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



Love that Grill

Today I am just loving that grill! So thank you my dear Michael for getting one that doesn't make me feel like I'm about to catch fire while lighting it!

It's no secret! Eating healthy takes planning and preparation ... but don't let that hold you back. Make it easier on your self to keep your desired commitment to eating clean, nutrient packed food each day by preparing in advance the weeks lunch/dinner. If grabbing a fresh salad with grilled chicken or fish is just as convenient as grabbing a bag of chips ... chances are you will hold fast to your goal of making healthier choices for you and your family.

Lunch meals are a struggle for me. My mid day meal seems to get lost in the shuffle of preparing food for my boys and managing all the tasks and events we have set for the day. Often times I find myself eating their left over scraps, grabbing a handful of nuts, or if I'm lucky I squeeze in a protein & green smoothie. What I have found during my times of cleansing is that I feel so much more energized and stable when I have a wholesome lunch. I am a happier, energetic, emotionally stable mom on those days, and well, that is just good for everybody!

So with that in mind, this week I chose to set myself up for success! I marinated and grilled five chicken breasts, and prepared a large salad to be enjoyed throughout the next few days. Seriously, we do this often in our household, and not only does it help me out, but my husband is then able to easily prepare a wonderful lunch to bring to work, and my kiddos have healthy options readily available for their meals as well.

So what to do...

Here's the thing: when I cook I do not like to measure ingredients. Seriously, it is so much more fun to cook when you are not controlled by a recipe! Be brave ... give it a try. The only down side is if your dish is completely awesome, you may never be able to recreate it! (sigh) That is my husband's biggest complaint. He will take a bite of something and express how delicious it is, and then look at me and say, "You have no idea what you did, do you!"    "Uhhh...Nope!".

Ok, so welcome to my do it fast and healthy, organic, GMO, allergy-free kitchen!!!

(I will put an approximate measurement, but seriously just pour and shake what ever your taste buds tell you to do. For example, do you like citrus? Put on more lemon juice or orange juice. Do you prefer a smokey heat? If so, add more chipotle pepper. Feeling the desire for depth and spice? Add more cumin. Want it a bit more basic? Focus on chili powder and paprika. And when it comes to salt, pepper, and garlic ... shake in about how much you would add if sprinkling it on a piece of chicken, and multiply it enough for each breast! Remember, if it is easy to do ... you are more likely to do it! So.. get shaking!)

Step 1:  Prepare the Grilled Tex/Mex Chicken

Rinse 4 or more organic chicken breasts. Use a stainless steal meat tenderizer to beat them down to an even thickness. Stab each breast with a knife multiple times to allow the marinade to penetrate. (Sounds brutal!) Place the breasts in a large container. Now add the following ingredients...remember, be your taste buds, skip the measuring and own it: Oil 1/4 cup (avocado, olive, canola, or coconut), lemon juice 1/3 cup, orange juice 1/3 cup, coconut vinegar (or white wine vinegar) 1/4 cup, chili powder 1 1/2 tsps., paprika 1 tsp., cumin 1 1/2 tsps., chipotle pepper 1/2 tsp., garlic 1/2 tsp., dried cilantro 1 tsp., salt, and pepper. Put the lid on the container and SHAKE! Allow the chicken to marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator. (I think I waited only 45 minutes this time and it was fabulous!)

Step 2:  While the meat is marinating, Make a Large Salad

I use a large rectangular Rubbermaid container to make and store the week's salad. The base of your salad should be some nutritious mixed greens, focusing more heavily on spinach, kale, and arugula. As far as the other veggies, your call. For me, my salads tend to have some of the following: mixed greens, spinach, arugula, kale, red onion, tomato, carrots, beet sprouts or roasted beets, raisins or cranberries, fresh berries, pumpkin seeds, olives, cucumber, bell peppers, fennel, fresh cilantro or rosemary, and roasted asparagus.

Today's salad was a mix of these lovely ingredients: mixed salad greens, spinach, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, olives, blueberries, red onion, and the oh so divine AVACADO. (I have a deep love for the avocado! So delicious! So nutritious! I have one just about every day. Give up cheese and grab this green'll be happy you did!)


