The Beginning of my Mothering Journey
I was a new mom and wife, and as young as I was (18)—I knew I wanted the best for my daughter. I planned to breastfeed Elora and make all of her food from scratch. I even intended on using cloth diapers. I had the desire to “parent naturally” in every sense of the word. Nevertheless, I was young, and with the many other challenges in my life, I found it difficult to follow through.
When Elora started formula at three months old, she began having increased and loose bowel movements and had several “yeast rashes.” Eventually her doctor put her on soy formula, thinking she was reacting to the milk protein. Though it didn’t completely clear up her symptoms, her diaper rashes became fewer and far between, and we assumed she had a milk allergy.
This seemed confirmed one night, when she was about ten months old. We had run out of formula and I gave her a small bottle of milk. I remember her little belly distended out and her standing in her crib screaming and crying for what seemed like hours. I knew she was in pain, but I didn’t know how to fix it.
Looking back, I am not sure milk was the main culprit. The milk probably just intensified whatever I had served her for dinner as it had likely contained high levels of starches and natural sugars.
We continued using soy formula until she was about 18 months old, and then she seemed to do fine with cow’s milk. Though her belly bulged out in front of her skinny legs, the doctors never aired the slightest concern about her health or digestion. She continued to have runny bowel movements and diaper rashes. Doctors and convinced me this was normal. I could do little about her reoccurring yeast infections aside from frequent diaper changes.
She also wet her bed until she was nine years old and had many incidents of soiling herself through her early elementary years. As young parents, we assumed she just wasn’t paying attention to her body’s signals that she had to use the bathroom. Later, we realized she might not have been able to control herself.
Our second daughter was born a healthy 7 pounds, 4 ounces. Aside from having reflux and drenching several burp rags per day, Tayler was a chubby, happy baby. I attributed her reflux to having swallowed meconium prior to birth. This required the nurses to extract the meconium fluid by forcing a tube down her throat.
In addition, as an infant, Tayler had strange, light-colored bowel movements; even while breastfeeding.
Tayler also began formula at around three months of age. The only way she could eat without discomfort was by lying on her stomach, a difficult feat to accomplish while nursing!Today I am aware that reflux and pale-colored bowel movements are also indicators that she is a carrier of the CSID mutation. Though starch and sugar do not seem to bother her, we are sure she is lactose intolerant.
Pregnant with baby number three, we settled into a small house across the street from the elementary school. Elora would be starting kindergarten that year and all seemed fine amidst the normal challenges of raising two daughters on a construction worker’s income.
That year, however, I remember Elora getting sick a lot. For about four months, she would be either vomiting or having diarrhea or both. When I took her into the doctor, he just told me that the stomach flu was going around. When she had bellyaches at school, we thought it was from nerves about the new baby and the fact her daddy worked out of town for the last three months of my pregnancy.
We were blessed with a little boy, and I was finally able to successfully breastfeed for ten months. However, when Dawson was a few months old, Elora came down with the same “stomach-flu-like” symptoms. We had since moved for job-related reasons and I expressed a concern to her new pediatrician about her reoccurring symptoms. He had her and Tayler tested for parasites. When the results came back positive, I was a little confused. How come she wasn’t showing any more serious symptoms considering her first bouts of vomiting had begun a year and half earlier? I never got an answer.
We moved to Idaho later that year so that my husband could start his own business. In addition to wanting to raise our kids away from the hectic and expensive lifestyle of Southern California, it would be more feasible for me to stay at home with our children.
Though Dawson was a very happy baby, he also suffered from horrible diaper rashes and rashes around his mouth. As he got older, I began to notice whenever he drank fruit punch or ate too much candy, his cheeks would get flushed and his lips would get irritated. He has not been tested for CSID, but I am sure he has more intolerance for high levels of sugars and starches than he cares to admit.
Void of the many struggles we faced settling into Idaho, we decided to make the Treasure Valley our permanent home. My husband’s business had become sufficient for me to quit work. Three months after I became an official stay-at-home mom, I was pregnant again! As new Christians, we grew a lot in our faith that year, believing God would provide for my husband’s business, give us discernment for an unruly neighbor, and to help us accept all the responsibilities and blessings that came with our growing family.
