Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I Think the Eczema Is Finally Going Away!

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Well, it would seem that we have finally had a breakthrough. Through a strange series of circumstances (namely, me getting a 24-hour bug which messed with my digestion big time, slowing it to a crawl for almost a week, until a friend did a treatment on me), we discovered Bowen therapy. Now, Bowen is usually used for injuries, like sports injuries, not for issues like eczema, but since one simple move that took less than 3 seconds to do had so dramatically fixed my digestion (and by dramatically, I mean that I felt better instantly), and since my friend who told me about the therapy suggested that Manny might be benefited by it, we found a therapist and scheduled an appointment.

After the treatment, we didn’t notice any results, but we decided it was worth scheduling one more treatment. Around that time, we realized that he was reacting to yeast (he would eat a slice of yeast-raised bread, throw it up, eat half of a second slice, throw it up, etc). His body was rejecting it, and yet he could eat all the other ingredients in the bread in other forms (like pancakes), so we knew it had to be the yeast. So we cut all yeast out of his diet–switched to soda bread, quit using nutritional yeast, etc. About 6 weeks later, ie, today, he is able to tolerate them again. It would seem that the Bowen therapy, although it didn’t have any dramatic results with him like it did with me, really did help him, and now his body is at a place where it can heal.

His face was getting better. Within the past week or two, the eczema that was chronically around his mouth has begun to heal, and by heal, I mean disappear. His face is about 90% clear now (if you don’t count the scratches he got from playing outside), and in another week or two, if he keeps going as he has begun, it just may be totally gone. Behind his knees has also almost completely cleared. We noticed it improving even though we hadn’t used any hydrocortisone for several days. My husband put a little on once or twice within the past few days just to hurry up the healing, but I haven’t put any on, him, and he certainly hasn’t had it every day. I’m really excited about this. I am going to watch him, and if he continues to improve, I will ask his doctor if we can do another IgE test in a month or two and see if his score has come down (last time it was over 3,000).

This is probably unrelated, but I have started giving him B12 shots again (.1 ml of methylcobalamin every day, or at least every day when I remember it–probably more like 3-4 times a week). I doubt this caused the dramatic healing, but I’m sure it hasn’t hurt anything, either.

So it seems that the combination of avoiding yeast (which was hindering healing) and doing the Bowen therapy has been exactly what he needed to allow his body to heal. Indeed, if he is healing on the outside, he must be healing on the inside. If that’s the case, then it may be that his sensitivities to many foods may diminish or even disappear. That would be such a blessing!

That’s where we’re at at the moment. I’ll keep you posted as to how things go and the results of any tests we do in the future.

Free Sample of Renew Lotion

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

There aren’t a lot of creams and lotions, other than those with steroids, that really make a difference in eczema. Renew is one of them. It made a difference in my son’s eczema within two days.

And I am offering free samples! I have a few travel-sized tubes that I can mail out to anyone in the US that requests a sample. I won’t even charge for the shipping. Why? Because once someone sent me a sample, and I want to pass on the favor.

I can’t promise it will cure your eczema. It might. I know people who no longer have eczema since using Renew. But it might make a difference. And if you have a baby with eczema, you know how wonderful it would be to have something to help so that you don’t need to use as much steroid cream.

How can you get some? Send me your name and address to lisa [at] and be sure to mention this offer for a free sample. That’s it. I won’t add your name to a mailing list or anything like that. I will reply and let you know I’m sending it. And if you like it, I’ll be happy to tell you how you can get more.

My supply is limited, so please respond asap. Any requests I get this weekend will be mailed out Monday or Tuesday.

Vegan, GF Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

This year I decided to not just go all out on our Thanksgiving feast, but to make it as allergy-friendly as possible. My husband recently was diagnosed with a sensitivity to wheat, and I’m nursing a gluten-intolerant baby, so that makes all but one person in the family that has to be gluten-free. I am, however, a traditionalist; I love stuffing and buns and gravy. In the past, I would have despaired of a gluten-free stuffing or gluten-free buns, but this year, I knew I had the recipes needed to make a very traditional Thanksgiving feast, gluten-free style.

