Embracing Imperfect http://embracingimperfect.com Tue, 03 Mar 2015 19:20:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Stop Stereotyping Autism on TV http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/stop-stereotyping-autism/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/stop-stereotyping-autism/#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2015 19:05:21 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19719 So, I have to get something off my chest because it’s been bothering the HECK out of me. My husband and I are fans of “Blacklist” and a few weeks ago, we were watching and quite tired, so when the show was over, we just sat there. My husband decided to watch the next show, “Allegiance.” I’m a pretty fussy TV viewer so I had no

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autism on Tv

So, I have to get something off my chest because it’s been bothering the HECK out of me.

My husband and I are fans of “Blacklist” and a few weeks ago, we were watching and quite tired, so when the show was over, we just sat there. My husband decided to watch the next show, “Allegiance.” I’m a pretty fussy TV viewer so I had no interest in this show, which is based around the now-renewed cold war with Russia. (Frankly I think Hollywood has been holding it’s breath for Russia to become an enemy again.)

Now in this show, there’s a family of Russian spies, who are inactive and get re-embroiled in spy intrigue against their will – all except for their son, who works for the CIA. I was barely watching, but in the opening episode, after just a few months of employment, he gets promoted to the top because he’s that smart – a savant. Shortly after that, you see his mother tying his tie – because he CAN’T, because he presumably has autism.

So, yes, I did a little rant on the couch after that. I hate this manifestation of autism, just like I HATE the “Bones” manifestation of Asperger’s  (i.e., it’s an excuse for bad behavior, which is ok because people with autism are super-geniuses and are smart enough to be atheists. GRRRR.)

For the record, people with high functioning autism (HFA), can be smart and can be supersmart or even “savants”. Or, they can be…ok, I’ve never actually heard anyone say “low functioning,” but if you are saying “high functioning” that implies that “low functioning” exists. To tell you the truth, a friend asked me about the distinction of what HFA is and I can’t figure it out. Know why? Because “if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” No two are exactly alike. Autism can manifest in completely different ways, even in the same family, even among siblings.

But Hollywood doesn’t agree and so we get shows like “Allegiance” and “Bones” which glamorize autism on TV as a way to worship on the altar of “Intellect.” So, since I’ve gone there, let’s ask the question: does autism represent an increase in intelligence or not? Are kids and people with autism smarter, making this a desirable trait to have?

AUTISM AND INTELLIGENCE…AND GLUTAMATE

I read up this some years ago when investigating Dr. Amy Yasko’s protocol for autism intervention, “Autism: Pathways to Recovery.” She has written extensively about autism and increased intelligence. People with autism have an imbalance in brain chemistry which can cause neurotransmittor called glutamate to fire often. Basically, Yasko explains that glutamate “can cause the nerves to fire, creating neurological inflammation and damage.” Another doctor, Dr. J.Z. Tsien discovered a relationship between the “glutamate receptors and superior ability in learning and memory” but also noticed that they correlated to an increase in stroke risk and seizure activity. Read the full report in Chapter 4: Step One, Part One at Dr. Amy’s site, which includes important data about why MSG and excitotoxins are dangerous for kids with autism*.

To put it plainly, the thing that is making (some) kids with autism smarter may be harming them and even killing them. This frustrates me on several levels. First of all, I get it. We all want our kids to be smarter, and I was pretty much a smarty pants in school (skipped ahead a grade, honor society, scholarship, blah blah blah.) Who wouldn’t want that for their child? But at the risk of seizures? Strokes? Not to mention, all the disabilities that come with autism, like speech delays, learning disabilities (yes, you can be smart and have learning disabilities), illegible handwriting, no sense of personal space, and my personal demon, elopement. Is this extra (sometimes) intelligence enough to make autism a “gift” as some claim?

IS “SMARTS” REALLY THE NEW, BEST STANDARD?

Secondly, I have another daughter and …I say this as respectfully and gently as possible…but book smarts is not her thing. She detests reading (and while Zoe struggles, her bed is littered with books – she’s trying on her own.) For Amelia, it’s a painful chore. Retention and memory stink for her. She can do math and excels in science stuff, especially nature and the solar system, or at least the school says she does, and that’s great. She’s a great one for movies and photos. And she has a wonderful gift for nurturing and caring for others, as well as encouragement. These are extremely valuable gifts in my mind.

Let’s also not forget that even for smart kids, even for kids who do not have learning disabilities at all, the world is a different place than when I was growing up. Back then, college was not just an option, it WAS the completion of your education. Now, college is barely or not affordable for most people and a Bachelors degree no longer confers a high paying job (nor even one that may pay back those student loans). In fact, vocational careers and schools are coming in fashion, in demand, cost less to attend and can land you a much higher paying job or career. While great intelligence can have benefits, it’s not needed as much as we tend to believe.

