Thursday, December 22, 2011


Kiwis are acceptable and Kroger had them 6 for $1 so I have a fridge full.

Here's a recipe for a kiwi sandwich the kids might like.

And wow, here's a recipe for kiwi margaritas the parents might like. I mean, we have a lot of kiwis, it would be a shame for them to go to waste!


This blog has only been up for two weeks and has gotten over 5,000 page views already. Y'all that's crazy.

But if some moms are learning not to feed this junk to their babies, I'm thrilled!!

Cabbage just like Grandma used to make

We are on a little bit of a Feingold hiatus for the holidays. Not too much - but I knew that I was choosing a bad time to start this. We were in Austin last weekend and ate out a lot. Fortunately it is very easy to eat organically in Austin, so we did pretty good, all things considered.

For me, dinner is the hardest. I had gotten way too used to pulling out a frozen pizza or chicken nuggets on hectic days. Dinner requires me to actually be organized and intentional now - and neither of those traits come naturally to me.

Tonight I made cabbage. YUM. Cabbage is so healthy - an excellent source of vitamin C, and it will also, you know, keep ya regular.  But I always forget about it. Until I wandering in the Kroger produce aisle wondering what on earth to feed my babies and go AH! CABBAGE!!

My husband Walker is ridiculously corny and every time a waiter brings us something, whether it's a steak or a margarita, he says, "Just like Grandma used to make." Yeah. Every time. Neeeeever gets old.

But this cabbage really is just like Grandma used to make, and just like my kiddos' GG makes for them too. If you were not blessed to have a Southern cooking grandma like I had in Vernie Lou, now you can just pretend and fifty years from now your own grandchildren will talk about your cabbage at your funeral. And because it is a Grandma recipe, the ingredients will be listed in terms of "about" and "some".

  1. Chop up about 2-3 strips of bacon into bite size pieces and saute in a little oil in Dutch oven
  2. Add one coarsely chopped onion and saute that
  3. Chop up one head of cabbage. Throw that in there. 
  4. Now you can add some oil or butter or more bacon grease that you've got saved in your pantry if you were raised right. 
  5. Add about half a cup of water. 
  6. Salt it generously.
  7. Pepper it generously.
  8. Some folks add a little sugar here. 
  9. Put the lid on it for about ten minutes till it is all nice and wilted.
There ya go. YUM.

Serve with homemade cornbread or Sister Schubert's yeast rolls.

Glory to God and Grandma. Amen.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Please keep the tomatoes

We celebrated Maggie's birthday last night at a Mexican restaurant, which shall mark the beginning of the end. I don't expect to be full on Feingold again until December 26 at the earliest.

Ike ate mostly chips and salsa for dinner. Tomatoes are banned in stage one (due to salicylates) and I am racked with anxiety that he will have a reaction when tomatoes are introduced because probably 75% of my recipes have tomatoes! We are a tomato loving family!!

Ike was up way past his bedtime and was a bit of a pill this morning, so I was expecting a bad report at school - but he got a thumbs up! YIPPEE!!! Perhaps this means a tomato free life is not our destiny!!

He also had Chic Fil A at school for his Christmas party. Chic Fil A's fries have TBHQ, a preservative that is a form of butane. As in cigarette lighters. Mmmm, mmmm. He had a good day at PALS so I am not sure if it affected him or not.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday: cause I wasn't weird enough already

Breakfast: approved oatmeal, Horizon milk
snack: natural Cheetos
lunch: PBJ sandwich, saltines, pear, pineapple juice
snack at PALS: Clif kids bar
dinner: pb sandwich, Fritos, watermelon, banana, water

Ike woke up in a happy mood and I knew we'd have a good day today. Sure enough, when I picked him up his teacher said he did.

She also brought me an 'incident report' - one of those papers they have to fill out when your kid hits another kid. But guess what - Ike was the victim!!

I am pretty sure I am the only mom who ever did a fist pump and said YESSS! upon learning that their kid had gotten slapped by another kid at preschool.

Right afterward, she handed another piece of paper to the other mom. That mom looked very upset and said, "I just don't know what has gotten into her lately!" And I said, immediately:


All I got was a kind of weird look.

