WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Gingersnap Custards:(corn free, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, )

This was a tasty mistake.

For a long time I have been wondering what buttermilk pie tastes like.. Many years ago my friend Karen told me about how it is a southern tradition for many families. Since I grew up in the pacific northwest I had never heard of it. Over the years I have thought about it off and on and for the last year I have wondered how it would be dairy free. Since making gingersnaps last week I have had a bag of gingersnaps either begging that I continue to eat a few with coffee each day, or hurry up and find some way to use them.

They taste shockingly good! Smooth and creamy and the cookie got soft and is like a layer of moist gingerbread in each serving. The mistake was that the cookie floated to the top! :-) Not as pretty as I had imagined, but with a cookie across the top, or peeled and flipped with some cookie crumbs sprinkled on the sweet creamy base it wasn't too ugly! Plus, we ate them so quickly we just did not care. I am considering trying the filling on a regular gf crust down the road.

Warning- these are SWEET, like insanely sweet! 1 will be plenty for even the sweetest sweet tooth.

How I wished I had tried making buttermilk pie a very long time ago!


1/4 cup Tropical Traditions coconut oil, melted
1 3/4 cups Dominos(or C&H) Organic cane sugar
3 Tablespoons gluten free all-purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup full fat homemade coconut yogurt
1 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan salt(or safe for you salt)
12 gingersnaps(my last recipe post was for a safe gingersnap)


Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine coconut oil, sugar, flour, eggs, yogurt, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl; whisk until smooth.
Place 1 gingersnap in the bottom of each lined muffin cup.
Pour mixture into lined muffin cups with the cookie in the bottom(I use parchment liners,work great!).
Bake 18-20 minutes, until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time.

Note: If you want the tops to be golden, place under broiler for a few minutes.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ginger Snaps(corn free, dairy free, soy free, gluten free, chemical and color free)

Despite it being hot in Houston still, the leaves are falling and Fall is in the air! Now my house smells like fall too!

Gingersnaps are not only tasty but they are versatile. Add them to ice cream, or decorate a fall flavored cake, or crush them for a pie crust, or a quick trifle? For me a handful with a cup of coffee for dessert is my favorite way to consume them.

Beyond these being safe for Abby, they contain ginger,blackstrap molasses and coconut oil which are all full of good nutrition. We have been using a lot of cloves for the past 2 years mostly because Abby stopped tolerating allspice, nutmeg,mace and cinnamon. I finally got around to reading about cloves. Even today extracts from clove are still used dental work and care. Clove oil will help numb a tender tooth. Even better they contain vitamin K, and iron and other wonderful values. So more cloves in our baking and cooking for sure!

From the website The Worlds Healthiest Foods

A Nutrient-Dense Spice:

"Like its fellow spices, clove's unique phytonutrient components are accompanied by an incredible variety of traditionally-recognized nutrients. Using our nutrient ranking system, we determined cloves to be an excellent source of manganese, a very good source of vitamin K and dietary fiber, and a good source of iron, magnesium, and calcium."

Crunchy Gluten Free Ginger Snaps:

1-2/3 cups Gluten free all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. pink himalayan salt(or safe for you salt)
1/2 cup Tropical Traditions coconut oil
3/4 cup homemade packed dark brown organic sugar
1 large egg yolk
4 Tbs. Plantation brand blackstrap molasses

1)Cream together sugar, molasses,yolk, coconut oil.

2)Blend together flour,guar gum,spices,baking soda and salt then add to creamed ingredients.

3) using your hands work the dough into a ball.(reminded me of gingerbread man dough you would roll)

4)roll into about 2 diameter roll. I wrapped it in saran wrap and it rolled easier that way.

5)Place in fridge for at least 1 hour.

6) preheat oven to 350

7)line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

8) Slice your cookies. You are trying for a nice thin slices(will get a better crunch!). The dough wants to crumble, so use a very sharp knife and be gentle.

9) place on cookie sheets. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.(Helps prevent spreading! )

10)bake for 12-14 minutes(depending on the thickness of your slices).

