This post isn’t just for parents of PANDAS / PANS / Autistic / Special Diet kids. This should be on every refrigerator in every home, every school cafeteria, and every restaurant. If I were queen, this would be law.
Yesterday my husband went out to eat at a barbecue restaurant. He watched them re-heat his order in the microwave, on a styrofoam plate. I’m surprised it didn’t have saran wrap on top of it. He almost made an issue of it, but decided it was better to eat it than be thrown out, gangster style. I would have been thrown out. If you don’t know why this makes my head spin, read on, my friend. This is one of those things that I feel like everyone already knows, but then I read a “how to get your kids to eat healthy” website and it has “microwave your sweet potatoes” right at the top, and it occurs to me that what seems obvious to me, isn’t obvious unless you’ve spent hours researching and reading and exhausting yourself.
So, to save you the hours of exhaustion and mind numbing research, I’ll give you our conclusions. This is generic wellness info that, in my opinion, should go for all of us. (Not just kids with autoimmune diseases and crazy paleo diets.)
Microwaves….NO!!! We don’t have a microwave in our kitchen. Or our laundry room. Or our house. There’s a reason they say to NEVER microwave breast milk…it kills all the nutrients. It’s the same reason microwaves are perfect for sterilizing baby bottles…they kill all bacteria. Do you think microwaves are sweetly selecting to only kill the bad bacteria, and leave the good ones alive and well? Mmmmhmmmm. When you give up nuking your food, you’ll realize how much better your food tastes. You just have to allow time for the oven to heat up. Or eat it cold. If you still aren’t convinced, read more here.
Cast Iron Skillets…..YES!! We cook with old (antique) cast iron skillets. The old ones are smooth as glass, and have completely taken the place of non-stick pans in our kitchen. They give you extra iron in your food (which many of us are deficient in.) And they don’t give off the harmful chemicals that non-stick skillets like to share. When I need to boil water or simmer something, I use one of our stainless steel pieces.
Soy…NO!!! Soy is like estrogen in your body. Monks used it to make it easier to be celibate. Avoid it like the plague. It's in everything from your chocolate to your favorite canned goods. Unless you want extra estrogen and prefer the monastery life, then go ahead and soy yo'self. More soy bustin' facts here.
Plastics….NO!! Plastics are leaches. I was on the BPA free bandwagon before BPA was a buzz word. Now I’m wondering what chemicals they’ve replaced the BPA with. (I wrote this original post Oct. 2015, since then, the BPA free myth has been exposed, turns out, I was right...the replacement chemicals BPS and BPF also mimic estrogen. Don't believe it? Here's the ugly truth about BPA free plastics.)
Plastics leach extra chemicals when they’re frozen, or heated. Whenever we can, we freeze our food in glass. It’s not always an option, but when it is, bust out the Mason Jars, leave a gap at the top, and don’t seal them up until they’re frozen. Trust me on this. Stuff expands, especially liquids. Like donkey milk. A lot more than you think it will. Now, about the heating up food and plastics…please please don’t buy those “steam in the bag” potatoes, or green beans, or microwave “health” meals on a plastic tray. Double bad. And how about not pouring your steaming hot soup into a plastic bowl, and eating it with a plastic spoon. Or your hot cocoa / coffee in your plastic cup…oh, I could go on and on. Just because they sell it that way at the store, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. (Twinkies, Margarine, Cigarettes, Boil in the Bag Rice…) Oh, and those “easy clean crock pot covers”??? Seriously. Bake your chemicals in for 9-12 hours so you can avoid 5 minutes of scrubbing your crock pot??!!! Lovely. More on plastics here.
Honey…only the REAL deal. Did you know you should be reading the ingredients label on your honey? Unless it says it’s Pure, Raw Honey, it could very well be mostly corn syrup. And they don’t even need to put it on the label up to a certain percentage. If you can, buy local honey from a farmer you trust. Make sure it’s Raw. In glass jars if possible. And for goodness sake, don't cook with it or heat it. This one is a hard one for me, but heating honey could actually make it toxic and cause more gut harm. In fact, heating honey and then feeding it to bees will actually kill the bees, and what's bad for the bee, is bad for me. Or is it the gander and the goose...you get the idea.
Maple Syrup…ditto the REAL deal. Forget Jemima. The “syrup” you probably grew up on is nothing more than corn syrup and coloring. Shell out the big bucks and buy Real Maple Syrup, the kind that came from a tree, not a corn field. You’ll never go back. Not only is it amazingly delicious, but, like honey, it has super health benefits (and maple syrup extract may be the next super power in the post-antibiotic, resistant superbug era. More here.)
Raw Sugar…same as above. We don’t use sugar much at all, but when we do, it’s only raw sugar. If your sugar is bleached white, it’s because it was bleached! And your “brown” sugar, is bleached white sugar that they added molasses back to make it brown. When we went Paleo, I threw out pounds and pounds of white cane sugar and dark brown sugar. It was painful, but now that it’s out of my kitchen, I don’t even miss it.
Corn Syrup….NO! Seriously, if you’re reading my blog and still have something in your pantry with corn syrup in it. I’m not judging, but STOP reading and go throw it out. Right. Now.
Anti-bacterial Soaps….NO! I bet this one surprised you. (I can recommend a great donkey milk soap.) We’re super germ-freaks in my house. When you’ve had strep throat cause an autoimmune disease that attacks your child’s brain, you have a pretty good reason to be a germ freak. But you won’t find Anti-bacterial Soap in my house. Tetracycline is bad news, hormone disrupting, nasty stuff. Give me some good old natural donkey milk soap, and I’m a happy clam. More on Triclosan and Anti-Bacterial Soap Here.
Deodorant… Yeah, I stink sometimes. But most of the time I don’t even notice. And the bonus is you’ll quickly discover who your REAL friends are. We do the natural deodorant. Never antiperspirant. There’s a reason we sweat, it’s God’s way of getting the bad stuff out of your body. Blocking it with antiperspirant is a bad idea. It’s got to go somewhere…back into your breast tissue isn’t the best plan. More on why endocrine disrupters, parabens (estrogen / cancer), aluminum (alzheimers / cancer), and triclosan (hormones / thyroid / brain development), phthalates (affects testosterone), and "Fragrance" don't belong in your armpits.
(So, now you know I really wrote this in 2015...because I hadn't developed our Dulce de Deodorant yet, and I didn't have many friends. Now I have friends who hug. See what a difference a good natural deodorant can make? Disclaimer: this is not a deodorant = friends guarantee. You should also be nice.)
We have a much more extensive list of “No’s” on our Paleo / Grain Free diet, but I won’t go into all of that here. I bet right now you’re pitying my kids…thinking they never get anything delicious, poor babies. You’d probably be surprised that my Paleo Desserts are always a huge hit with the kids (and adults) at church group, and everyone gushes over how yummy they are. Some of them know they’re grain free, but most of them just pick ours because it’s really, really good. And they never even know they’re eating healthy, refined sugar free, soy free, grain free, coconut flour chocolate cupcakes. It’s not easy. It’s not cheap. But for us, it’s so worth it to know what we’re eating, what we put on our bodies, and how it was made.
Share this with your cafeteria lady.
And the BBQ joint downtown.
Oh, and vote for me as the next Queen of the World. My daughters are already Princesses, might as well make it official.