And this is the moment when I realized that I have, once again, trumped my own established level of weirdness.

  • Being a Christian who actually believes the bible means what it says is pretty stinking weird, but I thought I could do weirder
  • So then I had four kids in three years, which definitely qualified me for the Weird Olympics. But, we still weren't bringing home the gold...
  • So we decided to adopt a kid from an orphanage in Africa. Now, that's weird. Ca-razy weird. But y' doesn't stop there....
  • Now I'm the bible thumper with four little kids who is adopting more from Africa of all places AND WHO GOES ON AND ON ABOUT THE FACT THAT ARTIFICIAL DYES AND ALL THAT STUFF MAKE KIDS ACT CRAZY!!

How much more of a freak can I become???

Really, the only thing left for me to do now is homeschool.

Anyway, all the aggression and bad behavior has left him - he is my sweet little Ikey, who is talking more and more. But he still cried so much today, like his little heart was broken. He didn't want to go to PALS, so he sobbed. Maggie took some stickers away from him, he sobbed. I told him I needed my iPhone back, he sobbed. I mentioned before he is not a crier, so this is odd.

It appears that the yellow #5 (I am assuming this is all the yellow, even though there is some blue #1 in pickles too) makes him a holy terror for the first 36 hours, and then he has PMS for at least another day.

{maybe I eat too much dye?}

Hormel replies
7:02 AM (1 hour ago)

to me
Mrs Dollahon,

Thank you for contacting us. We appreciate hearing from you.

The natural flavoring in the Jennie-O Ground Turkey is Rosemary or Black Pepper, depending on which product you purchase.

We value you as a consumer and hope you will continue to enjoy our products.


Consumer Response Representative

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday - stupid pickles

Breakfast: Nature's path maple nut oatmeal
Disposition: weepy meltdown when I wouldn't let him play with my iPhone. Easily distracted by tickles and kisses. Demanding, yelling at me when he doesn't get his way.

lunch: saltines & pb, annie's cheddar bunnies, grapefruit juice, carrots, Tribe hummus packs (not approved but seem okay)

Bad day at school. He spit, elbow jabbed other kids, and called out "stupid music" during music. Sigh. Refused to put his car seat on afterwards.

Spent another $260 at Kroger (sheesh) but I think I finally have enough food to last a while.  Envirokids PB cereal was on sale and it is the only new kind that Shep likes so I bought lots, also lots of their granola bars to keep on hand to prevent the Great Snack Meltdown of yesterday from occurring again.

We went to the playground after school. He hit a little boy, then refused to go to time out, then called the park stupid, so I made him come to the car with me. He had a complete screaming crying meltdown. This isn't normal for him - he's not usually a tantrum thrower. I rarely see tears from him, and there were many tears today.

So far, yellow dye #5 and maybe blue dye #1 --> aggression, crying, opposition, 'cursing' (stupid is like the d word for kids, right?)

Making ground turkey tacos with Fritos, avocados, lettuce, cheese, Horizon organic sour cream for dinner.

Gonna be hard to not have salsa....I think it might even be illegal in Texas to have tacos without salsa...but tomatoes are banned in stage 1.

I bought Jennie O's ground turkey, which is not approved, but it is all I can find. The 'natural flavorings' are not specifically listed, so I emailed them to ask what they are. 'Natural flavorings' is often (usually?) code for MSG.

Just realized that Ike can't have chili peppers - so he is getting cereal and bananas for dinner. Yea, we can have salsa!

I found this website where other parents discuss what happens when their kids have dye. One said:

Our son does a complete turn in behavior. He becomes defiant, violent (hitting, kicking, spitting,) cannot concentrate on an activity and extreme mood swings...from crying to laughing w/in a minute of each other. Punishment doesn't phase him. He'd sit in time-out all day and cry but as soon as he was out of time out it's back to the irrational behaviors then back in time-out...a vicious circle.

Sounds very familiar. 

Yellow #5 (tartrazine) & lupus

"Some environmental chemicals such as hydrazine and food dyes such as tartrazine may be environmental triggers of SLE (lupus) in susceptible people."

Our 7 year old daughter was diagnosed with probable lupus this past spring.

