Saving Money on Special Diets, Vaccines, Autism & ADD, & the Best Probiotic ~ Whole New Mom Q&A

Question Mark

I’m back with another installment of Whole New Mom Answers Your Questions.

I so love hearing all of your thoughts and questions.  I feel honestly inadequate to answer them sometimes, but I will for sure do my best.

And I hope that all of you super sharp readers will chime in with more information on all of the great questions that were asked…

So…..here goes with your great questions from this week!

Please note – Some of the following links are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on them I might make a commission.  I greatly appreciate your support of my blog :).

Question:  How to Save Money on Special Diets?

From Emily:

I’m new to being gluten/grain-free (among other dietary restrictions), so I’m still suffering from a major case of sticker shock for the cost of gluten/grain (dairy, corn, potato & peanut) free foods.  I’ve tried to find this out on my own, but have had no luck so far.  In my local stores, the gluten-free (etc.) foods are at least double (and sometimes a lot more) the price the regular foods are. Why are these foods so expensive? I am on a very restricted budget.  With the cost of medication plus these foods, I’m having to choose: do I want to feel better (with the GF foods) or save a little, buy the regular food and be able to afford my medication?  This is not a choice I should have to make!  I’m sorry to ramble, but I’m just so frustrated.  Whenever I’ve contacted the manufacturers, I’m stonewalled as to the reason behind their prices.  The most they’ll do is give me a coupon; a nice gesture, but not helpful in the long term…

Answer:

Well, Emily, I’ve been at this special diet thing for a long time, so I first want to encourage you that it is a process–learning how and where to shop.  But I will give you some of my favorite places to buy foods and my favorite tips.

1.  BULK, BULK, BULK.  I buy almost everything in bulk.  And I don’t mean just Costco bulk (which actually doesn’t always save money anyway).

I buy dried beans, sweeteners, oils, grains, and even meats and produce in bulk.

You should really take a look at my post on Frugal Pantry Storage Tips.  I wrote this early on in my blogging days (not that long ago, really), and it has quite a few of the tips that I use all the time to save money on food.

2.  ALL WHOLE FOODS / MYO EVERYTHING (or as much as you can)

I buy almost no processed foods.  We make our own almost everything.  That way you can really save money and all you are buying is raw ingredients.  Do this in steps.  Go after the highest priced items and start making them yourself.  You’ll be amazed at how much you will save.

How about making your own:

Homemade Spice Mixes like:

Homemade Salad Dressing (this one is really great!!)

Homemade Powdered Sweetener

Homemade Chocolate / Carob Chips

Dairy Substitutues:

3.  Get good online sources.

I almost never go to the grocery store anymore.  Now, I’d like to support local businesses more –and I do.  I buy local eggs and meats most of the time.  And we have a garden.  But I can’t handle the prices of the specialty foods I want locally.  So I pick and choose what I do.

Some of my favorite places to shop are:

Vitacost – Super cheap and great service.  You can get $10 off your first order using this link.

Green Polka Dot Box – I am ordering from them monthly.  BPA free organic canned tomatoes, organic brown rice, sesame oil, coconut flour, organic tomato paste.  Those are just some of the products that I love from there.  You can get a FREE 30 DAY MEMBERSHIP to check them out.  And they have organic produce shipping to the West Coast now.  The rest of the country should follow soon.  I’ll see if I can do another membership giveaway soon with them.  It’s been a big help here.

Country Life Natural Foods – A good non profit co op that has free delivery to my door for orders over $400.  I’ll have to write a post on how to get something like this going.  I’ve been ordering from them for about 12 years now.

I hope that helps get you going on a better food budget!

 

Vaccines and Autism / ADD

From Georgia:

I think your sequel poses (she is referring to my post on Did Vaccines Cause My Son’s Autism – Part Two) a bit of a conundrum for some. Okay, I have a serious question: Have the ingredients in vaccines changed dramatically since we were kids? I ask this because 1. I don’t know the answer, and 2. This seems to be the most dramatic rise in autism diagnoses second, probably only to ADD. Was I just blissfully oblivious to what seemed rare so many years ago?

So, if the ingredients HAVEN’T changed, why the sudden increase? I’m definitely against injecting heavy metals into anyone’s body, but have only learned of this over the past year or so, so I don’t know if this was the case when I was a child.  When our CF specialist asked if my son was up to date on his vaccines, I honestly didn’t know because I’ve been afraid to get him any more. Not because of the idea of vaccines, but because of what I’ve learned they’re putting into them!

