Thursday, February 13, 2014

RAW Cacao-Maca Covered Strawberries

With Valentine's day being tomorrow and organic strawberries on sale, I decided to whip up a special treat for Papa and I. Organic, Raw Cacao-Maca Covered Strawberries! I love chocolate. I admit it. Raw Cacao, that is! It is a nice, homemade treat without the junk! The Chocolate is RAW dairy-free and sweetened with raw, local honey. Depending on the type of raw honey available to you, the consistency of the Chocolate may change. The honey I use is raw, unfiltered and pretty thick which is great for this type of treat. 

Let's get started!

You will need:
  • Parchment Paper
  • A plate or small flat container 
  • A double-boiling system. I don't have one so I simply use one smaller Pyrex pot inside the other. Improvise! 

  • 6 Large Organic Strawberries
  • 2 TBS Raw, unfiltered Honey
  • 2 TBS Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract OR 1/4 tsp of Vanilla Bean (what I used)
  • 3 TBS Raw Cacao powder
  • 1/2 TBS Maca Root powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
  • pinch of Himalayan or Celtic sea salt

  1. Get your double boiler setup and turn on the stove to LOW/MED heat and let is sit for 5mins, then down to LOW. If you are not familiar with the double boiler setup, simply fill  a large pot with about 1/4 water. Then, place a smaller pot inside the larger pot. 
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. 
  3. Wash Strawberries ;-)
  4. Add Coconut oil  to the pot and allow it to melt.
  5. Add Honey and stir until mixed well into a creamy consistency. 
  6. Add Vanilla, Cacao, Maca, Cinnamon, & salt slowly while stirring. This may require that you remove the small pot onto a stable surface. Mix well until until completely blended in. Taste test! Make sure it is sweet enough and perfect for you. :)
  7. Get your dish ready with parchment paper (I taped the sides to ensure a flat surface)
  8. Dip the strawberries in the chocolate and use a spoon to set it where you want the chocolate to be. You can drizzle or simple dip them as I did. 
  9. Set the tray in the freezer for 5 minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator.  

REMEMBER: Coconut Oil melts at 78 degrees F. Keep them in the fridge until you are ready to serve.


~ Blessings & LOVE ~ 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Curing Toddler Tooth Decay Naturally

First, I want to start off by saying that I believe that every situation that comes my way is one to challenge my beliefs, to help me grow and learn. This is how I choose to take this experience. I am sharing our personal story to help and inspire other parents who are faced with the same situation to seek alternatives and do research. There is information out there. There are alternatives and ways to help your child’s teeth. There is support.

After  my Son’s 1st birthday I started to notice that something was off with his top 4 teeth. A couple of weeks later his right incisor chipped and his teeth felt soft when I put pressure on it with my nail. I immediately made an appointment with a local Holistic Dentist to confirm my suspicion of tooth demineralization. We saw the dentist but the consult was completely discouraging. The Dentist took a quick look and asked if I gave him fruit juice on a regular basis. I never had! He was exclusively breastfeed up to that point and was not interested in food. She proceeded to tell me that his teeth would get worse, turn dark and that in fact there was Demineralization. The Dentist blamed it on the night breastfeeding. Wait. How? What? Why are there so many children that night nurse all over the world that do not see tooth decay? What was I doing wrong? I mentioned our healthy diet because I knew that our bodies are able to regenerate and heal when properly supported. I also mentioned how he started taking Fermented Cod Liver Oil and how we were starting to incorporate some of the things the Weston A. Price Foundation recommend. I also mentioned that there was a book named "Cure Tooth Decay”. During the Dentist's many years of practice,  she had never seen a case where tooth decay was reversed with diet. I was told that my Son’s teeth were going to get worse and dark. That I also had to stop the night nursing and co-sleeping.  I left that office in tears. I cannot explain the feeling of having failed my son with something so basic. The helplessness and frustration took over me. I didn’t understand. We eat organic, clean food. Why?  That evening,  I sat down, got myself together and reminded myself that our teeth are living organisms just like our skin, our organs and our hair. I knew there was a way to bring them back and was determined to do my best. But before that, I had to figure out why and how this happened so I spent many, many late nights reading and researching.

There is no better detective than a worried, determined mother.

