Light Shines Through

Autism has made life complicated. Autism has redirected our life journey and, well if I’m honest, Autism obliterated my heart, my faith, hope, and all I thought to be true of God, of medicine, of our world. Autism is hard, crushing and dark, but within that, there are moments of light. There are sparks and there are flames and then sometimes, just sometimes there is a break thru that puts a piece of my heart, my soul back together; a light so bright that I feel joy and hope and beauty, real beauty that can only stem from God’s goodness….God’s love and goodness displayed because of others’ passion to work with our son and our family.

When our Logan was diagnosed with autism, well, PDD-NOS (now, a “spectrum kid”), we were told to “lock Logan in his room. Tie up his furniture…he is a danger to himself and to others….if you can train a dog with a squirt gun, you can train your son the same….go on dates with your husband, you will most likely get divorced….don’t speak of your son with your spouse on these dates….your son doesn’t feel like us…he won’t love and doesn’t know love…start saving for a place for him…..” All this from the “best” child psychologist in Jacksonville.


We started this journey surrounded in darkness, but light has found its way through. Brightness first worked its way into our dark and fear-filled hearts with Dr. Kartzinel and Dr. Buckley and their functional medicine practice and holistic approach helping to restore Logan’s health, body and mind with an appropriate diet and nutritional supplementation….a piece of hope restored.

A piece of my heart repaired as our son was embraced and fully accepted by the Jewish Community Alliance for preschool: our non-verbal, autistic boy using sign language joyfully included amongst typical peers! His therapists (Merrill, Amanda, Kim, Matt, Allison, Lisa, Susan) became our family, our friends, our support, our healers for our Logan and our hearts, and aided our family as it grew…pieces my heart restored, hope renewed.


Dearest friends of mine from church showed me I was not alone over and over and over again through kind words, prayer, time, acceptance, and love in action…. a bit of faith restored. School teachers at the Keystone Academy ignited hope in me that our son was smart and very capable when taught in a way he could learn. Then came Dr. O and her breakthrough in finding some hidden bacteria, viruses, parasites, and Lyme… a piece of my trust in medicine, healed.

More recent, Fun family opportunities provided to us by Dreams Come True has humbled my healing heart as we have been showered in gifts from anonymous people in our community rebuilding my faith in a compassionate world.

And now,  North Florida School of Special Education… truly the teachers and staff at this school are completing the restoration project…. Of our son, of me.

God has used some incredible people to shine light into our darkness over the past 10 years.


Pieces of the “Puzzle”… hmmm…perhaps that autism puzzle is not just an image of autism within our son, but also of putting back together the pieces of my heart, mind, faith, ideals, hope… that have been thrown all to hell since our diagnosis in 2007. And as I sit here through the tears, I can see that happening. It is all so very slow, and honestly, painful, as the pieces of this puzzle, my puzzle, must have gotten extremely bent and warped over the years; God working through others is somehow putting back the pieces of my heart, my faith, hope and trust. And, at least in this moment, it feels promising.


I have had a couple incredible experiences in the last three days that have brought all this thought, emotion, and images in my mind to cause a flood of words onto the keyboard… and here is a glimpse of one...

I have had the privilege of helping to encourage students with special needs to run with the North Florida School Of Special Education running program, under the leadership of a very enthusiastic and inspiring team coach -Mr. Sontag (the school’s music teacher) and kind, steady, supportive co-coach Amy (the school’s culinary teacher). For weeks, I have trained alongside our son Logan running lap after lap on their small track. Each week I cherished that time with him. It was real. He was alive and present and we were sharing in a passion of mine. I was sharing that passion with him. He was embracing it and growing in relationship with me while running, as well as in athleticism. Some days at practice, things felt just, well, so “typical”; I felt  just so free and light in spirit as we went 10,20,30,40 laps around this track together in preparation for our big race…I felt happy. I felt hopeful. I felt peace… I felt

Race day came last Saturday and I still cannot believe the outcome! Logan, our Logan,- our autistic, anxiety filled, PANDAS inflicted, Lyme Disease infected, OCD burdened, 12 year old son ran the ENTIRE 15K Gate River Run! The whole thing! Ran it! 9.3 miles! And he did it with a quickness, and lightness, and a smile on his face the entire time! I seriously wept as I crossed the finish line behind him, running at my own top pace. His goal was to run 6 miles of the long run (which I thought was pushing it), but he ran it ALL! He passed his goal for himself and mine. He asked to keep running. He wanted to keep pushing forward, and I got to experience that with him. I just cannot express how amazing this experience was. Never did I think I would share this running experience, this passion with him. I used to share my love of running with others’ sons when I coached cross country and track in my pre-mom life…. And now I was training with my own son! And he is amazingly, a natural runner. Talk about hope restored!  


My heart, my soul, my mind, my little world is being slowly renewed and repaired, because of others…because of God’s love in action created through the encouraging, passionate, and patient people He has placed on our path: like the teachers and therapists he has at North Florida School of Special Education, like Mr. (coach) Sontag; who create opportunity and hope where there once was none.