So I thought I would share with you what I did. Let me start with what my son ate, since he wasn’t able to eat everything we did. He had a salad with green leaf lettuce, cauliflower, and homemade Italian Dressing (using lemon instead of vinegar). I only gave him a little bit, and he ate it all gone first. The rest of us enjoyed a raw kale salad, which was basically kale torn in pieces, massaged with olive oil and  Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and topped with lightly toasted sesame seeds. Our 6-year-old daughter ate her portion, too, without complaining. The massaging really helps the kale.

I left out the onions in Manny's stuffing.

Then he had stuffing and buns. I followed this recipe for stuffing, making my own broth (with things like broccoli stalks, bits of celery, cauliflower stem, some cabbage–basically anything Manny isn’t allergic to) and using a recipe for GF bread that I found on Etsy. This bread is really some of the most amazing bread I’ve ever seen, at least in terms of gluten-free bread. If you’ve ever made GF bread, you’ll know how it usually has more of a batter consistency than a dough consistency, but this bread is a dough and can be kneaded. It is also very high in fiber, which completely negates all the starch that is used (about 1/3 of the flour). The recipe is copyright, but it’s cheaper than a loaf of GF bread is anywhere, so I recommend you buy it and try it out. One loaf made a pan of stuffing.

Another batch got turned into what I call Trinity Buns. A loaf of bread takes 45 minutes to bake, so I thought these would probably take about 30 minutes. In hindsight, I should have done them only 25, but they were still good, just a little on the dry side. I also think I had a tad bit too much flour in them, but that’s okay. We still enjoyed them. Take a closer look. Can you believe they are 100% gluten-free?

When I was growing up, I asked my mom why we didn’t make our own cranberry sauce. She said it was too much work. But she was ignorant. It is as simple as buying a 12-oz bag of cranberries (fresh or frozen), adding 1 cup each of water and sugar (I cut the sugar in half and add a scant half-teaspoon of stevia), bringing to a boil, and simmering until they are thick. No pectin needed. Couldn’t be simpler.

Unless you are not paying attention. I was talking on the phone and added two cups of water, the full cup of sugar, and then threw in the stevia. Moments later, I realized my mistake, so I ended up going to the local store and paying $4 for an 8 oz bag of organic cranberries (the only ones they had, surprisingly). So the sauce wasn’t cheap, but it was good. Manny loved it. I think it is what made his meal extra special.

Because it was just the four of us, I decided to skip the sweet potatoes. I may cook some up tomorrow in lieu of the stuffing, which is almost all gone now, so we can eat them with the leftovers. I bought some real maple syrup to go with them.

We are vegetarians, except for Manny; his diet is so restricted that we do give him organic chicken or turkey now and then. If I had planned ahead, we could have given him a little turkey, but I didn’t have any. But I think I created a new tradition for the rest of us when I decided to make a Tofurkey. I’ve heard of making one before, but I never actually did it. I researched recipes, looking for simple, and found this recipe for a gluten-free tofu turkey. It was very simple to make–but it used 4 blocks of tofu. I picked it partly because the other recipes I looked at used more tofu and had more steps to them. Because I’m concerned about GMO’s, I used organic tofu, which cost me about $2 a block, so the Tofurkey was the most expensive food on the table, but at under $10, I’m sure it was cheaper than a real turkey, and definitely cheaper than a vegetarian turkey substitute! I used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce, because it is gluten and GMO free, and I left out the sesame oil because I didn’t have any. It was delicious. We ate just over a quarter of it. I also added cranberries to the stuffing (I didn’t put them in the regular stuffing because they have sunflower seed oil in them, and Manny is very sensitive to it).

