for the past few months have been saying we cannot wait for 2011 to be over. This year has been so hard, and we just kept thinking to ourselves it was one of the worst years thus far. Then my mom said something that changed my husband and I forever. She said "Katie this is the year you got Liam healthy". "It is one of the best years we all have had". I cried when she said this and later that day I told Mike what she said. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said "Please tell your mom thank you. It is exactly what I needed to hear".

When Liam turned three he had just been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. It was a day both Mike and I will never forget. We both felt like the wind was just knocked out of us. Then I saw a pale, malnourished, little boy who was losing weight and not eating much. He was in the 5% for weight and 50% for height. Compared to his sister who has always been off the charts for height and 75-90% for weight it concerned us greatly. At first we made small changes in our diet. Little by little I saw improvement in him. Little by little I saw improvement in all of us. A year later we are all on a gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, nitrate free diet. We eat whole foods or "real" food as I call it. Liam who was 26 pounds is now 36 pounds and has grown 3 inches this year. He is also fighting colds better than he ever has since birth. Mike and I have so much to be grateful for. I hope this next year is even better for our Liam bug and family.

Happy Birthday Buddy, we love you so much!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gluten and Dairy Free Cake Pops

Gluten Free Cupcake Pops

1 Chocolate Cake, from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, page 84 (view the PDF)
1 Bag Wilton Chocolate
1/4 - 1/2 cup Coconut oil
*Dairy Free frosting like Pillsbury is optional to help bind and give a creamer taste to the cake

Special Equipment:
30 paper lollipop sticks
2-4 Styrofoam blocks

Bake Chocolate Cake as directed from the The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook. Cool cake so that you can crumble into a big bowl. If choosing to bind cake with frosting add just enough to bind it together. If your opting to roll without the frosting take a clump of cake and knead together like you would play dough. Next roll into 1 inch ball. After rolling, put on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Once all the balls are on your cookie sheet freeze for at least an hour.

Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a boiling pot of water on medium heat. If you have a double broiler than heat it up with that. To make the chocolate thinner add 1/4 cup coconut oil. If you don't have coconut oil you can use Crisco. Take your cake balls out and let sit for 5 minutes. One at a time, dip about ½ inch of the tip of a lollipop stick into melted chocolate. Next, Insert the lollipop stick straight into a cake ball, no more than halfway. Holding stick with cake ball attached, dip entire cake ball into melted chocolate, until covered. Twirl  any excess chocolate coating off the cake pop so it is evenly coated, then apply sprinkles. Place cake pop in Styrofoam block. Complete with remaining cake pops and store in refrigerator. 

*You can store these gluten free cake pops in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
*You can also freeze just the balls for up to two weeks, then make the pops the day you want to serve them

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chicken Piccata and Dairy Free Risotto

Our family loves Chicken Piccata. The lemon sauce drizzled over chicken makes the dish. When we started this journey of going gluten free and dairy free, I thought Risotto was not gluten free and if it was how, would I make with without Parmesan cheese and creamy marscapone cheese. I have been craving it for weeks and finally started to do a bit of research. To my surprise Arborio rice is Gluten Free. Wahoo, I was so excited. Next I was on a mission to create it without dairy. Last night I tried it and my family did not notice it was missing dairy. I hope you enjoy it, like we did. 

Chicken Piccata

4 Organic Boneless Chicken Breast or 20 Chicken tenders
1/2 Cup to 1 Cup Gluten Free all purpose flour
Olive oil for frying
1/2 tea sea salt
1/2 tea pepper
1/2 cup Organic Chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1-2 Lemons juiced depending on how much lemon flavor you want
1-2 Tbl Capers depending if you like them or how salty you want it

First pound the chicken breast so they are like a cutlet. If you are using chicken tenders just leave them as they are. Next put GF flour in pie dish or plate along with the salt and pepper. Get a skillet pan that will fit all the chicken and put the olive oil in it and heat on medium. Once the oil is hot, dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and place in hot pan. Fry on both sides until the chicken is cooked through and you have a nice crispy texture. Set Chicken on paper towel to rest, while your cook all the meat. Once the meat is cooked and resting pour your wine in the pan and scrap the bottom of the pan and get all the crunchy bits mixed into the wine. Once the wine is cooked off add the lemon juice, chicken broth and capers. Let it come to a lite boil and add the chicken back in. Put a lid on the pan and put the temperature to low so it stays warm while you make the risotto. 

Dairy Free Risotto:

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 tea sea salt 
3 Tbl olive oil plus 2 Tbl olive oil for after
1/2 cup white wine
2 1/2 cups Organic Chicken Broth heated, I do this in the microwave. 

