Nutrition

This section is going to be much more detailed than many of you need. However, I am writing it with the mother of a Gtube-fed, recovering child in mind. Abbie was on a commercial liquid formula for a year after her accident; partially because I was too overwhelmed for much of that time to properly research preparing food for her, and partially because I was just plain intimidated at the thought of taking complete responsibility for her nutrition. I regret delaying the switch to a homemade blenderized diet for so long, because the change produced immediate, noticeable improvements in Abbie.

October 2007:

I decided that instead of replacing this whole page, I would leave Abbie’s prior diet below for two reasons: it is a high-quality diet and a good option for people who do not want to use raw milk, or do not have access to it; and I also wanted to record the journey that this has been. My knowledge about this subject is constantly evolving, and Abbie’s diet changes to match what I think is best given new information I receive. On that topic – each person’s needs are different, and there have been many times I have been overwhelmed by the number of possible additions or changes to her diet. The only reliable way I’ve found to get to the “right” answer is through prayer. I seek guidance and it always comes. So, this is just Abbie’s diet…perhaps a starting point for your child or yourself, but only that.

As has probably become apparent if you‘ve read much of Abbie’s site, one of our primary goals to raise her voltage. We had been using the blenderized diet, FrequenSea and the Biomodulator for a year when Dr. Tennant came to Honolulu in August 2006. Knowing that normal body voltage is around -22mv I was hoping that we’d made a good bit of progress from the -2mv she’d been at when we instituted all the changes. He checked her voltage to find that she was running at the same measly -2mv. I was stunned, disappointed and confused. I asked about the gains we had seen and Dr. Tennant told me it was mostly like sheer will on Abbie’s part (fitting, but still disappointing.)

Seeing my puzzled look he explained that if you are putting voltage into the body, as we were, there are really only three reasons why the body would still be at such a low level. First is lots of metal dental work and/or root canals which leak enormous amounts of voltage out of the body. This wasn’t an issue with Abbie. Second is the presence of heavy metals. This also wasn’t an issue. The last reason was the bullseye for us. The body stores voltage in the cell membrane, which is made up of fat. Without enough good fat, the body cannot store voltage so what we were putting in was running right out through her toes.

Now I was getting depressed because I had tried to give Abbie eggs and generous portions of oils, but she became nauseated. When Dr. Tennant suggested that the solution to this issue of low voltage was to switch Abbie to a diet of raw milk and organic eggs I had visions of the vomiting episode in the movie “Stand By Me”, and worried that would be my daily life.

Abbie could not digest the fats because her liver, running on only -2mV wasn’t working well enough to produce the bile she needed to break the fats down. So, we just supplemented that for her. I asked about how gradually I should introduce the milk/egg mix and was told, “If she gets the digestive enzymes, betaine, and ox bile, you can switch her all at once.” Hmmmm, again, movie images flickered in my mind and my stomach grew queasy.

But, Dr. Tennant was right. In September 2006 we switched Abbie to a diet that consisted solely of raw milk, organic egg yolks and supplements. Each morning I would blend the milk, eggs and supplements and separate them into four baby bottles. I would also make up our “digestive bottle.” Into eight ounces of water I would mix: 3 capsules of “Super Digestaway” a digestive enzyme mix I found at the healthfood store, 3 capsules of Betaine from the healthfood store, and 3 capsules of Ox Bile, which I had to order from Dr. Tennant’s clinic (972-580-1156). She would then get two ounces of this mix with each meal.

At each feeding we would give 60cc of the milk mix and then flush the tube so that the enzymes didn’t mix with the milk and produce clumps. After about 5 minutes I would give her 60cc of the enzymes and flush the tube. Then I would continue giving the milk until it was gone, followed by 7 ounces of water.

We took Abbie to Dr. Tennant’s clinic in Dallas in January 2007. As we were leaving after two weeks there he said, “It will be interesting to see what will happen in 8 weeks, because that is when the liver will have all new cells.”

 

Sure enough, eight weeks later Abbie got “sick” (I think it was actually a healing spike) and couldn’t tolerate her normal feedings so I put her on clear liquids for a few days. Once she recovered, she only needed half of the digestive support, and within a few weeks didn’t require any. At the same time, in Tennessee, our little friend Jordan, also a near-drowning survivor, who also was in Dallas in January, stopped needing his digestive support. To me this was concrete evidence that their livers healed and function resumed.

