Healthy Now to Healthy Later #Cbias #DigestiveCare

I don't know if it is my age in general or if it's what my body has been put through but I haven't been myself lately.  I get headaches way too often, and in the past three years my body has been through so much!  From my first pregnancy that messed with my whole system as I assume any pregnancy does.  Then right when I was feeling all back to "normal" I had another pregnancy, that I refer to as 'my failed pregnancy' that only lasted three months :(.  That is a whole other post but that put my body through a roller coaster ride, and not a fun one.  
With constant headaches, and suddenly gaining weight despite no changes to my diet, I've been really concerned.  I started taking tons of vitamins/minerals, and I also tried 4X Pro-B from Costco.com to help with digestive health.  Am I sick?  Am I in need of help with my digestive help? No, other than the above mentioned I like to think I'm pretty healthy, but for me it is about maintaining my health.  Too often people start to take vitamins, and pills like these when they start to feel sick, I'm trying to start now so I maintain my health for a healthier me today and tomorrow.
I've been taking the 4X Pro-B for a good 22 days now.  Right away I liked that the packaging had convenient labeling to help you keep track of when to take the pill.  I haven't noticed a big difference yet, but taking the 4X Probiotic keeps me motivated as I attempt to lead a healthier lifestyle.  Even if I can't tell right away, or right now, I like to know I'm doing good for my body.  What we do for ourselves today will affect our health in the long run.  
Easy eating can be good too.
I used to run every morning before I became a mom, but settled for walks instead after becoming a full-time mom.  I have been doing workout videos at home, and taking any chance to keep active as a part of my 'healthy me' movement.  I say this allot, but that's just it, I have been trying for a very long time to get my body back to what I consider "my normal."  
One important factor in it is to taking care of myself, I leave myself last on the list when it comes to just about everything.  I have gotten used to grabbing anything easy to eat, often not the healthiest choices, while cooking a healthy meal for my family.  I also have noticed that I don't eat much during the day, not enough real meals, all not good for my digestive health, I'm sure.  Working on changing it all, I really want a healthier, fit me...

With focus on maintaining health and with the thought that I could use improving my digestive health, I really want to take these long term to see what results I start to see.  I ordered the 4X Pro-B from Costco.com on February 20th and received it in a fast three days on the 23rd.  You can see my shopping experience here on Google +.  I love shopping at Costco, but haven't been involved with them online enough, but found it to be very convenient.  You can also find them on facebook.  I'll keep you posted and give you an update in about two weeks, so stay tuned!  If you are interested in #digestivecare with 4X Probiotics, simply type in "4X Pro-B" in search box when you get to Costco.com. :)


*This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pancakes, Farina, and More - Review & Giveaway


Pancakes..who doesn't like pancakes?  I know we love pancakes in this home.  Easy to prepare breakfast? Yes please!  I was very interested in trying this pancake mix to see how it compared to others I've tried.  It was different from the others I've tried, but very good.  I liked specially that it wasn't so sweet.  Easy to make, and easy to tweak to your liking.  I made these without the egg because of my sons allergies and actually totally skipped the egg-replacer as well, because I was out at the time.  And yet, they were delicious.  I later tried them with the egg-replacer, didn't think it was too different.  Adding more liquid and more oil/butter I learned you can make a thinner pancake, if that's what you like, I prefer thinner myself.  Although I always make my pancakes thick and small, so that if my son eats two little pancakes, they were thick and nutrient full.  One of the things I love about this mix, is that it contains sorghum flour, I enjoy seeing something my son can have that is different from always being made from rice, great to have any good added to his diet.
I grew up eating Farina, and to find one that my son can have..well you know, it's awesome! :)  My mom would cook it with milk, and serve it up with some butter and sugar.  This great organic mix could be enjoyed just the same, except I used allergy friendly alternatives.  I was surprised by how great it tasted, and how it brought memories back with one simple bite.  I have tried wheat/gluten free hot cereal before but this is my favorite!! :)  Ours came out thick, but that can be tweaked with more/less liquid.  We had it with a bit of honey, dairy free butter, and raisins..oh and hemp milk.  Really, if you have a restricted diet, do give these a try!

The All Purpose Baking Flour has been with us for a very long time.  It was the first flour that we tried after learning of my sons food allergies.  Ironically I don't use it to bake bake too much.  I have used to coat food when frying various foods, used it in soup to thicken, used it in every way it works in place of a wheat all purpose flour blend.  It is very different from flours I have tried, but great in its ways.  Like every other, it works best if you know how to use substitutes while working with gluten/wheat free flours.  I'm used to creating all sorts of foods with wheat flour, so it was a hard transition for me to see how you can't just mix in water and do anything.  It is a whole different consistency, kneads differently, bakes/cooks differently.  Also I'm not too good at measuring anything I use, I love to create, and as I create I don't measure.  When I put salt/seasonings into anything I cook, I never measure, if I attempt to measure I will most likely mess it up.  I literally sprinkle from container, and it works.  Unfortunately when it comes to doing anything with allergy friendly baking, or cooking with flour it takes measuring to get the right consistency, so I am learning.