My gravy recipe is quite delicious. I start with a half cup of cashews (or almonds, but this time I used cashews), 2 cups of water, and two heaped tablespoons of arrowroot. Then I added two teaspoons of onion powder, 2 tablespoons of oil, two tablespoons of Bragg’s Aminos. Then comes the “secret” ingredient: the miso. I used to use Hacho Miso, which is quite intense, and only required 1 tablespoon. However, it contains barley, so I switched to a miso with rice, but it is more mild (both in flavor and salt content), so I increased the amount to a heaped tablespoon. Blend until smooth, then thicken like normal. Delicious!

Manny can’t have potatoes anyway, so I just mashed them with Earth Balance butter and Pacific Ultra Soy (which has the highest fat content of any soy milk out there). Topped with gravy, they were so delicious!

You can’t really see it in the picture, but we opened a bottle of sparkling cider as a drink. Manny is sensitive to apples, especially if they are not organic, so I gave him white grape juice, which he had never had before, so it was special.

So there it was. Our thanksgiving feast. Delicious, nutritious, and gluten-free. I really liked that “turkey.” I’m going to have to do that every year!

Friday, September 7th, 2012
Welcome to My Baby Has Eczema! Please take some time to browse the posts. You will find a lot of helpful information in them. While you’re at it, why not subscribe to this blog using the options on the right? That way you won’t miss any important posts! You can also follow me on Facebook. And feel free to join the BlogFrog community in the right hand column to interact with other mothers of babies and children with eczema.

Two Allergy-Free Recipes and Links to More

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Eczema usually means allergies. Unless it’s contact dermatitis, which is simply a reaction to something that was touched, the allergies are usually to food. Food allergies mean diet restrictions.

Since my son was weaned at age 12 months, he has eaten beans and GF cereals every day. Until sometime around his 3rd birthday last month. He finally decided he was tired of beans and cereal. He became extremely picky, and it was very frustrating.

I finally realized that it was time for me to start cooking and baking, not just making a batch of cream of rice or whatever other grain in the morning and adding beans that I had precooked, blended, and frozen in ice cube trays. That worked when he was younger, but he is three years old now. He needs texture and variety. Not to mention that he is becoming more and more sensitive to beans. He tested in the medium range for black beans on the last IgE test. That means he should probably not eat beans every day.

But how to get protein? If he weren’t allergic to eggs, dairy, nuts, and most seeds, that wouldn’t be a problem. I would just give him an egg every day. Or some nuts. Or milk or cheese. But he can’t have any of that. Apart from quinoa and amaranth, most grains are missing certain essential amino acids (essential means the body cannot manufacture them, and therefore they must be consumed in the diet).

We have found a few solutions. First, the hemp milk he drinks daily is a complete protein (meaning it contains all the essential amino acids). He doesn’t get a lot of it–8-10 oz a day–but it’s something. Hemp protein can be used, but it has a strong flavor and is difficult to hide. I mean, I would drink it in a smoothie without a second thought, but he won’t. And I think it’s easier to make the horse led to water drink than to make a 3-year-old eat what he has decided he doesn’t like!

So although I am a 3rd generation vegetarian, and my husband has been almost exclusively vegetarian (with a few rare exceptions) for the past decade and a half, we decided to try giving Manny a little meat now and then. We tried turkey first. We wanted to get pre-cooked meat, so that we wouldn’t have to deal with raw meat in the home, but it turned out to be very expensive, not to mention that it actually had caramel color in it, which is probably not gluten free.

So then we tried chicken. Organic chicken. I went into Whole Foods and for once actually paid attention to the meat section. I settled on about 1/2 pound of ground chicken (they ground it for me). At $8 something a pound, it was a bit pricy, but it will last at least a month for the little guy! I mean, he only needs a couple of ounces per meal, right? It was wrapped in butcher paper, and went straight into the freezer when I got home.

