About Me, Clean Eating

Food Intolerances

More and more restaurants these days are making accommodations to their menus to support those with food intolerance/allergies. For that I am thankful. I do like to go out from time to time with my hubby and enjoy a date night.  For the most part I know what restaurants are a go and which ones are not. I make the same considerations when it goes for eating at friends and family houses too. Usually I pack our meals so we can still enjoy time with friends, or just know we take a risk of being cross-contaminated. It isn’t the end of the world and I know it is only temporary. It is bound to happen from time to time, and because of that I don’t let it control my life. I eat fairly clean; not always PERFECT, but I try to be close. I feel like I know my body well and I am happy for that. I know I face some food intolerances, one for sure being gluten. Although it is hard to test at this point so I do avoid it. The test for celiacs would be most accurate if you are already eating gluten while running the test. Since I avoid it, the test wouldn’t be necessarily accurate for me. I also know dairy is also on my avoid list as I tend to break out in acne; although I can handle goat cheese and raw milk cheese in moderation.

Just like working out makes me feel amazing, so does the food I put into my body. With over four years of doing a food elimination diet and monitoring the foods I eat, I have a good sense how my body will react to the foods I eat. Which plays into my clean eating diet. I am not a “health nut” but I do eat to fuel my body. Don’t get me wrong, I do struggle from time to time with emotional eating. Even though my emotional eating consists of healthier foods, eating anything in extreme excess isn’t healthy. So I try to incorporate yoga or earlier bed times when I know I may be under some stress. It is progress, not perfection!

So I am sharing today a picture of me and how my body reacts to foods I am intolerant to. I am not 100% sure what I was exposed to, but this typically happens when I am exposed to gluten. I get extremely bloated almost to the point where my stomach is pretty solid. I usually have a delayed reaction of about 24 hours before symptoms take. Although, sometimes my symptoms will be same day. These pictures are about 10 days apart. These are not exaggerated, but wanted to share something I personally struggle with. IMG_0551

It is always important to listen to your body and you will be happy for it in the long run. I have to do what is best for me and my body. I am responsible to nurturing the body the good Lord gave me.  Living with purpose in this journey called LIFE!

Clean Eating, Product Reviews

When life throws you a curve ball…

This was not my day today. I have been up since 3:30 this morning because the twins didn’t sleep well. They both climbed into bed with Rob and I and it was a toss and turning match. Usually Charlotte will head back to her bed, but not last night and that is ok. I love the snuggle times and sometimes giving up sleep is what I have to do. So I rubbed some backs tried to comfort them and find another spot on the bed to sleep. It was not happening, restless/sleepless night.

So I got out of bed and chatted with my best friend this morning for a little bit, thanks to daylight savings time and she being 3 hours ahead of me. Then it was off to Yoga at 5am. It was a leave it all on the mat kind of day, tears and all. Afterwards I felt refreshed and ready to conquer the morning. It was constantly on the go today. Making breakfast, snacks, and lunches. Getting the kiddos off to school and then heading out the door for me. I had church group with the younger 2 and then off to school. Been dealing with some developmental issues with Q so today was his more in depth screening, and trying to get the assistance he needs to keep progressing forward. I have been so thankful for the group of ladies I was working with before I moved, so I’m hoping we will have the same thing going forward!

After running around all day it was arriving home just in time for lunch. Throw a quick lunch together and tried picking up the house. The twins are at that stage where it is hit and miss with afternoon naps. If they take a nap they don’t fall asleep at night until 10pm, if they stay up they are bears by about 6pm. So it is a take a nap every couple of days. Today was not one of those. We laid down for some quite time, but no falling asleep today. So after about an hour it was letting them play while I tried again to get stuff done around the house.

Before I knew it, it was 3pm and the older kiddos would be arriving home soon. So it was getting snacks ready to go. They walked through the door, unpacked, and started snacking away. I called out to start homework and tried to get as much done before our music concert tonight. Then out the door again for the concert. By now I am exhausted. We still had homework to finish up and dinner to make. Oy, I don’t know how much I have left in me. Plus Rob still has some work to be done tonight. So I threw in the towel! Hit the store and grabbed some pizza. I had some chicken left but wasn’t in the mood to do anything more. Kiddos still needing my attention and homework needing to get done, I sacrificed and did what I needed.