Please insert more cursing here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Coal tar makes me cuss

Yellow #5 is in the pickles which seemed to make my kid act nutty today.

Yellow #5 (among other dyes) is made from coal tar.

So what exactly is coal tar?

Let's ask Wikipedia:

Coal tar is a brown or black liquid of extremely high viscosity, which smells of naphthalene and aromatic hydrocarbons. Coal tar is among the by-products when coal is carbonized to make coke or gasified to make coal gas. Coal tars are complex and variable mixtures of phenols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and heterocyclic compounds, about 200 substances in all. 


Yellow #5 (tartrazine) - Hyperactivity, cancer, and asthma, oh my

From Wikipedia:

Tartrazine appears to cause the most allergic and intolerance reactions of all the azo dyes, particularly among asthmatics and those with an aspirin intolerance. Symptoms from tartrazine sensitivity can occur by either ingestion or cutaneous exposure to a substance containing tartrazine. 

A variety of immunologic responses have been attributed to tartrazine ingestion, including anxiety, migraines, clinical depression, blurred vision, itching, general weakness, heatwaves, feeling of suffocation, purple skin patches, and sleep disturbance.

Certain people who are exposed to the dye experience symptoms of tartrazine sensitivity even at extremely small doses, some for periods up to 72 hours after exposure. In children, asthma attacks and hives have been claimed, as well as supposed links to thyroid tumors, chromosomal damage, and hyperactivity.

The use of tartrazine was banned in Norway , and was also banned in Austria  and Germany until the ban was overturned by a European Union directive. The United Kingdom's Food Standards Agency in April 2008 called for a voluntary phase-out of tartrazine, along with five other colorings, due to a reported link with hyperactivity in children.


Controlled Trial of Oligoantigenic Treatment in the Hyperkinetic Syndrome, Egger J, et al, The Lancet March 9, 1985    MedLine || Full Text
"76 selected overactive children were treated with an oligoantigenic diet. 62 improved, and a normal range of behaviour was achieved in 21 of these. Other symptoms such as headaches, abdominal pain, and fits, also often improved…. Artificial colorants (Yellow No. 5) and preservatives were the commonest provoking substances, but no child was sensitive to these alone." 

Assessment of chemical factors in relation to child hyperactivity. Ward NI, Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (Abingdon); 7 (4). 1997. 333-342.   MedLine || Full Text

"...Only hyperactive children showed a significant reduction in blood serum zinc levels and an increase in urinary zinc output following the consumption of E102 [tartrazine] and E110 [sunset yellow]. . . For the 23 children who consumed a tartrazine beverage there were increased levels of overactivity (n = 18 children), aggressive (n = 16) and/or violent (n = 4) activity, poor speech (n = 2), poor coordination (n = 12), and the development of asthma and/or eczema (n = 8). Most of these were severe or moderate changes. Only one control child showed minor behavioural responses to tartrazine."


I think one of our main culprits, aside from dyes, has been vanillin. Ike loves Nutella and ate it almost every day. Nutella contains vanillin, which is artificial vanilla flavor.

From the Feingold newsletter archives:

While real vanilla extract is made from the vanilla bean and is a mixture of several hundred different compounds in addition to vanillin, the artificial flavoring is methyl vanillin or ethyl vanillin. It is made from Guaiacol, which is an aromatic chemical made from wood creosote (present in smoke from burning wood), from petroleum, or from lignin-containing waste products of the paper pulp industry. Thus, the artificial flavoring has a much higher percentage of a single chemical compound, as well as unknown contaminants resulting from its source.
Whether the reactions seen by our members to the artificial vanillin is due to the concentration of a single chemical in the flavoring, to the contaminants, or to something else entirely, is unknown.
Artificial vanillin has also been shown in research to suppress certain liver enzymes (Bamforth 1993), and according to Aoshima, 1997, it inhibits the GABA receptor response, suggesting that it could modulate the neural transmission in the brain.