WHAT PRICE INTELLIGENCE?

When I see a bit of influx autism on TV shows, I get a little bit of a chill up my spine. First of all, the rates of autism in the U.S. have risen each and every year, in the last 20-30 years. (Actually it’s risen sharply since the 1950s, but let’s just focus on the recent past.) “Better diagnosis” simply cannot account for the sharp increase. In fact, if you recall, last year, they removed the Aspergers’ diagnosis altogether from the psychiatric community’s diagnostic journal, meaning there should be less cases of autism. We shall see in the iteration of statistics. In addition, business is hopping for autism aides and therapists of every stripe. And just try to get your kid into an “autism only” program. Good luck with that – demand is high. Or ask a teacher that’s been the field 20 years or more if she saw this many kids with autism a few decades ago. It IS on the rise.

And now we get to a topic I don’t like to talk about: normalization. I don’t like this topic, because there is a really, really fine line between acceptance of those who have autism and normalizing the condition so that it’s “expected” or even glorified…so fine that I really cannot tell where that delineation lies. I do want people and kids to accept my daughter (as they do in her school) and I don’t want her bullied, abused or otherwise victimized because of her disability (and I know there’s a high chance of that happening.) But I also don’t want our community to say, “Autism is fine, it’s a gift. These people don’t need help, just push them along into the system.” Or, “It’s  not a disability, we don’t need to find a cause, we just need to build more assisted living homes for them.”

My daughters is kind, sweet, caring, and affectionate. Like everyone else with autism, you can’t lump her in a group. (I recently read an article that said that “people with autism are detached” and it totally offended me. Zoe is anything BUT detached.) She is “smart” people say but what I think they mean is somewhere on the average to somewhat smart level. It’s hard to tell because, thanks to autism, her intelligence cannot be easily measured. Sit still, take the test, do the modified testing, answer the question, make the craft, blah blah blah…it’s all challenging, or she wants to bend around that system and manipulate it. That sounds great in theory but it’s only useful if we can help her channel that creativity and outside-the-lines thinking into something useful..

WHAT IS THE ANSWER?

I will tell you, I don’t know what the answer is. I want my kids – BOTH my kids – to thrive, to flourish, to have jobs or careers they love. To live as independently as possible, to marry if they wish, to be ok and secure when Chris and I am gone. For this reason, I will do what I need to do to help them. I will fight for them, I will try alternative therapies, I will micromanage their eating, I will sign petitions, I will read late into the night, and observe, edit, change, improve, ask, modify, spend money, investigate – you name it.

As for this normalization process, I have no good answers. Anyone raising a child with autism has no illusion about the mom on “Allegiance” dismissing her son’s childhood as those “difficult” years (during which she was effectively a single parent…ok). And yes, I don’t have a problem with autism on TV shows, but there should be other kids too: kids with cystic fibrosis, and Down syndrome, and other physical disabilities (thank you, Glee), and Trisomy 18, and with cancer, and so on. I only want them to show the reality. The reality is not cool or mind blowing and doesn’t often pay the bills. People with autism and/or what was once called Asberger’s syndrome have great difficulties getting and keeping jobs, maintaining relationships, balancing the world in functional ways. Not all of them but many of them. And if the rates of autism keep rising in this country, I’m not sure who is going to run it or take care of those that cannot take care of themselves.

What’s your take on Hollywood’s portrayal of autism-like disabilities? How do you feel about normalization and autism on TV? I want to hear your opinions!

*After reading several chapters in Dr. Yasko’s book and conferring with people who had their kids on her protocol, we decided this route was too costly and too consuming for our family to implement. Part of her protocol has interest not only in balancing the glutamate levels, but in retaining the enhanced intelligence. Definitely a protocol autism families should investigate, even if they choose otherwise.

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Happiness is Homemade Linky Party #60 http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/sunday-linky-party/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/sunday-linky-party/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 15:28:12 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19715 Welcome back to another great week at Happiness is Homemade!! Can you believe it is already March!! Is it just me or had the year just flown on by. With it being a new month that means we have another great group of co-host’s. So make sure you make them a visit on there blogs. Also if you are wondering on how to become a

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Welcome back to another great week at Happiness is Homemade!! Can you believe it is already March!! Is it just me or had the year just flown on by.

With it being a new month that means we have another great group of co-host’s. So make sure you make them a visit on there blogs. Also if you are wondering on how to become a co-host with us. Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below.

