A great big welcome to Lexie's Kitchen & Living. I hope you enjoy the recipes and ramblings. For the story behind this site read here

Follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free diet? Check out my recently released cookbook

 

 

 


 

 

 

Wednesday
Apr022014

Autism & Sensory Processing Disorders

 

If it's not one thing, it's another. I'm not complaining, just sayin'.

A couple of years back, after much prayer and reflection, I realized that all that was put on my plate was for a reason and I began viewing trials from a different perspective—I realized that with each challenge a great and beautiful work was being perfected within me, my son and our family. My heart overflows with gratititude for my son and the joy he brings to my life each day. It overflows for my husband who has stood by my side through it all. It overflows for Little Man's big brother who has been a stellar friend to his bro and his mamma. And it overflows for each person who has supported us along the way.

For those who have followed Little Man's Story, here's a mini update.

Our boy is now six and a half. For six years now we have worked on diet and have spent many dollars on supplements and biomedical treatments. We have seen specialists, gone to physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.

Has it helped?

Most it has. But looking back, finding the right path was not easy.

For disorders such as autism, there still is no clear cut road map or formula for healing. Perhaps that's because as Temple Grandin puts it, "if you've met one autistic, you've met one autistic." No two are the same and their needs can be vastly different.

As a parent I have learned the importance of being in tune with my child and seeking professionals who can help me do that. Have I always excelled at that—maybe not, but I have given it my best effort. If you are just starting out on this journey, I urge you not to be afraid to get help and seek support. Your sanity and your child's future hinges upon in.

Temple's story is profound. Her TED Talk (below) is worth the watch as is the film Temple Grandin—a testament to a mother's love and determination. 

I have always taken the stance of avoiding labels unless the application of them is necessary to obtain therapy and services. Little Man has never been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Is he autistic-like?Perhaps. But the best we've received are fuzzy diagnoses. The one thing we know for sure is that Little Man is bright, inquisitive, and reads at a second grade level! Behaviorally—well that's another story and and it all seems to stem from his sensory processing challenges. 

Here is a great film to check out if you have been told your child is autistic-like, but not autistic. I have just ordered it—this is the trailer:

I was talking with one of Little Man's teachers the other day, telling her how from 1-3 years of age physical therapy was what he needed most. From 3-5 it was speech therapy. Now that he is 6 we are seeing that his most critical need is for occupational therapy. Leaving the quiet and predictable environment of home and entering school has really shed light on the fact that we are dealing with Sensory Processing Disorder. Thankfully his teacher knows that his behavior is not malicious and that it is rooted in his sensory issues. 

Resources

The following resources are ones I wish I had been armed with early on. When you sense something is not right with your child and you visit your child's pediatrician and are left with questions unanswered and very few suggestions for how to proceed, perhaps these will help:

  1. My child is young and something is not right, where do I start? Read this book.
  2. I need to find a doctor who really understands my child's condition.
  3. I want to read about adults with autism and what my child's future could look like.
  4. I want to see Sensory Processing Disorder from a child's perspective.
  5. I need to hear from parents of kids with Sensory Processing Disorder.
  6. Another definition of Sensory Processing Disorder?
  7. My child may be autistic-like but I don't think he's autistic.
  8. The difference between "supporting" your child and "fixing" your child (folks, this is where we are now!!)
  9. I need a good source for omega-3's and a probiotic.
  10. Show me how Occupational Therapy can be simple but so effective!
  11. I need a movie to watch this Friday night.

 

Sunday
Feb162014

DIY Natural House Cleaner Recipes

In the latest issue of Simply Gluten Free Magazine you'll find an article I wrote on greener ways to tackle your Spring Cleaning. In it I share some of my favorite homemade, non-toxic house cleaner recipes and tips from one of my favorite cleaning experts Monica Leonard, founder of Molly's Suds.

The recipe for the lemony Easy Scrub smells good enough to eat—but I would refrain from doing so! My husband discovered that it also makes a fantastic hand scrub for greasy, grimy hands.

I hope you enjoy the article.