Pieces put together.

God shining through darkness.

Me...Finally noticing it...

Finally feeling it.

"...And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1



Twisted By Normal

I sit here in tears, conflicted in emotion, twisted in thought, and feel compelled to write, although I have no specific direction to head with this. I weep, why? Our oldest, autistic son has been staying with his grandparents these past two days…

For two days, we have experienced “normal”. For two days, my mind has been able to complete a thought because I was not interrupted every 30 seconds. For two days, there have been moments of quiet within our home. For two days, we have smiled and laughed more than we have all week. We joined and easily fit into a new church homegroup with other families. We have been free to be. Free to think. Free to play. Our other two boys are calmer. Our other two boys listen to me and respond to me without intense reaction. The giggles, the smiles … precious. Our stress level is low. Our life is relaxed, almost tranquil; but there is an emptiness, attached with that, a painful, twisted reminder…Logan.

Now, that statement in itself makes me feel like a pile of crap. What mom attaches “painful and twisted” to her son? Who does that? Me, an autism mom. Me, a PANDAS mom. Me, a Lyme Disease mom. Me, a Babesia mom. Me, a tired, broken, broke, stressed out, worn out, lonely, sad mom. Me. I do.

I love Logan. He is loved by all of us. But it is a HARD love. It is a sacrificial love. It is an often times life-sucking love. I love Logan.

But I am broken; and soaked with tears, because these past two days have been a dream, a fairy tale version of the Godfrey family, at which I will wake up from at 6:00 PM, Today! And so, here I am in tears. Not wanting this version of us to end, twisted over it, and also missing our boy. Twisted and broken that God allows the pain, the heart ache, the illnesses, the lack of hope, the lack of healing, the stress to continue. I am broken in trust for doctors, I am broken in trust with relationships, including my relationship with God. More often than not jealousy, anger, and bitterness consume me over what others are blessed with and what our God has allowed to be taken from us.

How do I continue to praise my Almighty God. King of Kings. Lord of All. The Almighty Healer … when He doesn’t heal. He doesn’t heal He doesn't heal our son! He doesn't resurrect our family!  But I believe He can! And only He can. He can raise the dead! ... surely he can heal our son if He wants to. It is core of my faith! But He continues to not Heal our son. He permits hardship for our family. Building, growing hardship. I always try to recommit to hope. To trust. I want to. I do, but I am broken and guarded. One can only take so much pain. So much disappointment.

The grass is greener on the other side of Autism.

Typical …. Typical families. Their existence has to be so different then ours. I have nothing to go on except the past 2 days since Logan is our oldest. Atypical is all we know. But this temporary "typical", it was like a fresh breeze on a sunny beach day. Easy. Carefree. And all that is about to change, at 6:00.

I want to embrace Logan. I miss him. His brothers miss him. Michael's thoughts have Logan circling them ... We love Logan.

I am crazy, sitting here, crying, loving what is our temporary existence, missing what is reality, longing for better, trying to settle and be content with what is, fighting for it all to make sense! I have been called many things, some good, some bad… but crazy about somes it up. I am tired. Twisted with emotion. Broken by the twists, the conflicted heart. The heart that longs to find reason to hope. The heart that surrenders and begs for God’s healing. The heart that aches to be content with His plan. The heart that bleeds for normal.

until 6...

I love Logan. I want so much more for him than this life has to offer. So I will continue to hope ...pray ... endure the crazy I have become.


Failed Brownie Mess to Amazing Brownie Dump Cake ... A Quick Save!

With our family friends coming over for dinner, I wanted to do something sweet to finish off our fun night. My thought, petite-bite-sized brownies!  Sounded basic with a little classy upgrade sure to please all ten of us!

Due to the many dinner preparations I was trying to cram into the morning, I chose to cheat a bit by using a gluten-free box brownie mix. This was not my usual "go-to" quick baking brand, as Native Sun was out of it (I usually use Bob's Red Mill) and let's just say I will not go this route again!

After 10 minutes of baking these sure to be cute bundles of chocolate bliss, it was apparent that something had gone terribly wrong. Yes, a big FAIL in the Godfrey kitchen. I contemplated throwing them out, but the ingredients in those now crispy, misshaped-square brick bundles are way too expensive to just toss in the garbage. I considered serving them as is with a loving apology, but I quickly remembered I did that with the corn bread I served them last time they joined us for dinner...

Then the flash of memory ... I remembered seeing that So Delicious Dairy Free had a new Coolwhip-like product that was gluten and dairy free! YES! This mess could be salvaged!


In our previous before Allergies and Autism existence, I used to make a brownie-pudding dump cake for big family dinner parties.  I sadly got rid of my glass trifle about 8 years ago thinking I would never have use for it again. But the day has come when we are fitting in a little more with the food world around us. No longer are we on an island, alone. Products are finally catching up with our needs! How freeing!!! How awesome!!! (How expensive!!!!)

