Weightless Wednesday: Food Allergies is No Joke

Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Corn Free, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, Parenting, Weightless Wednesday | 8 comments

Today, I was a mad woman cleaning out my pantry, getting rid of more junk and I don’t have that much to rid. I am at a lost for my 2 year old son, who has a ton of food allergies and food sensitivities. Just when I thought I had it under control, his skin breaks out in eczema, his diapers get worse again and it is driving me batty. Tuesday morning I had to take him to a new doctor because his stools have changed so much that it is alarming. In case you are not a mom, I apologize, but for moms, those poopy diapers tell a story on what is going on the inside of their little bodies. Color, odor, consistency all means something and even I am at a lost on what I should do. I have done various tests for my son. IgG test, which was told it was about 50% accurate in diagnosing food sensitivities *sighs* no conclusive enough for me since he was still having issues. Finally saw a medical doctor that does non invasive testing, which is great and it has helped me and my daughter, who we both sat still through it, but for my son, we got a few new ones, but we couldn’t complete the whole panel. A previous stress assessment test conflicted, but at least he was able to tolerate the entire test and it showed sensitivities to everything it feels like, including fruits, all nuts, peanuts, soy, gluten, dairy, coconut, egg, corn…need I go on? And what kills me is that he really can’t have a banana or applesauce, foods that are so good for us, he can’t have right now, so I need to really, really take charge of our health. What drives me so batty is that I have to call every single company to find out if there are any corn derivatives in their products. Forget emailing anyone….I just got one today from Happy Baby Foods that all of their stuff is corn and gluten free, unless corn is stated on their labels. But out of all the non-dairy milks out there, he can only drink Hemp Milk and out of all the hemp milk brands that ALL contained corn derivatives, but Living Harvest, changed their formula this month and is now corn free, but I still don’t know if I have a batch that is corn free yet. Yes, this is driving me batty. So Tuesday, we got some more blood work done, I requested a Vitamin B12 since he eats no eggs, dairy and little meats, it is concerning for me. I read this fantastic article that morning about B12, here is the article. You see, a B12 deficiency effects the nervous system and digestive track. Given his Sensory Processing Disorder and all of his tummy issues it would make sense. The doctor said he would order it, but has yet to see a child with a deficiency this young. Well a call from the doctor this morning showed he had high levels of Vitamin B12. I am glad I asked as common side effects of having too much is insomnia (hello 3am wake ups for an hour or so), skin rashes (yes, even eczema) and loose stools. But he said we still have to proceed with the other allergy and stool testings he recommended. I had no idea why he was getting too much, since B12 comes from dairy, eggs, and meats. He is egg and dairy free and eats meat, but about a couple times per week by choice....

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Weightless Wednesday: My heavy heart

Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in Faith, Parenting, Single Mom, Teen Mom, The Missonal Mom, Weightless Wednesday | 7 comments

This is not going to be a post about weight issues, but one about what is weighing in my heart. I haven’t spoke much about my faith, I have quite a background actually. I was baptized Muslim due to an agreement with my parents, but when they divorced, I went through the crash course to being converted to Catholic at the age of 15. It wasn’t until I started dating my husband when I began to question faith again and became a Christian in June 2003. I’ll have to share my journey for another time. You see, I have often heard of God speaking and moving in people’s lives. I have felt promptings and “whispers” but never acted on them, purely out of fear and being worried about what “others thought.” It all happened on Monday on my way down to Tampa for work. Here is how my day started: A month ago, I received a twitter invite for Mom Bloggers to experience a morning at the Peninsula Spa in Chicago. Wow! I thought, how in the world did I get picked to do have this fun opportunity? I don’t consider myself an influential person and I just started blogging. I am just someone who purely loves to help folks get healthy and make positive lifestyle changes. I thanked God privately for this invite. It was a wonderful experience. Each service was amazing and the food was made healthy and tasty. I felt relaxed and connected with other local bloggers: Sassy Mom Chicago, Evolving Stacey and Miss Lori (yes from Miss Lori’s campus). I love spas and treatments, I won’t lie, but treating myself is few and far between. I had a rushed and whirl wind day. After the Spa, picked up my daughter, get to Whole Foods, get her to dance class, catch a cab to O’Hare to get on a flight for Tampa for work. Here is where the story unfolds. How often do you hear a church pastor talking about God’s nudges on an airplane? I always had a hard time believing it until I sat next to a single, teen mom of a 15m old boy on the plane. He was adorable and reminded me of my son. Pudgy, blue eyes and a wiggle worm. She apologized profusely for her son’s behavior in which I replied I have two kids, please do not apologize. I opened up my computer to begin working. I tried to help her a bit in calming her son down, I know it can be tough. It was 7pm, understandably he was tired, cranky. She looked at me and asked what did I do for work? I told her as she was giving her son pop and fruit punch juice. It was hard for me to not say a thing about that. It was not my place. Then our conversation began: Her: Are you a single mom? Me: No, but my mom was…and I have great respect for single moms. Her: Me too, I am moving back to Tampa to start a new life and live with my mom. I have seen her twice in 14yrs (if I heard her correctly) Me: Well that is great to be able to start fresh for your son. I bet you are excited Her: Eh, she shrugged her shoulders I closed my computer and listened to her, her story on what happened, her son being a preemie, the baby’s dad, etc. I will not disclose it all to respect her privacy. But as her son was getting more fussy, she was getting more frustrated…...