At my 20-week check-up and ultrasound, a birth defect was discovered along with the news we would be having another boy. Our fourth child had an abnormal kidney, and would possibly need surgery. This was the first time we would be facing a diagnosed health concern in one of our children, and our faith began to play a bigger part than ever in our lives.
Though this may seem unrelated to the other children’s digestive issues, I must note that I am aware of at least two more mothers who have a child with CSID and a child with kidney problems. This is an odd, yet interesting coincidence to say the least.
After my first induced labor and epidural, our fourth child, Jared, was born seemingly healthy and strong. His doctor put him on preventative antibiotics to avoid infection as he carefully monitored his kidney. Jared had several tests throughout the year, introducing me to medical procedures and the various children’s departments at the hospital.
Jared seems to be the only one of our children without obvious digestive sensitivities. However, the process I went through during his tests and hospital stays prepared me for what I would eventually experience with Parker.
When Jared was a year old, he acquired a severe kidney infection and was hospitalized for five days. Upon consultation with his urologist, we agreed surgery was now a necessary step in ensuring Jared’s long-term health. By the time we had scheduled the surgery in April, I was already pregnant again. Although this new pregnancy planted new found fears in both my husband and I regarding provision for our family’s needs, I discovered a new level of faith while I watched Jared sleeping in the hospital room after his surgery.
What was supposed to be a precautionary over-night stay post-surgery, turned into another five days. Jared’s kidney had not responded well to the surgery and the trauma had caused his entire digestive system to seize up. I couldn’t even hold him as his belly filled with air and even the slightest movement caused him to scream out in pain. He would have to undergo another procedure immediately. A nephrostomy tube had to be inserted into his kidney from the outside of his lower back.
This would drain the fluid collecting in his kidney until the swelling went down enough to assess the next step to take to repair his kidney permanently. I clearly remember standing by his hospital crib late that evening as he slept through the screams of the child in the adjacent room. I was praying for strength to get through the night and the challenges caring for him would entail over the next weeks or months.
Although it wasn’t an audible voice, in my mind, I clearly heard the words:
I am preparing you for something else.
At the time, I didn’t know if that “something else” had to do with Jared, but I held onto those words over the next several months. After a half-a-dozen additional procedures, Jared’s kidney finally began functioning normally by mid-October of that year; those words quickly became a distant memory.
Oddly enough, and even after constant antibiotics for nearly two years, Jared is a healthy ten-year-old boy. I often tease him that although he is the fussiest eater of all his siblings, he is very lucky that he can eat virtually anything without suffering from a tummy ache!
2004 – The Birth of Parker James
After experiencing insomnia and extreme pelvic pain the last several weeks of my pregnancy, I was induced during the first week of March. Though the beginning of my labor was long, as soon as the epidural kicked in, I was ready to give birth to our fifth child.
Parker James was born 6 pounds, 10 ounces and 18 ½ inches long. Though he was smaller than the average seven pounds, twenty inches of my other children, he appeared a healthy newborn. However, his blood sugar levels dropped below normal before we were discharged, and I was encouraged to nurse him as often as possible. He was having difficulty latching on, and kept falling asleep before my milk let down. He also had excess mucus that seemed to choke him several times during each feeding.
I took him to the hospital lactation consultant when he was around one week old to determine if a different approach was needed. Aside from finding different positions to make latching on easier, there was not much more I could do. I started pumping after each feeding to ensure an adequate milk supply. Though he wasn’t growing as rapidly as my other children had, he gained about ½ ounce a day for the first several months. I was in no hurry to introduce solid foods, and did what I could to nourish myself enough to keep up with his frequent feedings.
Then, when he was about six months old, he started having breath-holding spells—a very scary, seizure-like episode where instead of crying, he would just turn gray, arch back and pass out. Any concerns the doctors or myself had about him not growing were put on the back burner. A neurologist and gastroenterologist evaluated him to determine if there was a physical explanation for his spells.
Normally, children don’t start breath-holding until they are two years old. Parker wasn’t old enough to self-induce a tantrum, and my instincts told me there was something else going on. We could only find out what that was by exhausting all other possibilities. After an EEG, EKG and other tests over two hospital stays, he was found to have reflux and was put on the antacid Prevacid.
I was also giving him cups of diluted pear juice and aloe-vera, in an attempt to sooth any discomfort from the spells. (Now I realize pear juice was probably exacerbating his symptoms since it contains high levels of sucrose.)