Recently I’ve heard from several moms who have their children on similar diet that their kids had more energy when they added some more carbohydrates. Hearing so many consistent comments made me curious. I added some oats and fruit back into her diet, and it has been a positive thing.

There have been many tweaks in Abbie’s diet, but as of today, here it is:

26 ounces raw milk
2 organic egg yolks
4 T. oats or quinoa
4T pureed fruit
1 T. BodyBioBalance Oil (www.time4health.com)
1T. Coconut Oil
1 T. PhosChol (www.phoschol.com)
1 t. organic gelatin
1/2 t. Redmond Salt
2 g Vitamin C powder
2 ounces FrequenSea (www.planktonblooms.com)
2 Probiotic capsules that contain lactobacillus Sporogenes
1 _ liquid organic silica (Tennant Institute, 972-580-1156)
2 ml Liquid CoQ10
I will most likely be adding fish or krill oil back in soon.

The “Whys”

Raw milk: it is a complete food, it has the unprocessed good fats Abbie needs, it is a good source of calories. It IS safe!! www.organicpastures.com

Eggs: Another complete food (meaning it has all things necessary for life in the proper balance). Contain arachodonic acid. Good source of calories and fat

BodyBioBalance oil: Has Omega 6s and Omega 3s in a 4:1 ratio, which is what the body needs. If you imagine 6s as windows and 3s as doors, you want 4 times as many window as doors in your “house”(cell). The book Cells, Gels, and the Engines of Life expounds on this subject.

Coconut oil: Good source of fat and calories, and has anti-fungal properties. For more information about coconut oil, see Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions.

Organic gelatin: to aid digestion, an additional source of protein. Great to have on hand when she needs to be on clear liquids.

Redmond Salt: It is a good, unprocessed salt. Not all sea salts are unprocessed, so check this before you buy. Redmond salt, from Utah has high levels of rubidium in it. Globally, clusters of low cancer rates are found in areas with high concentrations of rubidium in the salt. Unrefined salt is also important to have on board to assist with the detox process when iodine supplementation is begun (see “Type 2 Hypothyroidism” for more info on this aspect)

Vitamin C: Humans cannot produce Vitamin C on their own, so it is critical to include it in the diet. It is important for healing and staying healthy. To determine dosage, increase dosage daily until you find “bowel tolerance” (diarrhea is produced), then back down a little. I used to a say “increase and decrease by a teaspoon” but we now use a powder that is so concentrated that I go up and down by _ teaspoon. Vitamin C is another supplement that makes the detox process more tolerable when iodine is added to the diet.

FrequenSea: This is the third, and final, complete food that we have been able to find. It contains marine phytoplankton, which are microscopic plants. The unique thing about FrequenSea is that because of the size of the plankton they are able to get past a sick liver and begin supporting the body. This is Abbie’s main vitamin supplement, since it has everything in the proper balance and in a bio-available form.

Probiotics: Critical to winning the war against fungus and to maintaining a healthy gut, where the bulk of the body’s neurochemicals are made. Lactobaccilus Sporogenes in a key ingredient because of its interaction with organic silica (see below)

Organic Silica: I added silica to Abbie’s diet over a year ago because it has an incredibly high pH, so it helps to raise her voltage. But, recently I read a book called Biological Transmutations, by L. Kervran that impressed me even further about the power of silica. Kervran shows through careful documentation that in the presence of certain microorganisms, such as lactobacillus sporogenes, silica can transmutate into other elements (something that chemistry says cannot happen). So, if Abbie’s body is low on calcium, the silica will transmutate into that. This is key since Kervran also explains that the body does not assimilate calcium that is given directly. It also contributes to the health and elasticity of connective tissues and skin. Klaus Kauffman has written some informative books on Silica.

CoQ10: This provides energy to cells. I use a concentrated liquid form, but be careful when you order…the first liquid I got was flavored and sweetened Splenda. With a g-tube, we are not concerned with flavor, so I searched for an unsweetened one.

Abbie is also getting some supplements given separately from her diet. The number has increased markedly lately as new information is flooding in, so I will do a “Supplements” page to explain what she is getting and why.