Take a sauce pan and heat up with the 3 Tbl olive oil on medium/low heat. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Next add the rice and sea salt and cook for another 2 minutes continuously stirring.  Next add the wine until its cooked off. The trick to Risotto is to never stop stirring it. Now add about 1/4-1/3 cup of the hot broth and stir it until the liquid absorbs into the rice. Keep adding the same amount of liquid when the rice has absorbed the previous liquid. After about 20-30 minutes the rice will be soft and have a creamy texture to it and your hot broth should be gone. If the rice is still a little under cooked add more broth, but only a 1/2 cup, because you don't want it to turn mushy. Next, mix the remaining 2 Tbl of olive oil into the risotto and serve.

I poured some of the Chicken Piccata sauce over the rice and chicken and served it with saute green beans. The kids ate it up and asked for seconds. If your kids don't like the lemon sauce you can keep their chicken out of the sauce and serve it up like chicken fingers. Give them some ketchup or honey mustard sauce and they will love it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Liam is currently on a probiotic called VSL#3. His GI doctor wrote a prescription for it and I have found that Costco is the cheapest so far. I pay $73.00 for a month supply. Seems like a lot, but I fell its worth it, if it keeps him off the nasty drugs like prednisone.  The VSL#3 comes sachet, which contains 450 billion live probiotic bacteria. Every morning I dump one sachet into a cup of fresh squeeze juice and Liam drinks it up. He loves the stuff and always asks "is it time to take my tummy medicine mama?" According to my doctor and the research on this product VSL#3 works by lining the GI tract with optimal quantities and types of probiotic bacteria. These bacteria adhere to the walls of the GI tract and form a barrier which protects the inner layer of the gut from bad bacteria and other toxic substances that can cause inflammation. In my sons case this helps when he has to take an antibiotic.  VSL#3 produces a variety of good bacteria, delivering relief from symptoms and enhancing the health of the GI tract. If your interested in VSL#3 check out their website here:

Today I read an article by Dr. Mercola about probiotics and the reasons for taking them. Check out the link:

I strongly believe in this product and recommend it for all people living with UC or any other stomach problems. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Liam's first day of Preschool!

Ready to go to school with his lunch box and change of clothes

Today was Liam's first day of preschool! We have waited a long time for this day! Because of Liam's health we were not able to put him in any activities that had lots of kids. From as early as 6 weeks old Liam has caught every cold his sister was exposed to and caught things all on his own with very little exposure to the world. His little immune system as many of you know just could not shake your typical cold/virus. When he was 2 1/2 he got the go ahead to start preschool or be in mommy and me groups. We tried it and he that is when he came down with Ulcerative Colitis. A year later and now we have the go ahead once again. I searched and searched for the right preschool for him. I thought at first a co-op. I had my daughter Savannah at one and loved it, but the political side of a co-op as well as the time, and fundraising just would not work. I called about three preschools with low ratios and they all seemed great until I told them about Liam. I would begin to explain that he has U.C. and as soon as they realized he had dietary restrictions and would have "flares" they said that they may not be the best fit for him. A bit discouraged and sad I decided to call one more place. I was familiar with Innovative Preschool from college. Innovative is a  unique, fully blended inclusive preschool for children with and without special needs. When I called them they said it would be not problem accepting Liam  and they would support his diet restrictions and if he had a "flare" they would allow him to still come to school. He was put at #66 on the waiting list. I was at first a little worried it would be forever before he was able to attend. But I thought "if this is the place for him, it will happen when its meant to." Within 3 weeks I got the phone call that he was accepted. Wahoo! Now time to prepare him. Of course I thought I need to start telling him about preschool to give him time to process it. We took a tour of his room (turtle room) and met his teacher. We played for a good hour and he was all ready to start. Unfortunately for him he had to wait 6 weeks. So for 6 long weeks Liam asked every day "today I go to preschool?" Last week we went shopping for his very first lunch box. Four stores later and he settled on Scooby Doo. Last Thursday Liam came down with his first virus since his tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy. He had a 6 week run with no colds, which was awesome. Around 9:30 pm Liam came down with croup. I am used to croup, but was worried he would not be well enough for his first day of school. Typical Liam before surgery would not have been. I am super excited for him, because his body fought this virus better than it ever has. He still has a little wet cough, but overall is ready to start school. 

Well last night we told him "Liam you get to go to preschool tomorrow." He said "Yay" and then said "You go with me to preschool, come back one minute or I be sad and cry." I said "I will drop you off and will pick you up a little later." He replied with "I do not go to preschool". For the past 6 weeks he has said with enthusiasm "I go to preschool you drop me off and pick me up later". I was a little worried as any mom would be. 