We trust our doctors enough to let them make our decisions for us. I’ve known people who are put on some drug for whatever, and I’ll ask them what they’re taking, and they don’t know! “Forewarned is forearmed.” While I would never tell a parent not to vaccinate their child because I think it should be a personal, informed decision, I would encourage them to do  as you had-wait. Arm yourself with the pros and cons, observe your child, talk to a real expert about what detrimental effect it could have on your particular child, and inform your school of your decision if you choose not to so they don’t “inadvertently bring your child up to date.”

On another note, should you decide to not vaccinate your child, remember that Rubella (German measles) can be fatal or cause severe birth defects in unborn babies, so keep your child away from pregnant women if they develop a rash. Just saying.

Answer:

Good question.

From what I understand, vaccine ingredients have been possibly cleaned up a bit, but they still contain adjuvants that are a problem.  There is still mercury in the flu vaccine and there is aluminum in them too.  Here is a great article on aluminum and mercury being used together in vaccines.  If you read my post, Could You Have Heavy Metal Poisoning and Not Know It? – Part One, then you can see what metals can do to you.  I personally am excreting a lot of aluminum now and it isn’t fun.

I don’t think you were oblivious to any great autism and ADD prevalence in years past.

I don’t think it was there.

I think what we have here is a Perfect Storm for conditions like autism, ADD, allergies, and immune disorders.  We have:

1.  A Messed Up Food System – a diet that consists mostly of processed “non food” items, laden with sugar, white flour, additives, artificial colors (did you know that some are heavy metal based?), artificial flavors and preservatives.  In my opinion, it’s a wonder that more people aren’t sick.

2.  A Toxic Environment – our environment is more toxic than it was years ago.  I am for developing economies, but we must clean up the countries at the same time.  Truth be told, it takes money to clean up the world.  I just think we need to be responsible and encourage companies to be responsible as well.  And families.  We have very little waste in our home.  I try not to be obsessive about it but I used cloth diapers, very little packaged food, we drive less than 9,000 miles per year, we wear clothes several times before washing, if possible, we keep our home comfortable without being excessive.  And we recently found a local recycling center that even takes bizarre items like styrofoam and used toothpaste tubes.  Yippee!

Everything you can do to help keep our environment clean is a good thing–within reason.

3.  Congenital Issues Being Passed Down Through Generations – When mom is sick, baby isn’t born well. I think this all started with processed foods and adding junk to our bodies and our environments. The first generations to eat “non food” as I call it did OK because they were strong physically and didn’t have to deal with all of the toxins on top of it.

However, several generations later, we have accumulated toxins in our bodies and in our environment and now we have a real mess on our hands.  I read about this concept in Natasha Campbell McBride’s Book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome.  I am not totally sure that I will be following her dietary recommendations yet, but the GAPS diet included in this book is all the rage in whole food and food allergy circles.  You should really check it out if you haven’t already.

Gut and Psychology Syndrome
In this book, Campbell-McBride makes the point that we are weaker today due to the mess that’s been going on in our world for several generations now.  It makes complete sense to me.

I thought back on my family and saw how we’ve gotten sicker and sicker as the generations went on.  I suspect the autism numbers will only keep climbing until we start getting really serious about changing how we eat and how we live.

Thanks for the info on Rubella.  I appreciate it!

 

What is the Best Probiotic?

Question from Michelle:

Hi Adrienne,
I’ve been reading your blog and awhile and finally commented on your 2nd vaccine post recently (4 year old girl with tip toe walking, high needs, allergies, sensory issues, hair pulling/eating). I read back through your natural treatment for Autism post and comments and had a couple question about probiotics. I’d love to know what brands you use or if you have several to reccomend. We’ve all taken a variety from our local compounding pharmacy and from the health food store, brands like Garden of Life or Nature’s Way. I have no idea if they are working or not. It seems like so many real food bloggers reccomend bio kult but its so pricey and since it’s linked to their resource page I just don’t know if it’s really worth it (since they make money from me buying it). Do you have any thoughts? Have you tried bio-kult?

The nutritional balancing stuff (NOTE:  see my post on Adrenal Fatigue to see the link to more info about this with Theresa Vernon) is interesting! I did some bio meridian testing awhile back and thought that was helpful. I was considering doing it with my daugther but maybe I’ll look into nutrional balancing instead! And I think we will try GF and see what that does. I’m hesistant to give up milk, she drinks raw milk and I saw some positive changes after we switched to raw milk.

Thank you!
Michelle

My Answer:

Michelle,  I have been struggling about the issue of probiotics for a long time now.  I am not completely sure that I have sorted it all out, but I will share what I am using now and what I am thinking about doing.

I  used to just use whatever brand was the least expensive.  But a number of years ago I contacted a Special Needs Coordinator at the Home School Legal Defense Fund and spoke with her about my son’s autism and dietary and nutritional intervention.  At that time, Dianne Craft told me that she had been working with special needs children for years and had found that three probiotics had had the best effect as far as she could tell.