Walker out of town
Skipped church

breakfast: gluten free Van's waffle & honey
lunch: Rudi's bread, Hormel natural turkey, swiss cheese, French's honey mustard, organic lemonaide
dinner (for Maggie's birthday): Daniel Wong's Healthy Kitchen lemon chicken: fried without the sauce, small amount of lo mein; two dumplings, water

I had left a jar of pickles on the counter to give to my brother and Ike got in them and ate all that was left. They have yellow dye in them - Ike was spazzy and bratty in the morning, he did okay at the Best Christmas Pageant Ever play, better than I thought he would - but toward the end got very loud and hyper and defiant. Damn pickles.

He got hungry at the play. They were selling cookies, but they all had TBHQ in them (a preservative made from crude oil that is banned on the Feingold) so I couldn't buy them. That ticked him off - I have got to get in the habit of always having some Annie's crackers or something in my purse. It is very inconvenient to not be able to buy stuff. 

His language is still increasing tho. More complex syntax - much more. I think I've heard 3 or 4 new vocab words just this weekend.

Frustrated - but now I have removed ALL bad food from the house. I thought I would be able to keep some banned food for Walker and I to eat (like pickles) - but now I know that won't work. It is SO NOT WORTH IT.

I feel like when your baby sleeps through the night one night and then starts waking up again. Psych!!!

So, starting from scratch tomorrow. Again. Hope it won't take too long for the dye to work out of his system.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Bad day.

Very demanding, running circles around the house, hitting the kids (not as bad as before we started, but still) not obeying me, wet his pants. Broke a nativity scene. Had to be sent to his room for hitting Maggie. Saying words like stupid and hate, which he knows aren't allowed. Stealing food.

We were going to go shopping but I won't take him out when he's acting like this.

Pickles? Bread? Crackers?

We made sugar cookies, I left out the almond extract.

Annie's organic Mac & Cheese with ground turkey and grated swiss chesse for dinner.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Pretty good day. He ran errands with Walker and me this morning and played fine with the kids after school. More cool Lego creations. He is talking a lot more, more complex sentences.

I also wondered if this diet would help Maggie, who had some of the symptoms too. Today I noticed that she was just especially happy and cute. Bouncing and happy. I wonder?

Walker was off today before he headed for Austin. And Ike got some banned food.

I haven't gotten rid of everything yet - it is so hard to throw away or give away 'perfectly good' food. 

He had Kroger club crackers for lunch, which are not approved. I think that have BHT in them.

He also took a DanActive strawberry yogurt drink from the fridge. It contains strawberries, which are banned due to the salicylates,  and "natural ingredients" which are code for artificial crap.

He also took some unapproved rye bread from the Kroger bakery. 

I made myself a sandwich and left the pickles on the counter. Pickles are banned in stage one due to vinegar. When I wasn't looking, I heard Ike say, "mm mmm pickles." I ran to him and snatched two off his fork and threw them in the sink which resulted in pitiful crying. But he did eat one.

When I looked on the ingredients, it has
cucumbers - banned for salycylates
vinegar - banned
natural flavors - probably means MSG
polysorbate 80:  an emulsifier, "used in canned pickles to disperse flavoring and artificial coloring." Supposedly a safe but very complex chemical.
And - drumroll: Yellow #5 and Blue #1
We'll see what happens.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Ike got a sticker today for being good at school!! it's a miracle!

He is so much calmer - just chill. We did not go to PALS because he said he was tired. I think they are all tired from the beach still.

After school we went to Beth's for a playdate. She has known Ike since he was a baby. As he played calmly and quietly with trains on the floor, she said several times, "It's weird...he's so quiet." He's a different kid.

I can tell he is just calmer. Laid back. And his teacher said he is talking more in class.

I think it's working!

Swiss cheese on Rudi's bread for dinner with carrots.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Ike had a 'pretty good' day at school - this is a huge improvement from the daily reports I have been getting since September -

He was pretty good at home too. He has begun making cool trucks and trains with his Legos - he has not really done that before. He's very proud of himself.

Maybe it's working...

Homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Walker is out of town.

Ike did 'okay' at school. He had PALS after school and I forgot they give snack; they gave him Chex mix. His teacher also forgot to give him his Cheeetos at school for snack, he ate pretzels.

We started full on yesterday and today - today teacher said he was 'okay' in school, and I had to take him with me to help with Maggie's computer class at school and he did pretty good - way better than last Friday when I went to read to Shep's class and he was a monster. I was feeling so hopeful.