So, I squeezed in a trip to Target to buy a bowl that would work for the now amazing dessert I was planning to create!


So here's how I turned this failed bite-sized brownie mess into a yummy Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free almost all organic brownie dump cake:

Step 1:  Completely screw up baking a batch of gluten-free brownies! (Or better yet, successfully bake a batch of brownies according to the directions on the box rather than trying to kick it up a notch! - or use the Chocolate Cake recipe in The Air Diet cookbook )


Step 2:  Break the baked brownies into small chunks. (Remove any too burnt to eat pieces!)

Step 3:  Place half of the brownies chunks into the bottom of a trifle or trifle-like bowl.


Step 4:  Cover the brownie chunks with a layer of GFCFSF Almond chocolate pudding. (There is probably no doubt a less expensive way to do this, but due to my desperation and lack of time, I used the small individual sized almond puddings by ZEN.)


Step 5:  Then the magical ingredient ... layer the pudding with So Delicious Dairy Free Cocowhipped topping. (Smile because it is at this point at which things go from failed mess to amazing!)


Step 6:  Decorate and enhance the whipped topping with sliced strawberries or raspberries along with some Enjoy Life Allergy Free Chocolate Chips. (You could really layer any fruit or candy you want here to add a little something-something to the dessert.)


Step 7:  Repeat steps 3 - 6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Use a spoon to scoop out the "Brownie Dump Cake" into a shallow bowl. Now, enjoy the delight you just gave your guests with your scrumptious dessert!  (And of course grab a bowlful for yourself!)


Press On & Persevere ...

After dropping the kiddos off at school today, I went out for my run. Typically I do this at 5AM, but my usual 4:45 wake up seemed too extreme for this Body Pumped soreness I am still feeling from Monday's class. So with an extra hour of sleep, breakfast, coffee ... by 8:30 it was go time!

It was a nice change running in the daylight (feel as though I have become a vampire runner these days), and as I approached my desired turn around point I chose not to turn around: I kept going; tired, hot, alone, I chose to keep pressing on this new route. Something inside of me said to keep running, to move forward ... there is more needed, it can be greater.

So what was the greater thing from my run? More calories burned, more sweat, enhanced training effect? I don't know ... perhaps this blog! (heehee) It was a good run though!!

Going passed my set turn back point on this run is such the metaphor for my life. Our life with Autism, PANDAS, food sensitivities, leaky gut, microbial invasion, autoimmune disease, MTHFR.... My husband and I so often define a stopping place of treatment for all this, and yet we consistently go beyond that turn around place. We keep moving our son, our family forward.

Life is hard with autism. Life is unbearable during a PANDAS flare. Life is often isolating and lonely with food allergies. Life is exhausting when one gives all they have financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and still the illness, the autism remains. Yet ... something inside says, "Press on ... Persevere ...Stay the course ... Victory is near".

Our journey with our son Logan has taken many different paths. A lot of times it just feels like a circle, but emotions aside ... it is a spiral. It can get mentally messy going around and around with different supplements, therapies, dietary adjustments, and treatment protocols, and it is that frazzled, exhausted state of being that makes me often want to just stop and turn around, turn away from it all. But I don't, we don't. Just like in my morning run, I press on, tired, exhausted, often alone ... I persevere for something greater. In this case ... for greater healing for our son.

Autism can bring one to very dark places but also bring some amazing triumphs. Those who rise victoriously from a battle, often look like they have been through hell, they've given their all not knowing the final outcome, but pressing on, persevering with hope for victory. Whether a boxer, football player, soldier, track athlete, cancer patient ... mom of an autistic boy ..  it holds true.

"PRESS ON and PERSEVERE" ...isn't that what we are ALL CALLED to do?" I think I am feeling driven today to encourage you "WARRIOR MOMS"  because we've had a rough few weeks battling a PANDAS flare in our home due to strep throat. As we emerge from this battle from the help of some amazing antibiotics, I am just more aware of our patterns of complete chaos followed by victory and hope so that perhaps that you too will find the strength to "PRESS ON and PERSEVERE" even though you may be worn thin. Victory from the battle must be close.

All this reminds me of a moment I shared in "OUR STORY" from THE AIR DIET, :

"There have been times (many) when I have fallen to my knees, face to the floor, in grave devastation pleading with God to change things, to remove the pain in my bleeding heart, to heal our son, and restore some sense of normalcy in our family life. Once, to my surprise, I was brought out of one of these heart-wrenching prayers by a soft voice, Logan's voice, and as he looked at me weeping, he clearly said to me, "Never, never, never, give up." (THE AIR DIET, 2014, p. 183)

So whatever battle you are facing. What ever point you are at on your journey. PRESS ON and PERSEVERE and "Never, never, never, give up." Extend your turn around point and keep going!


And the Winner Is...