So this isn’t something we do often, but it is nice to know that there are options available if needed. If I get pizza, Against the Grain Gourmet Pizza is the brand I prefer.IMG_0265

According to Against the Grain:

It is a made with uncured pepperoni and made in a dedicated gluten free facility. There products contain no gluten, wheat, corn, soy, rice, peanuts, or tree nuts! There is no preservatives, dough conditioners, gums, or flavor enhancers ever used in any of there products. Made with real food and real ingredients. The milk comes from a local family farm that bottles the milk shortly before they receive it. The eggs are delivered directly to them from a local family farm as well. The cheese they use has no anti-caking agents and is natamyci-free. 

Really this beats any fast food joint people will run to when they are in a bind. So know there are things you can make when you are in a bind. There are companies that are really looking out for the good of the people. There are farmers that still care how there farms are ran.

So when life throws you a curve ball, know there are options available.



Healthy Snack Ideas


My kiddos always seem to be snacking! Snacks for me depend on if it is a school snack or at home snack. As those will change since I don’t send nuts into school with my kiddos, but they will have them at home. If you have a hard time coming up with healthy snacks, I suggest you make a list to keep on hand. I keep an excel sheet with a list of snacks that I like to do. I continue to add to the list from time to time. It is something for me to reference to when I want to change things up. I have shared a small list below with you.  Certainly there is more then what is listed here, the list truly could go on and on! Remember you are in charge of your own health and the food you put into your body. Change starts with YOU. You need to be willing to do it for you and/or your kiddos.


  • Grass-fed Beef Nick Sticks or Turkey Sticks from Wallace Farms– You can find where to buy them here
  • Any raw veggies
  • Fresh fruit with our without nut butter/sunbutter
  • Dried fruit without added sugar
  • Wholly Guacamole cups with plantain chips
  • Plantain chips and salsa
  • Chicharrones
  • Enjoy Life Bars
  • Organic Fruit Strips
  • Homemade jello- Can find the recipe here.
  • Organic Cheese Sticks
  • Organic Fruit Snacks
  • Fresh fruit cups
  • Sunbutter Balls – My recipe here.
  • Raw Pepitas
  • Crunchy Rice Rolls with or without nut butter/sunbutter
  • Organic or Greek Yogurt (plain greek yogurt with nut butter and mini enjoy life chocolate chips)
  • Larabars
  • Trail mix (mixture of nuts with or without dried fruit)
  • Paleo pumpkin muffins – find recipe here.
  • Chocolate Avocado Pudding- find the recipe here.
  • Organic Popcorn- I pop it myself in a cast iron pan
  • Dates or Dates stuffed with goat cheese
  • Paleo granola – My recipe coming soon to this blog!
  • Deviled eggs or hardboiled eggs
  • Almond Date Truffles- find the recipe here.
  • Smoothies
  • Paleo pancake sandwiches – find pancake recipe here.
  • Paleo banana bread
  • Paleo zucchini muffins- find the recipe here.

I have put together a sample slide show of 39 snack variations I have done for the kiddos. Some of these are school snacks and some are at home snacks.  I use a BPA free tupperware for their snack bucket at school.  I can also attach an ice pack to the lid for when I send a snack that needs to be cold. I hope this list will provide you with some snack ideas you can enjoy.

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Clean Eating, School Lunches, snacks

Wednesday Food for Thought

When I started this journey to making a healthier lifestyle for my family and I, I turned to Paleo for a place to start.  I needed a starting point to help me with an elimination diet.  I liked the strict confines of the Paleo diet because it gave me exactly what I could and couldn’t have. I needed the simplicity of that to help me with dealing with everything else in life. A daughter with allergies/food intolerances, recent birth of twins in which I was feeding and pumping constantly for, and taking care of the older three children.

I remember when I first started on Paleo I saw my milk supply decrease and about freaked out. My body was digesting food more rapidly instead of holding and storing it. I needed to add in more calories since I was feeding 2. Being overwhelmed was an understatement. So Paleo was a starting point for me and gave me the direction I needed, along with a very supportive husband. I remember when I was struggling I decided to reach out to Stacy and Matthew at The Paleo Parents.  I went on a whim and emailed them for some direction on trying to increase my breastmilk supply while on the Paleo diet. She provided some advice on smoothies and foods that would help.  I also started making their lactation cookies. I seriously swear by these, and love making them for my friends with newborn babies.  You can find the recipe here. I was also able to adjust what we were eating even more based on what I was seeing. For instance, with Charlotte’s allergies/food intolerances I resorted to an Autoimmune Protocol for her. I found the guidance on this from The Paleo Mom.  Along the way I have learned so much about food and how it affects our bodies.