2005:

The research I did for Abbie easily applies to the rest of my family, I just skip the VitaMix step for them. By far the best resource I found is a “cookbook” titled Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon, PhD. I put cookbook in quotations because the book is far more than that. It provides research, articles, and much information I’d never seen nor heard about before.

 

Water is vital to all of us. I already knew that, but what I didn’t know was how important the kind of water is. I assumed bottled water was good. Not really. The water needs to be alkaline, meaning that is has energy to give. Some bottled water is neutral, but most is acidic, meaning that it will steal energy from us when we drink it. Tap water is always acidic, partially from the things like chlorine and fluoride often found in tap water. Dr. Tennant recommended a Pi-Mag gravity flow water filter from Nikken. They are available at www.senergymedicalgroup.com, from independent Nikken dealers, or often are listed on Ebay. Easy to use, and a limitless supply of alkaline water.

Some new things I’ve learned include how important raw milk and butter are to our diet. Unfortunately these products are illegal to sell in Hawaii. I find it interesting that the state regulates the open sale of tobacco and alcohol, yet restricts access to raw dairy products for public safety reasons…but, I digress..if you live in a state where these are available, I encourage you to do the research on them, and add them to your diet. Pasteurizing, or cooking, milk destroys all the enzymes that could contribute to your health…making milk a dead food. Then, homogenization adds to the insult. As the milk is shot through a small spigot at high pressure to standardize the consistency all the long chain fats in the milk are broken, making them toxic shards. Dr. Tennant likened this to trying to build a window out of pieces of shattered glass. That’s what your body is doing when it uses these fat fragments to build cell membranes.

After learning all this about milk, I was feeling pretty smart about using soy milk as an alternative when Abbie was a toddler. I was then shocked to learn how detrimental all soy is to our health, with the exception of fermented soy like miso. Once I learned about what soy does to the body, particularly thyroid function, hormonal balances, and mineral absorption, I was dismayed and wondered how we ended up with soy of some sort in almost every product on the shelf. Again, I encourage you to do your own research on this. Information is available in Sally Fallon’s book.

Dr. Tennant talked at length about “plastic fats.” When oils are cooked at high temperatures to prevent spoilage (aka “partially hydrogenated”) they transform into a substance that is one carbon atom away from plastic. And, this is the important raw material you give your body to build new cell membranes. In other words, if you eat a lot of processed food and use partially hydrogenated oils to cook, you are building plastic cells. This makes it hard for nutrition to get into the cells, and prevents the cells from functioning optimally. Even canola oil is bad – it was developed and used as a ball-bearing lubricant, not intended for human consumption. The two oils we should use are extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin coconut oil. Raw butter is also another source of good fat. We need to consume about 20% of our body weight in good fat over the course of eight months to allow our body to build good new cells. That’s a lot of fat in this low-fat obsessed country. But, as Dr. Tennant said, “Eating fat doesn’t make you fat…eating plastic fats does.”

Another item to absolutely avoid is artificial sweetener. Aspartame is a known neurotoxin which has been linked to seizures in some people, and is suspected of being linked to MS in others. Splenda is chlorinated sugar..basically a pesticide. There is no reason to ever put these things in a human body. There was a study done (I’m sorry I don’t have the author’s name) that compared people drinking diet soda with those drinking regular. The ones drinking diet actually gained more weight. So, if you are consuming artificially sweetened sodas in an effort to manage your weight…drink regular soda and avoid the poisons. Monosodium Glutamate is another very potent neurotoxin that is in almost everything you buy that is processed. Manufacturers have won the right to include it in products and simply label it as “natural flavoring” or “spices”. Just another reason to be very suspect of processed foods.

I also learned more about microwave ovens, and now never use mine. The frequencies emitted by a microwave are harmful to us, and it destroys the food it heats – the fats in the food are actually changed, becoming toxic to the human body. I bought a good toaster oven and a new teapot, and these have replaced the tasks for which I used a microwave. I also tossed out all my non-stick cookware, since as it wears it flakes off the toxic coating. I avoided all aluminum cookware, which includes the Calphalon I loved, and chose a set of stainless steel. My husband was leery, and dreaded scrubbing non-stick pots. I assured him by reminding him that: number one, we have teenagers to do the pot-scrubbing, and number two, I didn’t think it would be that bad. He actually now admits that he enjoys cooking with the new set.