When I was young (can't believe I am saying THAT!), I was the student and athlete that had so many awards and trophies, they almost became more of an expectation rather than an unexpected, exciting achievement. At this stage in my life, that is no longer the case! No one is giving me a trophy for keeping the kids alive and the house in order, restocking clean clothes in the closets, trying to figure out autism,  juggling multiple fitness classes, or for assuring the pantry is full and food is on the table! So to receive the Florida Authors and Publishers Association President's Gold Medal Award for The Air Diet came as a HUGE ... UNEXPECTED ... EXHILERATING ... achievement. What an honor it was to be recognized amongst so many talented authors here in Florida for my published Labor of Love!


Thanks to my terrific mother-in-law and father-in-law, I was lucky to have a night away in Orlando with my ever-so-supportive husband, Michael, to celebrate--ME! You moms know that doesn't happen all too I right??? Anyways, what a fun night! The banquet was nicely done: a great balance of professional-fancy-fun! The food was tasty and the wine was free! BONUS!!


I have no idea how being an "Award Winning" author will impact my journey with The Air Diet, but I hope with the newly added "Shiny Gold Sticker", more people will look to The Air Diet for guidance on their healing journey through Autism Spectrum Disorder, Leaky Gut, IgG Food Sensitivities, Lyme Disease, Celiac Disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Inflammation, Fatigue, Weight Issues, and other Autoimmune Diseases that negatively impact the immune system and one's well-being. 

How do I end this self praising blog?????  

Hmmm....GO ME! YEAH! So Awesome! Can't believe it! How Cool! And of course, a Big Thank You to Emily Merrill for her beautiful photography; Kristie Feltner  for her creative graphics & book design, Beth Mansbridgefor her precise editing, and Jane Wood & Frances with Get Book Savvy for their mentoring through this publishing process! So thankful to all you for your talents, your commitment, and expertise!

Good times ... new smiles ... So honored!

A high moment for Me and Jigsaw Living!!


OMeGa Powerballs!

Today I made one of my all time favorite bundles of awesomeness: OMeGa Powerballs. I originally created this recipe in order to have a quick, easy-to-eat breakfast jam-packed with nutrients for my kiddos. However, they very instantly became a love of mine ... I have to watch myself, as when I eat these I seem to have no "off button"! (hence the OMG!)

So what makes these balls so powerful and awesome? Well for starters, it is loaded with tons of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and omegas from the nuts, quinoa, flax, and seeds smashed up in each little ball. To top it off, they are even blessed with Ancient Aztec warrior strength and stamina through the addition of tiny chia seeds.

I try my best to fuel my kids with foods that will balance their physical and mental health, and help them grow. As you "Autism Mommies" know, this is not always an easy task; our children can be quite self limiting in their food selections and very resistant to new foods! Having a little power packed ball that easily fits in their hands and can be devoured in a couple bites ... something to smile about! They don't know every cell in their body will be singing praises as they are flooded with essential, healing nutrients ... but you do!

Go ahead and tell them it is a "cookie ball" (Sure tastes like one!). I always seem to get the best results with my boys when I twist the name into something favorable or sell them on their desired outcome ...  "It will help you become a strong ninja." (Not far from the truth!)

Just another trick for your trade.


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(I revised a recipe from so that it would adhere to my son's allergy profile and be organic and packed with the most nutrients!)

OMeGa Powerballs

What You Need

  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • 2/3 cups toasted organic coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup organic almond butter/cashew butter
  • 1/3 cup organic flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup organic pumpkin seeds (roasted, salted, or raw)
  • 1/2 cup allergy-free enjoy life chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup local honey
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup/organic agave (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

What To Do

  1. Grab a big mixing bowl and a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350'.
  2. Scatter the organic coconut onto the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Try to flip it a bit halfway. (Keep your eye on it as it can quickly become a black, stinky, burnt mess!)
  3. Start filling the mixing bowl with the ingredients. Use a spoon to mix all the ingredients together until evenly blended.
  4. Place bowl into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  5. Use a spoon to lift just enough of the mixture out to make the desired sized OMeGa Powerball. Roll the extracted mix into a ball until no more mixture remains, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  6. These balls are great for a quick breakfast, treat,  or a mid-day boost!

We are Cleansed!

I can't believe our 21 day cleanse is almost complete! Seriously, it has been a rewarding experience; so much so, that I am almost a bit saddened at the thought of ending this journey! Not only do I just feel more energized, emotionally stable, and free of belly discomfort, I feel more connected to my husband as we have tackled this challenge together.

Week one began with great enthusiasm mixed with a hint of apprehension. For the first couple days,  I wasn't feeling like I was starving but was really aware of how many times I wanted to just grab a snack or munch on something I was giving the kids. It was like a thoughtless, automatic impulse to pick up a pinch of food, especially while I was cooking meals for them! I had to keep myself in check.

By day three my digestion was in high gear. I felt a little foggy and a bit tired, and had a sore throat. Could have been from the spin class I taught with a bad microphone, or perhaps I was killing off some yeast with the cleanse, or a mix of the two? At this point I was loving that I was sleeping better. Seriously, I am still enjoying good rest... 19 days later, no night sweats, I sleep through the entire night (Unless a lil'bear wakes me up!), and I wake up feeling alert, refreshed. 