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THIS WEEK’S MOST VIEWED LINKS

Pantry Moths-Get rid of them forever by Duck’s ‘n a Row

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Moroccan Lamb Stew by Cooking with Carlee

Plastic Drawer Makeover by Lemons and Laughs

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Crabby Snacks by Mama’s High Strung

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MEET YOUR HOSTS

Brittany from Mommy On Demand

Mommy On Demand | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #HappinessIsHomemade Link Party

FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | GOOGLE+ | TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN

Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise

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FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | GOOGLE+ | TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN

MARCH CO-HOST’S

Susan from Little Shack on the Hill

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FACEBOOK | BLOGLOVIN | PINTEREST |TWITTER | GOOGLE + | INSTAGRAM

Erin from Just a Few of my Favorite Things

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FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Gina from Embracing Imperfect

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FACEBOOK | BLOGLOVIN | PINTEREST | TWITTER | GOOGLE+ | INSTAGRAM

Lisa from Bloghetti

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FACEBOOK | BLOGLOVIN | PINTEREST | TWITTER | GOOGLE+ | INSTAGRAM

 

Do you have a blog and are interesting in Co-hosting Happiness is Homemade?

Simply fill in the Rafflecopter for your chance to win a co-hosting spot with us!! FOUR lucky winners will co-host the Happiness is Homemade Link Party for the following month! You will co-host with us for the entire month! We will also let you have first chance to enter your links into the party for more exposure.

As always it is free to sign up and helps bring more viewers to your page!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that’s enough talking let’s get this party started!!!

 

A Peek Into My Paradise

The rules are really simple! Make sure you visit a few other blogs and make some new friends along the way. Feel free to link up your favorite recipes, crafts or your latest DIY project. We want you yo share it all! As always, please make sure to follow your hosts and co-hosts!!


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Healthy & Gluten Free Coupons, 2/27/15 http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/healthy-gluten-free-coupons-22715/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/healthy-gluten-free-coupons-22715/#respond Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:25:50 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19709 This post contains affiliate links. Here are these week’s hard-to-find organic, dairy free and gluten free coupons: SNACKS HEALTH BAKING HOPSTER APP           IBOTTA: New product: Silk Almond Creamer!! Sign up and download the app at my referral link: https://ibotta.com/r/kmzc3w

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This post contains affiliate links.

Here are these week’s hard-to-find organic, dairy free and gluten free coupons:

SNACKS

$1.00 off any TWO (2) KETTLE BRAND products$2.00 off ONE (1) jar of MaraNatha Almond Butter

HEALTH

BOGO Zarbee's Naturals Mighty Bee Sample

BAKING

SAVE $1.50 on ONE (1) Tate + Lyle® Fairtrade Certified Sugar productSave 55¢ on ONE (1) Florida Crystals® Sugar product

HOPSTER APP

Save $1.00 on any ONE (1) Quinoa product, excluding polentas. Unlock when you complete 1 Quinoa Corp activity.$1.00 off any one (1) Pamela's Products 4oz or larger. Unlock when you complete 2 Pamela's Products, Inc. activities.

50¢ off any one (1) Pamela's Products 4oz or larger$1.50 OFF any ONE (1) Marley Coffee Product - 8 oz bag or Single Serve Box (10,12,16 ct). Unlock when you complete 1 Marley Coffee activity.

 

$1.00 OFF any ONE (1) Marley Coffee Product - 8 oz bag or Single Serve Box (10,12,16 ct)$1.50 OFF one Rhythm Superfoods product. Unlock when you complete 2 Rhythm Superfoods activities.

 

$1.00 OFF one Rhythm Superfoods productSave $1.00 on any TWO (2) packages of Hilary's Veggie Burgers

 

Save 50¢ on any ONE (1) Hilary's Salad Dressing$1.00 off any one (1) pint of Wink Frozen Desserts

 

$1.50 off any one Cybele's Gluten-Free & Allergy-Friendly Cookies. Unlock when you complete 1 Cybele's activity.75¢ off any one Cybele's Gluten-Free & Allergy-Friendly Cookies

$1.00 off any one (1) Glutenfreeda product$1.50 off any one (1) Glutenfreeda product. Unlock when you complete 1 Glutenfreeda Foods, Inc. activity.

Save $1.00 on any Boiron Calendula CreamSave $1.00 on any size Oscillo or Children's Oscillo

Save $2.00 on any Boiron Calendula Cream. Unlock when you complete 1 Boiron® USA activity.Save $2.00 on any size Oscillo or Children's Oscillo. Unlock when you complete 1 Boiron® USA activity.

