Maintaining Health Using a Combo of Paleo and Limited Starch/Gluten-Free Alternatives

We’ve gotten into a good routine since school began in August. Parker is doing awesome, is full of energy and his skin looks great. He is ounces away from hitting 60 pounds and his teachers say he is a great student who contributes and interacts regularly.

I am so thankful for the many resources out there that have helped me in this journey. Recently, a few readers have contacted me asking for my interpretation of enzyme levels for themselves or others. Somewhere in the blog archives I think I addressed this, but I will explain my perspective on the issue to be clear.

I am not a scientist or a doctor. However, since my family has personally found success in modifying our diet with a primary focus on individual symptoms rather than enzyme levels, I am encouraging my audience to do the same. Yes, enzyme levels may indicate overall tolerance levels, but it seems each person has many other factors aside from digestive enzymes that can play a part. The goal is to reduce digestive stress, strengthen the digestive process by minimizing toxins and processed foods and including support-based supplements, and to monitor each person for symptoms.

Here is a look back to how the current challenge in our CSID journey began.

May 2013: Parker, age 9 had been suffering from severe eczema since December despite the modified diet I had created (see A Place to Start without Sugar or Starch). Unknown factors surfaced at this time including a lack of Parker taking his digestive supplements with cafeteria-based school lunches. I took Parker to the doctor for the 4th or 5th time and requested an allergy panel to determine if he was reacting to additional foods. The allergy panel came back showing he was now allergic to MILK, WHEAT, EGG WHITES, SHRIMP, COCKROACHES, CEDAR and GRASS POLLEN, CAT and DOG HAIR and DANDER, and PENICILLIN. A previous allergy test when he was six had come back negative for allergies to all of these so this was a new development.

My whole approach had to change. Not only did I need to now eliminate several more foods (milk and eggs had been a staple in his diet up to this point), I also had to find ways to bring healing to his body. Over the years I had learned about conditions such as “leaky gut” that could cause temporary food allergies as well as autoimmune conditions. Not one to simply cover-up symptoms, I was determined to bring my son–once again–into a state of health and well-being by getting to the root of the cause.

REVIEW 2013 POSTS for details on the process and how I ultimately found the best combination for healing Parker’s condition. Time alone was a major factor, but I want to encourage anyone if they stay the course, and keep trying various means, there is hope of healing in the end!

Over the past couple of months, Parker’s symptoms have remained under control event though I have made some exceptions and compromises to his once strict diet. To give hope, I want to summarize his current diet, but please know that EACH PERSON IS DIFFERENT. There are too many factors involved to know these particular foods can all be okay for your individual case. However, know that it is possible to expand the diet once symptoms are under control and methods for curbing mild outbreaks or digestive distress are at hand.

In a typical week, Parker’s normal diet currently includes one of the following for each meal:


  • My homemade NUT CEREAL (raw almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts plus dates, raw unsweetened coconut, spoonful of honey and cinnamon, and coconut oil pulsed in food processor until it looks like granola) with unsweetened almond milk.
  • Nature’s Path Organic PUMPKIN FLAX GRANOLA with unsweetened almond milk plus VITAL-ZYMES.
  • APPLEGATE FARMS NATURAL SUNDAY BACON, white sweet potato peeled, shredded, and fried in bacon fat, omelet-style eggs yolks with a drizzle of pure maple syrup PLUS vital-zymes
  • SMOOTHIE with frozen blueberries, banana, whole-fat coconut milk (organic Thai Kitchen in a can), half avocado and a handful of greens such as kale or spinach.
  • Occasionally Van’s Gluten-Free pancake or waffles. (NOTE: No more than 2x per week or he begins to show symptoms.)
LUNCH: (Vital-Zymes with every meal containing sugar or starch alternatives)
  • Minimum of 3 non-starchy vegetables (cucumber, spinach, carrots, bell pepper, avocado, tomato)
  • 1 semi-sweet fruit (fruit leather, strawberries, applesauce, pear, apple or grape juice)
  • 1 starch substitute (Schar gluten-free classic rolls, brown rice tortilla, left-over brown rice pasta)
  • Nuts in either a snack-bar form or loose. (Almonds, cashews, walnuts)
  • Occasional exception of organic peanut butter for use with celery or apple slices.
  • Sweet Potato chips, Veggie Sticks
  • APPLEGATE farms deli meats either loose or in a sandwich roll or wrap. Salami, roasted turkey and roast beef are his favorite. He uses mashed avocado as a “mayonnaise substitute”. I am trying to get him to try mustard, but he won’t.
  • Left-over chicken, hamburgers, steak, etc. from previous nights dinner with tossed salad and lemon juice dressing.
  • Wild canned salmon, trout, or tuna with only water or oil (no soy or broth.)
  • Variety of baked or cooked chicken, turkey breast, salmon, sirloin beef burgers, Applegate farms beef hot dogs, pork, ground turkey or grass fed beef.
  • Rice pasta, baked or fried (in olive oil or meat fat) potatoes (white sweet, white regular, red), brown rice or no starch.
  • steamed non-starchy vegetables–green beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, winter or summer squash
  • fresh tossed salad with leafy greens, lettuce and a variety of other vegetables
We have tried corn-based products a few times but Parker seems to break out in a rash within a day or so. Some of the above products have traces of corn and don’t seem to present a problem. We also avoid soy products for various reasons but as more of a preference than an necessity.
If Parker begins showing signs of distress (rashes, excess gas, sleeping late, difficulty concentrating) the first thing I do is reduce or eliminate the starchy substitutes (gluten-free foods, grains, potatoes). Then I add a few cups of herbal healing teas (Dandelion tea, Traditional Medicines “Throat Coat”, peppermint and/or chamomile teas) through the week for internal assistance, and apply a thin layer of his prescription eczema cream to inflamed patches of skin. Within 48 hours, these techniques have reversed any symptoms and Parker returns to normal.
Frequent showers and applying protective lotions have also been important in reducing external irritating factors.
I hope this update will help you! I am not sure when I will be back again, as I am in the process of final edits for my fiction book set to release in April of 2015. Eventually, I plan to pull A Place to Start Without Sugar or Starch, complete a full-revision and republish with our updated story, recipes, and resources. It will eventually be less of a “recipe book” and more of an encouraging guide for parents to know they are not alone and to point them in the direction of the many resources I have found helpful and healing in our own journey.