This morning he had a big break down and refused to get dressed. After 20 minutes he snapped out of it and helped pack his lunch. We packed a gluten free peanut butter and jelly sandwich, banana, cherry tomatoes, mandarins and a fruit leather. He was very excited to go, which made me happy. 

When we arrived, Mike was there waiting for us. Liam was super excited to see daddy and show him Sheldon the turtle. We signed him in, showed him his cubby and found his buddy Malia. He gave her a big hug then said goodbye to us.  I started to walk off and he grabbed my dress. I thought to myself okay this is when he is going to cry. But instead I told him I would be back very soon and lets find something for you to do.  I showed him the play dough and he sat down and started playing.
Liam with his friend Malia!

Savannah and I got to go to the park, out for smoothies and to the grocery store. It was fun just spending time with just her. I enjoyed her stories with no interruption from Liam. We both agreed that is was weird not having him around. 

When we picked Liam up he was super excited to see us. He got his shoes on faster than I had ever seen and grabbed my hand to leave.  He told me" I play with play dough then I cry. I draw pictures....I cry...I eat lunch...I cry." I asked you want to go back? He said" NO". I told him he has to go back. He said "Okay". I think overall he had fun and it will be good for him. I am so thrilled I found a place, where he can socialize, learn and grow. It gives me peace of mind knowing he will be accepted and I don't have to worry about what he eats or when he has a flare up. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Pizza

My parents are in town visiting and my dad had a craving for some greasy pizza from a local pizza joint called Woodstock's. Liam is used to eating gluten free pizza without the cheese. As a family we have made the switch to gluten free crust along with everything gluten free, but Mike, Savannah and I had been eating some dairy. After meeting with his GI specialist two weeks ago we are all now dairy free.  Tonight was the first night Savannah and I tried our first dairy free pizza. I have to admit both she and I were not super excited about it. We both love our pizza and especially the cheese. I told her that we could do this together and for her to pick her favorite toppings. She wanted canadian bacon, sausage and pineapple and I wanted pepperoni, red onion, bell pepper and uncooked tomato.  I thought the more toppings on this pizza the better. Just in case it wasn't good she and I split a salad with balsamic dressing. When our gluten and dairy free pizza arrived at the table my family looked at me with positive expressions trying to show support. Liam immediately asked for his slice and Savannah and I looked at each other and tried our slices.To be honest it was pretty good. My mom, sister and dads pizzas came out with original crusts and oozing cheese. At first I was a little jealous, but then realized I was making a life change for my kiddos. My mom of course offered a slice of her pesto primavera pizza and for a split second I wanted to say yes. Instead of taking her up on her offer I joked and said "thanks mom for your support". The kids and I finished every piece and felt satisfied. The best part of eating the pizza was neither of us felt sick to our stomachs or over stuffed. We felt really good and satisfied. Savannah said "the pizza was yummy" when we were leaving, while Liam in the car said " Mama I love that pizza". So all in all I consider tonight to be a successful one!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Liam Doctor Update

Hi everyone, hope you had a great Fourth of July. We had a great time down in Folsom with Mikes family. July 3rd we went to a festival in El Dorado Hills listening to music, eating yummy food and watching a wonderful firework show. The kids enjoyed decorating their bikes on the 4th and riding behind a local fire truck around my sister in laws neighborhood. It was 106 that day so the kids spent most of the day playing on the slip and slide or squirting each other with water guns. We BBQ that night and lit sparklers once it got dark. All in all it was a fabulous weekend.

The next day we had a follow up with Liam's GI Doctor. She was very happy with Liam's progress so far. She said on paper he looks really good. We were suppose to take him to clinic and have tests ran, but due to him just having surgery for his adenoids, tonsils and terbinates she felt we could wait. She was very impressed with the diet changes and wished more parents would do the same for their children. She believes preventative care is the best. Her hope for Liam is to one day live a normal life where prebiotics and probiotics as well as healthy eating is what ultimately keeps him flare free. He is still on what we call a roller coaster, but hopefully his surgery will allow him to get healthy and not be on as many antibiotics, thus allowing good flora to build up in his gut.

She stressed to us that we need to be really strict on sugar intake. We allowed him to have a snow cone July 3rd and it gave him a horrible headache, tummy ache and diarrhea. I knew better than to give it to him, but wanted him to have fun with his sister and cousins. Lesson learned and we will have to be more careful. The next step is that we have a follow up appointment in November unless Liam has a flare up. At that appointment we will schedule another scope and blood work. I am not looking forward to prepping him for that scope, but we will cross that bridge when we get there.