Step 3: Grill the Chicken

I am no grill master, but I am experimenting and learning. Typically my hubby does the grilling, but with this new grill I am trying things out and gaining some confidence in this culinary skill! So my instructions are pretty basic : Light the grill and keep it on high to do some preheating for about 5-8 minutes. Once preheated, turn the temperature down to low-medium and place the chicken breasts on the grill. I got a little distracted while breaking up a serious Lego war between my boys, so my chicken stayed on the grill for probably like 10 minutes or more before flipping, and is a little charred. You typically need only 8 minutes, flip the breasts and grill 7-8 minutes more, or until no longer pink. Every flame is different, so just keep an eye on it.

Transfer the grilled chicken to a bamboo cutting board. Slice what you will use and package the remaining breasts for future meals. (Typically I use 1/2 a breast for one serving.)


Step 4: Create your Lunch!

Fill a plate with your desired amount of salad. Add your chicken, and if you want to kick it up a notch... a sliced avocado. I typically slice the avocado, and top it with some lemon juice, salt, and garlic ... think un-mashed guacamole! Drizzle on some fresh salad dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, agave/honey). Enjoy!


Step 5: Create your Kiddos Lunch!

You are modeling a healthy lifestyle, so share your awesome food with your kids! Most certainly your children are not screaming for a salad, but you can use your salad fixins to create a nutritious lunch for them without adding much more work for yourself. 

Tested Tips:

  1. Cut the chicken breast into small pieces and stick in a tooth pick. My boys think everything is more enticing with a toothpick!
  2. While you are making the salad, cut strips of peppers, carrots, and cucumbers that can easily be picked up with little fingers.
  3. Use half of the avocado from your salad to make a quick, basic guacamole-like dip. Just mash the unused half and add a little bit of lemon juice, salt, and garlic. Let them dip their veggies into it. Dipping is fun and with every dip they are ingesting amazing healthy fats to fuel those growing bodies and minds.

I hope you enjoy your lunches this week as much as I will!

Wishing you health, happiness, and healing ... Laura G.


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.


powerballs and me.jpg

(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:


Happy Spring!

There is so much to love about this time of year: bright blue skies, fresh flowers, gardens, pleasant temperatures, soft grass…

Spring represents rebirth, renewal, a freshness, life, and newness. We all tend to do spring cleaning for our homes this time of year in attempt to match the natural beauty emerging outside. With cleaning in mind, the Godfrey’s are feeling the desire to do an internal clean out… a cleanse.

Don’t cringe just yet. Well, Ok…to be honest, I am cringing as I write this because I am now officially accountable to God only knows how many people! But seriously, it is time. The holidays are pretty much behind us, minus a couple far off birthdays and an anniversary, so it is the perfect time to remove the toxic buildup that has gripped hold us since November!

I never have been a believer in a quick fix, especially when it comes to diet … and now as a mother of an autistic son, this has been permanently engrained into my belief structure!!!

I actually did my first “cleanse” last year in attempt to support my husband who was doing one as a way to support his mom in her attempts to achieve a more pain free existence (just so you know it worked!). I honestly was not happy at all about “being hungry” and “eating subpar food” ---remember, I am a food snob! Looking back, I think that most of my fears were tied to “losing control” and “so many unknowns”.

The cleanse that was chosen (for me) was CLEAN –Remove, Restore, Rejuvenate. I have heard of many different cleanses and was so skeptical, but after reading the book CLEAN, I totally became a believer in the healthful benefits of giving your body this time to clean out, detoxify, and reset. Of course one of the appealing factors to me about the CLEAN protocol is that you need to do a preliminary clean out of many foods before actually beginning the cleanse. I love this practice because it very quickly highlights individual foods or food families that are actually irritating to your body and mind. It is a quite accurate food sensitivity test requiring no blood work! And what are some of those foods that need to be eliminated right from the start?  Glad you asked!  GLUTEN! CASEIN! DYES! SOY! PROCESSED FOODS! ALCOHOL! CAFFIENE! ……(there are more)

This was just so affirming, and well, a bit easy for us since we live our life on “AIR” (  I love the education given by Dr. Alejandro Junger, M.D. in the beginning sections of his book. Not only is it informative, it is incredibly motivating! After reading his book, I was all-in for taking part in the cleanse.

So who needs a cleanse? EVERYBODY! Seriously, we live in a horribly toxic world and our bodies and minds are screaming at us to make a change. “Complaints such as headaches, bowel, irregularities, allergies, weight problems, depression, anxiety, and pain are largely caused by failing detox systems. Looking older, feeling more tired, and losing the radiant luster of health are also related to this overburdened state.” (Alejandro Junger, M.D., CLEAN, 2009, p.11)

Is this an easy thing to take on? No. Is it worth it? Yes. So this is why we are doing it again! I like this cleanse because it is not a quick fix:  it is 21 days (actually longer when you count in the preliminary clean out of food irritants). This is long enough though for these health giving behaviors to become habits. Healthy habits … part of your lifestyle. This is a good thing.