50¢ OFF any jar of Greenview Kitchen Organic Pasta Sauce$2.00 off any one (1) Orgain Shake 4-Pack

$3.00 off any one (1) Orgain Shake 4-Pack. Unlock when you complete 1 Orgain activity.$1.50 off any one (1) Orgain Shake. Unlock when you complete 2 Orgain activities.

$3.00 Off any two jars (2) SunButter product. Unlock when you complete 1 SunButter LLC. activity.$1.00 off of any one (1) SunButter product

$1.00 off of one (1) Barbara's product 4.4oz. or larger$1.00 off any one (1) Once Again Nut Butter product

$1.00 off any one (1) 32 oz. Biokleen Bac-Out Product$1.00 off any one (1) 32 oz. Biokleen Dish Product

$1.00 off any one (1) 64 oz. Biokleen Laundry Liquid

 

IBOTTA: New product: Silk Almond Creamer!!
Sign up and download the app at my referral link: https://ibotta.com/r/kmzc3w


Earn $2.00 when you purchase Boiron® Calendula Cream

Earn $2.00 when you purchase Boiron® Single Medicines

Earn $3.00 when you purchase Boiron® Arnicare® Arthritis

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Boiron® Coldcalm® tablets

Earn $2.00 when you purchase Boiron® Oscillococcinum®

Earn $1.00 when you purchase O.N.E.™ Coconut Water

Earn $0.50 when you purchase Silk® Vanilla Almond Creamer

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Udi's™ Gluten Free

Earn $1.00 when you purchase i heart keenwah® quinoa clusters

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Marley Coffee®

Earn $1.50 when you purchase Marley Coffee® RealCup™

Earn $1.00 when you purchase SMARTCANDY® Gummy

Earn $1.00 when you purchase SMARTCANDY® Froot

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Organic Valley Organic Balance™ Milk Protein Shake

Earn $1.25 when you purchase Organic Valley Organic Fuel™ Milk Protein Recovery Shake

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Beanfields™ Bean & Rice Chips

Earn $2.50 when you purchase Organic Valley Organic Balance™ Milk Protein Shakes

Earn $1.25 when you purchase Organic Valley Organic Fuel™ Milk Protein Recovery Shake

Earn $2.50 when you purchase Organic Valley Organic Fuel™ Milk Protein Recovery Shakes

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Organic Valley Organic Balance™ Milk Protein Shake

Earn $1.50 when you purchase Marley Coffee® RealCup™

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Marley Coffee®

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Earth Balance® Baking Sticks

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Earth Balance® Spread

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Nature's All Foods® Freeze-Dried Strawberries

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Himalania® Organic & Fair Trade Black Chia Seeds

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Himalania® Himalayan Pink Salt

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Review: Dashing Dish Cookbook http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/review-dashing-dish-cookbook/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/review-dashing-dish-cookbook/#respond Thu, 26 Feb 2015 20:31:57 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19697 I received a copy of this book to facilitate this review; all opinions are my own. When I was offered a copy of “Dashing Dish: 100 Simple & Delicious Recipes for Clean Eating” by Katie Farrell of DashingDish.com, I was excited to add more recipes (and more dairy free hacks) to my cooking line up. Katie starts out by giving people who are new to

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I received a copy of this book to facilitate this review; all opinions are my own.

dashing dish cookbook

When I was offered a copy of “Dashing Dish: 100 Simple & Delicious Recipes for Clean Eating” by Katie Farrell of DashingDish.com, I was excited to add more recipes (and more dairy free hacks) to my cooking line up. Katie starts out by giving people who are new to eating clean some great tips for getting started, like “Top Ten Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget” and “Tips for Developing Healthy Habits,” which includes how to swap a poor choice with a cleaner one when cooking from scratch.

WHO THIS BOOK IS FOR: The Dashing Dish Cookbook is for people who want to clean up their diet, new cooks, anyone new to cooking clean from scratch.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT IT: Dishes are easy, creative and run the gamut – from gluten free to speedy cooking to overnight dishes. And for the recipe hacker like me, easy to adapt. Best part? The “for one” recipes. There are only a few, but a great way to spend a little time (5-10 minutes) to make yourself a healthy treat after the kids are in bed…perfect for moms! Katie write a complete recipe, including prep time and  yields, but also nutritional information per serving and information on changes.