In comes today. I am so thankful for the amazing people that have shared their recipes and stories because they have helped me out along my journey as well. Although we follow a lot of the paleo “diet” I have also started introducing more foods into our clean eating lifestyle. Which brings me adding quinoa, white rice, and some raw milk cheeses. Some corn in the from of organic kernels for making our own popcorn.  Usually these are in smaller quantities. Although, there are foods I am still not able to tolerate. For instance, dairy. Even if it is organic and raw it still causes me to break out and bloat. I can tolerate goats milk so I will enjoy some goat milk cheese or goat milk gouda. Goat milk has a different protein structure and smaller fat molecules making it easier to digest.

Today’s lunch is picture below. For next school year I will be upgrading my older kiddos lunch boxes to something that can hold more as they are growing! So these bad boy, lunchbots, will be handed down to my younger 2!IMG_0135

It isn’t often I do cinnamon rolls, but the kiddos have been asking for them for some time now. So afternoon snack consisted of The Urban Poser’s Almond Flour Cinnamon Rolls. I made ours with cinnamon, walnuts, and raisins. These are the one and only cinnamon roll recipe we make. They are yummy and my kiddos like to top theirs with some nut butter or coconut butter. You can find her fabulous recipe here. You will not be disappointed!

Cheers to another day of clean eating and healthy recipes. Keeping it simple….Keeping it clean!

Clean Eating, snacks

Kid Friendly Snacks 1…2…3

I don’t know about you, but my kiddos seem to be snacking all day long. I keep fruits and veggies around so they can snack on those as they feel the need. I also schedule snacks during the day. Once in the morning and then again after school.

Yesterday’s menu called for my version of ants on a log and mixed nuts. Celery was already pre-cut. I like to wash and pre-cut my celery once I get home from the store. Doing that makes it easier to snack on during the day, or I can grab some and chop them up for a dish I am making. I snagged some out of the fridge and added some sunbutter. You can use an

Ants on log-coconut style. Paleo friendly

y kind of nut butter if you prefer. Then I topped them with raisins and shredded coconut. Served them up on a plate and let them have at it. They were gobbling them up before I even got a picture of them!  Just another way to change things up. I also like adding these to their snack buckets at school. Easy peasy.


Onto the mixed nuts. We haven’t made candied walnuts in awhile so we decided to make those instead. These are also a great alternative on top of salads. I love my cast irons and do a lot of my cooking in them currently. I have some ceramic cookware on my wish list that I want to replace all my other cookware with except my cast irons which I will always hold on to.

Warm up your cast iron to med-high heat. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. I really stink at measuring, but add about a cup or more of walnuts or other nut of your choosing. Basically line the bottom of th

Caramelized in cast iron pan. Paleo friendly

e pan in a single layer with walnuts. Pour in approximately 1/4 cup of grade B pure maple syrup, a dash of salt, and a teaspoon (or more to your taste) of cinnamon. Keep stirring until it’s caramelized.


Once it has caramelized dish onto the parchment paper and let cool. Eat some up and store the rest in an airtight container.

Line on parchment paper









Third snack I am sharing today is from Against All Grain. When I first started changing up our diets I turned to her website and books to help me along. She helped making the transition for me easier. She is very knowledgeable and you can read more about her story here. I enjoy making her Jello for the kiddos using Great Lakes Gelatin. It is a grass-fed unflavored gelatin which can help support joints as well as healthy skin, hair, and nails. You can find her 2 ingredient recipe here. Quick and easy to make, and a family favorite. You won’t be disappointed! As you can tell by my son’s face he can’t wait to dive in. You can even throw in some fruit into it to if you like. Personally I don’t like fruit in my jello, just a texture thing so I don’t add it to ours.  I served the jello along with crunchy rice rollers topped with sunbutter. These both are great to send for school snack.

Against All Grain Jello-paleo friendly. Crunchy Rice Rolls and sunbutter

I hope you enjoy these snacks as much as my family does. Keep it simple and clean. Now I am going to go and enjoy the chaos of some hide-and-seek with my family, and listen to the beautiful noise of the rain outside.


