Thursday, August 20, 2009

ALCAT Food Sensitivity Testing

Earlier this week, we sent in a food sensitivity test for Henry called the ALCAT -- we are testing 200 foods, along with 10 food additive, 10 food colorings, 20 molds, and and a variety a environmental chemicals. This is a simple blood test that allows us to test many things to which Henry may be sensitive and will help us make decisions on how to further improve his wellness. Coincidentally, just today, a friend sent me a link to this Houston news report discussing food sensitivities and the ALCAT test. I am excited for Henry's results to arrive so that we can see what our next steps may be and I am really considering the test for myself as well.

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Just Saying . . .

This quote really hit home...ancient wisdom that resonates in the modern world. This Arabian proverb summarizes why I do all I do for Henry...

He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wellness for Mom

After too many years of claiming I was going to do something and too many failed efforts, I jumped at the opportunity to try a different approach. My good friend Kathleen Reily is my new guide in improving my health. My work with Kathleen will fit in nicely with the only things for myself I have stuck with lately, Heilkunst – my healing work with the amazing Rudi Verspoor, Dr. Raphael Kellman, Reiki, and EFT – and I don’t do enough of the last two! Kathleen is very devoted to families facing ASD. She has been working with families with special needs for over 20 years in a variety of capacities including as a nutritional interventionist for children with ASD and ADHD. She recently decided to bring her practical and nurturing approach to wellness to a more specialized counseling practice for moms and has developed a six month program focusing on helping moms to better care for themselves in addition to providing nutritional guidance for the children. Having known her as a friend and NAA colleague for awhile, I am thrilled to be working with her as a client.

I am one week into my work with Kathleen and already feeling better. I feel more energetic (even my usual 3:00 slump seems to have disappeared!) and I am making changes I can stick with – I hope. Kathleen is a proponent of picking a few small things to change at a time because all of those small changes add up. I need this approach. My usual approach, left to my own devices, is to jump into something full bore, only to give up because it was too drastic and difficult. Kathleen tempers this in me. She also gives me someone to be accountable to in making my changes. These are things I definitely need. Add to that her knowledge, insight, accessibility and helpful tips and this is winning package!

So, what are my changes this week? I am supposed limit wheat at dinner as much as possible to improve digestion and inflammation. OK, that has actually been pretty easy!

I am supposed to make green smoothies a few times a week… Check! I went to a local health food store for fresh green smoothies from the juice bar while I was shopping for a high-powered blender to make the smoothies at home. I am the proud owner of a new VitaMix (ordered Weds. night and had it by Sat. – wow!) – it has the horsepower of some small cars. I have been making smoothies every day. I toss in all manner of greens and fruit and a minute later everything is mixed into a smooth smoothie – no lumps. I am choosing a green (kale, chard, romaine or some mix), parsley, cilantro, ginger, beet, celery, cucumber, some fresh lemon juice, chilled herbal tea, an apple (and maybe some other fruit). I am endeavoring to use all organic produce and I will mix it up depending on what is on hand and available either from the CSA or elsewhere. I add some maca powder and maybe a few cacao nibs and blend away. Yum. These shakes are surprisingly delicious - honestly. I usually have a hard time eating breakfast and these are a really fast, easy way to have a hit of nutrition at the start of the day and I have no problem drinking them down. I spend maybe 5 minutes the night before putting all my veg in a bowl and each morning I make an extra cup of tea to chill for the next day. In the morning, it is just coring and quartering my apple and dumping stuff in the blender. Super fast!

Next, I was supposed to try to go a few days without coffee this week. I have not had a cup since last Tuesday. I did not mean to stop cold turkey but it seemed to just happen. I am a fortunate coffee junkie – if I stop I don’t get the headaches etc. so this has been a not too difficult switch. I have been enjoying some herbal teas instead, but I am not foreclosing the possibility of a cup of coffee on occasion.

As an unintended benefit of these small changes, I am not craving the Coca-Cola that I know I should not drink, but love anyway. I have only had Coke on one day since I started working with Kathleen. That is probably the biggest and most unbelievable change – and it was not even on purpose.

Finally, on the fitness end, I was supposed to spend 30 minutes on Sunday reacquainting myself with the Wii Fit balance board that I have owned (and ignored) for longer than I care to admit. I put on the EA Sports Active disc and did a workout. I chose medium intensity workout that included running, boxing, kicking the heavy bag, squats, lunges, curls, inline skating, bent rows and other things. It was actually a lot of fun. However, perhaps I should have started off a bit more slowly as my quads have not been happy since Sunday!!!

More about Kathleen…

Kathleen is experienced and knowledgeable about a wide range of healing modalities. She is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and Nutrition Consultant and holds a degree in Natural Health Sciences. She also is a Board Certified and Accredited Member of The American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), with affiliations to The State University Of New York (SUNY). Moreover, she is a certified level 1 and level 2 Reiki practitioner.

To top it off, she is also a trained professional chef and personal chef, having cooked in homes and restaurants in New York, London and California. Kathleen’s cooking is delicious and healthy and she has shared with me recipes and food and I am always amazed. I especially appreciate her recipes that fit Henry’s dietary restrictions but are delicious and elegant enough for any event.

In addition, Kathleen and I are both involved in the NY Metro Chapter of the NAA and serve together on its Parent Mentoring Committee. She regularly attends AutismOne and Defeat Autism Now! conferences. Her website, explains her services in more detail.