On a side note something that Mike and I had never thought about was Savannah. We were talking with Dr. Davies about the diet change and I brought up how Savannah has given the coconut milk a really good try. I expressed to her that I wanted to switch her to raw milk. We made the switch to raw cheese and was thinking of putting her on raw milk too. She strongly suggested against the raw milk. She had just treated a child who got very very ill from raw milk. She advised us to take Savannah off all milk products like Liam. Dr. Davies is a huge believer that Cows milk is for "baby cows" only. She strongly believes the milk made here in the US has lead to the increase in allergies and that it leads to so many health issues and cancer.  I agree with her on many levels, thus why I was looking into raw milk. Her concern is that since Savannah has tested positive for a slight milk allergy, then we should not mess with it. She essentially said that Savannah has the same genetic makeup as Liam and although she is not showing signs of UC, and may never, why take the chance? UC is usually diagnosed at the ages of 15-35 and they still don't have concrete evidence as to why and how people get it. Many researchers and doctors think its genetic as well as environmental and the food we eat. Liam is a rare case being diagnosed at 2, but why would we take the chance when it comes to our daughter? Mike and I had never thought about Savannah possibly coming down with this. What if I did allow her to eat certain stuff that we know causes Liam to have a flare up and she showed signs of UC at 15 years old. I do not think I could forgive myself. Preventive medicine I think is so important. Through all of my continued research why would I allow my daughter to drink milk that has been highly processed. I was giving her organic milk, but it is still highly processed. So now all of us will be dairy free. We need to lead by example and so no more cheating for Mike and I. I sure am going to miss gelato and pizza! If anyone has any good pizza recipes that is gluten and dairy free please let me know. I will be experimenting very quickly in my kitchen to come up with a yummy recipe. I will share if I succeed!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lemon Bars - GF, DF and Refined SF

Add caption
For the crust:
1  cup  sorghum flour
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon palm sugar, in a pinch you can use brown sugar, but then that makes them have some refined sugar in them

For the lemon filling
4 organic eggs
1/2 cup plus 1/4 teaspoon agave
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
Zest of whole lemon
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice I like to put some of the pulp in it too
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut finely shredded

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with think layer of coconut oil.
Put the sorghum flour, sunflower seeds, and xanthan gum a food processor and process until the sunflower seeds are finely chopped.  Add the coconut oil and palm sugar and pulse until the mixture is a crumbly meal.  Press the mixture into the prepared baking pan.  Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden brown.
While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.  Put the eggs in a blender and pulse several times until the yolks are broken.  Add the agave, vanilla,  arrowroot, lemon zest, lemon juice, and coconut milk .  Pulse several times until thoroughly combined.   Pour the lemon mixture over the hot crust then sprinkle the shredded coconut evenly over the top.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the center of the lemon bars are set.  Let cool and put in refrigerator. When ready to serve cut up into squares and sprinkle more shredded coconut on top to make pretty. Enjoy!

This recipe is from Amy Green at simply and sugar and gluten free

Thursday, June 23, 2011

10 foods to avoid with UC, Crohns, IBS

Below is information I found searching the web today. A lot of the stuff I do for Liam is in this article. I have added the link for the article at the bottom of the page if you want to read the whole thing. I just copied the main points. Check it out!

Ten foods to avoid if you have ulcerative colitis:

Caffeine not only draws water out of our system, contributing to dehydration, but it also triggers bowel movements.  If you have ulcerative colitis or any other type of IBD, then caffeinated teas, coffee, and chocolate could wreak havoc on your digestive system, in addition to robbing your body of much-needed fluids.  Try some healthful alternatives, such as comforting herbal tea and carob chip cookies

Bubbly Beverages
Carbonated drinks are refreshing, but they are full of tiny air bubbles.  Swallowing excess amounts of air causes flatulence and irritates the stomach linings of chronic colitis patients.  If you cannot resist the lure of an icy cola on a hot day, then sip slowly.  Nix the straw, as it will only make you swallow even more air.

Alcoholic beverages act as stimulants, and may aggravate the intestines.  However, not all alcoholic drinks are cut from the same cloth, so to speak.  White wines go down easier than red wines.  Avoid beer and mixed drinks that often cause diarrhea. 

Milk Products
Contrary to popular belief, there is no direct correlation between lactose intolerance and IBD, though individuals with irritable bowels might have a slight sensitivity to milk sugar.  If you have colitis, then your best option is to cut back on dairy whenever possible.  A pat of butter on some low-fiber toast or a bit of milk in your coffee is okay, but don’t get into the habit of drinking large amounts of cow’s milk. Try Coconut Milk for an alternative or Rice milk. 