What it all boiled down to is that Abbie, and all of us, actually, need an organic, whole foods diet. So, this is now, more or less, Abbie’s menu each day:

2 T. steel cut oats
2 organic eggs
3 oz veggie mix (beets, beet greens, carrots, broccoli, kale, squash, yams)
Fresh apple slices
Frozen blueberries
Fresh avocado slices
Fresh apple-banana slices
Fresh papaya slices
2 oz free range chicken
Chicken stock
2 T nut butter (I normally use almond for the Vitamin E content)
1 T poi (probably not available anywhere but Hawaii)

I blend all this together, with her supplements (described below), along with alkaline water and give it to her in five 240 ml feedings throughout the day. Abbie then gets a 500ml drip of alkaline water and magnesium during the night to ensure good hydration.

Supplements

Glyconutrients: Several people told us about glyconutrients right after Abbie’s accident, but we were in such information overload that we were unable to really understand what they were all about until one of Ray’s physicians sent home a videotape with him six months after the accident. Glyconutrients are critical for cell to cell communications. If you are deficient in these vital sugars your cells can misunderstand each other. It would be like me writing “EAT” and you seeing “FAT”, because you couldn’t see the bottom line of the “E”. This made sense to me, but what really caught my attention was when the physician lecturing on the videotape talked about research that showed glyconutrient supplementation encourages the body to produce a much higher level of stem cells. I knew Abbie’s recovery depended on huge amounts of stem cells being produced, so we started her on glyconutrients soon after.

The ones we use are produced by a company called Mannatech. They have a special program for medically-fragile kids called “MannaRelief”. After we started Abbie on the glyconutrients we saw an improvement in her processing speed. But, they didn’t produce large changes other than that. Abbie currently takes 1 T. Ambrotose, 1t. PhytAloe and 3 Sport capsules each day. I do think they are helping, but I also think they have the most impact in people for whom a defect in the body’s usage of glyonutrients is the major factor in their condition – such as in the case of Cystic Fibrosis. www.glycoscience.org has a lot of research available about the usage of glyconutrients. Mannatech is a multi-level marketing company, and the person who helped us get enrolled in MannaRelief, as well as purchase glyconutrients for our other kids, is a Registered Nurse named Ingrid Jones. If you are interested in glyconutrients you may contact Ingrid at ingridrn3@earthlink.net.

PhosChol: This product is pure phosphatidylcholine. Dr. Tennant recommended that we start Abbie on this for a couple of reasons. First, we hoped it would help clean up her liver enough to be able to digest eggs again (it has), and second, choline is a critical chemical for brain function. I buy the liquid form of this online at www.PhosChol.com, and give Abbie 2t per day.

Body BioBalance Oil: This is an oil that has Omega 6 and Omega 3 in a 4:1 ratio. If you walk into a health food store looking for this ratio, the proprietor will look at you like you are nuts. There is so much emphasis on Omega 3s, such as flax seed, without a clear understanding of cell physiology. Omega 3 oils are more fluid, while Omega 6 oils are more rigid. Dr. Tennant likens them to windows (Omega 3) and bricks (Omega 6) in building the “house” of a cell membrane. You don’t want all bricks, because then nothing can get in or out. But, you also don’t want all windows because then your house is very fragile. Cell membranes are composed of Omega 6 and Omega 3 in a 4:1 ratio, so we are just trying to give Abbie’s body exactly what it needs. I buy this online at www.time4health.com

Vitamin C: The good old standby, right? But, oh, so critical. Humans are one of a very small group of species that cannot produce our own Vitamin C, so it is vital that we take it in through diet and supplementation. We give Abbie 2 grams of a buffered product with a high pH. Dr. Tennant recommended working up to bowel tolerance (i.e. keep adding a teaspoon a day until you get diarrhea, and then go down 1t from there), and also warned us not to use Calcium Ascorbate because it can overload the body with calcium.

Evening Primrose Oil: This is one of a small group of sources for long chain fatty acids Abbie needs. We use Barlean’s brand, and give her four gel caps per day.

Cod Liver Oil: Another old standby, but quality is critical and worth paying for. Unless the oil is “molecularly distilled” you can be sure there are toxins in it. We use Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega oil and give about 1t per day. This provides much-needed EPA and DHA.