Allow to cool and keep in an airtight container.

If they get soggy, you can place in the dehydrator for a few hours to get the "crunch" back.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Patient Care Improves With Fewer Mito Specialists but MORE Mito Literacy

This past year or two I know the Mito Community has been alarmed by the number of Mito Specialists stepping away from patient care, or some only willing to see patients who have a known genetic mutation, or those are scaling back to see patients just in their wheelhouse. Patients were justifiably panicked. They were angry, disappointed, scared, and feelings of abandonment. Over the past 3-4 years I cannot count the number of families who were accused of child abuse simply because their child had a disease the hospital systems and medical schools hadn't figured out yet. With so few Mito Specialists out there it didn't help these families much. There was no literacy and just a few Specialists that even understood the word "Mito" and it's complex definition.

Four years ago when I first started reading research articles and googling there were only about 10 names involved in Mito Medicine. Today in just 4 years I could not even begin to count the number of Dr. names represented in the endless stream of Mitochondrial research and care.

As the original Mito Specialists have stepped away from patients, there has been a flood of new patient care Drs. These Drs. aren't "Mito Specialists" but they are Drs who attend extended learning. Drs. who read. Drs. who google. Drs. who are capable of caring for most Mito Patients.

From Rheumatologists who have dealt with mystery patients their entire career to Functional Medicine Drs and for that matter many holistic Practice Drs. They are doing a remarkable job filling the void. If you have a Dr. that cares,listens and is willing to individualize medicine you might just have a very good Mito friendly Dr.

I often compare the flood of Mito Patients to the floods of Chronic fatigue and Lupus patients in the 80's and 90's. Or the Lyme patients today. It took years but today these patients have options for Drs. who take them seriously in communities across the Country. Sometimes that was a nutritionist, sometimes a family Dr. or even Immunologists and Rheumatologists. These patients are receiving much better care today because care is accessible. Most importantly though, the knowledge of these diseases has blossomed across all medical specialities.

Another interesting thing that happens when more Drs. step up to care for a unique group of patients is that new discoveries are found. New treatments, new avenues, new support. Based on a Drs. experience and background they have a different views from a clinical standpoint.

These new Drs bring new ideas.

For a disease with no cure, with extreme individual symptoms, with no specific treatments we NEED brainstorming! We need that Chiropractor, that MAPS Dr, that Rheumy, that Immunologist, that functional Med Dr, that holistic Med Dr, that Family Dr, etc. They are the ones that will be hands on with patients moving forward.

Those original Mito Specialists are still around even if retired from patient care. Their original findings will likely change and no longer be the standard but because of them we learn more because they are the ones who planted the seeds. As they retire, step back, move away from patient care, patients will find new care and better care because of those original Mito Specialists.

If you have read my blog you know I feel the majority of Mitochondrial Disease is ManMade. The zillion medications(70 percent of Americans take prescriptions daily! GASP!!! ) , the chemicals in our food, in our lives. We mean well but it isn't ending well. The study of Epigenetics, the study of our Microbiome, and methylation are providing answers finally.

In 10 years our children may see a "Epigenetics Specialist" instead of a "Mito Specialist." Or how about a " Microbiome Specialist?" It is coming. We must thank our Mito Specialists for this huge new world of medicine opening up.. for providing the open door to a massive leap in the right direction for understanding the human body. Knowledge always(eventually)translates to better patient care.

Our Mito Specialists did good. We thank them! They planted the seeds and now the rest of the Medical Professionals get to water and weed and hopefully harvest that knowledge to prevent and cure Mito.

So welcome Mito Literate Drs! We are glad to have you onboard. Our hopes now lie with you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What if I were the Mito Specialist?

I admit, I get impatient with the Mito Specialists at times, I think they "could" do more.

What I often forget is, if they did do more, who would believe them?

Scenerio: Pretending that I am the Specialist. My first appt of the day is a family of 6. Mom and all the children have mild and suspicious symptoms, but one child is more then moderately affected. After all the tests clearly Mitochondrial Disease but no known mutation.