So when do we start?

Well, since I already adhere closely to The Air Diet, and therefore do not need to weed out tons of items from my diet, I have been slowly removing my additional irritants, such as wine (you moms…caregivers know….NO EASY TASK!) and caffeine (tears). I may not be a pleasant person right now (heehee) but there is a better version of me around the corner!

This weekend I am going to be doing some serious menu planning and shopping to make the first week go smoothly. It is a bit challenging to get started, but if you can make it through week one YOU WILL DESIRE TO KEEP GOING! The challenges are of course dealing with change of routine, hunger, and the symptoms of detox…you will not feel good as the nasties escape you! I also find preparing separate meals for my kiddos is hard to do when I am not able to grab a bit here and there! It’s a challenge, but it makes me aware of how much of that I actually do during a day.

Oh yes, my kids will not be doing this. BUT…. They will benefit from our cleanse, directly and indirectly. Let me tell you, THEY NOTICE what I am doing and WANT to be a part. When the sound of the vitamix revs up, they are very aware that something delicious, creamy, and cold is about to emerge from that pitcher, and they want some! They may not know initially that it is Kale, chia, berries, herbs or some other terrifying vegetable, but they eagerly try it. That is awesome!

So sell it! Be excited about it. Let them take part in the tasting and preparations.

Juicing was new to me until I needed to incorporate it as a daily meal for me during the CLEAN detox. My children were fascinated with Rainbow Juice! Beautifully colored juice that came straight from beautiful, raw vegetables. THEY DRANK IT! They enjoyed making it too (may need throw in some ear protection from time to time for sensory issues…the reality may hurt, but got to laugh sometimes! So silly to have ear protection on while juicing!)

Not only will you be teaching them healthy dietary practices, you will be filling their little bodies with amazing nutrients every cell in them craves… even if it is only a little: That is LOVE IN ACTION!

As parents of children on the spectrum, or even of typical kids, we can be easily exhausted by the demands placed on us every day. But our children need us now and in the years to come. Think of this cleanse as a gift to yourself. You deserve to feel healthy, energetic, and hopeful. By giving yourself this reset, you will most likely have more positivity, energy, and patience, to share with your family, and find more pleasure in your daily living.

So join me in this. Start eliminating those irritating foods causing inflammation, disease, and discomfort. The Air Diet – recipes & tips for success in your allergy-free kitchen will provide you with a great framework to begin this cleanse. You will find that because you feel so much better after your cleanse, you will desire to continue your healthy lifestyle for you and your family. The Air Diet cookbook contains many delicious, nutrient packed recipes and encouragement to help you continue that healing, healthy path for you and your family.

If you are interested in some guidance or sharing this 21 day journey, comment below or contact me. I can share recipes & tips, and we all can help support each other during the cleanse.

Best wishes for happiness, health, and hope!

Laura M. Godfrey


Here is a quick Recipe for Rainbow Juice.

The ginger in this juice gives it a nice little zip and is terrific for fighting inflammation, improving circulation, and reducing nausea. Kale and Beets add a boost for the immune system by saturating the juice with antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. Although the apples also provide immune support and energy … lets face it, they are in there because they are juicy and taste sweet!

What You Need

  • 2 stalks of celery  
  • Handful of Kale
  • 5 carrots, peeled
  • 1 large red beet, peeled & quartered (or two smaller ones...mine was like on steroids!)
  • 2 apples, quartered
  • 1/2 - 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled                                                                      

What To Do

  1. Wash all the vegetables.

  2. Peel the carrots, and trim the ends off of the carrots and celery. Peel the red beet and cut it into four sections. (Be careful, the red stains!) Next, peel the ginger and slice the apples into fours.

  3. Place each vegetable into the juicer. And juice!

  4. Drink immediately to retain the highest quality of nutrients and enzymes.





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.

Time for it to Go!

With Christmas in full effect and the daily craze of school and work upon us, Thanksgiving, in my mind,  feels a bit far away; however, my refrigerator tells a different story.  Even though my husband has eaten Thanksgiving for breakfast and lunch for the last 5 days, much turkey remains and frankly, I am just tired of looking at it! It is time for it to go...but not to the trash!