Dashing Dish recipe

SOME OF THE RECIPES YOU’LL FIND IN THE DASHING DISH COOKBOOK:

  • Inside Out Philly Cheesesteak Peppers
  • Mini Mexican Pizzas
  • French Toast Protein Shake
  • Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Chowder
  • Mediterranean Chicken Kabobs with Quinoa Tabbouleh
  • Creamy Pasta Salad

WHAT DID I TRY FOR THIS REVIEW: Carrot Cake for One in Minutes

Carrot cake

I know it looks MUCH different, but I’m not perfect, ya know? Taste is what matter and THIS was yummy, if I do say so myself! And easy peasy

This recipe took 5 minutes to assemble – mostly from peeling the carrots! It includes finely grated carrots, an egg white, unsweetened applesauce (or carrot baby food), oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, sale and sweetener of choice, walnuts are optional. It takes 2 minutes to microwave in a small bowl or mug and YOU’RE DONE. You can make yogurt frosting for it too, but I created my own frosting since I’m not such a big yogurt fan. I topped my mini cake with equal parts raw honey, almond butter and coconut manna (YUM) and sprinkled unsweetened coconut on top. Ok, so it doesn’t look pretty but it tasted really good and was very filling – not bad for a cake with 100 calorie dish with 1g of fat, 1g of sugar, 7g protein and 1g fiber.

I love this book and am so eager to dig into more of these mouth-watering real food recipes!

Dashing Dish retails for $26.99 and is published by Nelson Books. You can also buy the book at Amazon.com.

 

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Alpha Grillers Garlic Press & Green Salsa Chicken http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/green-salsa-chicken/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/green-salsa-chicken/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:53:20 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19675 I received this product to facilitate this review; all opinions are my own. Since I cook a LOT, and I’m still no big fan of cooking, I try to acquire tools that will help me put great meals that conform to special diets, like GAPS, on the table. As someone who was raised Italian, I’m pretty excited that so far every diet we’ve landed has allowed

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I received this product to facilitate this review; all opinions are my own.

garlic press

Since I cook a LOT, and I’m still no big fan of cooking, I try to acquire tools that will help me put great meals that conform to special diets, like GAPS, on the table. As someone who was raised Italian, I’m pretty excited that so far every diet we’ve landed has allowed that sacred, amazing, beautiful, best-of-all seasonings: garlic. And while I do have the powdered stuff for when I need a pinch of it, I’m a bit of a snob. It’s organic fresh garlic for my tasty dishes!

But getting garlic out of the skin is a pain and you end up smelling like you could scare away vampires for a year. So years ago, when I learned there was such a thing called a “garlic press”, I was thrilled. It was so awesome to use, but it was a beast to clean.

Not so with Alpha Grillers garlic press and peeler! My husband was hounding me to take photos of this tool so he could use it – and I have NEVER seen him so happy! He loved this press. Easy to use, easy to clean, and as for the dish – delish! My whole home smelled like garlic.

How was it to work with?

My husband ABSOLUTELY raved about it! He was so excited that before long, the whole house smelled like garlic. (He was making garlic tomato sauce, and it was YUMMY.)

garlic

What do I like about it?

100% stainless steel so perfectly nontoxic and easy to clean. And it’s kind of sleek and neat too. It’s also dishwasher safe and also comes with a 100% money back lifetime guarantee.

Now, a great garlic dish is awesome for me and my husband, but the kids need KICK. So, without further ado, here is my recipe for Green Salsa Chicken!

green salsa chicken

Green Salsa Chicken

  • 3-4 fresh cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup fermented jalapenos, chopped, + 2 tbs jalapenos juice
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1lb. chicken breast
  • 1 lime sliced thin for garnish

lime onion jalapeno

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together garlic, onion, jalapenos with juice, lime juice and salt. Place chicken in baking dish and cover with mixture. Place lime slices on top. Bake for 60 minutes or until done.

That’s it!

What’s great about this recipe:

This dish was super easy and it’s light on calories, high on spiciness and full of good stuff. It’s friendly for GAPS, GFCFSF diet, and SCD friendly, but you may want to ferment your own jalapenos. I used this brand:

jalapenos

How I make it safe:

I used only USDA certified organic ingredients. Adding fermented liquids makes it great for your gut. I baked in a Pyrex baking dish.

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Autism Behavior App: Behaviors with Friends Review http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/autism-behavior-app/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/autism-behavior-app/#respond Tue, 24 Feb 2015 16:58:29 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19660 Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for teach2talk but all thoughts and opinions are my own. For kids with autism and other disabilities that affect social interaction, it can be a struggle to teach them about everyday interactions. We are lucky that our girls get a chance to work with their guidance counselors from time to time to learn about issues that can be challenging. For example,

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for teach2talk but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

autism app review

For kids with autism and other disabilities that affect social interaction, it can be a struggle to teach them about everyday interactions. We are lucky that our girls get a chance to work with their guidance counselors from time to time to learn about issues that can be challenging. For example, Amelia right now is working with hers to learn about what true friendship is and to lay the groundwork for understanding bullying.

