Monday, May 7, 2012

allergen-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free chocolate raspberry cookies

I was craving raspberries and chocolate and my kids wanted cookies, so we came up with this recipe on a Sunday afternoon. I am not a professional chef so feel free to adjust it as you see fit.

1/4 cup real maple syrup + a few drops liquid stevia
1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil
2 mashed bananas
3 T cocoa powder
1 cup (gluten-free, if desired) oats
1/3 cup millet flour (or sorghum flour, or your fav gf mix)
1/2 cup unsweetened (nitrate-free) shredded coconut
pinch of salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup (or eye it) dairy-free chocolate chips (I use trader joe's or enjoy life)
1/2 cup chopped (in half) raspberries and/or cherries (I used frozen)

Mix together first three wet ingredients. Add cocoa to wet ingredients and stir until well blended. Mix dry ingredients together, and then add to wet mixture. Toss in chocolate chips and berries and stir just until blended. Use a spoon to form cookies onto a baking sheet. Bake at 325 convection, or 350 regular for 11-13 minutes, or until done. We are at very high elevation so that could affect baking time/temp...adjust as needed.

*It was cold when I made these cookies, so the coconut oil was solid. If your coconut oil is liquid at room temp, then you might want to put a little less or add a touch more flour if needed.

Monday, May 9, 2011

MTHFR and autism

I have MTHFR on my mind again. My mom recently tested positive for both of the two most common MTHFR gene polymorphisms (677/1298). Which wasn't a huge suprise since she has fibromyalgia. Her positive test confirmed my suspicions that the MTHFR gene polymorphism is one of the root causes of the chronic health problems experienced by our extended family. I spent a little bit of time on pubmed this weekend doing some more research. I have a collection of fascinating articles that are "must reads" for those dealing with autism, anxiety, and other MTHFR related issues. SO interesting.

A post from a new-to-me blog that offers info on MTHFR:

What I found very interesting is that the MTHFR protocol that Dr. Rawlins is using to treat my mother is similar to the biomedical treatment protocol for autism. Here is a site where Dr. Rawlin's brother put some links to Dr. Rawlins work. The second link on the site is a very informative powerpoint presentation.

Also, for more info on MTHFR see my previous post here.

Here is the methylfolate I use. You can find the active form of B12 at any health food store, just make sure that it starts with "methyl". Sublingual drops and tablets are the most effective. We also have this around.

Friday, March 11, 2011

glutathione and asparagus

Glutathione is a very powerful antioxidant and detoxifier. Our bodies need glutathione in order for our detoxification pathways to work properly. We need glutathione to flush out toxins, pollutants, heavy metals, etc. from our bodies. Children on the autism spectrum (including ADD/ADHD) are usually low in glutathione. Those with the MTHFR gene polymorphism are also low on glutathione. Most chronic diseases are associated with low glutathione levels.

Here are some links to some must read articles about glutathione:

Asparagus contains more glutathione than any other food. As such, it is often recommended for children on the autism spectrum (see above article). Also, tylenol depletes the liver of glutathione, and has been implicated as a cause of autism. According to one study, children under five who receive tylenol after the MMR vaccination are 6 times more likely to develop autism than those who did not. Read about it HERE (seriously, click on this one), and HERE (pdf). Do not give your children tylenol (acetaminophen) before or after their immunizations!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

vitamin K2

There is a lot of buzz about vitamin K2 in the world of health and nutrition. Vitamin K2 is a lesser known nutrient, yet one that is vital for bone and cardiovascular health. Vitamin K2 is responsible for making sure that calcium is deposited in our bones and teeth, and not in arteries and soft tissues.

Vitamin K2 is a fat soluble vitamin that is manufactured by the beneficial bacteria in the intestines. If you have digestive/gallbladder problems, candida, chronic use of antibiotics, or adhere to a fat-free diet, you are most likely deficient. Signs of deficiency include:

-bruising easily
-bleeding excessively (nosebleeds, gums, menstruation)
-kidney stones

Immediately after reading about Vitamin K2, I started to think about it's connection to autism. Most children on the spectrum have intestinal candida and most likely don't have enough beneficial bacteria to produce vitamin K2. Or they are allergic to most of the dietary sources. I found an amazing paper:

Vitamin K Deficiency as a Cause of Autistic Symptoms (pdf)

The author proposes that unregulated deposition of calcium in the autistic child causes many autism symptoms, and that vitamin K2 deficiency is the culprit for calcium oxalate crystals found in autistic children.