I was excited and proud of myself for starting off this third day with a fresh juice! It seemed like it was going to be a big deal to have to cut up a ton of vegetables, but it actually did not take very long and I was surprisingly satisfied from this juice, like really satisfied and felt whole and centered. I did feel a bit of a crash before lunch and was really thankful that there was still one piece of salmon and spinach salad in the refrigerator. Oh...and that yummy basil and lemon balm pesto fresh from my garden! Deeeeeelishhhhhh!

Grilled Salmon with Basil-Lemon Balm Pesto

I was starting to feel hunger by this day and noticed that during the last three days, the hardest time for me was from 2:00-5:00PM; probably stress induced as I've tackled picking the kids up from school,  transitioned to get everyone settled at home, began making dinner, and refereed all the fights and quarrels that were going on between my intensely passionate boys. I found myself wishing I could shove some chocolate, pretzels, or wine done the hatch! ( to make note of this and remember my triggers!)

And guess what ... emotionally weak ... I did. Two pretzels! Two! I felt so disappointed in myself as I had been doing so good at sticking to the plan. And guess what! Pay belly just blew up. You know the feeling? That hard lower abdominal bloat! FROM TWO PRETZELS. They were gluten free for God's sakes! Seems I have another thing to make note of ... I may be reactive to certain grains even though they are not revealed as problematic on my IgG allergy profile. This is one of the things I really like about doing this cleanse; many irritating foods reveal themselves. (Maybe I need to go grain free?)

So the week went on and that sore throat from day 3 turned into a seriously killer cold! I had a fever, lost my voice, and had terrible congestion. On a positive note ... since I couldn't smell and had no appetite, cleansing was easy breezy at this point! (the silver lining!)

So, week one was a learning-challenging success! The illness did put a damper on my ability to appreciate some of the positive effects of the cleanse, but there still were some really awesome things happening in the Godfrey household! The kids were very aware that Mommy and Daddy were eating a bit differently, and even though they saw all the kale, beets, cilantro, fennel, ginger, and parsley being used in our meals, they were eager to try all of our nutrient packed juices, shakes, and salads! There was much excitement every morning as they heard the juicer and Vitamix kick on (which is a lot of noise to take in at 6AM!) In fact, it became a bit of a battle for my husband and I as we were protective of our liquid meals they were so relentlessly trying to steal from us! By day four, I just began making an oversized batch of what ever I was mixing up, and served it to my growing boys with a delighted smile!


Here are a few pictures of our favorite eats and drinks during Week One:

Share the Love!

Holidays, as awesome as they are, can be a stressor for those of us that have loved ones with food sensitivities/allergies; especially the holidays that really revolve around food and candy (hmmmmm....I think that is like ALL of them!) Even if you are not trying to avoid food irritants, all parents can relate to the effect that too much sugar and dyes can have on the kiddos. And if your family is like mine, couple all that with autism, ADHD... there is a reason you'll be toasting with that bottle of wine tonight!

So should you just avoid this LOVELY day altogether. NO way! You can still share in the sweet celebration, share your love, avoid food intolerances and GMOs, and maintain the sanity in your household.

This was my quick solution for this day of LOVE!

So here's your easy steps to these divine chocolate hearts...

I said this was quick, right? So, not totally from scratch but totally in line with our food allergy profile. No Gluten, no Casein, no GMOs, no dyes... you get the idea.

I started out with a bag of Bob Red Mill's gluten free brownie mix. The directions are straight forward, but I used Earth Balance dairy & soy free butter instead of margarine, and a DUCK EGG to replace the chicken egg. There is an egg free suggestion on the bag that you can use if all eggs are not an option. For the chocolate chips, I used a new favorite: Equal Exchange Chocolate Chips (they are sooooooooooooooo good ... too good!) I did not measure, just threw in about 1/3 of the bag. The other thing I did differently was use a fresh vanilla bean instead of the vanilla extract .. you've got to try it!  (If you are not sure how to extract the beans, check out the demonstration in The Air Diet cookbook.)

I mixed it all together as suggested and baked it according to the directions. (If you love chocolate, as we do, or just want that added antioxidant, mood enhancing blissfulness that cocao provides ... sprinkle the top of the brownies with a few more chocolate chips, YUM!)

After a few hours of cooling, the fun begins! Grab your kiddos and a couple heart shaped cookie cutters, and start sharing the joy of Valentine's day ... fun family time, love, and CHOCOLATE!

Had I not been trying to be super quick, I think outlining these chocolate heart brownies with some vanilla icing would have been a fabulous touch.

I hope you enjoy these as much a we did. (Notice I said...we did. They didn't stick around too long!)


Happy Valentine's Day!

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Hold On to Yesterday!