Unless your body is accustomed to digesting beans and legumes, then you should proceed with caution.  For many of us, beans such as garbanzos and pintos are difficult to digest and cause uncomfortable bloating and gas.  That doesn’t mean you should cross three-bean salad or minestrone off your list, though.  Beans are rich in protein and vitamin B12.  Some methods of cooking beans produce less gas, and chewing thoroughly helps to aid digestion.  If you buy canned beans, rinse well to remove sugars, and experiment with pureed bean recipes, such as hummus or low-fat bean dip.

Stringy Veggies
Some vegetables are hard for IBD patients to absorb, and fibrous veggies such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, and celery are high on that list.  Focus on the have’s instead of the have-not’s.  You can have delicious, vegetarian side dishes without the accompanying tummy aches.  Some yummy green-light veggies include roasted cauliflower, carrot pennies, and baked potatoes.

Seeds, Skins, and Pellets
Certain foods irritate the lining of the intestines as they shove their way through our digestive system.  These include:
  • Fruit seeds, such as those found in strawberries, figs, and melon
  • Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • Dried fruits
  • Fruit skins, such as cranberries, blueberries and persimmon
  • Spongy pithy foods, such as mushrooms, citrus rinds, and orange marmalade
  • Fruity pellets, such as corn and pomegranate

Fatty Foods
Oil is not absorbed well in colitis patients, so avoid high-fat meals and condiments.  These include:
  • Rich sauces, such as Alfredo sauce and other cheesy toppings
  • French fries, and other fried foods
  • Fatty meats, such as steaks, ribs and hot dogs
  • Condiments such as mayonnaise, melted butter, and rich salad dressings
Small nut pieces are hard for the body to digest completely, and may irritate the stomach.  Colitis patients should avoid treats containing roasted peanuts, cashews, or raw almonds.  Ground nuts and seeds are fine, though.  Small amounts of creamy peanut butter, all-natural almond butter, or tahini are great sources of healthy fats.

Whole Herbs and Spices
If you suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disorder, that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer from a diet of bland, tasteless foods as well.  Take advantage of the many pungent, sweet, and tangy herbs and spices that are available, but remember to grind them well.  If you buy dried seasonings, make sure that seedy spices such as cumin, pepper, and nutmeg have been ground to a fine meal.  Chop up fresh herbs, such as dill, basil, and rosemary, into small pieces before adding them to casseroles, roasts, or sauces.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fun Kid Lunch!

So today I asked the kids what they wanted for lunch. Both could not give me an answer, so I said" how about hot dogs?" Both were not thrilled but said "okay". I had not been to the store in a week so pickings were slim. I tried to come up with something fun. I found some sticks and made hot dogs on a stick. Who would have thought they would be such a hit! They devoured them as if they had never had them before. I think this will be a new favorite in our household.

I took 4 nitrate free beef hot dogs from Trader Joe's and boiled them on the stove. Then I heated up the George Foreman Grill up while breaking kabob sticks. Then I stuck the sticks in the hot dogs and grilled them for 2-3 minutes. Put whatever condiment they like on the plate with some fresh fruit and you have an easy fun lunch!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Food Liam Eats Part 1

Fruits and Vegetables:

Organic is a biggie in my household. I use to stick to the dirty dozen foods when I had to be on a budget. These foods should only be bought organic. These can be found here: The clean 15 have the least amount of pesticides if you want to save money and can be found here: Now I just buy everything organic to play it safe. I just want Liam to have the least amount of chemicals in his little body. Places I tend to shop are, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods or our local farmers market. I have researched it and now know which places have the cheapest organic fruits and vegetables. 

Fruits are easy for Liam to digest. He can eat just about everything. I limit his apple intake and always take the skin off. Grapes and watermelon are two other fruits I give sparingly. I try to give him mostly fresh fruit. However I do buy frozen fruit for smoothies. Liam usually has a smoothie everyday either with breakfast or as a snack. I also buy canned fruits for days that we are traveling. I do not do it often because you can't buy organic canned fruit. I also only buy them when they are packed in juice. They can be hard to find sometimes. Most canned fruits are packed in syrup. Below is a list of fruits that we eat in our house are:

