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, April 9, 2012

Project Elimination continues...

We have continued our good habits and are still working on adding more.

Our latest find for a resource for healthy food choices is the Granary Street Health Food in Conroe.

We have been stopping by various "health food stores" around the Northside of Houston for the last two years.. and for the most part we have been terribly disappointed.

I have driven by the the Granary for months and just assumed it would not be worth stopping as it was probably like the rest- but, had a little time and stopped by! WOW! Competitive pricing and they carried many of the the items we use. They had meats, which were a touch higher then going directly to the farm, but worth the price for one stop shopping. They had Abby's powdered sugar without corn starch, they had every supplement you can dream of! Even had coconut flour which is very hard to find on the shelf in Houston. We will definitely be adding this to our list of go to shopping!

We found the Feast of Artisans Farmers Market at the Woodlands Mall between 3pm and 7pm on Weds evening(by Barnes and Noble). This was terrific! My only disappointment was that only a couple of the venders were "organic" and I believe only 1 or 2 were "certified." Apparently, it is quite spendy to become certified in Texas and this market works very hard to cater to the small Mom and Pop type businesses. On one hand I love the convenience of the farmers Market, on the other hand even if they claim they are using organic farming processes without seeing their farm with my own eyes, I worry that they are not practicing in a way that is best- but, at the end of the day, fresh carrots from the ground with the dirt still on them, are a 100 percent healthier then bleached, scrubbed and week old or older carrots at the grocery store. Apparently, as the year goes, and more produce comes into season there are more booths- Everything we bought was packed full of flavor and fresh!

For anyone not in Houston reading this, I found the website Local Harvest you can search your zipcode anywhere in the Country and find safe foods for your family- a great resource and website.

Then my favorite, Gramen Farm. If you are thinking about trying raw dairy or raw goat, this farm is the Gold Standard. This is the real McCoy of organic farming practices. It appears humble when you drive onto the property..but you won't smell manure, I saw no grains, I saw the chickens running free, and the goats and cows cheerfully grazing grass. When you go in the store they are glad to answer questions about raw or anything else they can help you with- this was a terrific first stop for us! The Kefir trials for Abby have ended. After almost a week, she was certain the issues she was having were clearly allergy. So, I know she is dairy allergic(not just lactose intolerant)so guessing same thing with goat. I admit, I am sorely disappointed- but on a positive the rest of us have discovered the DELICIOUS raw milk and cheeses and kefir. The rest of us have lactose intolerances(mine is horrid)and no problem at all digesting raw! What a nice treat to have in the house every now and then! The meats from this farm will keep us going back again and again- it is very HARD to find chickens that have had no chemicals, medications or grains,especially corn.

We finally are nearing the end of sorting Abby's horde of teen stuff! Mostly surface to go. We are researching the best mattress options(think about how loaded a mattress is with chemicals-and you lay on it at least 8, hours a day, and Abby can spend 15 or more on hers)which is taking some studying, it will be an expensive purchase that must reduce allergens and provide comfort. We have a lot of cotton bedding, but cotton does breakdown quickly, so we are exploring a higher quality to reduce any extra dust.

Abby had another terrific day yesterday. It seems her whole body is settling down. After months of her face showing pain and black circles inking her eyes- I cannot help but be overjoyed as I greet her each morning and see a much healthier Abby reflecting out at me. I am still trying hard to not count my chicks before they hatch, we have been here a million times in the past, just when we think we are at some mysterious cross road and past the worst she crashes. Yet, a week of looking this good is the longest she has had in months and months..She is still very tired this week despite feeling much better.

The ebb and flow of her health is the most frustrating thing in the world.. this week will be filled with thoughts of registering her for college again in the fall, of weekend getaways, of shopping..and if/when she crashes again it is really going to sting. We try very hard to temper our hopes, but I would rather have a week of hope,and dreams then spending all our time waiting for the worse.

We are just going to keep moving forward on this path. Eliminating chemicals and allergens from her food makes sense for anyone,healthy or not. Eliminating allergens from the room she spends the most of her time in, is part of Allergy 101, and we accept she has allergies. It seems this Mito junk is more "controlled" when we control her triggers. Or that is our theory when things are going well. :-)


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