Yesterday our son had one diagnosis, one label; today because of updated expanded tests, he has 5 with some subdivisions! Five categories to classify and describe my son. Amazing how a 23 page document can instantly leave one feeling so deflated. I feel deflated. This document I hold classifying, describing, and supporting multiple labels for my son. You autism moms…you know the deal. That moment after listening for hours attentively to every detail the doctor utters about your child…it all crashes in. The fact that you are actually holding a document of “scientific data” on your child, painful enough!!  But then what it says….what it means for now, for the future.

As I describe in the Our Story section of the Air Diet …the rug has once again been pulled out from under me and I sit here alone in my ache and worries. How one sweet boy could rank so low compared to others his age is hard to soak in ...because he’s our boy.

As I sat in the car processing all this (actually just frozen really in my oozing weeping) I was reminded of “The Voice of Truth”, of course I then quickly YouTube the song and find myself in a state of crying more with strong tugs on my soul. But what is the truth…

The truth is autism is hard. The truth is that autism exposes all your child’s and your own insecurities, mental and physical deficits, fears, genetic weaknesses, emotional flaws, and doubts to the world. But the truth is it also reveals your strengths and pulls out of you, as a parent, qualities you may never have shown otherwise. It also demands that you live in the moment and treasure what is good, what is right, what is real, what is important. You have to find that silver lining!

Logan may not have measured up highly compared to the majority of the population on some standardized tests; however, our Logan, our autistic Logan is sweet to everyone; works hard and wants to do his best; he plays on a basketball team with typical teammates his own age; is learning to play the piano; does his own laundry; helps with household chores; loves babies and is gentle with them; helps me cook and bake; understands the importance of a healthy organic diet; enjoys shopping for and learning about fruits and vegetables; cares for his pet bunny; plays with and looks out for his younger brothers; and is the first to say to me “I love you” each morning. That’s the truth.

Perhaps these are not standard, measureable gains…but I am choosing to listen to “The Voice of Truth”.

So yesterday was better than today. In fact, I was all pumped ready to blog about my wonderful shopping experience with my kiddos, and now, deflated I just have to. I have to for me, to hold onto what is true and good. I have to for Logan. I have to for you, for hope. 

Breathe… go back…

Yesterday, Super Bowl Sunday!

I headed out with my crew of three after church to do our weekly shopping with the additional extras for our Super Bowl Super Feast! Now, any mom can relate…shopping with a long list and three energetic, hungry boys is not a task taken lightly. I was prepared. Like any good mom of an autistic child, I had my kiddos’ reward charts ready for that positive reinforcement ensuring a successful addition, I made sure the quiet threats whispered about losing their lunch out and much desired treat at Native Sun were clearly understood!  sorry ABA therapists, but got to balance things out!

As the glass doors of the health food store slide open, it feels like walking into a potential war zone. I brace myself, take a deep breath, pop a couple chewable L-theanine to prevent unavoidable stress overload, and enter.

Logan quickly goes into his excited search for every possible organic fruit or vegetable he can find…we are in a completely organic food market…you get the picture! Feeling the sudden surge of adrenaline, I remind myself to stay cool and calmly redirect my Logan and rally in my wandering other two sons. The L-theanine must have kicked in because I had that moment of pure sweet pleasure in which I felt so proud of my son as he began to describe all the organic vegetables and explain to me how bad and gross GMOs were for people. The health educator in me was beaming with pride from her valued student’s intelligence and passion.

Certainly it was not like we were floating peacefully and effortlessly through the store….there was redirecting, lifting up arguing kids from under the cart, running over my child with the cart, and periodically removing foreign foods from the cart, but four times…,..FOUR times I was complemented on how well behaved my children were in the store, and praised by how aware they were about healthy food choices.

Towards the end of our shopping adventure, a woman with a big, friendly smile approached me (of course as I was reaching in the freezer for an organic, gluten free pizza … busted!). She said to the boys, ”You are so lucky to have such a smart mommy. She is filling you with such wonderful, nutritious food. This is why you are so good. This is why you are so smart. Remember this, your mommy is doing something really right!”

Arm in the freezer, I was humbled, caught off guard. Then I felt a tug to seize the moment to advertise “thank you so much, I actually have a book I wrote full of nutritious recipes right over there on the counter,” but instead, I paused, let the compliment sink in. And it FELT GOOD. I was doing something right. I was doing and have been doing something right for my kids and it shows. Not just to me, my husband, friends, and family. It is visible to everyone. All I could say with a proud, affirmed smile was, “Thank you”.

Yesterday was a good day.

There were quite a few times during the beginning of our journey of healing autism that comments made from others had left me in tears not smiles as they pointed out my son’s differences, difficulties, or my failed attempts at parenting. Those kind people, especially the lovely woman taking the time to say something nice, just because she noticed... a moment I will remember. Remember and feel affirmed that I am doing something right even though there are still often many things that leave me feeling otherwise.

Today doesn’t change yesterday and tomorrow can be better! And that there is the truth.

