Pass It On!

Well, the 4-H Summer 2015 Judging was yesterday and here are some of the results:

Grand Champion for Autumn’s Keto Joy display board and brochure!  

2015 Grand Champion

The judge told her several times that she really needed to enter her project into any and all science fairs that she could. We will look into that. This award really goes to everyone who has ever helped anyone with this diet. I can’t imagine this day even being possible without that help. This is where we once were:

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Champion for Consumer Clothing

Champion for Fashion Review for her division, Reserve Champion overall; Sister, Promise, received Reserved Champion for her division.

Champion for Sewing:

None of this would have been possible without our beautiful sewing helper over the years, the amazing, Leah!

 Promise, took Grand Champion for her Cake:

Promise really owes her success to the help of big sister, Rebekah. Rebekah missed judging this year as she went out to help out her big brother, and sister-in-law, with child care for Max and several of their foster children. She has been busy building forts, playing games, doing art projects and cooking in the kitchen with them! (I can only show 1/2 the picture due to privacy laws). 

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 Kristen, took Grand Champion for all Needlework!

Kristen’s cards are Brazilian embroidered with beading. Brazilian embroidery is a rarity today and we were so blessed by some wonderful ladies from the embroidery guild that put on FREE classes at our local library in the summer.  The girls started the classes several years ago and Kristen really progressed with the help of this dear, sweet 80 + -year-old member, Betty.  The girls and I had presented a picture frame and poem to her last year to thank her for all her help!

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The blessing of investment.  Oh, how we have been SO blessed by SO many who have been willing to invest their time, talent and resources to help us…

I hope we can pass it on!

Keto Joy!

 

Creating Awareness: It’s Hard, but…..

It’s not TOO Hard! 🙂

That is the message Autumn is proclaiming about the Ketogenic Diet, for one of her 4-H projects this year.

In an effort to create awareness of using the Ketogenic diet as a treatment option for seizures, Autumn has created a brochure that she can hand out to people at our local county fair.  She has also distributed the brochures to local doctors in our area to help inform them on this treatment option.

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Once the fair is over, we will be moving on to our next project of organizing our website with a few updates.   One being a “Read Me First” page to let people know what to expect the first few weeks of the diet. We have found that most people who contact us have the same initial struggles and it would be helpful for them to have a quick “HELP!” reference page.  Secondly, we need to put the recipes in an easier-to -find format.  We want to do whatever we can to help people know that although the diet may be hard….it is not TOO hard!  Because life without seizures is certainly a lot easier that life with them!

Keto Joy!

“Has She Had One Yet?”

That was the constant phrase whispered in our household about a half-hour after I recorded  Autumn’s seizure at 9:08 a.m, May 30, 2012.

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Again and again, throughout the day, brother to sister, sister to brother, brother to mother, father to mother…”Has she had one yet?”

No, not yet.

After one hour, then two, then three.

No, not yet.

The phone calls and the emails kept coming, all with the same question: “Has she had one yet?”

Although we did not want it…and hoped it would not happen…we were all still waiting for it to happen.

A day passes, then another day, then a week, and then a month.

The question then became, “How long has it been since she has had one?”

Two months. Six months. Ten months.

No seizures.

One Year. No, she still has not had one yet.

Another year later on the diet, still seizure-free.

The next question everyone started to ask: “When will she come off the diet?”

The decision is made, after 2 years on the diet, Autumn is weaned off.

Then the conversation changed to, “Has she had “anything” happen yet?”

Well yes, she has.

She has learned to be relentless, committed and determined to a goal. She has learned self-discipline and self-denial. She has learned great empathy for kids who have physical struggles as she remembers what it felt like to collapse in the middle of a grocery aisle, in church, on a playground among friends – sometimes as often as every 5 minutes.  She has learned many cooking skills and loves being in the kitchen. She know hows to do a lot with whipping cream, butter, egg whites and macadamia nut butter. She knows coconut oil will be her life-long friend!

She knows that somethings are hard but reap a great reward.

We urge anyone who is considering the diet to please NOT be overwhelmed with the difficulty of the diet, but rather be overwhelmed with the possibilities and blessings of the diet.

Start, and you can begin reaping a harvest. This is not just a Ketogenic Diet principle, it is a life principle.

Tomorrow at 9:08 a.m. we will (hopefully!) be celebrating a wonderful testimony – that “she has NOT had one yet”, a sentiment captured well in a Journal Gazette headline from last year:

Leaving Seizures Behind!

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“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  James 1

Consider it all joy….Keto Joy!