I still take chances and do it my old way, and get lucky at times.  You can see on my last Wordless Wednesday post, I made a bread for a little burger I made my son using the All Purpose Baking Flour mix, I made it on the pan as I do often.  I also love this mix for it's ingredients, many great flour mixes out there but this one stands out for having garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, and fava flour.  My son eats plenty of rice, I try to stay away from making his diet all rice.  It's easy to do since many wheat/gluten free is made from rice, and then there's dairy free rice milk.  I try to give him a wide range of ingredients in his food so he can get the most out of all he eats.  I always have this flour mix in my home, I use it allot, and really recommend it.    

Read their Story on Gluten Free
*Important info:
"..We’ve even built a separate Gluten Free packaging division complete with specialized machinery to make sure that our products maintain their purity--just as nature intended. By going to these lengths, we’re able to ensure that folks with wheat allergies, celiac disease and gluten intolerance can trust that our products are safe to consume."
Buy them here
Find a store near you here
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~*GIVEAWAY*~
Enter to win all three, use the Rafflecopter below, simply follow the easy steps.  
Good luck, and if you personally not interested, tweet, share for your friends to have a chance!  :)

Going Bananas for Bananas!

It has been about two weeks since my son had bananas for the first time since October 2009.  He has been clear from reactions..so far, and that makes us so happy.  When he was a few months old, I used to let him hold a banana, and let him attempt to eat it.  I used to feed him mashed up bananas, but he never fully loved it.  I occasionally offered it to him, although he still didn't like it too much.  He did use to eat it, and at this time I pretty much knew nothing about food allergies so I insisted he learn to eat it by offering it to him often.  Not too long after, I learned about his food allergies when he had an Anaphylactic reaction to the first solid meal I made for him at six months.  Bananas were not on the list of his allergies.

In October 2009, at the end of a FAAN Walk for Food Allergy he had a reaction to bananas.  They had bananas, apples, and other food offered to walkers.  The easiest food I could think of was the banana for my little walker.  He carried it around, nibbled on it, until I noticed all around his mouth he got hives.  I wiped his mouth, initially assuming it was just the peel of the banana that had touched something he was allergic to.  His hives didn't go away, in fact his face slowly got hives.  I gave him Benadryl right away, and he cleared up in no time.  Luckily this was after we had participated in the walk, and were already in process of heading home.

The day after I was still in shock that the banana had caused the hives, so I had to test it out again to confirm.  I gave him another little bit the next day to see if he would react, and he did!  I wouldn't recommend testing like this to anyone, I only did because he was totally OK from what I could tell with bananas previous times.  I really didn't want to take away bananas from the list of foods he CAN have, so I tested again the day after..and it happened again! :(  After that we didn't buy bananas anymore, was so sad to eliminate that.

We went so long cringing while watching movies with bananas, reading books with bananas, cringing with every mention of bananas.  Looking through picture books to try to find books with pictures of food he CAN have rather than can't.  Being quick to tell our son how he is allergic to bananas at every interest he expressed, and at three years old, he knew like any toddler what a "nana" was but also knew he was allergic to it.

After all this time, something, something kept telling me to try banana again.  His IgE levels show that he is allergic to bananas, but according to it he also should stay away from soy, tomato, and a few others.  I know very well that the IgE levels doesn't determine how allergic a person is to a food.  I also know that it also could mean exactly what it shows.  True answer is in how a person reacts when in any contact with the food.  So, again why did I try it?  I really don't know...  I know 'I' was the one that put that on his allergy list, and with a wish of him being OK with it, I decided to try it out.  Also I did speak about my thoughts and my sons allergist did approve...

I skin tested him, at home, again NOT recommended as many allergies are VERY serious including many of my sons.  I skin tested three days in a row, with no reaction, I gave him a tiny piece to try, with no reaction.  Waited about a half an hour, then another little piece, and so on.  Nothing..no reaction!
The trials continued for a few days extending the size of the little taste, and wait time until I could start to get excited about it.  It has been about two weeks, and he doesn't absolutely love bananas, but he can have it now.  That means I can bake with bananas, banana smoothies, banana picture books, talk about monkeys & bananas, say how the letter "B" can spell banana...etc.
So NOW I can be excited about it, I have kept to myself not mentioning it to anyone but...
My son can have bananas! :D

Also many that don't know about my sons allergies, or care to learn more, are quick to assume that his allergies are improving.  While one could say "hey he could have that now so..." it isn't the case, sadly.  His allergies besides 'this' hasn't improved at all.  I don't like false hope, I like to learn to live with, and be surprised by good if it happens.  I wish for many others around us to accept it and learn more instead of waiting for the day I say "hey so he doesn't have food allergies anymore."

Anyway..back to celebrating, yayyyy BANANAS!!!!!!
This is so exciting and a day I didn't imagine would come, so please excuse all the bananas all over, my way of celebrating!! :D