I cringe at the thought of throwing out food since in our home, food costs ALOT! I remember when my brother found out that we were getting a Whole Foods in Jacksonville; he informed me, "You know what we say in Tennessee....Whole Foods-Whole Paycheck!"  That's no joke! Eating organic, whole foods free of GMOs, pesticides, allergens, and other mysterious ingredients is not cheap. It can be a very expensive lifestyle...but one with worthwhile benefits for your present health and future!

So...what to do? In the Godfrey house of organized chaos, there is a predictable constant: random vegetables with no particular planned purpose means one of two things.....STIR FRY or SOUP!

So the hunt began...the obvious first was the container of turkey pieces and parts; definitely I was using that in my dinner creation. I found a lonely parsnip and a couple potatoes that didn't make it into the roasted root vegetable dish. Then there were mushrooms, carrots, celery, and herbs I obviously purchased way too much of in hopeful anticipation of having extra guests to join us in giving thanks. Oh, and thanks to my son's most recent perseveration of alphabetizing fruits and vegetables....we have a couple leeks, as he has become fascinated with this wild looking veggie.

OK .... no question about it .... soup it is!

Thing is I have never made turkey soup before. I don't know why, because it sounds like a good, tasty thing to do. And guess is, at least this one is, way beyond good. In fact, for my kids - It was bottom of the bowl drinking fabulous!



Ahh...look how beautiful all these random veggies are together!

Ok, I accept the fact that I may be tad weird...but fresh veggies, these veggies...they make me smile.

So I got out my biggest pot (I have learned that when I make soup, it grows and grows until perfection is achieved!) and began chopping.

Because most of the soup ingredients will go in the pot at the same time, it is best to have all the ingredients ready from the start. You will need the following amounts of chopped veggies: 

1 ½ cups peeled carrot

1 cup peeled parsnips

2 cups celery

2 ¼ cups leeks

2 peeled potatoes

2 cups mushrooms

Now the fun begins. Heat (med-high setting) 3 tablespoons of avocado oil in the large pot. Add all of the chopped veggies into the heated oil. Use a wooden spoon to stir the veggies around making sure the oil is evenly spread amongst them. Sprinkle on 1 ½ - 2 teaspoons of sea salt, ½  - 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder. Continue to stir.


Wash and then coarsely chop 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (just the green leaves). Add it to the sautéing veggies. Continue sautéing for 10-12 minutes.

Pour in 12 cups of organic free range, gluten free chicken broth. (Now, had I had room in my refrigerator, I would have saved the turkey carcass and made BONE BROTH! If you did save it, get busy making that nutritious turkey broth and have it ready before starting this recipe!) Add 3 whole sprigs of thyme (this means woody stem and all leaves in the bunch). Throw in 2 bay leaves and 2 cups of diced turkey meat. Bring the pot to a boil for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to med-low. Cover. Now wait and savor the smell of your glorious soup!

At this point the soup looked good but a little incomplete. I felt it needed something dark green. Sighing that I used all my kale at lunch in my smoothie...I had a thought...a smile...grabbed my scissors and headed to the back yard to cut some COLLARD GREENS!


After 20 -30 minutes of soup simmering,  I threw in about 5 ripped up collard leaves with the stems removed. You could use Swiss chard or kale, and I think it would still taste fantastic.

Be patient and give the flavors time to merge and evolve.

Now, walk outside. Seriously, do it. Take a few deep breaths. Open the door and walk back in. Breathe in nice and you inhaled, did your lips curl into a smile? If they did, you worked some magic and that pot will be scrumptious.

Give a little taste test. I did at this point, and although it was really tasty and would please the pickiest of eaters, I felt it was still missing something. I opened the refrigerator hoping to be inspired, and there it was: the container of left-over gravy. Into the pot it went, and the most amazing transformation happened. It was as if all the warmth and joy and love of Thanksgiving reappeared on my taste buds. Yes ... this was the secret ingredient. I added about ¼ cup of water to the pot and tossed on a tiny bit more salt, pepper, and taste.

At this point cover the pot and turn the temperature to low until you are ready to eat. Start putting together some yummy rolls or biscuits and enjoy your savory soup!


Freeze the remaining soup, as you made a ton, and treat yourself to this delicious, nutrient-packed meal on a another cold night.









"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.