The Cure for Brain Diseases is in Your Gut

KetoJoy has a Facebook page, but for any of you who are not on Facebook, I thought I would post this article here:

The Cure for Brain Diseases Is in Your Gut

Researchers are just now starting to link inflammation in your gut with some of the most deadly and debilitating diseases we have.

Why are we making such little progress in our attempts to uncover the causes of various forms of brain degeneration? These days we frequently hear about breakthroughs in our understanding of diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis, but when the discussion turns to the brain, there seems to be very little news.

Medical research continues to operate with a reductionist mentality. The human body is looked upon as simply a compilation of various parts and systems, and each of these is looked upon as functioning independent of the others.

Many attribute the tenants of reductionism to the 17th-century French philosopher and mathematician Renée Decartes, who, in 1637, proposed that the world and all living beings were basically like machines, made up of clockwork mechanisms. In his Discourses, he argued that animate beings could be taken apart, studied, and then reassembled to gain a better perspective as to the meaning of the larger picture.

And so it is that, by and large, research endeavors attempting to understand what causes the brain to degenerate in conditions like Parkinson’s disease or ALS focus on the nervous system. These are devastating conditions for which modern medicine offers up no cure. And it may well be that clinging to this reductionist approach—one that sees the brain and its myriad diseases as existing apart from the rest of the body—underlies our failure to uncover the causes and therefore treatments for some of our most feared maladies.

The counter to this pervasive reductionist mentality is the notion of holism. Holism celebrates the panorama of interrelationships between various body parts and systems and embraces the notion that each of these seemingly disparate parts actually nurtures the others.

Microscopic bacteria living within us may be charting our brain’s destiny.
Here’s another way of looking at it. If a football team is unable to gain yardage, a reductionist perspective would focus exclusively on the quarterback. A holistic perspective, on the other hand, takes a step back and looks at the entire team. It recognizes, for example, that the offensive line plays an important role by protecting the quarterback and giving him time to execute the play while the running backs and receivers also play crucial roles in determining a positive outcome.

Parkinson’s disease is the world’s second-most common neurodegenerative condition. By the year 2030, it’s predicted that the global burden of this disease will affect nearly 10 million people. Unfortunately, researchers remain almost exclusively focused on the quarterback with countless millions of dollars dedicated to “brain research” in an attempt to unravel the mystery of this condition.

Fortunately, vanguard researchers are now recognizing the merits of a more holistic approach. Take researchers at Rush University Medical Center, for one. They’ve begun publishing data demonstrating the significant bowel issues associated with Parkinson’s disease that may actually have a role in its cause.

Dr. Christopher B. Forsyth and his team have recently demonstrated significant gut permeability, more commonly referred to as “leaky gut” in Parkinson’s patients. Their research has further revealed that this increase in gut leakiness enhances inflammation as well as the production of a unique protein—alpha-synuclein—both of which are characteristic of this disease.

This is beyond groundbreaking, it is iconoclastic in that it represents a break from the long-held mentality that brain disease must arise in the brain.
ALS affects as many as 30,000 in the United States, with 5,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. While considerably less common than Parkinson’s disease, ALS is almost uniformly fatal.

And despite the sudden increase in funding for ALS research resulting from the “ice bucket challenge,” again, it may well be that we are simply looking in the wrong place.

In research headed by Dr. Rongzhen Zhang at the University of California, San Francisco, he and his team discovered that, like the Parkinson’s research had revealed, in ALS there is also an increase in the leakiness of the gut. And again, like in Parkinson’s, their research revealed that this mechanism caused a robust increase in inflammation, a mechanism that has long been known to be associated with ALS.

These are but two examples of a welcomed change in mentality as it relates to medical research. Inflammation, as a mechanism, is thought to underlie virtually every degenerative condition that humans experience—including Alzheimer’s disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and even cancer. And it has become clear that the integrity of the lining of the gut plays a fundamental role in determining the degree of inflammation that the human body experiences.

One of the most important elements involved in maintenance of gut wall integrity is the degree of balance and diversity of the various organisms that live within the gut. These organisms and their genetic material are collectively referred to as the human microbiome.

The microbiome is tasked with shoring up the gut lining and therefore reducing permeability. This helps to reduce inflammation in human physiology. When the gut bacteria are altered by any number of events—including overusage of antibiotics, exposure to environmental toxins, and even inappropriate food choices—the integrity of the gut lining can be challenged.