The Mom is worried about her other children plus is considering another pregnancy and asks me "Is there ANYTHING I can do to prevent my other children from getting sick?"

1) What do I tell her? "Mito has no cure, just live as normally as you can because you have no control over whether you get sick or not." This would be the PC response. Pretty standard and it really ticks me off that a Dr. see's a snowball coming and doesn't at least suggest the patient "might" at least want to step out of the way.

2) Or do I tell her "You know, there is a lot of research in it's infancy that indicates toxins "might" play a part in triggering Mito in "some" patients. Definitely a better response. Most importantly it addresses the possibility of prevention in the other children. It gives the Mom something to do in a positive direction. It reinforces that research indicates right now that we have unanswered questions about the cause.

3) Or do I tell her what I really want to tell her? " Here is a list of mito toxic drugs, avoid at all costs. Avoid or consider a change in vaccine schedule. Here are a pile of research articles on Round Up, fluoride,flame retardants, pesticides, and more that indicated humans may be causing more disease then we are preventing. " That you may have to change your lifestyle. For some, Mito is Man Made.

Number 1 seems to be the most common response. It really steams me. I think because it is the "easiest" response. Most American's trust that if our government says a drug, pesticide, herbicide is safe and sold in the local grocery and drug store it is safe. I suspect a lot patients would disregard any advice to consider cutting back on the drugs(script and OTC), or toxic cleaners or to avoid processed foods(fast foods, packaged, enriched,MSG, non-organic, GMO, food colors and more). Most American's would probably think the advice was whacky- sad but true. What Dr. is going to take hours to teach a patient family about toxins? About foods and why they should avoid certain chemicals? They don't have time and time is money. So they refer them to the nutritionist. (pass the buck) The nutritionist will probably tout the beauty and perfection of the food pyramid. Or recommend lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Likely will avoid openly encouraging organics. If the child/patient doesn't tolerate it, well then time for an elemental formula which is full of garbage. So they refer the patient to the GI who doesn't care about what is in the food but that the "plumbing" isn't able to digest it... Some patients WILL GET WORSE no matter what, but there are some patients like Abby(she isn't the only one!) who can stabilize by avoiding toxins.

Number 2 is what I think should be the "expected advice". There is now enough research out there(been out there for many years and been replicated) that there are many toxins(chemicals,medicines,cleaners etc) that have been shown to negatively impact the mitochondria. I don't think there are any studies that absolutely claim that they are the "cause"(with the exception of a number of medications that are proven to cause mitochondrial damage), but isn't it enough that we know they make our mitochondria unhappy?

Number 3 is what I really wish they would say, I also recognize they simply cannot. Something called "Science Based Medicine" get's in the way. Drs. who are skeptical of vaccine safety are often ostracized. They aren't allowed to recommend unless it has been cleared by the Government, FDA, CDC, Medical Boards- their hands are tied. I cannot imagine being a Dr. and feeling pretty strongly based on the evidence that they should be giving out advice that could prevent, but they aren't allowed. If they did give such advice they might not be able to help patients at all. They could lose their jobs, their reputation.. their efforts they have funneled into research to help us.

I have a lot of sympathy now for Mito Specialists. After a day in the office they get to go home at night and wonder if that Mom when she gets pregnant will take anti-nausea meds, anti depressants, anti- anxiety, motrin, tylenol, antibiotics, get vaccinated early in the pregnancy, eat McD's daily(1/3 of american children eat fast food daily), get their hair colored and nails done, eat food saturated in hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, do some yard work spraying round up to remove weeds instead of pulling, spray the house for bugs .... If I were a Mito Specialist it would be agony and true purgatory to bite my tongue day in and day out knowing odds are in a few years they will have more and more and more patients and they aren't allowed to say a thing.

Maybe I am wrong, maybe a lot of mito specialists think the toxins, meds, vaccines, fast food are truly harmless and thus they are giving good and sound advice.

I think they are smarter then that though... daily the skyrocketing number of sick children. This generation of children are the sickest in a few generations. Why? Why are so many of our children chronically ill? Random? I think Not.

