When food changes lives. 

She reminds me of myself, nearly twenty years ago.  A young woman of twenty- with all the tremendous potential of youth, trapped in a body stricken by an undiagnosable, but clearly life destroying illness.   Her specific symptoms are a little different than mine, but formed from the same mold:  Acute inflammation (xxx-itis) treated with massive doses of IV antibiotics, followed by a long slow debilitating deterioration of health.   

Here is some information I gathered for her about ways to use diet to help heal her health.  I’ve met a lot of people who ask me about my gluten free diet and my story of healing from decade of sicknesses.  I’m not a doctor and I’m not recommending anything beyond educating yourself.  Diet changes can sometimes be fairly easy and cheap solutions for chronic illness, but often they are last thing we think about or try.  But for those of us who have gotten sick enough to try it, lots of us find we feel much better- surprisingly quickly.  

Here I have gathered some resources I used to answer this young woman’s questions.  I put them here, in case they might help someone else. 

My personal diet is to avoid gluten 100%.  And that works for me.  After ten years of debilitating, undiagnosable illness, Igor better after about two weeks gluten free.  Even my dentist saw huge improvement in my gums.  When I first started, I used digestive enzymes and probiotics for many years. Now, I use probiotics and enzymes occasionally, if I accidentally eat gluten or just feel off. 

Here is a description of gluten free diet from mayo clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gluten-free-diet/art-20048530
many people I know are better from just that one change.  
I have other friends who use or have used other more stringent diet protocols. These are never about counting calories- rather they are more like a fast– eating certain foods and avoiding others- but the foods chosen are intended to reduce damage and heal the gut.  
This article describes a few of the most widely used of these diets. http://wellnessmama.com/23461/leaky-gut-diet/
I thought this might give you a place to start as you think about your own treatment. The diets wellness mama describes are all gluten free AND free of certain other things too. 

I have often heard the recommendation to try just gluten free- and then upgrade to one of the other diets if that doesn’t help enough.  
But, I have also heard the other recommendation- try one of the gut healing plans and then see what foods you can add back in.  
The point here is that you have options.  I hope you feel empowered by the idea that very likely you will be able to find a way to eat that brings your sensitive gut back to health.   
I’m pretty sure God didn’t preserve you from the serious illness that took so many antibiotics to heal, just so that you would be trapped by gut illness. And I’m pretty sure you will find your path much quicker than I did.  
You are in my prayers! 

Megan Brightwell 


  Totally inspired by our new swing play set, (#BestGiftEver #ThankyouGrandma&Grandpa,) I’m writing this post while the baby girl is blissfully occupied in her brand-new, hammock-chair swing- designed by mommy!    

   Look!  She just fell asleep in it.    I like how it is positioning her while she sleeps; her face is resting on the side of the swing, the swing is not collapsing around her nose.  There is a potential “death trap” factor in baby swings, beds, and really all baby holding devices. For swingy things, safety lies somewhere between death by shaking- too little head support and death by suffocation- too much nose-smooshing head support. All that Spiced up by the possibility of death by falling.    

If swinging were not so very good for baby brain development, for parent arm resting- and great fun too- one might just abort the whole dangerous mission.  But swinging is so wonderful it is magical. It’s worth a bit of “don’t-be-dumb” parenting to enjoy the brain enhancing pleasure of the blissful ride.  

Until it is no longer blissful.    

    Now that she has woken up, I can report that the first test ride included baby Hoodini’s best attempt to escape her snuggly nest.  Abigail-dini, who routinely escapes the buckle straps on her safety tested infant bouncer, was foiled in her attempt to create a death-by-falling spectacle in this swing.  The escape hatch was too far above her center of gravity and she could not gain any traction on the cloth enclosure.  Her internal alarm system went off alerting the attending parent to the infuriating situation.  While she managed to escape the confines of the trap- she failed to throw herself to the ground!  

So I’m feeling pretty darn proud of my simple to make, hard to escape, pretty to look at, made from stash, baby swingy thingy!  

 I’m considering posting instructions for the swing, but there are serious “don’t be dumb” safety issues in use and construction of a swing.  I don’t want to endanger any-baby.  Comments appreciated