Clean Eating, Uncategorized

Saturday Morning Breakfast

A free weekend with no plan events…YES! So today calls for cleaning the house, catching up on the laundry, and cleaning out the garage. My kiddos love when they hear the words “spring cleaning your rooms”…NOT. Windows are open, sun is shinning, feeling the breeze. Now just hoping I will get a lot done today.

Family breakfast around the table is my cup of tea. Love family conversation. Reminds me of when I was growing up and the stories we told (oh burping contest) at the dinner table. It brings a smile to my face every time. I am so blessed to be able to share this same tradition with my children. Rob and I even love sharing stories about their aunts and uncles. The infamous question on how Rob and I met. Although my stories are probably not as good as my Dad’s, I still enjoy their laughter.  Don’t get me wrong, time around the table is not always smiles and laughter. We do have the occasional yelling, screaming, crying, arguing, bickering, etc. The joys of having a beautiful and loving family.IMG_0097

Today’s breakfast included scrambled eggs, potatoes, baby portobello mushrooms, and kiolbassa. I also gave the kiddos an orange with their breakfast this morning (not pictured). The Kiolbassa we get from Costco. One downside to Costco is they don’t always carry it, or the same brand. This is the new brand they are now carrying. It is $2 more and one less sausage. So unless they carry the other brand, this will now become a once in awhile thing and I will go back to making my own ground sausage for awhile. Chino Valley Ranchers is a local to me, but they are carried at Costco. These are organic, free range eggs which can be very expensive to buy. I can buy these for $2.79/dozen at Costco. Costco also carries 18 pack of organic eggs also, but if you do the price comparison it is cheaper to buy these; always look at the cost per dozen.

I started off with making the potatoes on the stove with some avocado oil and fried them up. Added a little bit of himalayan salt and done. While the potatoes cooked, I cut up the Kiolbassa. After the potatoes were done I put them in dish and, I threw the Kiolbassa into the same pan with no oil as the Kiolbassa will produce its own while cooking. Once the Kiolbassa was done I put them in a dish, and threw in the mushrooms with the grease from the Kiolbassa. I dished out the mushrooms to a plate and added a little bit more avocado oil and made the eggs. So I used 1 pan for all 4 foods, making less of a clean up for me!

Enjoy your morning and a healthy, wholesome breakfast.


Clean Eating, Menu Planning

Oh the Menu Planning

So I have been attempting to menu plan for the last 2 days now. It is 9:30pm on a Friday night and I finally got it done. Planning out a menu for the week is vital to my sanity. With 7 mouths to feed, and crazy schedules I could’t imagine trying to figure out meals on top of it each day. I think I would lose my mind. So in comes my handy-dandy IMG_0092white board. I was hoping today at nap time I would get this board filled in and grocery list made on Wunderlist. One child napped and one didn’t so my board was still empty when the rest of the kiddos came home from school today. If you have kiddos you know how the routine goes. Walk through the door and they have the stories from the day to tell! Plus can’t forget to have the snack ready because by golly they are “starving” and can’t function until they have something to snack on. So it is snack and stories at the table. Believe me there are times when I just want to finish what I am doing, but I try my best to let that go and give them my full attention when they walk through the door. I do miss them and want to hear all about the exciting or not so exciting day they had.

So after dinner it was back to the drawing board. I love getting my kiddos input of what they want for the week so I take suggestions, and a lot of them usually make it somewhere in the week. I have recently started keeping my menus in a spreadsheet. This way it gives me ideas to fall back on when I can’t think what I want to make, or if I want to have something (such as the eggplant dip) that I haven’t had in a long time. I do my best to keep my menu simple. There are times where we will have the same thing for breakfast all week long, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. Most days what we have fIMG_0093or dinner is for lunch the following day. Therefore, we eliminate food waste and leftovers get eaten up; plus it makes putting lunches together a breeze. My board then hangs up inside my pantry door. This way every one knows what is on the menu that day. Furthermore, the older girls like to help throw lunches together once they are ready for the morning. Having the menu visible makes it easy for them to gather the food for their lunchbots. So this is our menu for the first 5 days. At the bottom of the board I added food I know I am getting that is on sale, and food that I need to prep for snacks during the week.