  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Avocado
  • Oranges
  • Kiwis
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Mandarin's
  • Peaches (skin off)
  • Nectarines
  • Watermelon (sparingly)
  • Grapes (sparingly)
  • Apples (skin off and one a day)
Vegetables are a little tougher for Liam to eat, especially raw ones. I try to not give him much raw vegetables, due to it being "roughage". Roughage can be hard on his gut to digest and so if he does eat veggies most are cooked. Lettuce is one vegetable I do not give Liam at all. I will give him cooked spinach, but raw leafy lettuce is not very good cooked, so I just avoid giving it to him. As you read you may also be surprised that I don't have potatoes or corn on the list. Potatoes and corn are high in fiber, which I try to keep Liam away from. They are high in carbohydrates which  breaks down into sugar. Sugar is hard on a gut, especially a UC gut. As you learn more of how I feed him you will find that I don't feed him a lot of carbohydrates or sugar. But I will go into more detail in the sugar post.  Because, we are talking about fruits and vegetables I will only explain that fruits and vegetables are actually simple carbohydrates -still composed of basic sugars, although they are drastically different from other foods in the category, like cookies and cakes. The fiber in fruits and vegetables changes the way that the body processes their sugars and slows down their digestion, making them a bit more like complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are considered the "good" carbs. Below is a list of the raw vegetables that he can eat are:

  • Tomatoes ( he loves cherry the best)
  • Cucumbers (skin off)

When I give Liam cooked vegetables I usually steam, stir fry, roast or BBQ them. I will post some yummy recipes in a couple of days. Check out my list below.

  • Asparagus
  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli (small amounts)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Green Bell Pepper 
  • Orange Bell Pepper
  • Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash
  • Collard Greens
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage 
  • Bok Choy 
I hope this helps some of you. If you have any questions or ideas please feel free to comment. I would love to chat about this.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Diet during flare up

    In the beginning before I made drastic changes to Liam’s diet I pretty much let him dictate what he wanted to eat within reason. The only area of food I did not budge on was dairy and high fiber foods. Liam’s first “flare up” started July 2010. He was diagnosed October 2, 2010 and after treatment the flare ended December 2010. This flare lasted 6 months. Liam was a great eater before the Ulcerative Colitis started. Little by little he started refusing to eat certain foods that he once loved. He stopped eating all beans, raw vegetables (except for tomatoes and cucumbers) apples with skin, and high fiber breads. All he wanted to eat was instant oatmeal, nitrate free hot dogs, scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, fruit snacks, smoothies and In and Out Hamburgers. Because he had dropped 7 pounds in 4 weeks, I just fed him whatever he wanted to eat. I worried about the lack of nutrients he was getting, but the doctors kept telling me to give him what he wanted. 

    I started tracking his food, per the advice of a friend who lives with Ulcerative Colitis. I started to see a trend. His typical day consisted of:

    Instant Oatmeal or Pancakes with Sausage

    Banana or Fruit Snack

    Hot Dog or Oatmeal

    1/2 Apple no skin

    Hot dog or Chicken with plain rice

    Some days I could get him to eat plain chicken legs that were baked or barbecued or some slices of turkey.  These foods must have helped with the pain he was in. I call them his comfort foods. Once his "flare up" ended the oatmeal and hot dogs became a food he refused to eat. He has had two little flares since his very first one and he goes back to the oatmeal and hot dogs. But once he is on the mend he refuses them again. I am not sure if this helps other parents, but if you don't know what to feed your kids during a "flare up", try the foods that I listed above. 

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Eliminating Diary

    After Liam's first birthday I took him off cheese, ice cream, yogurt and milk. I replaced his milk with lactose free milk, thinking it would do the trick. I removed all cheese, ice cream and yogurt from his diet. I thought, well this is easy. As time went on his tummy was still hurting, so I stopped giving him Lactaid too.  Now I was on the hunt for alternative non-dairy items. First, we tried Almond milk. We did the unsweetened, then sweetened and then vanilla flavor. All of them did not go over  well. He just kept saying "icky mama". Then his GI specialist recommended Coconut Milk. I did not even know they made Coconut Milk, other than the can to cook with. I went to Safeway to buy it and to my surprise they did not carry it. I checked out three other major chain grocery stores and none of them carried it either. 

    The next idea I had was our local mom and pop all natural store in town. To my excitement it carried it. To my shock it was $5.99 for a half gallon. I just about died seeing the price. They had three choices, sweetened, original and vanilla. I chose the unsweetened and prayed Liam would like it. I got home gave him a cup and to my surprise he did not say "icky". He was not thrilled about it, but did drink a few sips. Next I gave it to him with some dark chocolate syrup. He drank more this go around, so I was thrilled. Little by little I lessened the amount of chocolate syrup and he eventually was calling it "his milk". Many must be asking "does it taste like coconut?" Surprisingly it does not. I would say the flavor is fine, its just a little on the thick side. Sometimes I put some water in it, to thin it out. The next food to tackle was yogurt. Liam definitely missed his yogurts, so I researched non dairy yogurts and found that the same company made coconut yogurt and ice cream. The yogurt is really good. They have many flavors to choose from. Pina Colada is my favorite while Liam enjoys the chocolate, Savannah loves the raspberry and my husband prefers the vanilla.There ice cream has also become a family favorite, especially the mint. Check out the website .