I told my husband he would have to cook it, since he knows how to cook meat (hey, he knows how to butcher a chicken!) and I don’t. Besides, I have a mental block about touching the stuff. No moral objections (especially since it’s organic and was probably more humanely butchered than most meat is), but I just can’t bring myself to touch it. Ew!

So he dumped the ground chicken into a pot, added some garlic, cilantro, salt, and I don’t know what else, and cooked it to death. He wasn’t sure how long it needed to cook (being ground, obviously not very long), but he wanted to be sure any possible bacteria were dead.

Then he took shredded yuca (also known as cassava) that we had purchased at a Filippino market. (This picture isn’t the same brand as we get, but it is similar.) The root would cost almost $3 a pound at the grocery store, and then we’d have to peel and shred it and hope we got a good one. On the other hand, the frozen cassava came from a good root, and there’s no peeling or shredding to deal with. And best of all, we pay $1.25 for a 1 lb package! Considering the fact that cassava is high in calcium and also anti-inflammatory, and as gluten free as potatoes, it’s the perfect thing for someone on a restricted diet to include once in a while.

Once the chicken was done, my husband took some of the meat and mixed it with some cassava and a little extra salt (we froze the leftover chicken for future meals), formed patties with it, and pan fried it in a tiny bit of palm oil (more stable than olive, not refined like canola, and not an allergen to my son like coconut is). Health food stores sell Spectrum shortening, which is 100% unrefined palm oil. It works great in any recipe calling for shortening, has a very neutral flavor, and is very stable, so it’s great for baking and sauteing. Other seasonings could be added to this recipe, and even veggies (like shredded carrots). A gravy would be nice with it, too, but my son’s not ready for that yet.

The other recipe we have created in an attempt to get him to eat what he is not allergic to is Teff Pancakes. I created this recipe on my own, since I couldn’t find any recipes that I really liked online–or that were free of allergens. Because my son has more allergies than most kids–he’s the worst case his pediatrician has ever seen.

So here’s the recipe for Teff Pancakes as it stands now:

1 cup teff flour (I use the dark teff, but ivory teff would probably work too)
1/3 cup tapioca flour (did you know tapioca and cassava are the same thing?)
1 heaping Tbsp. sugar or xylitol
1 Tbsp. hemp or other protein (optional)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. xanthum gum or 1 tbsp flax seeds (the xanthum gum works better)
cinnamon to taste (I give it 2 or 3 dashes)
scant 1 1/2 cups of water (I use exactly 11 oz measured in a liquid measuring cup)
2 Tbsp. oil (I use unrefined grapeseed)

Mix the dry ingredients, then add the wet.  You will probably need a wire whisk to get the lumps out. Allow to sit a few minutes while a skillet heats over medium or slightly lower. Make pancakes, turning them when most of the color has changed.

I personally make little tiny pancakes about 2″ across, using what we always called a big spoon (the one you eat with when you are bigger–not a soup spoon, just a big table spoon). This recipe makes about 30 pancakes that size. You could make bigger ones, of course. I don’t grease the skillet, either. There is enough oil in the batter to keep them from sticking.

Besides these two recipes, I have found several simple, gluten-free recipes around the Internet, from biscuits to millet tortillas, as well as a couple of decadent desserts. But rather than repeat them here, I’ll just refer you to my mom blog, Life of a Happy Mom, where I already posted those recipes and my comments on them.

Have you found a good gluten-free recipe that is toddler friendly? Please share it! Gluten-free cooking can be daunting, but with some good recipes that kids will eat, it really isn’t so hard. And if we all share with each other, it will make the burden just a little bit easier to bear.

Now I’m Allergic Too!

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Believe it or not, I have come down with a wheat allergy! I blogged about it on my mom blog, Life of a Happy Mom. Go there to read about it.

Friday morning the next in the “My Baby Has Eczema” series will come out. I will be sharing about the emotional turmoil I went through trying to deal with the reality of my baby’s eczema. Be sure to come back for that!