Introducing Autism App: Behaviors with Friends

homepage

Kids can make a good choice or bad choice and see how that action plays out.

For most parents, these topics are a struggle to convey (raising my hand). That’s why I’m happy to share with you a new app, Teach2Talk’s Behaviors with Friends. This app easily lets your child walk through a video scenario and teaches her to make good decisions, solve problems and interact properly with her peers in typical social settings, such as playdates and car rides. Some of the issues dealt with in the Behaviors with Friends app include:

  • resolving conflicts without tantrums or other negative behaviors
  • sharing
  • taking turns
  • telling the truth
  • bullying
  • dealing with anger and frustration
  • being nice
  • encouraging others
  • body boundaries

This autism behavior app allows your child to select Easy or Normal. There is also a “Sticker Book” section, where they can earn stickers a as they progress through the videos. Each story tells you what it’s about (i.e., “Sharing Toys”) and then launches into a video with voiceover which describes the problem. Kids get to select choices – the good choice or the bad choice. Animated characters lay over the video to help kids get through the video. Then kids can choose to move forward or watch again.

The character helps reward the appropriate choice.

The character helps reward the appropriate choice.

 

Behaviors with Friends, created by Teach2Talk, is available at the iTunes app store for download for $4.99. This app is a wonderful resource to support kids who have trouble with social cues and help them learn to build friendships with proper behaviors. It’s also great for homeschoolers and also for moms like me, who need all the help we can get teaching our kids! As co-founder Sarah Scheflen says, “Behavior issues are a common complaint from parents. Parents need strategies to help teach their children how to behave. Behavior with Friends not only teaches children how to behave appropriately, but also provides tips to parents on how to implement their own behavior modifications.” As for me, I’m selecting my iPad to remain on the homepage and using this autism behavior app as a task to do when the kids get out early on Wednesdays!

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teach2talk™ produces educational resources for children, which target core speech and language, play and social skills using techniques including video modeling and was co-founded by Sarah Clifford Scheflen, M.S., CCC-SLP and Jenny McCarthy. You can find Teach2talk on Twitter or Facebook.

Sarah Clifford Scheflen, M.S., CCC-SLP is a pediatric clinical speech–language pathologist who specializes in working with children with autism and other developmental disorders. Sarah is the founder of Scheflen Speech–Language Pathology, Inc., her private practice in Santa Monica, California, and she is also the senior speech–language pathologist on staff at an intensive partial–hospitalization program located at a major public research university in Los Angeles, California. Jenny McCarthy is a The New York Times® best–selling author, actress, producer and comedian. More importantly, she is “mom” to her son Evan, who received a diagnosis of autism with associated language, social, and play delays in 2005. Check out Jenny on Twitter.

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Protecting Your Right to Know What’s in Your Food http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/protecting-your-right-to-know-whats-in-your-food/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/protecting-your-right-to-know-whats-in-your-food/#respond Mon, 23 Feb 2015 14:18:13 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19650 This post contains affiliate links. If you know me at all, you know I’m passionate about several causes and one that has come up recently is my support of the GMO labeling act. After doing a lot of research and reading, it’s my belief that GMOs may be harmful to you or your child, particularly if your child has sensitivities. In truth, more science needs

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This post contains affiliate links.
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If you know me at all, you know I’m passionate about several causes and one that has come up recently is my support of the GMO labeling act.

After doing a lot of research and reading, it’s my belief that GMOs may be harmful to you or your child, particularly if your child has sensitivities. In truth, more science needs to be done, but that is unlikely to happen easily. If you’re curious about the science of GMOs, I recommend highly that you read “The Unhealthy Truth: One Mother’s Shocking Investigation into the Dangers of America’s Food Supply– and What Every Family Can Do to Protect Itself” by Robyn O’Brien.

Basically, most consumers want products that have GMOs to be labeled as such. This IS mandated in over 60 countries worldwide and brands that Americans know and love have removed GMOs (and other toxics) from there products overseas – while keep that junk in our food here in the Americas.

It doesn’t seem right, does it?

Well, it’s not, and it gets worse. Last year, Rep. Mike Pompeo sponsored a bill, backed by Big Food, to PREVENT any state – including those that already passed mandatory labeling laws – from mandating labeling. That means, he is removing the RIGHT from states that want this done. Naturally, he is in the pocket of big food. While this law thankfully did not get to the floor, with a new Congress in 2015, you can be sure a bill like this may come to the floor of Congress again.