Another article I think you might like is one I wrote on how to dye Easter eggs naturally. I had a great time experimenting and doing research for this one. I think I went through four dozen eggs in the process—no joke!

This March/April 2014 issue of Simply Gluten Free is the best issue yet! 

Click here to subscribe or to find a retail location. 

Friday
Feb142014

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Vanilla Pudding 

Happy Valentines Day you sweet people! Today over at Gluten Free Easily you can enter to win a copy of Everyday Classics and get my recipe for Vanilla Pudding. While you are there, check out all the great recipes being shared in GFE's the annual Suite of Sweet for Sweethearts event! Lots of cookbooks being given away, too. xoLexie

 

Friday
Jan312014

Snow Day & A Little TCBY

The snow came down last night. Beautiful, glorious snow!

Little man's school was cancelled so weeeee, out the door we went for a little treat—compliments of TCBY®.

My love for frozen yogurt dates back to the 80's when Grandpop would take me out for yogurt on hot, humid Kailua nights. I would carefully pick my flavor and combo of toppings—something along the lines of walnuts, marshmallows and chocolate chips. Pure heaven.

This sweet memory of times with grandpa is one I've always wanted to recreate for my own kids, but it's not been easy. For those of us with dairy-free kids, it's hard to find an ice cream or frozen yogurt shop that caters to our kind.

Well, thirty years later the memories come swirling back as I fill my cup with non-dairy, vegan, soft serve frozen yogurt at our local TCBY (aka The Country's Best Yogurt). 

TCBY and Silk® have teamed up to offer a dairy-free, vegan, vanilla almond frozen yogurt in shops across the country and today Little Man and I sampled it.

The new Silk Vanilla was pretty good. Quite sweet for my taste, but then I really don't do much sugar anymore. The little dude inhaled his—complete with gummy bears and gummy worms. I stuck with the boba—a dignified topping don't you think?

I really dig the whole self-serve set up at TCBY. You walk right up, grab a cup, fill it with any of the 8-10 flavors of the day (one of which is always dairy-free and vegan), proceed to the topping bar (there are a few gluten-free and dairy-free options—just ask), then the scale to weigh your treat and pay up.

I highly recommend TCBY simply for the fact that once in a while we need a little treat AND that we feel like a typical family when we go to TCBY—a typical family on a Friday night enjoying tasty frozen yumminess.

Wednesday
Jan222014

Gluten-Free Beef Stew Recipe

Hello dear friends. This is a recipe one I posted a couple years back. What I love about DIY seasoning mixes like this one is that you know what goes into them. So many of the store bought seasoning packets are laced with wheat, uneccessary fillers, and preservatives with names I cannot even pronounce. With this recipe, there is a little measuring to do up front, but you've also made enough seasoning for four batches of stew!

Get the recipe here or better yet, pick up a copy of Everyday Classics. You'll find the recipe and so many more basic gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free and corn-free recipes like this one you don't want to be without!

Gluten-Free Stew Seasoning

Ingredients:

1 cup superfine brown rice flour
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons granulated onion
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon celery seed
2 teaspoons dried oregano flakes
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 teaspoon dried dill

Directions:

  1. Measure ingredients for Stew Seasoning into a large jar. 
  2. Cover and shake to combine. Seasoning keeps for up to 6 months.
  3. This recipe makes enough Stew Seasoning for approximately 4 batches of stew.

Beef Stew

Ingredients:

2 pounds 1-inch cubed beef or bison stew meat
6 tablespoons Stew Seasoning (see recipe above)
2 tablespoons high heat cooking oil
5 cups water, divided
6 cups cubed potatoes
2 cups chopped or baby carrots
2 cups chopped celery
3 cups beef broth

Directions:
  1. In a large bowl toss stew meat with 6 tablespoons Stew Seasoning. 
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet and brown half the meat on all sides. Transfer browned meat to slow cooker pot. Repeat with remaining meat.
  3. Deglaze skillet with 1 cup water, scraping up any crispy bits. Add this liquid to the slow cooker pot along with the potatoes, carrots, celery, broth and remaining 4 cups water. 
  4. Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours or on low 6-8 hours, or until meat is tender.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.