Here are some links to other great articles on vitamin K2:

Vitamin K2 Controls Removal of Calcium from Arteries
Why Probiotics are Essential to Vitamin K, and Why You Likely Need More of Both
Weston Price studies on Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2: Putting Calcium Where it Belongs

Since I am not a fan of liver, I have been trying to eat more egg yolks, fermented foods, and organic animal fat to avoid vitamin K2 deficiency. My favorite new find is THIS sauerkraut. You can find it in the refrigerated section. It is naturally fermented and tastes really good. When I make it myself it doesn't turn out very well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

food dyes, preservatives=behavioral problems, low IQ

We cut out all artificial food dyes, flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, chemicals, etc. out of our diet a long time ago. The hard part about this change is that we stick out like a sore thumb when it comes to preschool, parties, social functions, holidays, etc. But I don't care. Knowing what I know about these chemicals and their negative effects on growing bodies, I honestly feel like it would be child abuse to feed these things to my children.

Click HERE to read about about the feingold program. Dr. Feingold was an allergist who started making connections between food/chemical sensitivities and behavior way back in the 1960's. A must read if you are dealing with ADHD, ear infections, asthma, OCD, bi-polar, sensory deficits, eye deficits (nystagmus), headaches, stomachaches, skin disorders, etc.

Click HERE to read about a study in the Lancet (Brittish medical journal) that links food dye and preservatives to behavioral problems.

And lastly, click HERE to read about a study in the New York school system that examind IQ scores before and after artificial dyes, flavorings, and preservatives were removed from school lunches. There was a 14% increase in IQ after these things were removed from the lunch offerings.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I have been doing a lot of research on the MTHFR gene polymorphism. Apparently around 35% of the population has this genetic mutation. Those that have this gene problem cannot convert synthetic folic acid (which is in everything!) into the active form --L 5 methyl-tetrahydrofolate. People that have this gene polymorphism don't clear heavy metals well. They have an increased risk of cancer (especially breast, colon, and gastric), and have a susceptibility to addiction. Around 98% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have at least one of the MTHFR gene mutations.

The following conditions are associated with the MTHFR gene polymorphism: cardiovascular disease, stroke, peripheral neuropathy, still births, pre-eclampsia, neural tube defects/cleft lip, depression, anxiety, IBS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, dementia, migraines, schizophrenia, parkinson's, miscarriage, and infertility.

The biggest problem with this gene mutation is the inability to detoxify heavy metals. Symptoms of heavy metal overload include: social deficits, withdrawal, OCD, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, aggression, tantrums, fibromyalgia, colon/pancreatic cancer, liver/kidney problems, hair loss, premature graying, rashes, poor concentration, etc...

Here are some excellent resources for further reading:

MTHFR treatment

MTHFR related health problems

Mark Hyman article on Folic Acid

Video lecture on MTHFR by Neil Rawlins, MD

List of MTHFR resources (also from Neil Rawlins, MD)

Dangers of folic acid supplementations (by Dr. Fuhrman)

Pub Med Studies on:

autism, autism, autism, psychiatric disorders, breast cancer,

A slide show from Kenneth Bock, M.D. on Autism/ADHD/Allergies/Asthma:


Oh, and the active form of folate is available online and in specialty pharmacies, but it is hard to find. There are several prescriptions with active forms of the B vitamins, such as Meta NX, Deplin (folate for depression), and Cerefolin (often prescribed for alzheimers and fibromyalgia). There is a prescription prenatal vitamin with methylfolate called Neevo.

Here is a discussion about real folate.

Here is an article linking folate blood levels to IgE allergies. Of course.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

chocolate cookies

My mom came to visit last week and bought me a copy of Living Without magazine. I have always wanted a copy, but could never rationalize spending six dollars on a magazine. I've changed my mind. It is a wealth of information/recipes and I will be a loyal subscriber from here on out. All of the recipes are gluten/dairy-free and sweetened naturally. I tried out the vegan chocolate cookies today, and they were amazing. My family ate the whole pan before I could take a picture. Here is the recipe...

Vegan Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup palm, turbinado, or sucanat sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend (i used 1/4 cup white bean, 1/4 cup tapioca, 1/4 cup sorghum)
1/4 cup flax meal
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine coconut oil, sugar, applesauce, cocoa powder, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, flax meal, xanthan gum, baking soda, cloves, and salt. Fold dry ingredients into wet, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Place heaping tablespoons of batter on greased cookie sheet (i didn't grease mine and they came off just fine) about two inches apart, pressing down gently on each with the palm of your hand. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate cookies sheet 180 degrees and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool before removing from sheet.

Other articles I found very interesting in the current issue were about hidden corn allergies (symptoms most often include headaches, fatigue, irritability, joint pain, IBS), gluten ataxia, and the latest research on food allergies/intolerances.