At the same time, Parker had also developed a mild, unexplained rash on his cheeks. When I pointed this out to the doctors, they didn’t seem too concerned. At his nine-month check-up, I asked about the rash again and noted several other oddities about Parker’s physical appearance and behavior. Parker had a webbing of his second and third toes, a slight inward curve to both his small fingers, and always had a runny nose. He had also had a few unexplained episodes of vomiting without a fever; frequent, very smelly bowel movements and often experienced night sweats. I was hoping a discussion of the combination of his symptoms would trigger some type of diagnosis.
After determining he had hardly grown in the previous three months, he was given a failure-to-thrive diagnosis, unrelated to his breath-holding episodes and other symptoms. I continued to mention all of these symptoms during every doctor’s appointment. Each time I was assured his other symptoms were not connected and that he would likely “grow out of them.”
Then, the day after Christmas, 2004, Parker had a severe breath-holding spell that was followed by a grand mal seizure that lasted five minutes. After getting monitored over-night at the hospital, the doctors detected no further seizure activity. Since he had been running a small fever prior to the seizure, the doctors concluded this event was unconnected to Parker’s other issues.
March 2005 – Seizures and Failure to Thrive Continue
I, my husband, Parker’s grandparents and other family members were frustrated by the lack of answers. However, most of the doctors and specialists who saw Parker took our concerns to heart and conducted whatever tests they could to pinpoint a diagnosis. Various pediatric specialists tested Parker for growth-hormone deficiency, Celiac disease, other food allergies, and even admitted him to the hospital over his first birthday for a 24-hour EEG-EKG monitoring test.
During this five-day stay in the children’s ward, he was also given his first dose of phenobarbital (drowning in sucrose syrup no less) and immediately vomited. Even though he was not having regular seizure activity, the doctor thought maybe the Phenobarbital would calm his nervous system enough to stop the breath-holding spells, which occurred as frequently as eight times per day.
By the next day, he had continued throwing up and began having diarrhea as well. After two more days in the hospital, a CT scan, and an evaluation of one of his soiled diapers by the lab, he was sent home. Everyone assumed he had caught a stomach virus from being in the children’s ward for so long. (The fact he had eaten macaroni and cheese and birthday cake in the hospital was not considered.)
Something in the back of my mind thought that sounded familiar as I recalled Elora’s bouts of so-called stomach flu as a child. But what was I to do? The doctors really seemed to be doing all they could.
I cannot say that I was not frustrated and concerned with my son’s health. I cannot say that I never doubted I had done something to cause his discomfort. However, occasionally after catching up on my sleep and getting a moment of quiet in our small apartment with our five children (who I was also homeschooling!); I would remember that night in the hospital with Jared.
I am preparing you for something else.
I would hold on another day, another week, or however long I needed to face the next mountain. I learned to accept what I could not change. I kept detailed records about Parker including sleep patterns, foods and sensitivities to the environment. I had started journaling all the food he ate; how often he nursed; and all his symptoms or odd behavior.
To protect him from breath-holding spells and seizures often induced by his rambunctious siblings, Parker became a silent and content fixture on my hip. One day, I remember working in the kitchen for about an hour when I suddenly noticed Parker watching my every move. I had been so focused on whatever I was cooking or cleaning I had literally forgotten I was holding him! Despite all that he had endured, he had such a calm and sweet spirit about him when he was in my arms.
After the hospital stay on his birthday, he was nursing every 20 minutes, and I finally gave in and fed him a bottle of formula in order to give myself time to rehydrate. He sucked it down in no time (probably due to dehydration), and though I continued to nurse him for a few more months, formula supplements soon became part of his daily diet.
The next time he saw the doctor, he had gained several ounces. This was a huge milestone, as he had hardly grown in length or weight during the six months prior. Sighing with relief, we all assumed this was the answer to his failure to grow well—he just wasn’t getting enough calories from my breast milk! Even though he continued to have rashes, six or more foul-smelling-bulky diapers per day, and several breath holding spells followed by minor seizures, we were all relieved that he had started growing.