Lactobacillus: We give this to Abbie to ensure she has plenty of good bacteria in her gut to aid in digestion. One capsule per day.

Magnesium: This is a critical mineral that we just started adding to Abbie’s diet. The body uses Calcium as the “on” switch for muscles and Magnesium as the “off” switch. As Abbie has been attempting to overcome her high muscle tone she has become magnesium deficient, leading to higher muscle tone since she doesn’t have an effective “off” switch. We have seen notable improvements in her tone since we began giving her between 300 and 600mg of Mag Citrate in her overnight drip. The amount varies based on how her bowel movements look, since magnesium is a laxative. In the research I have done I have come across multiple studies showing that about 2% of the general population is magnesium deficient, but for people who have been ICU patients that percentage soars to 60%. I think this may be a case of forgetting to look at the horses, assuming the problem is caused by a zebra – something so simple can alleviate many symptoms.

Preparing a blenderized diet

I’ve tinkered around a lot and come up with a method that works well for me. I have friends who do it a little differently, but the main thing is that it is easy once you get a system figured out. And, once I realized just what was in the commercial formula I was feeding Abbie, I realized that I really couldn’t make anything more horrible than that!

There are plenty of calorie counting sites online, easily found through Google. I used these quite a bit to calculate the calories in each feeding when first starting out. But, then two things happened: I pretty much memorized the calories in the foods I use, and, more importantly, I realized that Abbie is getting the bulk of her calories from oils, eggs, and nut butters. The other foods are in there to contribute vitamins, enzymes and all the other special properties of whole food, but I don’t have to obsess so much about the calorie count from the vegetable mix or fruit.

Because Abbie was a completely normal child before her accident, and had eaten all the things normal kids do (both good and bad, unfortunately), I knew that she didn’t have any food allergies, sensitivities or gastrointestinal issues that I had to work around. If you are dealing with any of these concerns I encourage you to work with a GI physician and a dietician to figure out what will work safely.

Veggie mix:

I begin by baking 3 small beets and 1 acorn squash at a low temp (275) until soft (a couple hours usually)

As those are nearing completion I begin boiling 3 yams in a large stockpot and place a steamer basket over it. Into the basket I place 1 cup of baby carrots, 1 cup broccoli and about 1 cup kale. I then cooked the freshly washed beet greens in a pan on low heat – no need to add liquid besides that left on the leaves from rinsing, just heat until tender.

When all the veggies are cooked I measure 1 or 1.5 cups of each and put them into the Vitamix. I then add liquid to the 8 cup mark and blend. I put the blended mix into plastic ice cube trays and freeze them. Each cube is one ounce, so it is easy to be sure what I am giving her each day. Usually I make veggie mix every two weeks.

Chicken and Stock:

Long-simmered stock contains important minerals and helpful gelatin. I just plop a whole free-range chicken and some sea salt in my stock pot, bring to boil, skim off the scum, reduce heat and wait, and wait, and wait. I cook the bones for about 2 days. When it is done I put the shredded chicken into the Vitamix and add enough stock to blend it to a liquid consistency. I then pour it into the ice cube trays and freeze. Abbie gets two ounces (two cubes) per day. I save the leftover stock for use in Abbie’s daily feedings.

Steel-cut oats

I buy these in bulk at the health food store for about $1 per pound. Boil 4 cups filtered water, add one cup oats, bring to boil, and the reduce heat and cook for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will last for a week’s worth of feedings, including sharing with hungry brothers.

Each morning I say “hello” to my Vitamix and put in 3 veggie cubes, 1-2 meat cubes, 1-2 eggs, oats, fruit, supplements, stock if I have some, and then fill it to the 1000ml line with Pi-Mag water. After it’s blended I divide it into five baby bottles and add 15ml of FrequenSea to each bottle. I purposefully leave the bottles a little short of the 240ml we need for each feeding. When we were trying to make the exact 1200ml in the Vitamix we found that sometimes we added too much fluid and couldn’t use it all – I didn’t want to waste the supplements we’d already added. And, I add some Pi-Mag water just before we feed it to Abbie so that there’s some magnetic charge in the water (it holds a charge for about 1 hour.)

If you have any questions about what we feed Abbie, why or how we do it, please feel free to email me.