I guess I could not be a Mito Specialist. Either I know too much or I simply don't have the self control... I couldn't do it.

Thank your Mito Specialist this week. They are a small population that have fought and fought to have the disease and suffering recognized. They have fought for years when even the Medical Schools are so outdated they still aren't teaching. It is a rough and good year for our Specialists. At least that is the way I see it if I were a Mito Specialist. On one hand we have new genetic testing so they can "prove" that it is "science based medicine". On the other hand less then 30 percent of Mito Patients are "absolute". So, 70 percent of their patients are still in limbo which means 70 percent of their patient load(for those still willing to see patients who aren't genetically identified)will continue to force our Mito Specialists to bite their tongues, to read and research day in and day out.. To watch more patients line up at their door when for some they could have been prevented. How much longer can the question be asked, "If it isn't genetic, what made me or my child sick?" and not be answered when odds are for at least some we already know the answer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A few pictures as we settle into the property.

We have been busy, but it still feels like we have so much to do! Already the well water is a huge plus for Abby. We are hoping as we grow our own chickens and eggs, and garden we can continue to improve her food and health. Just the reduction in car exhaust has been such a bonus. Plus, under the tree's it is cooler in general. There are so many things we can continue to do to help reduce the toxin load on her body, it really has us hopeful.

The Chickens- 3 guinea and 10 chickens(we suspect at least 1 roo but maybe up to 3! 1 is good but will have to resolve the issue if there are more) The run is temporary. They will have a larger one and then they will free range during the day.

Copperhead- it was him or me!

Green beans are up!

Dung Beetles- natures poop scoopers! I had no idea we had such a thing, but we do! For the first month here I kept going out to scoop poodle poo, and did not find any! You can imagine my surprise when I finally spotted some but it was on the move! :-)

Imperial Moth: More then the size or color what caught our attention was it looks like a face on it's back.

The Deer- haven't seen them as much but the other night around 2-3am they were up at the fence.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Maple Glazed Sweet Potato Roll(Gluten free, corn free, soy free, dairy free,nut free)

It is that time of year- Pumpkin everything!

Unfortunately no pumpkin for Abby, on a positive she does very well with sweet potato's and yams.

Sweet potato bakes a little differently then pumpkin, but does offer a nice moist cake and with the right spice it is a terrific substitution. The one problem I cannot seem to get past is that this cake cracks much worse then a roll cake that doesn't have sweet potato. Still doesn't stop me from trying, and it really does taste amazing! :-) Reminds us of pumpkin but also a nice rich piece of carrot cake.. So, we will take ugly!

Definitely a fall recipe we will make again.

Maple Glazed Sweet Potato Roll:

1/4 cup corn free(make yourself to ensure cornfree)powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon guar gum(don't skip, even with it tends to crack)
1/2 teaspoon homemade baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger(or cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt(safe for you, we use pink himalayan and grind it)
3 large eggs
1 cup C&H organic cane granulated sugar
2/3 cup mashed organic sweet potato(peel,boil until very tender and mash until smooth)

Homemade Coconut yogurt
corn-free powdered sugar
vanilla extract(homemade)

1/2 cup corn-free powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup(add until it is glaze consistency)
(garnish with roasted and salted chickpeas if you would like a crunch and the salt is a terrific contrast!)

Preheat oven oven to 375° F. Use a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan(a full sized cookie sheet works!)and line with parchment paper. Grease the paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar and leave towel on the counter for when the cake comes out of the oven.

Combine GF flour, guar gum, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and organic granulated sugar in large mixing bowl until thick. Blend in the sweet potato puree. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately flip cake onto towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together,(roll the short side,not length wise). Allow to cool completely.


I lightly sweetened some thick coconut yogurt and added a bit of homemade vanilla extract. I carefully unrolled and spread with filling and gently rolled it back up. You could spread softened homemade coconut ice cream, or maybe a caramel filling?


Combine powdered sugar and maple syrup - drizzle(or flood!) the top of the filled cake. Garnish with roasted chickpeas if you wish.

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