By 16 months old, Parker was breastfeeding only at night. I had started giving him goat’s milk, which he seemed to tolerate well. I was feeding him homemade brown rice, lentils, and yams (all very high in starch content but I did not know any better at that time). He also ate what the family ate for dinner from spaghetti to fried chicken to fast food. I tried to eliminate anything that seemed to cause the rash on his face to flare up, but I found it hard to determine, as sometimes his siblings would also feed him without my knowledge. I had concluded that I had done all I could do, and that those words I felt God telling me were for me to learn to accept the unknown.
Then Parker’s seizures started coming more frequently. He was napping up to four hours at one time on the days he experienced several breath-holding spells and seizures.
Parker had also come to a wall in his verbal and motor skills progress. Though he took his first steps at ten months, he didn’t begin fully walking until he was fourteen months old. He didn’t seem interested in speaking either, and he couldn’t even cry without going into a breath-holding spell. Everyone in the house had to learn to watch him carefully while anticipating his every need and want.
August 2005 – Beginning Anti-Seizure Meds
I consulted his neurologist and as much as I hated the idea of Parker going on daily medication, I yielded to his suggestion to start Phenobarbital. After just a few doses, the seizure activity stopped. Parker was more active for the next several weeks, but then suddenly took a turn for the worst.
October 2005 – Will Yet Another GI Test Bring Answers?
At the beginning of October 2005, over the course of a few days, Parker had become extremely lethargic. He couldn’t seem to stay awake, and would fuss weakly when he was. His appetite decreased and he kept falling asleep. He had several yucky bowel movements, but I was used to them by that point. I didn’t think they were an indication that something else was going on.
Having little faith that any of his doctors would have a different answer for me, I sent out an e-mail request for prayer to everyone I knew. Parker needed a miracle, and honestly, so did I! I was exhausted and didn’t have the strength to face another slew of tests and hospital stays with my hurting baby.
That Thursday, Parker had a follow-up appointment with his pediatric gastroenterologist, Dr. Sally Schindele. He took his normal morning nap before his appointment, but still proceeded to fall asleep on my lap while we waited for the doctor. When she came in and began the exam, Parker remained sleeping. This was very unusual. After all, even the most miserable 18-month old would at least protest with a small whimper in response to an ice-cold stethoscope. But he kept sleeping.
Dr. Schindele sat down and slowly began flipping through Parker’s chart. I could tell she was concerned, but didn’t want to alarm me. After several minutes, she asked me if I could remember why we never did a small bowel biopsy.
I shook my head in response, smiled weakly and said, “No, I don’t. You have done every other test.”
The only reason why I think she didn’t admit Parker to the children’s ward to be treated for dehydration was due to all we had already been through. If he got worse, I was to bring him to the ER. She scheduled the biopsy for the following Thursday and sent us home.
He didn’t have a single wet diaper all day, but stayed awake for the rest of the afternoon, though in a daze. He only he sipped on goat milk and pear juice three or four times and continued to refuse any solid foods.
On Friday, his appetite decreased even more and he had seven bowel movements. I weighed him and realized he had lost weight. His belly was swollen and had a grayish tint to it. He did not have the energy to move around the house, and would start fussing when he wasn’t near me. He managed to drink around 10 ounces of goat’s milk and some pear juice before falling asleep for the night.
On Saturday, he had a wet diaper upon waking up. This was a good sign and probably the only thing that kept me from rushing him to the ER. He didn’t have a bowel movement until around noon, dissipating any thought that he was dehydrated. He was still very weak and falling in and out of sleep. I decided not to give him any goat milk or pear juice that day just to be safe.
Somehow, he managed to recover enough over the next few days to be well for his biopsy procedure. Though I had a thousand questions, I knew this was the last straw. If we didn’t get answers this time, we would just have to find a way to care for Parker despite the unknown.
When the doctor came to tell us she was done with the procedure, she carefully sat down between my husband and me before telling us what she had found.
Again, a look of concern crossed her face as she tried to explain what she had seen during the biopsy. If we agreed, she wanted to have a CT scan done of Parker’s chest before he left the hospital. His esophagus tube was extremely narrow right about the point where his aorta valve would be attached. If his aorta valve was wrapped around his esophagus, he would need heart surgery. This could explain his breath holding spells, and if his heart was working overtime due to a birth defect, his slow growth could also be explained. We would still not understand his other ailments, but it would be a start. However, we would not get the results of the CT scan until Monday.