Learn more about last year’s “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” renamed the DARK Act by the organic community.

What Can You Do?

It’s critical that families across America work to stop a 2015 version of DARK Act now! What can you do? T

  • Sign the petition at Just Label It:
    http://justlabelit.org/take-action/take-action-congress/
  • On that page, find your Senator’s phone number and call him to tell him that you oppose the “Safe & Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014,” and that you support the labeling of genetically engineered foods and the states’ right to make that choice.

Share this article and the petition with everyone you know this week!

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Welcome to Mom-Blog’s New Home! http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/welcome-to-mom-blogs-new-home/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/welcome-to-mom-blogs-new-home/#comments Sun, 22 Feb 2015 17:06:30 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19644 Hi there, and welcome! After 12 years, I’ve finally taken the leap and changed my URL to a new brand that fits me perfectly. “Embracing Imperfect” is more than just an acceptance of who and what I am, it’s my approach to life. Sure, there are some things you should be doing as perfectly as possible (like a gluten free diet), but mostly life is

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Hi there, and welcome! After 12 years, I’ve finally taken the leap and changed my URL to a new brand that fits me perfectly.

“Embracing Imperfect” is more than just an acceptance of who and what I am, it’s my approach to life. Sure, there are some things you should be doing as perfectly as possible (like a gluten free diet), but mostly life is full of our best attempts to be a little better at things.

These last few months have taught me how to love myself, while accepting the idea that I’m about as far from perfect as  you can get…and still my family and my God loves me. THAT is the essence of “embracing imperfect”…accepting yourself for who you are, learning to love it and learning to share that love with others.

I hope you’ll continue to join me as I explore ways to help our kids grow and flourish, even if they have limitations (we all do, though, don’t we?) or restrictions on their diets, and ways that we, as moms, can take care of our ourselves and even pay it forward!

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Book Review: The Food Babe Way http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/book-review-food-babe-way/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/book-review-food-babe-way/#respond Mon, 16 Feb 2015 20:03:27 +0000 http://mom-blog.com/?p=15248 This post contains affiliate links. I received a copy of this book to review; all opinions are my own. As many of you know, I write a weekly column for Mamavation, where we expose toxins in everyday life and ways you can avoid them in your home and diet. Of course, I’d love for you to read my column, but wouldn’t it be awesome to have all

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This post contains affiliate links. I received a copy of this book to review; all opinions are my own.

food babe way

As many of you know, I write a weekly column for Mamavation, where we expose toxins in everyday life and ways you can avoid them in your home and diet. Of course, I’d love for you to read my column, but wouldn’t it be awesome to have all that information – or the bulk of it – in one place with tips on how you can remove it from your every day life?

That’s exactly what “The Food Babe Way: Break Free from the Hidden Toxins in Your Food and Lose Weight, Look Years Younger, and Get Healthy in Just 21 Days!” by Vani Hari, aka the Food Babe, does. After describing her own journey from overweight and unhealthy worker to fit and beautiful activist, and sharing some of her meetings with Big Food companies, Vani takes us through the most dangerous chemicals that are lurking in 21st century food, complete with footnotes so you too can read the studies, in Part 1 of this book. From GMOs to food dyes, she explains what the dangers are or can be. You will get sound training in how to read labels. While I know a lot of these ingredients are “controversial,” I can tell you from practice that I’ve seen how my kids have benefitted when I’ve erred on the side of “danger”.

food babe on juice

Sneak peek inside the book.

Next, Vani takes you through the various diets (low fat, Paleo, vegan) and why she does not believe they are the best way to eat. She introduces her method – the “Food Babe Way.” It’s essentially a guide back to real food cooking from today’s maze of processed food.

Now that you know the problem, Part 2 of “The Food Babe Way” gives you practical steps to change your eating habits for the better in 21 days. Covering everything from safer water to dining out, these steps are already an integral part of my family’s life, although admittedly we do this a lot more for the children than for ourselves. Day 18 includes must-have tips that show you how to eat organic and save money.

Part 3 of this book provides a daily eating plan for the 21 days and accompanying recipes. While this would be enough for a complete handbook of all you need to know, I recommend reading the appendices too. Covering topics like “How to start a petition” to support clean eating, “Corporate Bucks” (money is spent by Big Food), and “Recommended Reading,” these chapters round out everything you need to know.