When we first made diet changes 4 years ago some of the food on here my kiddos would not have touched. But 4 years of steady clean eating meals, it is normal every day food for them. So if you are making diet changes, especially with your kiddos be patient and stay consistent. You will also eventually get in a grove and figure what works best for you and your family. Keep it simple, and don’t over do it. Maybe only try 1 new recipe a week or every 2 weeks. Take some of your family favorites and tweak them with healthier alternatives. Keep your proteins simple. Try to use similar proteins during the week so you are not buying multiple  cuts of meat.  This is one key point I have to remember because buying 5 different types of key proteins a week can make it harder to prep or even more expensive.  Keep coming back this week to my blog, as I will be sharing some of these recipes! If you would like a copy of this menu comment below and I will send it to you.  Happy Menu Planning!IMG_0095

Charlotte's Story

Charlotte’s Story (Part 3)

What a rollercoaster ride it has been for Charlotte’s first couple years of life. So much I have learned through her! I tell myself not to play the what if game. What if I would have had her tested earlier…what if I would have changed this or that…I did the best I could with the resources I had. Live in the present and not the past.

I have been so thankful for the amazing chiropractor Charlotte had been seeing from birth up until we moved out-of-state this past year. She had been a strong advocate for me in trying to help my little girl. We started Charlotte on probiotic pretty much since birth, along with vitamin D. Around 14 months of age we added in UltraCare of Kids since I was starting to wean them from breastmilk. UltraCare for kids is specifically formulated for children with food allergies. It provides a comprehensive blend of low-allergy potential macro- and micronutrients to nutritionally support the reduction of symptoms associated with food allergies and complement restricted diets. See Metagenics website for more details here.

Even after eliminating the foods from the skin allergy test, Charlotte would still go through episodes of mild eczema and inflammation. This is when her chiropractor recommended we do an IgG delayed hypersensitivity, cytokine inflammation (Food and Safety) allergy test. This is a blood finger stick test. You can find more information regarding this test here.  I remember getting the results for this test still to this day. Besides her allergies from the skin test (peanut, wheat, beef, peas, tomato, fish, shellfish, and brazil nuts) she showed intolerance to eggs, lamb, pecans, walnuts, bananas, pineapple, and red grapes. After the news I called my husband crying. Now I had to eliminate even more foods from her diet. We were already on a pretty strict diet. Some of them were no big deal to eliminate, but eggs and bananas was a different ball game. They were staples in my house and on my menu. We then were to add in L-Glutamine powder, extra virgin olive oil, and fermented foods in addition to her already taking a probiotic and vitamin D. Also needed to supplement calcium through a non-dairy source, and calcium fortified foods (orange juice, full fat coconut milk, green leafy vegetables, etc.) We were on the road to help heal her gut. I remember feeling so overwhelmed.  How could such a little girl have so many allergies/intolerance to food?

I could do it. It is what she needs, and I am her mother. So we stuck to making our meals from scratch and finding alternatives so some of her favorite meals. The changes I saw in Charlotte were huge. Remember, this doesn’t happen overnight. After about a week we saw visible signs of her healing and knew were finally on the right track. Skin cleared, she was a happy girl, sleeping through the night finally. She was a totally different girl to me!

It was a lot of work, but worth every bit of it. From time to time over the past couple years I tried to add in foods to see how she would do. Charlotte would still show signs of intolerance. As of this past December her allergy testing came back with just peanuts, soy, and shellfish. Soy was a new one for us, so we are just keeping an eye on it. We really don’t eat foods with soy in them so the allergists was not concerned. So we are slowly adding in foods to see how she does.

When it comes to her going to school now, I pack all her snacks. With her allergies and food intolerance I wanted to be in charge of what she had for snacks with not having to worry about her eating something she is supposed to. This also gives me control of what she eats in the classroom.  Parents at her school can sign up to bring in snacks. I informed the teacher that I would be sending in her daily snacks. Teachers at first thinks it is a little strange or get concerned that she will not get to partake in certain snacks/treats. I just tell them she is use to it, this is how we do things at home and she thinks no different. I do make it special for her, so she has her own snack bag she brings in with just her snacks in it. I guess you can say we are 80/20 paleo, and a completely gluten-free/peanut-free household.

I will be sharing some of her favorite foods in future post. So be on the lookout!  Always feel free to reach out for support. Remember to purposely choose how you are going to live your journey.  Thanks for reading in on my daughter’s story!



***these are my own thoughts and opinions. I was not given or asked to write a review on any of the products I mentioned. I encourage you to do your own research and consult with a professional before making your own changes.