I think that weekend tested my faith more than ever. If Parker needed heart surgery, there would be a huge risk factor involved. He could even die. Was this what God was preparing me for? I didn’t know what choice I had, and I just let it all go—all the control I thought I had over Parker’s well-being. I gave it all to God and told Him I would accept the diagnosis no matter what sacrifice it entailed.
At 8am Monday morning, the phone rang. My heart fluttered and raced as I answered the phone. It was Dr. Schindele. She immediately told me Parker’s heart looked fine. I let out a huge sigh, as if I had been holding my breath for three days, and tears stung my eyes.
She could not explain what was causing the narrow opening, but nonetheless it was likely being constrained when Parker became upset. At least now we had an explanation for why he could not catch his breath on his own. The rest of the test results would take a couple of weeks.
FINALLY A DIAGNOSIS!
The week before Halloween, we received the results.
“Parker has Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency.” His doctor said slowly over the phone.
I grabbed a pencil and a notepad. “Spell that for me and then tell me what it means!” I could hear the relief in my voice and I think I may have even been smiling. I had no idea what Parker had, but I was too relieved to care. We finally had an answer—a diagnosis!
If I only knew!
All his doctor knew about CSID was that Parker couldn’t eat “table sugar” or starch. I would have to look up more information online and seek the guidance of a dietician to help curb his diet. After a huge sigh of relief, I prepared myself for the work it would entail to know what to feed my son.
I felt very equipped and capable to handle this newfound challenge, even with all the other commitments in my life. I was finishing my degree online and had learned how to effectively research on the web. I immediately searched for the CSID website the doctor had given me, registered at NORD (National Organization for Rare Diseases), and made an appointment with a dietician.
It didn’t take long for me to realize why Parker’s doctor couldn’t tell me more. There were only a handful of references to CSID, and they all just summed up the cause and vaguely discussed the elimination of starches and the need for Sucraid to digest sugar.
I received the most information from the administrator of the CSID “Parent Support Group” website, Mary Slawson. Mary explained that since each child has a different mutation of CSID, the amount of starches and sugars each person can tolerate varies. My best option was to find a dietician that would help me create the perfect diet to meet Parker’s specific needs.
At this point, I was feeling more overwhelmed than hopeful. My hope faded even further when I found out I needed to pay cash for the dietician because she didn’t accept my son’s insurance. In addition, it was a forty-minute drive to her office. However, the drive was worth it as the dietitian boosted my confidence and helped me to make a plan. I was still going to be on my own, but she gave me several pointers for food options that steered me in the right direction.
The first step was to eliminate the two teaspoons of sucrose-based Phenobarbital Parker was taking each day. His neurologist ordered a pill form of the medication, which we started putting in yogurt.
My notebooks came out again. I began to chart everything Parker ate, all his symptoms, and when I gave him Sucraid. I initially thought he was in Group C, so I continued to feed him starches. After reviewing his specific enzyme levels with Mary a few weeks later, she told me he was in Group B.
I was devastated to learn I had still been feeding Parker food he wasn’t supposed to have! No more puffed rice cereal or oatmeal. I had to narrow his food options once again. Even the slightest trace of starch in the ingredient list on a food label soon indicated that item was off the list of permissible foods. When family members or caregivers asked me what Parker could not eat, I would laugh and tell them it was probably easier for me to tell them the eight things he could have!
In addition to the changes we were making in his diet, Parker’s dad and I weaned him off Phenobarbital. It was a hassle to get him to eat it in the yogurt, and Parker had still not made significant improvements in his speech and motor skills.
Within two days of removing Phenobarbital, Parker began talking! At this point, I had removed all known sugars and starches from his diet. Do you think it is a coincidence that he never had another seizure? This confirmed what I had thought all along—that Parker’s seizures did have something to do with his failure-to-thrive and his inability to digest food!
At first, however, Parker still did not appear to tolerate many of the foods he supposedly could digest. Rashes would come and go, and no matter how little fruit I gave him with Sucraid, he still had diarrhea. With the approval of his dietician, I also started feeding him small amounts of almond flour-based goods such as bread and pancakes.
After experimenting with various foods and supplements, my first notes showing Parker was symptom free were in March of 2006, over four months following his diagnosis. However, on the same day I also increased his serving of pears and applesauce, which resulted in several loose bowel movements, despite having given him Sucraid.