The Pediatric dentistry information I came across is very vague. I came across a lot of information that blamed it breastmilk. This just didn’t sound right to me. I read this article which proves that wrong. Breast milk actually helps clean the mouth. As a mother with a child with tooth decay, I was faced with two options. 

1. Allowing the teeth to get worse and have them pulled later on or 
2. Get teeth filled. 

Both these options require local anesthesia and that simply was not an option for us. It is way too risky to put a child under at his age. There had to be something else out there!

I started immersing myself in information on healing decay, reading success stories and connecting with other mothers in the same situation. I had heard of the “Cure Tooth Decay” book a couple of  years ago and was so intrigued then. Healing cavities naturally is not something that is talked about regularly. There is no money involved or profit to be made by healing naturally so it is kept under the radar as most natural forms of healing. Most folks go in, get their teeth drilled, filled, pay a lot of money and go on with their lives. Months or years later, you go in and get some more drilled. Something is wrong with this picture. You only have one set of teeth. Why drill away? Cutting things off my body is just something that has ever resonated with me. I am saying this as a person who has had many fillings, braces and not the best history of oral health.  I finally got the “Cure Tooth Decay” book from a Mom in the same situation. She mailed the book to me and in the cover wrote that she would pray for both of our families on this journey. That melted my heart and gave me a lot of strength. I knew she had felt what I did at a point and that support really gave me an extra boost to keep pushing. Thank you, Katie! I devoured the book within a night and applied everything I could right away.

Tooth decay is attributed to many factors. It can be attributed to genetics, a diet high in Phytic Acid with grains and gluten, a diet high in processed sugar and fruit sugar as it can have the same effect. It could also come from a gut issue with unbalanced gut bacteria or from a mother who was deficient in nutrients while in utero. I will share what I believe to have caused MY Son's but please do your own research. I can only share what applies to us. I ended up doing the diet with my Son at the begining. I had nothing to loose and everything to gain.

He was already Gluten and Grain-free. Our family used Fluoride-free toothpaste, we drank and bathed in clean water, ate Organic, local and clean sources of meat and dairy so we were already doing many things right. I attribute my Son's tooth decay to 3 things

You can read details about our protocol here.

Fruit Sugar
This whole breast milk thing had me reflecting on my diet. Was I providing the healthiest of milk for him? I came to the realization that I was taking in way too much fruit. You see, it was the middle of the summer where local cantaloupes, watermelon, peaches and nectarines were abundant and cheap. I could eat fruit all day! But it is fruit. Isn't fruit GOOD for you? It is still sugar. My Son consumed a couple of pieces per day just like I did and he loved it. Unfortunately, that did not help his already weak teeth. The busy SAHM lifestyle and the quick, easy meal to go was ideal for these situations. Can you say 5 bananas a day? Oy! We also used to snack a lot. Once on our protocol to heal tooth decay, fruit was completely cut out from both of our diets. We also condensed meals to three times per day and did not snack. Fruit sugar can throw off your blood sugar levels and your body needs to leach phosphorous and calcium from your bones in order to balance out. Teeth are usually the first place where those minerals get leached from. Aha! 

Vegan Diet
Yes, I am going there.  Prior to my pregnancy, I was Raw Vegan for 1.5yrs and vegetarian prior to that. I had sensitive teeth for most of the time which is thought to be “normal” for that diet from what I read. I was adviced to cut down on fruit and rinse often.  Little did I know there was a underlying issue. I cleansed and detoxed so much for so long and didn't replace the minerals. When I was pregnant and up until my birth I really wasn't fully comfortable eating animal products until today. I felt amazing while vegan for the first year on the diet but after that something began to happen. I craved eggs, fish and cheese. I have always loved those three things but remained committed to my diet. Little did I know that all that time my body was craving Healthy fats, calcium, K2, vitamin D and minerals that it needed. At the beginning of my pregnancy I was tested for Iron and vitamin D. Both came back extremely low so I began to supplement both while still mentally trying to maintain a vegetarian diet. This was a huge shock because I  ate very well, supplemented and kept on top of that stuff.  Later on, I realized that a diet lacking animal products while pregnant was not safe for ME. Yes, there have been women who have had healthy children while vegetarian, vegan, raw, etc. For me, this was not the way. I had to change. My body was craving it and I had to put my beliefs aside and nourish my growing Baby.