I know that is the truth. As we continue to fuel our son(s) with nutritious, organic foods, and reduce their exposure to environmental toxins and food allergens/sensitivities, their health improves. Symptoms of autism are reduced. It has been 8 years of adherence to the Air Diet and over that time we have experienced unforeseen progress in social, mental, emotional, and physical development within our son. As our son’s diet has improved by eliminating gluten, casein, soy, dyes, and other food allergens and replacing all that was disrupting his body and mind with allergen-free, organic foods, and supplements, his gut is slowly healing from pathogens, the inflammatory responses to foods are reduced, and toxins are being cleared from his body. He is healing.

There is no cure for autism. I am aware! There is no magic pill. However, providing your children (and yourself!) with healthy foods and reducing environmental toxins…it makes a world of difference. It’s the difference between your autistic child being in “their” world or “yours”. Using food for healing creates a foundation for social, emotional, mental, and physical growth. Maybe it doesn’t present itself on every standardized test, but it shows up in ways that count.

Start your healing journey. Start the Air Diet.

"Fast" food without the "mommy-guilt"

So day three after Thanksgiving…the Christmas tree is up and my kiddos will be expecting Christmas every morning now! So glad that our little shelf-elf has paid us an early visit to help my boys keep the holiday behavior frenzy in check! (Thank you Chippy!)

I am trying to transition quickly from one holiday to the next, but finding it a challenge as my refrigerator is still overflowing with Thanksgiving left-overs and my beautiful fall flower arrangements are still flourishing in their vases. I am distracted with excited thoughts of the holidays but also a bit flattened by the extensive cooking and baking that has gone on in the last week; however, I still have 3 little boys who are ALWAYS hungry!  “LUNCH!!!”

With all the hustle of the holidays, it seems eating “easy to grab food” becomes the need and acceptable norm. Although grab-n-go food does allow for more time to SHOP and WRAP and DECORATE and PLAN, it tends to leave you without the lasting energy and nutrients to really fuel you for a happy holiday season, and can leave your kiddos an irritable, whiny, hyper mess more prone to illness…and we all know how that can bust a holiday.

Because my oldest, autistic son has had anywhere up to 35 IgG food allergies for the last 8 years, drive-thrus and frozen meals have not been an option for us. Some of that is changing though as more and more gluten-free, allergy-free foods are becoming available in stores and restaurants in combination with his incredible reduction in his number of food sensitivities. However, my experience in restaurants has been one that often leaves my kiddos with dark circles under their eyes, stomach pains, digestive upset, irritability, and headaches ... enough to still make me shy away from the “easy way” out of the kitchen.

So, what to do when you can’t go through the drive-thru but still need food fast? You make that fast food in your kitchen.

Today in my kitchen, that’s exactly what I did.

Upon hearing the boys’ shouts of what could only be explained as shear starvation, my first impulse was to look in the refrigerator for a frozen pizza for their lunch. (I need a break…What??? I still haven’t cleaned the breakfast dishes from the pumpkin pancakes, and there is laundry, decorating, and Christmas cards!) Then, I felt that tug…yes the tug of guilt, or perhaps it’s smarts…but I chose not to open that freezer. Instead, I quickly prepared a nutrient dense dish that in all honesty took less time than it would have ever taken to cook that pizza! 

Quinoa Pasta with Broccoli Curry Coconut Cream Sauce


What’s so special about this dish? Well for starters…It tastes DeeeLISH! It has the same creamy comfort of homemade macaroni-n-cheese but without the dreaded casein (dairy protein) and well, it has so much more flavor!

Other pluses -

  • It only took 12 minutes
  • No measuring
  • A one pot meal
  • Organic
  • Gluten-Free, Casein-Free, Soy-Free
  • Antiinflammatory benefits
  • Antifungal benefits
  • Rich in vitamins , minerals, healthy fats, and fiber

The bonus benefit…no mommy guilt. 


OK, so you may not be a pro in the kitchen, but seriously you can just throw this all together with confidence…even if all you know how to do is boil water!

So, start with a pot full of water and bring it to a boil. Then add your quinoa pasta (you could also use lentil pasta and feel just as good about the nutrients). After 5 minutes, throw in some organic (fresh or frozen) broccoli florets. Lower temperature just enough so it all doesn’t ooze over the top of the pot. Keep cooking for another 6-7 minutes or until veggies are done to your liking. Drain and then put pasta back into the pot. Add one can of organic coconut milk. Stir on med-low heat. Add in yellow curry powder, garlic powder, and sea salt to taste. EAT!

Hope your  Holiday Season kicks off with a healthy start!

If you are in need of more quick allergy-free  food options for you and your kiddos, check out this chapter in the Air Diet!


From Farm to Table...not such a far distance!

So since you are reading this, I know you have some interest in eating “healthy” or being “healthier”. Seems however to be a challenging thing to be, as what is considered “healthy” seems to change like the seasons. Truth is though…the most nutritional foods have not changed: if it came from the earth and not a factory or through a window, well, it is probably pretty “healthy”. This simple health equation can take on a twist though when food allergies, IgG food sensitivities, leaky gut, and other genetic or autoimmune factors are present. As for my family…we are TWISTED!