CSID and Digestive Health Education

Would you like to know more about digestive health and recipes made with the best, easy to digest foods?

Do you or someone you know suffer from digestive problems and cannot seem to pinpoint how to remedy the source of pain, gas, bloating or worse? 

Are you connected to a group of parents or professionals who may be interested in my CSID story and more information about digestive health?

Food is an integral part of our lives. It should be enjoyed and not feared. However many of us and our children suffer from digestive problems that are difficult to diagnose. Attending parties, public events and even intimate family gatherings can be challenging and frustrating.

As a mother of two children with CSID (Congenital Sucrase Isomaltase Deficiency) who also personally experiences digestive problems related to consuming sugars and starches, food and meal choices are a daily battle. It never fails that when we attend  a gathering where food is present, the topic of our digestive issues becomes the focus of conversation.

I am often asked if we have Celiac disease, and as soon as I say “No, its actually more limited than just gluten-free,” eyebrows lift and a slew of questions begin. And every time, someone in the group says they or someone they know could benefit from what I have learned. They want my blog address and they have even told me I should write a book about it before I have a chance to tell them I already am!

My epiphany? Why wait until my book is published to start educating interested groups about our CSID story, recipes and all I have learned about digestive health? From dietitian conferences to parent groups, and meetups discussing overall health and wellness topics, I am officially putting myself out there to speak for your group the next time you meet.

At this time, I am limited to the Sacramento, California region unless your group can cover my travel and lodging expenses.

I can tailor my speech to meet the specific needs of your group. Simply browse the various topics and recipes on this blog and then send me an email regarding anything you would like more information on.

Feel free to share this post with anyone in your social networking circles and help me to spread the word!

Start here by reading my CSID Story and Purpose of “A Place to Start” (my soon-to-be published book).

As always I appreciate your support as I continue to pursue educating and encouraging those who desire to learn more about healthy eating in the light of dietary limitations.

Collecting Parent and Child CSID Information

In recent weeks, I have been contacted by several parents regarding diet suggestions for their specific child. Some of you I have been corresponding with for some time. Others are new to our CSID conversation. I am writing this post in hopes you will all respond for two purposes.

     To help me out in remembering specifics about you and your child.

    To help other parents see they are not alone in their CSID journey.

What I need is for you to respond as a comment to this post and leave the following information:

1) Your first name, the state or country where you live.

2) Your child’s first name, their age when diagnosed, their current age and birthday.

3) The Group your child falls under. If unknown, just type “group unknown”

4) If your child uses or has access to Sucraid.(Yes, uses Sucraid or No access to Sucraid). If no access, please specify why (no insurance, doctor has not prescribed, etc.)

5) Any other dietary limitations your child currently has (no eggs, dairy, etc.)

6) Finally, you and your child’s favorite recipe and why.

Here is mine to get you started:

Roanne, California
Parker, age 18 months at diagnosis, age 7 today. Birthday 03/04/04.
Elora, age 15 at diagnosis, age 18 today. Birthday 011/23/93.
Both children Group B/C (Parker was on Group A foods only for first  2 years after diagnosis)
Both children use Sucraid with every meal and snack when possible.
No other dietary limitations. (Although Parker went of dairy during peak malabsorption periods.)
Parker loves coconut flour crepes and knox blox because they taste like dessert.
I love smoothies since they are easy and filling!

I would also like to remind you that all parents who assist me with this information and other feedback will qualify for a discount once A Place to Start: CSID Recipes and More is published in paperback form. I am looking into ways to provide the ebook copy at little or no charge as well, but at this time I am unable to do so.

Recent CSID diagnosis?

Occassionally, I get an email from a parent via the March of Dimes, Share Your Story website. These emails seem to be coming in more frequently, which is both encouraging and discouraging to parents. During a recent visit to my son’s Peds GI, I found out that more and more doctors are getting information about diagnosing CSID. Unfortunately, a positive diagnosis is only the beginning and some doctors are diagnosing without conducting all of the tests to determine enzyme levels.

I wish I could update this blog more often. I recently emailed several parents my recipes list as it stands. Please let me know if you recieved it and if  you are finding success! The more positive feedback and results, the sooner we can compile everything we know and put it into a book form.

I will update the polls on this blog as well… and just as soon as I can I plan to copy off the recipes and bind them cheaply in order to mail hard copies to any parents wanting to help in the research process. Really, all this involves is your willingness to use the ingredients and follow the steps so that I know my instructions are complete and easy to follow.

If you did not recieve an email with a copy of the recipes and you would like one, please let me know. It is important to have your child monitored by a doctor and a dietician and that you don’t use any ingredients you are not 100% comforable using.

No matter how much information or how many recipes I post here… the real success will only happen if other parents discover the same results that I have.

On another note, if any of you are interested in posting to this blog recipes, symptoms, questions or whatever, please let me know. This doesn’t just have to be about my personal journey and the information I alone have discovered.