We have had a problem with him kicking the other kids when I get them from school. We talked about it, and he did great - at first. But then I had to go to the dry cleaners and he started kicking them, in the face, the arms. He is strong so it really hurts. This is all from his car seat. He would NOT stop.

Plans to get a Christmas tree ruined - I put him in his room - I was SO mad. He screamed and kicked a hole in his door.

The kid's FOUR.

Sigh. I'm feeling so defeated.

I wanted this magical instant turnaround. I know that's not realistic but I'm just so weary.

One of the moms on the FAUS board pointed out that he may have reacted to the dry cleaning fumes.

They also told me that often as the kids detox, it gets worse before it gets better.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Maggie's symptoms

Behavior Problems


  • Excessive or loud talking, interrupts often


  • Chewing on clothing, other objects (her nails)
  • Scratching, biting & picking at skin


  • Overreaction to touch, pain, sound, lights (she absolutely panics and gets hysterical over certain noises, like a computer blip)
  • Nervousness, panics easily (not always)

Learning Problems


  • Speech difficulties/delays
  •  Eye muscle disorder (one eye is a little lazy)

Health Problems

        People who have symptoms of ADHD that respond well to dietary
        management also frequently have health problems such as:


  • Headaches, migraines
  • Hives, rashes (urticaria)
  • Eczema
  • Congestion


  • Restless / erratic sleep
  • Nightmares, bad dreams

Ike's symptoms

Symptoms listed on the Feingold website that Ike exhibits:

Behavior Problems

  • none - he is not hyperactive.

  • Poor self-control, unpredictable behavior
  • Disruptive behavior / disturbs others
  • Unresponsive to discipline
  • Abusive behavior, unkindness to pets (not pets, SIBLINGS!)
  • Destructive behaviors: throws, breaks things
  • Inappropriate noises
  • Excessive or loud talking, interrupts often

  • Aggression
  • Perseveration/repeating of an activity
  • Touching things or people excessively
  • Chewing on clothing, other objects

  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Demands immediate attention
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings

Learning Problems

  • Impatience
  • Distraction
  • Inability to follow directions

  • Difficulty writing, drawing
  • Speech difficulties/delays

  • Auditory memory deficits (difficulty remembering what is heard)

Health Problems
        People who have symptoms of ADHD that respond well to dietary
        management also frequently have health problems such as:


  • Bedwetting (enuresis)
  • Daytime wetting
  • Headaches, migraines
  • Hives, rashes (urticaria)

  • Restless / erratic sleep

Monday - Day 1

Ike had an okay day at school. No real change. Took Natural Cheetoes for his snack. For lunch he had fruit, Annie's bunnies, and Kashi crackers.

I made the kids beans for dinner (can't figure out how to cook without tomatoes!) but Ike had oatmeal.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Background

Ike is 4.5 years old, youngest of four kids. He is our blondest child, almost red headed. His face gets extremely red very quickly when he plays outside - enough that you'd think something was wrong with him.

Ike was a preemie (34 weeks) but a healthy baby, slept great, walked at 17 months, developmentally delayed just enough for a preemie, with the exception of speech. He has a serious speech delay. he began Early Childhood Intervention at age 2 and at age 3 he tested in the 11th percentile for speech, both articulation and language, and therefore qualified for an intensive speech therapy preschool 4 hours a week called PALS with our school district. He attends Tues and Thus afternoons.

Ike also attends preschool Mon-Thurs from 9-1.

He is immature, seems about six months younger than his age, but has always had a steady progression in development so I have not been concerned other than his language. The only significant thing about him is allergies. None of his siblings have allergies except for his sister who gets excema from dogs and cats.

He was allergic to cows milk as an infant, it made him scream, so I put him on soy formula, but he was constantly snot nosed with occasional rashes.

We evacuated to Temple, Texas for Hurricane Ike when he was about 18 months old, and the snot was gone. His disposition changed too, he was much happier. I realized he was probably constantly feeling like crap too. :( Once we were back in Houston the snot came back. I had him prick tested by an allergist and it showed nothing, but I took him off cows' milk (but not all dairy) and the snot decreased significantly. Until recently anytime he drank cows milk he would get snotty again.