When we began our “life on air” 7 ½ years ago, we were focused on eating gluten free and casein free. Very quickly we modified it even more by eliminating the allergens from severe food sensitivities (IgG food allergies…and there were many, 35 foods!!). Then came the cleaner side of things…going organic; but that is no longer enough!! Now there is the added dimension on top of all that of avoiding GMOs.  Oh, and don’t forget to eat “in season”. And the most current health trend:  Farm to Table!

In my free time (haha, what’s that?), I really enjoy being outdoors, working hard, feeling the warmth of the sun, and breaking a sweat…pair that with my love of fresh food (snobbery), and creating my own garden seems to be a fantastic idea!

In my “pre-mommy” days…before I was terrified of (aware of) the negative health implications of fertilizers and pesticides…I had an amazing garden! Tons of tomatoes and so many varieties of hot peppers that almost everything we ate was “kicked up” a notch. I had zucchini the size of my cat and gorgeous bell peppers. Now, with all my wonderful knowledge of organic living, to my surprise, my garden, well… it has not been so plentiful (I have an ever increasing appreciation for organic farmers!). That being said, I do have hope this fall all that will change!

This is my first fall garden!


Everything looks so fresh, “alive”, and radiating promise of a great harvest! SO… what fresh vegetables are growing here?

Cauliflower, Collards, Kale, Romaine Lettuce, Salad mixer (varieties of lettuce), Basil, Mint, Oregano, Thyme, Cilantro, and Sage.


I love my garden! Something is just so right and peaceful about it; just being around it emanates a feeling of calm and connectedness throughout me.  On top of all those feel good feelings… it is a great activity for our family. The kids got really excited to select what we would grow this fall. (Yes, my kids get excited about cauliflower! Live on the “Air Diet” and yours will too!) And my super awesome husband rigged it with an irrigation system sure to keep things growing… seriously that was not on his “honey-do list”.

Now it’s time to wait for our first harvest and get some recipes together that will showcase our yummy project!

What am I drooling about? Cauliflower Kale Soup, Collard Wraps, Garlic Collard Greens, Super Stew, Kale Smoothies, and Fresh Juice. Oh, and salad….amazing salads! (Seriously, I am smiling with anticipation and excitement!) If it sounds good to you, keep checking in to see what recipes I share!

So easy and so simple to eat “healthy” as well as gluten free, casein free, organic, NON GMO, and in season, when the farm is in your back yard! Check off all those boxes…and check out how revived you and your family will feel as you fuel it with all that it needs for healing and healthy living.

So here is my first Pre-Harvest, Gluten Free, Casein Free, Organic, NON GMO, in Season, Farm to Table Recipe Give Away…. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Kale Soup

I love this soup on a cool fall night, and to my surprise my children do also! I am excited to try it when made with cauliflower and kale from our own garden!

For achieving the best flavor, please use “organic virgin coconut oil” as it helps to create depth and tasteful complexity to this delicious soup. Also…a little tested tip:  Remember to allow the soup to cool before placing it in the blender. The steam will cause the soup to explode out of the top of the blender if you try to mix it while it is too hot. (I had to learn the hard way!)



Cauliflower Kale Soup

What You Need:
2 heads cauliflower, washed and chopped
3 tablespoons organic virgin
coconut oil, melted
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large onion, diced (sweet, yellow, or red)
1½ cups chopped, peeled carrot
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, removed from stem and chopped
8 cups organic chicken broth
2-3 handfuls of kale leaves
½ teaspoon freshly diced cayenne pepper

What To Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Place the cauliflower pieces in a large bowl. Pour the coconut oil over the cauliflower and toss until evenly coated.
  3. Arrange the cauliflower on a glass baking dish and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and garlic. Bake for 40 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. The cauliflower should be tender-crisp with lightly browned edges. (If using a metal pan, decrease oven temperature and bake time)
  4. In a large pot, melt 2 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil. Add the diced onion, chopped carrot, and rosemary. Sauté for about 8-10 minutes over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add 7 cups of organic chicken broth to the pot and bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to low. Add kale leaves and freshly diced cayenne pepper. Cover and continue to heat for 5-8 minutes.
  6. Add most of the roasted cauliflower to the broth mixture (reserve about 1/3 of the cauliflower). Turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly.
  7. Using a ladle, scoop out portions of the soup and place it into a blender. Blend the cauliflower-kale-broth mixture until well combined. Continue this process until the entire pot of soup is a smooth texture. It will appear light green with green specs.
  8. Add the remaining cauliflower to the pot of soup. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed. You may even enjoy a few more fresh kale leaves tossed into the mix. The kale will soften as the soup continues to heat.
  9. Continue to warm the soup on a semi-low heat, and serve alone or with a mixed greens salad and toasted bread.