Honestly, I don’t recall one of the brands, but I do recall that it was quite expensive–too much for our budget :-)!

The second was another very expensive brand, called Natren.  Here is a link to it on Amazon:

 

That’s still a little pricey for me.

The third probiotic that she recommended was more within our budget’s range.  It is Primadophilus Bifidus.

It’s very reasonable.

Here is a photo of it and a link to it on Amazon:

but you can purchase it and other great whole foods and supplement products at Vitacost.  There are other online retailers that I use, but this is one of my favorites.  And like I mentioned above, you can get $10 off your first order with them.

I currently use this brand for my children and my husband, while I am taking NOW Brand’s Probiotic-10 50 Billion.  Again, here is a link to it on Amazon, but it is available at Vitacost as well.:

Another good brand that I sampled is Dr. Ohira’s Professional.

I found it to be one where I could really tell that it was working, but again, it was a little too pricey for me at the time.  I occasionally think that I will try it out and see how it works for me and my family.  Again, you could try this at Vitacost (they pretty much have everything….kind of like the Amazon of whole foods and health products).

Here is one of my very favorite products – Strata Flora.

Best Probiotic

Currently, I am taking Strata Flora from Life Enthusiast Co op daily and I LOVE it.  The problem is that the company that makes it isn’t doing well and might be going out of business soon.  Maybe if you all call Life Enthusiast Co-op and tell them that you plan to buy it we can keep them in business :-)!

Please don’t fall of your chair when you see the price of this stuff.  It is AMAZING!  And one bottle lasts me about 5 months (since I only take 1 tsp per day), so it turns out to be so reasonable for what I get from it.  It is one of the only probiotics that I have taken where I see a for sure result.

And it’s more than a probiotic.  It also has ingredients that apparently fight parasites — and more.  Um, this is probably “too much information”, but in the words of Martin Pytela, the owner of Life Enthusiast, “It will make you poop.”  Enough said.

UPDATE 12/10: Finally, here is another high quality probiotic that I am currently checking out.  I would be happy to talk with you about it if you are interested in it.

probiotic powder

 

UPDATE: Check out The “Straight Poop” About Probiotics to read more about my experience with this product.  It’s been a very fascinating road!

This product is amazing.  It has strains of bacteria that have been developed for 20+ years.  The manufacturer has taken high quality probiotic strains and has subjected them to chlorine, stomach acid, and other “assaults”–and only the strongest strains have remained in final resulting product.

It is made completely of organic fermented food and believe me–it works.

One of my friends from church started using this after she developed some digestive disorders and a bad rash on her hand (apparently from candida).  After taking this for just three days, I saw her again and couldn’t believe the change in her complexion.

She had never had “problem skin” so to speak, but her glow was unmistakeable.

When I told her how great she looked, she responded, “That’s so funny.  Someone else just told me how good I look–and I am even sick!”

Again, I would be happy to talk about Miessence’s InLiven, and any of their other products.  I love them!

To answer your questions about Bio Kult and other bloggers making money, I have not taken that product.  To me as well, it seemed to be too expensive.  I am skeptical too about seeing what folks are recommending when they are making money by my purchasing it.  That being said, I do make a small commission if you were to purchase on Amazon after linking from my site.

The whole foods bloggers whom you are referring to have different ways of making money on their sites but one of the ways they are making money is by a “pay per click” arrangement.  Basically, they make money every time you click through from their site (though they may have another arrangement on top of that).  I don’t have any links like that at this time.  I only make money (and I don’t from every link on my blog) if a reader actually makes a purchase.  And believe me, for the amount of time I put into this blog, I am not making a great hourly wage :).

Basically, the way that I blog is with integrity. I love recommending things to others that I like, and saying what I would stay away from as well.  This way, I am able to do what I do normally, but I can reach a wider audience and get compensated for it as well :-).  I will never recommend something that I don’t want to use or don’t love myself.  And I will always be honest with you.  

If I make a mistake and recommend  something that I change my mind on later, I will do my best to inform you.

That being said, however, I am very busy and need to be careful with my health and I can’t do everything.  So a few things might fall through the cracks and I ask you to be patient with me.

Whew.  That was a lot to cover today.  I hope it helps you and I would love to hear what other thoughts you all have on Vaccines, ADD, Autism, Saving Money on Special Diet, and Probiotics.  Let’s all learn and share together!

If you have a question for me, email me at wholenewmom at gmail dot com and put “Whole New Mom Q&A” in the subject line so I see it right away!  

I look forward to hearing from you!

