Friday, July 26, 2013

Gluten-Free is the way to be!

After 4 months of total compliance to a GF diet, I am very happy to report that Blaine's follow-up testing showed a DRAMATIC improvement in health!  All of his levels that were troublesome (liver enzymes, cholesterol, iron, and more) are all in the NORMAL range now!  And after not being able to gain weight, he gained about 10 pounds right off.  He looks SO HEALTHY now!  People at work have even commented on how healthy he looks, with out even knowing the changes he made.  I am amazed at what havoc gluten was causing his body and by how eliminating it has improved his health more in 4 months than over the past decades of trying to figure it out.  We hope that our continued compliance will decrease his cancer risk and that he will continue to feel good and energetic like he does now.  He no longer needs to have iron infusions now that his body is actually ABSORBING the nutrients!  All of this news has made our kitchen and lifestyle overhaul totally worth it!  

Traveling is a wee-bit more difficult as many restaurants are not really gluten-free conscious or the risk of cross-contamination is really high even if they offer "GF" products.  Blaine went on a biking trip in April to Moab, Utah and Fruita, Colorado.  He made sure to pack lots and lots of his own snacks.  Thankfully places like Chipotle, Qdoba, Wendys, and Chick-fil-a make it easy to find safe, GF options.  Cafe Rio...not so much.  

He felt like he could ride forever with his new-found energy and health!

4 of the 6 guys that went on this biking trip

I love food and I love to bake and cook.  You would think that going gluten-free would be harder for our household but it honestly hasn't been that bad.  I love when I find a good gluten-free product that is yummy and all of my family enjoys it.    My friends pointed me to a really great flour called "Better Batter".  It is the least "gritty" of the flours I have used and I can bake all of my same favorites with this GF flour instead.  

Grandma Grow's Butter Rolls...GF style.  A Thanksgiving tradition that I don't have to give up.  

Costco carries this yummy marinade.  We like to make stir-fry with it.  

Jello-cookies, a la gluten free.  

One of our favorite Mexican recipes.  I just make sure all of the ingredients are GF, such as Victoria enchilada sauce.  This is a great "food storage" recipe to have on hand since all of the ingredients except the cheese are canned.  And I bet it would be good even with out the cheese.  

Yummy roasted vegetable medley.  

It really is mouth-watering chicken!

Shepherd's pie made with sweet potatoes/yams instead of white potatoes.  Yum-o!

We should seriously consider buying stock in General Mills due to our Chex consumption.  

Lasagne has never tasted better!  I love these noodles.  

The kids beg for this fish oil "treat".  

So we are feeling positive and happy that we are seeing results.  A little less processed food and a little more thoughtful planning and eating is hopefully adding years back to Blaine's life.  And for that, I am grateful to live in a time when eating gluten free isn't all that hard!

Miscellaneous catch-up blogging

The holidays are always so much fun.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures and memories from Thanksgiving through Easter...

Playing "Headbands" with the kids.  This particular game piece made us laugh so hard.  

That face is because I told her that she could not eat all of those Oreos for breakfast!

Baylor and Ezra
Super-hero friends.

Brynnly and Cali

Sweet sissys

"Look, Mommy!  I have a baby in my tummy."

Graduating from Nursery and becoming a Sunbeam!

Cali loves her "sweeties" at the library.  
It was a fun day when we surprised Bella and pulled her from school just to take the kids sledding!  

Days off from school means sleeping all three together on the couches downstairs.   I love how they love to be together.  

Is anything sweeter than this?

St. Patrick's day at pre-school.  We had a little, green visitor!

The same visitor came before the kids woke up, too.  


Daddy's birthday and the first gluten-free angel food cake that I made.  It was yummy and I've made several since!

Easter morning
It was hard to keep a straight face when I fed the kids cereal like this on April Fool's day!  

Bella's awesome family tree school project.  

Bella's depiction of "1 apple spoils the whole bunch" was chosen from the character council to go on display.
Bella also received an award at school for "Courage."  Way to go, Bella!  

Somehow a fun day at the zoo with friends turned into an ER visit for Cali.  Luckily Daddy was working and was able to treat her cornea abrasion.  
Cali said, "Daddy always takes care of me."  

How did she get to be so big???

And so dang cute!

After 8 years at our Eastview home, we sold our house and moved in April during the worst blizzard of the year.  

We decided to store most of our stuff in a pod and moved just a little bit of our stuff to Mom and Dad's house while our new house is being built.  Life was slightly chaotic during the whole showings/moving/end of school/commuting/sports season, snowy blizzards etc. time period.  The idea of summer was the only thing that kept me going!  

And just for fun, my BFFs and I did the night Rave Run in Denver.  

Eva and cute.  
Preschool fieldtrip.

Bella's fieldtrip to the Butterfly Pavilion.  The kids wore green hoping the butterflies would mistake them for trees.  

Their plan seemed to work!

Holding Rosie the tarantula.

Brave little 3-year-old!

And brave Mama!

Zoo fun.  

Ezra's soccer team.  Coach Ryan was the best!

How fun to be on the same team as BFFs Lyddie, Grace, and Sophie!

We requested Coach Justin again!

Bella was all over the field...surprisingly very aggressive on the soccer field!

I love how Cali plays with her dolls.  She is so imaginative!  

Pre-school graduation.  Lily, Evan M., Ezra, Evan Q., Eli, and Serenity.  

Tossing their caps!
I truly enjoyed teaching Ezra these last two years.  He is one special, sweet boy and I'm going to miss him when he goes off to kindergarten but he is ready so I guess I have to let him go.   

The Mom teachers and our students.  
Getting used to them.

The kids love to paint in Grandma and Grandpa's basement! 

There you have it.  The longest, most picture-packed catch up blog post...and I'm just getting started!