Day Two [Diet Makeover pt. 9]

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It’s day two. I get up just after 7 and find Brother and Sister sitting at the kitchen counter, staring blankly at bowls of sliced apples their dad got for them. Oh boy, it’s day two, the hardest day.

Mr. Dad says Sister threw up a little already this morning, but there wasn’t food in it (sorry for TMI!), so he thinks the diet is already making some effect…detox? Way to go on the positive outlook, Mr. Dad!

After three fried eggs and some juice, Mr. Dad leaves for work. The kids are still staring blankly at their apples, but my eight year old is up by now and turns on the cartoons, so they stumble into the den to watch with her. Just for the record; I don’t let my kids watch movies till noon at home (or at all on schooldays) but it’s vacation with cousins, and it’s actually an excellent distraction from food cravings. OK, done justifying my mommy morals.

When scrambled eggs were ready, I called the kids back to the kitchen, but Brother didn’t come. Found him laying on the couch, mumbling. I carried him back to his eggs but he was so tired, no amount of coaxing would get him to put a bite in his mouth. I knew he was really hungry, even if he couldn’t feel it, so I stuck a slab of butter in his mouth and told him to suck on it. After a bit he took himself back to bed and sawed logs until almost noon.

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Breakfast:
Eggs, scrambled or fried in butter
Apples, ripe bananas, mandarins as desired, or as snacks until lunch

Lunch:
Chicken veggie bone broth soup, from last night
Chicken salad on greens with balsamic and pecans, same as Day One, for adults
Peanut butter and apple slices, afternoon snack sent with Mr. Dad

Brother and sister hated having soup again, the moms enjoyed it, and baby Mac sucked it up (literally). My kids (8 and 18 months are the ones I have with me this week) gobbled it up, which is proof to me that children’s tastes can change to include savory flavors as well as sweet; it was not too long ago that my kids were kicking and screaming over soup, too.

Mrs. Mom did a great job on holding the line on no snacks if you didn’t eat your soup; Sister had earned her snacks (fruit, raisins, almonds) by mid-afternoon. Brother only ate about half his soup, so was REALLY ready for dinner.

We had quite a bit of drama all day, begging for toast, cereal, gummy vitamins, tortillas, candy (Mrs.Mom: “Really? We don’t eat candy!”). All these cravings for the exact wrong foods are confirming evidence that we’re onto something here. At one point Brother was upset about not being given bread, “not even one little crumb of bread? You’re so mean!” Oh, the drama.

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Dinner:
Fajita filling, done all day in the crockpot, over salad greens, topped with Creme Fraiche made yesterday, and guacamole
Note: if you make this, use finely shredded green cabbage tossed with chopped cilantro and lots of lime juice as the base rather than lettuce. The crunch makes it so yummy with this meal. We did not do this as Mrs. Mom was worried about grassiness in breast milk.

After dinner:
Grape jello if desired

After such a hard day food wise, it was a huge relief that the kids loved the fajita bowls and relished dipping their salad leaves in the Creme Fraiche and guacamole. Fun, and so yummy for everyone!

Task list:
Cook and serve above meals
Move completed yogurt to fridge
Start crockpot in morning with dinner fajitas
In evening, bake double batch of banana muffins for breakfast tomorrow (almond flour)
Strain kefir and refrigerate and store kefir grains or start new batch

Baby Body Building [Diet Makeover pt. 7]


Here’s a picture of baby Mac playing with his mom today. He’s doing so great. He’s been on the upswing since Friday (came home from hospital Saturday) but was still experiencing low grade fevers, and was in obvious discomfort and had congested breathing.

On Monday Mrs. Mom rubbed Aromatic Chest Rub by Badger into his back, feet, and armpits. It’s an essential oils balm I brought with me similar to Vicks Vapor Rub, only because the oils are natural vs. synthetic menthol it works so much more powerfully than Vicks. Within half an hour it seemed to have a positive effect on his ease of breathing, oxygen saturation level, and heart rate. His heart rate had been too high for several days from breathing distress, but since beginning this therapy it has continued at the lower rate because of easier breathing (Mac is on a continuous monitor and has oxygen when needed).

Here’s a visual on the chest rub:

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If you use it in the future, rub it into your feet as they absorb so well and it will be used by the lungs.

Also on Monday, we introduced a high-potency vitamin A drop to baby Mac. Started with a single drop; 12,500 A palmitate. He tolerated it just fine, and his fever broke, although it is difficult to correlate that with just that one measure. Nonetheless, since this is so effective in immune support and lung health, Mrs. Mom has been dosing him at 2 drops twice daily. She has been giving him d3 for some time now, which is a balancing vitamin for the A.

(Using Bio-Ae-Mulsion Forte by Biotics Research Corp.)

By dinner time he was smiley and happy to sit in the high chair at the table with the rest of the family. To my utter delight, he drank about .5 ounce of bone/veggie/butter broth from a bottle.