A short time later, I decided to stop Sucraid since Parker seemed to only tolerate a few ounces of sucrose containing foods. I realized determining which foods he could tolerate without Sucraid was an important next step.
The next several months, Parker’s diet was very restricted as I focused on feeding him vegetables, meat protein, and dairy products. I did not give him any food that I knew contained any forms of sucrose or starches (including soy flakes). By January 2007, I was ready to introduce Sucraid again.
Shortly afterwards, Parker began developing a rash on his face. Since I had not changed
a whole lot in his diet, and since he was not having diarrhea, I was unsure at what was
causing it. I assumed one of his sisters had given him something and that the rash would clear up.
Then my husband asked if I had checked the label on the tuna recently. As soon as he said it, I knew. I had failed to double check the ingredient label on the tuna for weeks. After all, it was just tuna in water. What could change? Sure enough, the manufacturer had started adding soy flakes! Within a few days of treating his rash with ointment and removing tuna and other canned fish that contained soy flakes, his rash cleared up.
FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING
During a church barbecue where the Christian Motorcycle association was serving hamburgers, the of biker’s wives starting asking about Parker after I had asked if the hamburgers were
100% beef. Her husband had suffered from digestive problems and had started seeing an alternative medicine doctor.
Feeling a new glimmer of hope, I made an appointment with the alternative medicine doctor first thing Monday. I was not sure what they could do for Parker, but I knew his health could still improve.
It is only a miracle that they had an opening for testing that Thursday and we just happened
to have additional money available to cover the costs. The testing they did was non-invasive and peaceful compared to the hospital procedures he had experienced. They measured the stress levels of all his vital organs in a test called a Thermography, and took saliva and urine samples to measure his pH and salt levels.
Parker’s internal organs, (especially his intestines and stomach), were still highly stressed, despite having removed troubling foods from his diet.
Though it took a few minutes to sink in, and though I came close to tears thinking how Parker was still not as healthy as he could be, I was grateful that I was getting answers PLUS solutions this time around. This doctor had a plan and she believed Parker could achieve maximum health and well-being to his body if we worked together to assist him. The plan included
various supplements and digestive support therapy, along with a few adjustments to his
OCTOBER 2008 – Another Child With CSID
By this time, my oldest daughter, Elora, was fourteen. The previous July she had been in a severe car accident. Weeks of bed rest and medication had added to my role as caregiver and nurse for her as well as for Parker. After her initial recovery, her older symptoms of digestion problems surfaced once again. After a severe bout of stomach cramping and indigestion, we finally had her seen by our pediatric GI for testing.
She had eaten an excess of pizza and pasta over the weekend. Her belly bloated out and she had sharp pains all around her upper back and chest. She told me she wanted to know if she had CSID. I had a hunch she would and we all knew she would be giving up her favorite foods include pizza and pasta, if the results were positive!
Sure enough, three years almost to the day after Parker’s diagnosis, Elora’s results were positive as well. Realizing the dilemma I now faced in re-teaching my 14-year-old how to eat and make choices for herself, I submitted to the fact it was finally time I wrote a book about all I had learned.
Having children with CSID is about more than a quick fix for finding the meals for the day. It has become a lifestyle for our whole family in both understanding and in practice.
My hope in compiling what I have learned into a single reference guide is that parents who read this blog and my book will be able to focus their efforts in caring for their child. You don’t have to spend hours on the internet, in bookstores or the library, trying to figure out what you can feed your child.
You have found a comprehensive starting place to help you care for your child’s needs now. It will take time, sacrifice, adjusting your budget, and a few long grocery-shopping adventures. In the end, your happy, healthy child, will be worth it!
In the several years since I have started this project, there have been many challenges and triumphs. I have had to change my approach and apply certain measures to protect myself and those who may flip directly to my recipes without fully understanding that their child’s digestive needs are unique.
I have struggled with staying consistent in feeding my family and have discovered that I personally feel much better when sticking with the foods and recipes I suggest here and in the books.
Educating my own children about wise food choices is one of my main priorities as one day they have a chance of having children with CSID themselves. Money and time constraints have not always made it possible to provide the ideal diet. However, I take much comfort in knowing how to steer us all back on a path of healthy eating, when taking that path is possible.
This story is also include in the Kindle version of my book:
Our story continues as I update this blog, so come back often to learn about our latest triumphs, challenges, and insights into Essential Carbohydrate living!