So the dots are being connected. As researchers break the bonds of reductionism and venture forth looking outside of the brain, exciting information is being revealed that may well pave the way to understanding—and possibly curing—devastating neurological disorders. As it turns out, we are just beginning to understand how critical a role is played by the gut bacteria in terms of virtually every aspect of human health and disease. Indeed, it’s a very humbling notion to recognize that microscopic bacteria living within us may be charting our brain’s destiny.

Ironically, Decartes himself may have been first to recognize the importance of the “gut-brain connection” when he wrote this: “Even the mind depends so much on temperament and the disposition of one’s bodily organs that, if it is possible to find a way to make people generally more wise and more skilful than they have been in the past, I believe that we should look for it in medicine. It is true that medicine as it is currently practiced contains little of much use.”

David Perlmutter, MD is a Board-Certified Neurologist and author of Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life.

I have posted other articles and videos about this topic here:

https://ketojoy.com/2014/07/23/excitotoxins-the-taste-that-kills-not-here/

https://ketojoy.com/2014/04/18/you-need-to-know/

https://ketojoy.com/2014/04/30/dietary-healing-from-a-z-getting-the-word-out/

https://ketojoy.com/2014/05/16/a-cure-for-autismasd/

 

 

Zip it up!

Upon digging through one of our freezers the other day, I noticed we had lots of frozen strawberries.  It was actually warm outside on that day – well, above 40 – so I felt like drinking something icy. I guess after you have had ice outside for 6 months, you miss it! 😉   So, I took a couple handfuls of those frozen vine-ripened berries from last summer and threw them in a blender with a little lemon juice, a bit of water and a few drops of liquid stevia  – yum!  


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Of course, then everyone else wanted some. 🙂 

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Autumn then pulled out some of our Zipzicles packages and said, “Hey mom, may I make a batch of that strawberry stuff for some zipzicles?”

And so we did:

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In one batch, we added some yogurt  for a little extra protein 🙂

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This is not so much a keto-treat as it is a great low-carb alternative to the store-bought  frozen pops. However, when Autumn was on the diet, she would make frozen Zipzicles using water and a few drops of flavored stevia – she loved them!  You can purchase liquid stevia drops in LOTS of different flavors:

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They were a great treat she could enjoy while everyone else might be having traditional “Mr. Freeze/Ice Pops.”  Even now, being off her diet, she still loves to make them in the summer!

KETO JOY CONTINUES! 🙂

Get Your Purple On!

Today is “Purple Day” in recognition of Epilepsy Awareness Day.

I was 50 years old before I ever saw a seizure.

Autumn’s Dad, and the rest of Autumn’s siblings, had not seen one either.

Then, we all saw up to one-hundred seizures a day with Autumn.

We were suddenly very aware of Epilepsy!

If you are reading this page, you also are probably very aware of seizures.

You have also probably been afraid, angry, distraught, frustrated, tormented, exasperated and just completely torn up at times.

But, hopefully you also found guidance, instruction, comfort, consolation, encouragement, and compassion from those who have walked this road already.

Whatever help and hope you have found, pass it along to someone else today.  Make others aware of how they can help.

 Keep walking, keep sharing, keep hoping!

Imagine the Hope and Joy of being Set Free from seizures!   🙂

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KETO JOY!

On the Precipice…

…of a New Year.                                                

Are you prepared?

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Each of us will undoubtably have a “precipice moment” this year.

Standing at the brink of something you did not expect.

An event, an action, a word… will all of a sudden place you there…on the edge.

My children have oft heard me utter:

“You never know what you are going to wake up to.”

“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.” (James 4:13)

How do you prepare for those moments?

Every hour. Of every day.

“A man reaps what he sows.” (Gal. 6:7)

What you do, and what you think, day after day, will determine your response at the precipice moment.

“So as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” (Pro. 23:7)

“Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.”

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What are you thinking on these days?

“Finally brethren, whatever things are pure, lovely, true, praise worthy…think on these things.” (Philippians 4:4)

What are you reading?

What are you listening too?

What are you looking at?

What are you engaging in?

Is it growing you in… Love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness, Goodness….

“The fruit of the spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.” (Gal. 5: 22-23)

What are you trusting in? 

“I have trusted in your loving kindness.” (Psalm 13:5)

Is it true?

“Thy word is truth.” (John 17:17)

Can it really sustain you?

“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. “(Psalm 54:4)

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Will it get you to the other side?

“I sought the Lord and he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 43:4)

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 “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37)

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

May your year be blessed with trials that leave you perfect, complete and lacking nothing!