    Coconut milk has become a savior in our house hold. I use it in place of anything that calls for milk in a recipe. The only recommendation I have is it is thicker than milk, so add water to the recipe if the consistency does not look right. . For example in pancakes I will use the coconut milk exactly how it calls for. After mixing the mixture usually is a little thicker than I want it to be so I add a splash of water at a time until I get the right consistency I want.

    Some of you may be thinking what about butter. I don't cook with butter either, since its considered dairy. To replace butter in a recipe I either will use grape seed oil or coconut oil.

    I have not found a substitute for cheese for him. He seems to be doing just fine with out it, so I have not pursued it. 

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    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Liam's cookies

    Liam's Cookies:
    Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free and Dairy Free


    3 1/2 c. almond flour
    1/2 c. coconut oil or Grape Seed oil if you don't like the coconut flavor
    1/2 c.  agave nectar
    2 large eggs
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 1/2 c. Dark Chocolate Chips or Vegan chocolate chips from organic and fair trade

    *Peanut Butter is not Paleo, but sometimes my kiddos miss peanut butter cookies. Occasionally I will add 1/4 cup Organic all natural Peanut butter. 


    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a Silpat non-stick silicon baking liner found either online or bed bath beyond. 
    Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat the eggs, agave, and vanilla extract with a mixer. I use my kitchen aide instead of a hand mixer and it works great. 
    Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and beat with mixer until combined.  Add the melted coconut oil or grape seed oil which ever you prefer into the batter. Be careful the oil tends to fly out until it combines with the batter.   Add chocolate chips then scoop a ball of dough and drop cookie dough onto cookie sheet. Sometimes I make mickey mouse shapes or snowman. Be creative the kids will love it. 
    Bake for  8 minutes and let cool on cookie sheet to let cook a tad longer. 
    Store in a plastic air tight container if not eaten in one sitting or store in the freezer. These are super good frozen. This recipe came from Everyday Paleo. I tweaked it just a bit to my kiddos liking :)

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Where would I be without Trader Joe’s Almond Meal? A 16 oz. bag costs $3.99 and makes life so much easier for people who are on a gluten free diet. Other companies like Bobs Red Mill make almond flour, but its anywhere from 10.99-12.99 for a small bag in the stores. Something that works great is to put the almond Meal in the food processor at home for a smoother texture. Myself I prefer the original texture, but some people like it a little lighter. Almond Flour is great for muffins, cookies, cakes, breads, and a nutty crust on chicken or fish. I posted one recipe called Liam's cookies. Check it out. 

    Trader Joe's Almond Meal

    Gluten Free Banana Pancakes

    My friend Becky sent me this recipe. We have made one similar to it. Give it a try and tell me what you think! 
    The recipe can be found on Norcal Strength and Conditioning website. I agree with the suggestion of adding baking soda. Almond Flour definitely does not rise on its own. 

    Ingredients needed: 

    2 Ripe Bananas
    4 Eggs
    1 Cup almond flour
    1 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    1 Tablespoon of vanilla
    1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon 


    Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Heat coconut oil on medium/low.  Pour 1/4 cup of batter into pan and cook pancake till bottom is browned, then flip.  Be sure to watch these–they can burn easily!

    Top with more coconut oil, almond butter, butter, mashed strawberries, or maple syrup.

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Liam's Story

    Liam is my three year old son, who is living with Ulcerative Colitis. This story is about everything he has gone through in just three short years.

    Liam was born 6 1/2 weeks early. He beat all the odds and surprised everyone by being a healthy 6 pound 1 oz baby boy. He spent very little time in the NICU and got to come home with me three days after his birth.  Everything was great until he got his first cold at 8 weeks old and ended up on his first round of antibiotics for a sinus infection. The youngest by far his pediatrician had ever treated. Little did we know at the time this would be the norm for Liam.

    He was colic for a good 10 months screaming for hours on end, projectile vomiting due to acid reflux and was constipated all the time. We had him on medication for the reflux as well as the constipation. I changed my diet and nothing seemed to work. One day I went to my chiropractor for lower back pain.  She was asking about Liam and I told her how he was doing. She asked me if she could check him out? After examining his spine she said he was out of alignment in two places. I was a little nervous having my 10 month old adjusted, but I trusted her very much. After she adjusted him, he began to giggle. I could not believe it, he was actually happy.  He had the most normal bowel movement we had ever seen that night and slept. We were thrilled with the results. We took him two more times and the constipation stopped. Even though the constipation was over, he was still fussy.