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Character vs. Knowledge: Where do I send my daughter for school?

Posted by on Apr 2, 2012 in Chicago Public Schools, Faith, Family, Parenting | 2 comments

Who would have thought the decision on where to send my daughter to kindergarten would be so difficult? I feel like I am scouting colleges or something. Last week Crain’s Chicago Business wrote an article about how slow home sales are forcing parents to find the right school in the city. For my husband and I, us leaving the city was never an issue, we decided long ago to raise our family in the city. But I’ll be honest, I have been quite ignorant about my where my daughter will be going to school. Thankfully I have friends that have kept me in the loop. Skinner West built a brand new school less than a mile from where my husband and I have been living for 1o years. It is a fantastic school and neighborhood moms rave about it. (Skinner has both classical and neighborhood programs, in which we qualify for neighborhood program). In December at my daughter’s PreK Christmas celebration, moms were telling me the deadline to apply to the magnet programs was that day. I freaked out, my husband was out of town for work and filled out the forms to get the postage stamped. I did not realize it was NOT test the kids. I was applying for the lottery. *sighs* But there is something I did not mention, I absolutely LOVE my daughter’s preschool and they are adding a new year each year. I have invested much of my time in volunteering at my daughter’s school, heading up the PVO (which some of you may know it as the PTO/PTA) and I feel part of a wonderful Christ-loving community. The director has been so instrumental in helping me with my son’s Sensory Processing Disorder. When I broke down and cried from being so overwhelmed, she prayed right there for me. I felt strength again. That is powerful. This is where I want my daughter (and eventually my son) to go. BUT…last week, we got our “acceptance” letter from the schools we had chosen. While denied the lottery for Skinner’s classical, she was accepted to both Andrew Jackson and Galileo, both within 2 miles from our condo. (yes, we have quite a few schools within a 2 mile radius) Again, both fantastic schools. The thing I really wanted to do was to tour the schools and get a feel for where my daughter may fit best (My heart already knows) . One school was super friendly, real nice to me and said to stop on in whenever, the other school was flat out snooty. And I was very, very disappointed and felt let down because this school is in my neighborhood. No excuses, no matter what your front line tells a story… Part of my problem is that I feel I am getting WAY to caught up in the academic part of where she goes, where my husband is more concerned about her character development. We are not on the same page right now, our taxes goes to a top 10 school which is free for us. Or we can pay for an excellent private school in which my college tuition costed me 16 years ago. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are pros and cons to all the schools, I won’t lie, each school excels academically. But the kindergarten homework rumors scare me in CPS. How many 5 year olds do you know that get 1.5-2 hours of homework each night? Yes, they do and some have already instilled a longer school day, which is a hot topic for our teachers...

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Weightless Wednesday: How Far I Have Come

Posted by on Mar 28, 2012 in Family Health, Parenting, Weight Loss, Weightless Wednesday | 1 comment

Two weeks ago, I was having lunch with a friend from my daughter’s school. Last year, she enticed me to join her to do a mom workout from trainer who went from a size 22 to a size 6, Type I diabetic and all (amazing story). I was still nursing my son at the time, he was 11 months old and really just wanted to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, which was 10lbs. However, I knew my body, I was still breastfeeding and my body just holds onto that extra weight (as I learned from my first one). With my background, I knew that working out will help shed the weight faster once I stopped nursing. I was eating healthy (for the most part), but even I longed to get back into my skinny jeans. So she said to me, “Jasmine you look great, how much have you lost since last year?” I had to do the math. “Gosh I said, 15lbs” Even I hadn’t realized how much I had lost in a year and I was past pre-pregnancy weight. She said, “That is fantastic”. You see, I weigh myself daily. Some say that is healthy, some say that is not, but for me, it keeps me in line. But when I stepped on that scale that morning, all I could think about was how much more I wanted to lose, because I am determined to get back into a two-piece this summer and keep up with my super active kids. I didn’t think how far I had come… My weight issues stem from childhood. I was a thin child, but my parents started a pizza place fast food business when I was in second grade. Though my mom cooked fantastic homemade meals, I ate there a lot. Pizza puffs, mozzarella sticks, cheeseburgers and fries, you name it I had it for dinner a few days a week. I see the difference in my school pictures between first and second grade. I was an overweight child. I remember thinking at a young age, I wanted to go on a diet to lose the weight, yes as young as 7 years old and that began my vicious cycle (I’ll save that for another post). I look back at that little girl now and thinking how far I have come today with my own personal demons of weight issues. I eat healthier than I did even a year ago, I enjoy eating vegetables, in fact I start my day with a green smoothie, I don’t need coffee to get me going anymore, I learned some more food triggers that were draining my energy. You see, it is important for me to be a positive role model for my daughter. We talk about eating healthy, how it makes strong bodies and gives us energy. I don’t use the word “diet” and I am very, very conscious to NOT say negative words about myself in front of her, “Like I am feeling fat today” or “I need to lose more weight” or “this outfit makes me look fat”, in fact, the word fat is not part of the vocabulary until she can understand how and why body fat is important. This is important for moms who have daughters, because what we say and do can positively or negatively effect their emotional and psychological wellbeing. If damaged, it carries with us women forever. I was trying on some of my old clothes yesterday, the ones I taught group fitness classes in and there is an internal excitement that says, YES! I can fit...

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