FAT SOLUBLE vitamin D, A, K2, and cholesterol are vital for healthy, strong teeth. These vitamins are found in grass-fed animal products, raw dairy, seafood and organ meats. Animal products nourish the body while vegetables cleanse it. I realize that now. You do not have to agree with me on that. I also don't feel like I should be supplementing things that I can get from healthy, clean sources. 

I was low in minerals - now I drink bone broth! I was lacking most of these important vitamins. I also learned that the top 4 teeth are formed in Utero at around two months. If the mother is lacking nutrients around that time, the child may also.

Unbalanced gut bacteria at a young age or while in Utero and may also cause decay which is the case of many other Mothers I have met. This is caused by taking antibiotics while pregnant, or the child being put on antibiotics at a young age for ear infections. Balanced gut bacteria is vital to healing decay.  We make sure to take a form of Probiotics daily and rotate often. 

Upper Lip Tie
My Son had an undiagnosed Upper Lip Tie that was missed by his pediatrician and the first Dentist. What puzzled me about his decay is that it was only the top 4 teeth that were affected. It was mysterious. The top bottom 4 teeth were white, strong and in great shape. While conducting my research I came across many similar cases. All of them had one thing in common. An Upper Lip tie! These are diagnosed along with tongue ties early if there is nursing trouble. Since we had no trouble and I had a very forceful letdown A lip tie did not cross my mind. I DID notice that his upper lip was a little tight when he smiled.  Also, many children live with lip ties and don't experience decay. The skin stretches or naturally tears during the toddler years (which is what happened with my Son at 2yo). Dentists do not really look for it either. I had to ask the dentist about it for him to even look at it. In most cases, these are corrected by putting the child under and snipping it or by a child being held down for a 5 minute lazer Frenectomy. Both of those were not options for us. No, I was not going to put him through it unless I really had to. I knew that there was an underlying nutrition and hygiene issue in our case. Once the nutrition was corrected and with now being aware of the Lip tie, I took extra precautions. After every meal, before a nap and before bed I make sure he rinses with water and I clean under the lip and apply coconut oil. That has worked very well for us.  

Could Breast milk and an upper lip tie cause the decay? The combination may contribute to the decay IF there is a nutritional deficiency in my opinion. That upper lip area needs to remain clean and rinsed after meals and before naps and bedtime. I always add a little magic antibacterial and antifungal coconut oil to the affected area.  

After about a month of following the protocol, I began to see positive changes. His teeth began to look strong and shiny and less chalky. The color started changing to a more of a white tone and since then I have not seen the decay get worse. With child tooth decay, things happen very quickly. I learned to identify the stages of decay and how to tell if it was active or not by how hard or soft the area was. Baby teeth are not as strong as adult teeth and more susceptible to decay. After about 4 months I compared photos from previous months and was ecstatic! I saw growth above the decay that looked white, strong and healthy. What was even more amazing was that the area of decay started to fill in with new enamel. Could this really be what I thought it was? I decided to share it with my Mommy tribe and they confirmed my suspicions! It was NEW growth. Healthy and strong! I began searching for an open minded local dentist that would simply confirm what I was witnessing.  I finally got a recommendation for a mainstream but open minded dentist. I had to know and finally took him in.

I went in to that office not expecting anything but also prepared not to be walked over. I knew than many Dentists aren't aware of the protocol and simply don’t believe that teeth can REminiralize. At the beginning of our visit, he looked in my Son’s mouth and I pretty much felt like our first visit. He blamed the decay it all on breast feeding and advice that I take him to the local Children’s hospital to put him under anesthesia to get those filled. He chuckled when I told him I had been following a protocol to heal his teeth. Once he asked what we were eating everything changed. I explained how we were eating a WAPF diet of healthy fats, clean water, grass-fed meats, pasture-raised beef and tons of vegetables. Then, I decided to show him a of photos above and he was amazed. I took a minute to ask what the white line above the decay was and he confirmed my suspicion. NEW, HEALTHY growth! He told me to keep doing what I was doing, that I had nothing to lose and all to gain. I walked out of there with the biggest smile in my face. It was all worth it!

My Son is worth it. His teeth are worth it. There are other options out there. His Baby teeth may never look the same way they used to. But I know that the decay is halted, that healthy growth is coming in and that I am doing all I can to ensure that his adult teeth are nice, strong and decay-free. 

He is perfect to me. We are happy, hopeful, continue to nurse and have kept his body intact.