    By his first birthday a friend suggested taking him off all dairy and seeing if his crying and upset tummy's would stop. To this day I am so grateful for her suggestion. Liam was lactose intolerant and in just two days he turned a corner.  Liam was finally the happy 1 year old he was suppose to be. 

    We were thrilled to have discovered the lactose problem, but we still had not gotten a handle on him getting sick so often.  By the time Liam was 15 months old he had been on 22 antibiotics. Yes I said 22. My mama gut just kept thinking that something else was wrong.  Finally we ran tests and he was diagnosed with a low immune system....DUH! I kept him isolated as much as I could for a mom who also had a 4 year old daughter to entertain. I took him off tap water, started washing him with sulfate free body wash, gave him garlic and probiotics everyday. I started putting flax seed in his food and hiding the veggies he would not eat in his meals. I wanted to build his immune system up as much as I could. We stopped taking Liam to stores and homes with lots of kids. Everyone had to wash their hands before handling him and if they were sick they had to stay away from him. He still got sick, but it was not as bad as the year prior. At his 2 1/2 year check up he got a clean bill of health. We were all so very excited to be able to do things as a family and not be so isolated.

    Things were going great. Liam was antibiotic free for 16 weeks, the longest he had ever gone. It had been three months since he was given a clean bill of health. Things were starting to look up until be got back from a family camping trip in July. Liam started having diarrhea. At first I thought it was from all the summer fruit he was eating. I took him off all fruit and there was no change. He started looking very pale and was eliminating foods. I took him to his pediatrician who decided to treat him for Giardia. He immediately started feeling better.  Unfortunately as soon as he finished the antibiotic, the diarrhea came back. Three doctors researched if Giardia could come back and they said that the antibiotic does not kill the eggs, so the eggs may have hatched. This time Liam was put on the antibiotic for two weeks. Well same thing happened. After two unsuccessful treatments and Liam losing 7 pounds, we were off to a specialist. Liam had a colonoscopy, endoscopy, many biopsy's and blood work done the day after the appointment. The doctor called three days later with a diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis. 

    Once we got the diagnosis his doctor put him immediately on 20 mg of prednisone.  For three months we gave him this drug. He had extreme bouts of roid rage, which was difficult on him as well as us.  He became extremely sensitive to touch, and clothing textures. He would have lots of energy, which was uncontrollable at times. It was very hard to watch and not be able to take it away. He started to grow dark hair down the spine of his back. Eventually Liam started to eat again, have some normal bowel movements and gain weight. This drug that turned him into a different kid, was actually working. 

    Since the diagnosis I have spent endless hours researching this autoimmune disease, which is incurable. The one thing I keep noticing is there is very little information about children (especially toddlers) living with UC, and very little about preventive measures. Every story I read is about what drug or drugs the doctors have put each person on and what side effects they are experiencing. After reading many similar stories and watching my son deal with the affects of prednisone,  I decided I was going to research alternative ways to help Liam. This is not my disease, its his and he is going to have to learn how to manage it as he gets older. But, for now I can do everything in my power to help him. 

    My husband and I kept thinking diet had to be a key component. Liam was eliminating certain foods on his own. I started listening to his requests, even if it was the same food over and over again. I swear there were days, when he only ate instant oatmeal and nitrate free hot dogs. I tried asking his doctors about what foods I could give him. At first they were no help, and just kept saying" give him the drug, its working". After we weaned him off the prednisone, we met with his specialist for a follow up. I told her that I took Liam off all dairy, high fiber foods, raw veggies, and beans. She was impressed that I did that on my own. She suggested also taking him off sugar. Along with that I decided to only eat organic food and eliminate gluten, nitrates, corn products, and corn fed animals. It has been quite the journey so far. At first I only changed Liam's diet, but it got to difficult giving his sister things he could not have. I decided that we were going to all do it together. Some things have been easier than others, but overall it is going well.

     This is Liam's journey, but also our families journey. I am hoping this blog can help other families out there dealing with this disease. I hope I can be support to other moms, dads, grandparents or just anyone who has a child living with this disease. Maybe some of the things I do with Liam can help others and help them to get their UC under control. Liam has had only one other "flare up" since his first big one. He was put on only 5mg of prednisone for two weeks. The specialist was extremely pleased and impressed he got off it so quickly. She thinks the change in diet may have helped. Only time will tell, but so far so good!