Charlotte's Story

Charlotte’s Story (Part 2)

April 2013 brought on more changes for Charlotte. After going Paleo for some time now, I decided to add back in peanuts for me. I honestly love peanut butter so I wanted to see if it was something I could tolerate again! So I would enjoy a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar from time to time. This was something I treated myself to. No one else in the family eats peanut butter at home except for Rob and myself. The kiddos typically ate sunbutter because they couldn’t have peanut butter at school anyways.IMG_2833

On April 19, 2013 I was oh so kind to share a tiny piece of my larabar with Charlotte. She instantly reacted to it. Flaring up head to toe. It just tore through me. I felt so bad for her. This flare being the worse of all, and I knew we had a hill to climb. You can read more about her peanut allergy story here. With all that we had gone through prior to this, I never gave Charlotte any peanut butter up to this point.  I had a gut feeling she may react to it. (Seriously, I should have listened to that gut feeling). At the same time, this is probably what finally kicked me into gear to officially test her for allergies instead of me trying to figure it all out.

So far we had already eliminated dairy, gluten, legumes (except for this instance) from when we started Paleo, and now added peanuts to the list. You can see from this picture how inflamed she had gotten…IMG_3002

We saw an allergists and had a skin test done. This is when we found out she was allergic to wheat, beef, peas, tomatoes, fish, shellfish, brazil nuts, and of course peanuts. Peanuts being the most severe. So back to the drawing board.  For me, it was easier to revamp the menu for the whole family. When cooking for 7, it was just easier to avoid these same foods too. It made meal planning easier, and also didn’t have to worry about Charlotte not understanding why we could eat something she could not.

April 30, 2013 we were still trying to get her skin to calm down.  All her itchingIMG_2994 just made it worse. We were trying creams, avocado oil, coconut oil, lavender essential oil, detox baths. Anything to get her some relief. The MooGoo cream was still working the best. Her body seemed super sensitive. Her lower back just would not clear up. For some reason this typically is the spot she always would itch, especially during the night. Maybe because she could easily reach that spot, I am not sure. Plus her diaper would rub in that spot too. So during the day we would limit the amount of time she was in a diaper and let her roam free.

Charlotte’s inflammation was starting to go down, but she was still not
sleeping. Most days it was off and on in the Moby Wrap during the day and holding her when she slept at night. I could just tell she was so uncomfortable. Crying on an off for days on end. She was at an age where she couldn’t tell me what was bothering her, but knew something was. She wasn’t herself!IMG_3027

May 18th, 2013 you can start to see her back is looking much better (Picture below on the left). It has almost been a month since the reaction to the peanuts. Her back has some redness and scaling to it. Lower back is looking much better with just a little rednIMG_4309ess left. I had been doing some research on diapers at this point now for almost a month to find a better solution in hopes to help speed the recovery process, and be better for her skin. So came across Bambo Nature. I got mine off Amazon here. They have no dangerous chemicals, no allergens, no perfumes, no heavy metals, no substances know as harmful to health or environment, and the list goes on. You can visit their website here to learn more about their diapers and the ingredients that they use to make them. Personally they worked for me, and they held up great for Charlotte and her twin! They are pricey so little after 3 months of using these diapers (since I am buying for 2 babes) I switching to cloth diapers during the day, and used Bambo Nature at night only to save me some money. Picture on the right is Charlotte just a couple of days later after we made the switch to Bambo Nature diapers.

*Final Part 3 tomorrow!

***these are my own thoughts and opinions. I was not given or asked to write a review on any of the products I mentioned. I encourage you to do your own research and consult with a professional before making your own changes.

Charlotte's Story

Charlotte’s Story (Part 1)

This is a very personal story to me, and I struggled with whether or not to share it.  I figured if it could help just one person, then it is worth it. I struggle because it caused me pain seeing my baby girl in uncomfortable pain and many sleepless nights for months on end. We went through many ups and downs her first 2 years of life. Trying to talk with the pediatrician, friends, and doing my own research. What also worked for us, may not for you. I am not a medical professional so please consult with one.

It all started around when Charlotte was about 4 months in age, and she would break out in eczema patches. At first I didn’t think anything about it because it would come and go. It didn’t seem to affect her much and doctors stated she would eventually grow out of it. At the time I already decided not introduce food until they were 8 months of age. I am a cautious parent, and when I found out I was pregnant with the twins I decided to rid the house of chemicals. Which also included taking a look at the kinds of soaps and lotions we were using also. I love Earth Mama Angle Baby so my twins used their line of bath, lotions, and butt balm. Still to this day, I love using their lotion.