“Food Babe Way” was clearly written, well documented, easy to read and pretty accurate as far as the research I’ve done. Of course, naysayers will tell you that some of her quoted research is not the definitive or final word, or that conflicting research exists. This is true but raising children with biochemical deficiencies, toxin overload and gut bacteria imbalances means I don’t take a chance on “waiting” for science to see if this or that food is damaging to my kids.

My biggest inspiration from this book, though, was for my own food journey. Since reading it, I realized where I have slipped in my own health. From too many dinners out (we pack the kids’ food) to too many take out meals, I am reminded that Food Babe’s plan is targeted towards people like ME: busy men and women who don’t really feel we have time to prioritize our health. Just 21 days can help you change your tune, especially if you follow the list at the end of each chapter.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is concerned about the risks inherent in the food available at your grocery store today and wants a handy action plan to tackle it.

 

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Healthy & Gluten Free Coupons, 2/13/15 http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/healthy-gluten-free-coupons-21315/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/02/healthy-gluten-free-coupons-21315/#respond Fri, 13 Feb 2015 16:18:51 +0000 http://mom-blog.com/?p=15239 This post contains affiliate links. Hi everyone! I’m resurrecting my coupon features SIMPLY because there were too many good organic, dairy free and gluten free coupons available today not to share with you! With the exception of brands I’m looking to try, I want you to know that I use all of these. Here they are: Organic & gluten free coupons: My favorite gluten free

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This post contains affiliate links.

Hi everyone! I’m resurrecting my coupon features SIMPLY because there were too many good organic, dairy free and gluten free coupons available today not to share with you! With the exception of brands I’m looking to try, I want you to know that I use all of these. Here they are:

Organic & gluten free coupons:

My favorite gluten free oatmeal:

$1.00 off any one (1) Glutenfreeda product$1.50 off any one (1) Glutenfreeda product. Unlock when you complete 1 Glutenfreeda Foods, Inc. activity.

 

My FAVORITE organic coffee to put in my new French press:

$1.50 OFF any ONE (1) Marley Coffee Product - 8 oz bag or Single Serve Box (10,12,16 ct). Unlock when you complete 1 Marley Coffee activity.$1.00 OFF any ONE (1) Marley Coffee Product - 8 oz bag or Single Serve Box (10,12,16 ct)

 

One of my fav natural remedies (I have a few I like!):

Save $1.00 on any size Oscillo or Children's OscilloSave $2.00 on any size Oscillo or Children's Oscillo. Unlock when you complete 1 Boiron® USA activity.

 

Our favorite seed butter:

$3.00 Off any two jars (2) SunButter product. Unlock when you complete 1 SunButter LLC. activity.$1.00 off of any one (1) SunButter product

 

We almost never eat frozen foods but this is one brand we love:

$1.00 off any one (1) Saffron Road product

 

Cereal is generally off limits too, but if you buy cereal, check out my Mamavation expose to discover why I love Barbara’s as a snack:

$1.50 off of one (1) Barbara's Snackimal Cereal

Dairy free coupons:

$1.00 off any One (1) Silk Half Gallon$1.00 off ONE (1) So Delicious Dairy Free Product

One of my favorite cleaning products companies:

$1.00 off any one (1) 32 oz. Biokleen Bac-Out Product$1.00 off any one (1) 64 oz. Biokleen Laundry Liquid
$1.00 off any one (1) 32 oz. Biokleen Dish Product

 

What I’m curious about:

I *only* use organic tomato sauce, here’s one I’ll have to try:

50¢ OFF any jar of Greenview Kitchen Organic Pasta Sauce

 

Rebates:

Now, you’ve heard me talk about apps. Combo the following purchases with these rebates at the Ibotta app for your phone for more savings! Register for the Ibotta app now!

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Saffron Road™ Simmer Sauce
Earn $1.50 when you purchase Marley Coffee® RealCup™Earn $1.00 when you purchase Marley Coffee®

 

Plus get rebates on these awesome brands:

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Enjoy Life® Baked Chewy Bars
Earn $1.00 when you purchase Enjoy Life® Decadent BarsEarn $1.00 when you purchase Enjoy Life® Cereals
Earn $1.00 when you purchase Enjoy Life® Crunchy CookiesEarn $1.00 when you purchase Enjoy Life® Seed and Fruit Mixes
Earn $1.00 when you purchase Enjoy Life® PlentilsEarn $2.00 when you purchase Justin's® Nut Butter

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Beanitos® Bean ChipsEarn $1.00 when you purchase Beanitos® Puffs

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Earth Balance® SpreadEarn $1.00 when you purchase Earth Balance® Baking Sticks
Earn $1.25 when you purchase Earth Balance® Peanut Butter or Peanut Spread

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