Here he is:

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The remaining 2 ounces Mrs. Mom gave to him by bolus feeding. We had determined that it had about 115 calories, whereas his formulas have 75 calories for 3.2 ounces. Although this alone is not a substitute for formula, as a supplement of “real” food it is very nourishing in ways the formula isn’t, and seemed to be absorbed better/faster and yet keep him more satiated. All around success! His mom has continued to dose this to him twice a day while we research homemade food based formulas (WestonAPrice.org is our info source).

Mac has gained 4.5 ounces since beginning the broth (48 hours), which is great for this little guy, but we are still crossing our fingers, as this is obviously just the beginning. Also, he had been throwing ketones in his urine (a sign of insufficient calorie intake as he consumed his own stores of fat). Since beginning the broth he has tested negative for urine ketones.

Here’s the bolus feeding.

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This baby has had so many prayers from hundreds of people and we just praise God for each day with Mac. I’m grateful to have this week to be enjoying him and his family.

Six and Twenty Blackbirds, Baked in a Pie

OK, so I didn’t have black birds, just a turkey. But turkeys have a lot of meat, so after the initial roasted turkey meal, I usually do a lot of soup, sandwiches, and an occasional casserole.

But after such success with my GF pie crust, I decided to make a turkey pot pie.

Oh Yum.

I sauteed onion in butter, added GF flour, salt and pepper, simmered with turkey bone broth and some leftover GF gravy. I layered this in a GF pie crust with cut up turkey dark meat and peas and carrots. Baked until golden and flakey.

That’s comfort food.

 

Pectin vs. Gelatin for Making Jam

My Raspberry Freezer Jam

Christina of Ramey Ranch Review (check out her post on Making Mozarella) writes:

Pectin for Making Jam: I have heard pectin and gelatin content are about the same. While I’m not a vegetarian or anything, I do try to feed my family as wholesomely as possible. Animal waste products are not high on my healthful list! There are some alternative (vegetarian) jam pectins out there, but they are pricey. We live on a ranch and grow most of our own fruits and veggies. I preserve lots of food every year. I am looking for an economical alternative to pectin since I make 12 + batches of freezer jam per year. I would prefer to not cook and can the jam. I did find a product from Mary Jane’s Farm http://shop.maryjanesfarm.org/store/p/65-ChillOver-Powder.aspx. I heard a rumor you could use it for jam. I’m going to try to find out. If you find anything on this topic, please let me know.

Way to go, Christina, on growing the majority of your own fruits and veggies! That has got to be a huge amount of work in and of itself, not to mention the preserving. Your family is undoubtedly reaping the health rewards of your labors!

Pectin is a vegetarian product found in the cellular structure of fruits and veggies, and often sourced from citrus peels or apples. It can be pricey, particularly in small retail packages. In bulk from Azure Standard, a 1lb bag costs $42. 90; this makes about 320 cups of jam.

Gelatin, on the other hand, is an animal product, and most gelatin is made from pork carcasses. Chicken broth and beef broth (made from bones/carcasses) are marketable products, but pork broth doesn’t have much of a market, so this “waste” product is made profitable in the form of Jello, jams, and jellies.

Although this is a waste product of factory slaughterhouses (and that’s a disgusting thought with their sick animals and unsanitary practices!), gelatin in general is a very healthful and nourishing food; this is the main source of nourishment in bone broth (read Bone Broth: Body Builder) and gelatin can even be purchased in capsules as a nutritional supplement for joint problems.

So to find a clean source for gelatin . . . I thought briefly about whether you could make your own from bone broth; gelatin powder must be just dehydrated bone broth. However, I can’t imagine going to that amount of effort (and I didn’t find anything coming up when I googled making your own gelatin powder). I did find some other options, though: certified organic porcine (pork) gelatin, which is more expensive than the pectin above. The bulk size of 2lbs of powder should gel about 200 cups of liquid (perhaps it would be less in making jam?), with a current price of $53.10.

Some people prefer to avoid all pork products, organic or not, in which case beef gelatin is available, and quite a bit cheaper at $7.25 for 1lbs. This is from Azure Standard, a supplier of natural foods, so it is unclear to me if this is gelatin sourced from naturally raised beef or from conventional/factory farming, but a call to their customer service should clarify this. There is no information given on how much would be required to make jam, but I would think it would be 1:1 with the porcine gelatin. If this truly is naturally sourced gelatin, I think this would be an excellent, healthful addition to homemade jam, and an economical option too!

Chill Over Powder

I have no experience with this, although it sounds really interesting. I wonder what’s actually in it? I wouldn’t be surprised if Mary Jane is marketing her own brand of fruit pectin, similar to the one above, in which case you just need to compare the yield/price against the price at Azure or another bulk supplier of natural products.

[Christina writes back: I found out what Chill Over Powder is made from. Ingredients: Agar-agar kanten, an odorless powdered sea vegetable with superior gelling qualities—a MaryJanesFarm exclusive.]

Read Raspberry Jam for my recent experience on using both pectin and gelatin. Good luck in all your summer preserving!