My twins were on breastmilk until almost 18 months of age. Earlier on I didn’t think much about food playing a factor in her break-outs.  When she was about 3 months of age I already cut out dairy.  I did with my other 3 because I noticed they were sensitive to it.  All my kiddos would spit up, but once I eliminated dairy they would stop. It never crossed my mind that other foods may be playing a factor until after having dinner with some great friends. In September of 2012 my husband and I decided to do an elimination diet to see if it would help. We figured it would be easier if we had the whole family involved. For one, it would be easier on me for grocery shopping and meal prepping as a mother to 5 young children, and two, minimal complaints about food since we were all involved.  So in came the Paleo diet. If you are not familiar with it, check out here to read up more about it. You can also google Paleo diet and get more information that way. So that meant we eliminated gluten, dairy, legumes, and processed foods/sugars. We cleaned out the fridge and pantry and went head on. Rob and I did a strict Whole 30, while the kiddos followed a paleo diet.

The changes we saw were incredible not with just Charlotte, but the whole family. They way the kiddos felt, their attitudes, and energy levels.  Same went for Rob and I. Feeling better about ourselves, losing weight, and the joys of cooking together. I don’t want to go much more in detail about it. I may do that in another post. Furthermore, Charlotte was showing improvements and started to sleep better for us.

Two months later, things changed again. Beginning in November I started to notice the breakouts lasting longer and not going away like they use to. The picture to the right is when she was 10 months old. This was the time I started taking pictureIMG_0827s to help me with trying to keep track of what her skin was doing. I figured there had to be more to the problem.  She was not just going to grow out of it, and there had to be more I could do.  It just didn’t sound right to me, to let her be.  There were many nights I would cry because I felt so helpless. She would be so miserable.  Most of the time I kept clothes off her because I was trying to eliminate any irritation to her skin. She would break-out almost over her entire back, legs, and upper butt region. Her back may heal up, but her upper butt region would be inflamed for weeks. She would also scar up on her lower legs from all the itching. I would talk with her pediatrician, and once again was told she would grow out of it. (Side note we did
make 1 change in pediatricians earlier on). I figured since I had seen improvement with the changes in our diet, we would stay the course. I had to be missing something…

Next I figured I would try out some different creams to help with the itch.  So I started my journey on researching creams. I wanted to provide her with relief, but at the same time not have to use a steroid to do it.  I did some research and tried different creams.  Earth Mama Angel Baby waIMG_1142s great, but didn’t help her with the inflammation and itching.I tried Aveeno, and it seemed to make it worse. I tried Burt’s Bees Baby multipurpose ointment, and she would just get redder. The picture to the right is from a month later in December. As you can see she is still red and inflamed. I would remember endless nights of crying and her not being able to sleep. Even holding her through the night, she may only get a total of about 3 hours here or there. Then wake up screaming, moving around constantly, and itching. Rob and I were back at it with nighty rotations of staying up and comforting her through the  night. Even though I felt our diet was great, there must be something I was missing. It wasn’t all the time she was breaking out. She would go through some periods of her skin clearing up and then being inflamed again. So I started a food journal to try to help me figure out what was going on.
In the meantime I still needed to help her out with all the itching. About mid December after some more online research I found MooGoo skincare bIMG_1582ased out of Australia. I contacted the company to get more information about their products. I decided to order the Eczema & Psoriasis Cream with Marshmallow, Elderberry and more. It was expensive, but worth a shot.  The reviews I have read were amazing, and after emails back and forth with the company, I figured why not. The cream arrived, and finally some relief for my baby girl.  Within a week her back pretty much cleared up.  This photo was taken January 2013. You can see her back is clear, but pigmentation discoloration from where she was inflamed. Still to this day, I keep this lotion on hand. So finally, yes she got relief. Finally sleeping through the night. Finally a happy go lucky girl again! That will all change again come April 2013.

This post is already so much longer than I thought it would be. Part 2 to come regarding food allergies and food allergy testing. Along with my research in diapers and wipes! Click for Part 2 here.

***these are my own thoughts and opinions. I was not given or asked to write a review on any of the products I mentioned.