He began preschool at age 2.5 two days a week and did fine that year.

Right around his fourth birthday his teacher began to report serious behavior issues: he would make inappropriate noises, act defiant. He also showed zero interest in potty training. This is also when his face began to get so red when he went outside.

I did not like the way the teacher responded to him so I moved him to a new school with a much more experienced teacher. She potty trained him and he did okay once he realized she was firm. He was at this school about 8 weeks.

That summer he stayed home and while he is strong willed and can be a pill, I have not considered him an exceptionally difficult kid.

We began to think that we had spoiled him, as he is the baby, and both Walker and I made an effort to be much more consistent in our discipline and (me) to not baby him so much. The behavior improved somewhat but he would still have difficult days. At VBS and in Sunday School at church, there were no serious issues.

This past August, he began a new school year and had trouble from the beginning - he did not want to go to school to begin with, and once there, was constantly getting in trouble. He would often freeze and stare when the teachers asked him to do something (he does that to us too.) The school also wanted him to nap for two hours and during that time he would cause trouble. I didn't feel like they were handling the situation well and he was miserable, so we left that school after two weeks, at the beginning of September, and moved to another.

School 3:
At first he loved his new school. The only issues the teacher mentioned were that he did not want to sit on the plastic circle in music class, so she thought he might have a sensory processing disorder and be sensory averse, but I have not seen any other evidence of that at home - if anything, he is a slight sensory seeker.

On October 19 I had his parent teacher conference, and there were no major issues to discuss.

Sometime after this - perhaps Halloween? Things went downhill fast.

Every day I began hearing that he was having trouble at school. He was being increasingly defiant, not obeying his teacher, making inappropriate noises, shouting, and escalated to him hitting other children for no apparent reason.

At home he is defiant - he will just stare when asked to do something or say NO outright.
He is repetitive, demanding his way always.
He must be the center of attention, unless he is alone with just me, in which case he usually acts just fine.
He has become very aggressive to the other children, kicking, scratching, hitting, pulling hair.
He has also broken several of my things, including cutting the antlers off of a brass planter with deer heads on it (which I loved!). Boys are destructive - but he should be and had been growing out of this, but in the past month it has gotten worse. 

He has had trouble at Sunday School too, crying when being left, which is new, and being disobedient to his teachers.

Around the beginning of November he chewed holes in two of his shirts, so badly that I had to throw one away. I fussed at him and he didn't do it again.

Discipline is not working. We've tried it all and seen minimal improvement.The only thing that slightly works is daddy spankings but of course he is not here much of the time.

Over Thanksgiving, he had lots of junk food, including Cheetoes, red Hawaiian punch, and honey buns. The Monday after we returned from Galveston, he was awful.

Light bulb moment: I began to wonder if there were a correlation between the junk food, especially the red dye in the Hawaiian punch, and his behavior.

November 29, he was the worst I have ever seen him. Completely defiant to me in the morning and very hyper. For the first time, I began to realize that maybe this is the way that he had acted at school.

He had a very bad day at school - hit one child with his coat, and then ran and pushed another child over for no apparent reason on the playground. After we picked up the other kids we went to Kinko's to get our Jesse tree book printed. He was bouncing off the walls, climbing on the furniture in Kinkos - he was one of those kids you see in public and think the parents never discipline him.

Later that evening, I found that he had snuck a packet of hot chocolate mix in his room and had mixed it with water that morning before school.  When I spanked him for stealing food (this has been an ongoing problem) he laughed and said, "That tickles."

Once again - lightbulb - artificial ingredients in the hot cocoa --> horrific behavior.

I began researching the Feingold diet and began shopping, gradually eliminating the things in our home that contained banned ingredients while I waited for the packet to arrive.

Friday, December 2: I was supposed to read to Shep's 2nd grade class. Ike was out of control. He ran all up and down the halls, laughing maniacally. When I was reading, he could not sit still - demanded to be in front of the class with me, and did everything he could to get attention. I had to interrupt my reading at least 4 times to deal with him. Absolutely no response to discipline. It was awful.

We started full on Feingold on December 5.