This post contains affiliate links.  My disclaimer is here.
Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drachmann/327122302/

Comments

    Speak Your Mind

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  1. what a great post! yes — bulk bulk bulk! sooo helpful! thanks for sharing!

  2. We do the GAPS Diet on a budget and now low salicylate GAPS. I have been buying conventional produce and chicken for now, and we get our red meat from a farmer. One of the farmers we deal with asked me what veggies my son can eat and she is actually going to drop some off for free. She sells me very cheap grassfed ground beef that has already been wrapped and frozen. My husband knows how to butcher meat so we do not pay cut and wrap fees. We do not buy any bread or flour at all, and my husband just eats veggies, ham and cheese for lunch.

    • Interesting. I would love to have a good source for inexpensive grass fed beef. You are really blessed. And to have a husband who knows how to do that — wonderful!! I wish you lived close by!

  3. The places we have found tend to charge from $2.50 per pound to $3, but if we had to pay all that extra stuff we would not be able to afford it. My hubby grew up on a farm. Yes, I wish I lived closer to other real food folks!

  4. What about Water Kefir or other Kefir as a beverage that is full of probiotics & B vitamins, it’s what we do.

    • I am moving in the direction of making kefir. I was supposed to have someone meet me w/ kefir grains, but she didn’t show up :-). I’ll have to contact her again. My son is deathly allergic to dairy so regular kefir won’t work for him. Thanks!!

  5. I am in Utah, if weather wasn’t so warm most places I would ship some to you. I love sharing my grains. Right now they are replicating faster than Energizer bunny on Red Bull. My kids LOVE it…especially when I use Pineapple in it & even the vanilla tea, kinda tastes like cream soda.
    I don’t have a website but do have a FB page What Works !?

    • You are so kind!!! If you think it would work I’m game. I’m in Michigan. You can contact me at wholenewmom at gmail dot com. My kids are really excited to try it! You’re too funny :).

  6. We have special diets, too- dye free Feingold and my daughter is lactose intolerant. One way I’ve found to save money is to buy foods that NATURALLY fit into your special diet restrictions. For example, if you are gluten free, buy corn tortillas, instead of gluten free wraps; eat cheesy rice instead of buying special gluten free mac n cheese, etc. It’s the processing that really adds to the cost.

    Same with dye-free. Instead of buying special candy made with all natural dyes, I buy candy that just is naturally dye-free, such as Hershey kisses, or Big Hunks. Instead of pricey all natural organic fruit gummies, I just buy dried mango or dried papaya, or make apple chips. Eliminate the middle-man food processor and you’ll save!

  7. This is such an informative post! I agree on the bulk. For example a small box (The size of a seasoned rice box) of Quinoa is right around $6 in my market. It is $3.99 a pound in the bulk bins at my local food coop. It may be cheaper still at Whole Foods, I have’t priced yet, but either way, I am buying it bulk, saving $2 and getting a lot more!

  8. Norma Hilliard says:

    I am making Kombucha (fermented green tea) as a probiotic. Just a little goes a long way and is way cheap.

  9. About the kid’s rashes – yes be aware of exposing pregnant women to anything, but last I checked Rubella hasn’t been seen in the US for ~5 yrs. I’d be more watchful for Fifth disease, which they don’t have a vaccine for anyways. And let’s not give them any ideas.

  10. Thank you for sharing this really interesting and informative post, Adrienne!

  11. Hi Petra,
    Kombucha is very simple to make. You can search and find videos on line about making it. Here’s how I do it (I double this):
    Bring to a boil 2 quarts of filtered water. Add 1 cup sugar, stir to dissolve and boil 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Add 2 black tea bags and 2 green tea bags, steep for 10 minutes. Add 1 quart filtered water and let cool to body temp. When cool pour into glass container and add scoby (Kombucha culture) and 2/3 cup starter. You can use a metal container to boil the water and steep the tea but do not use any metal that will come in contact with the scoby or starter. Cover with a clean towel and rubber band in place. Set in a warm quiet area out of direct sunlight but NOT in an enclosed space like a closet or cupboard. Let sit for 10 to 15 days until the new scoby on top is about 1/4 inch think. The air temp will determine how long this takes. The warmer it is the quicker it will grow. It is really up to you as well how you like the taste. The longer you let it brew the less sweet/more vinegary it will taste. I’ve already let it go about three weeks but it was pretty potent!

    After one batch is done brewing start another batch and put your scoby in the new batch along with some of the finished Kombucha for starter. With each batch you will get a new scoby. This can be stored in another glass container with some of the finished Kombucha covering it. After brewing you can drink it like that or flavor it with fruit/juices. You can also put it into glass bottles (we saved the ones from purchased KT Kombucha), cap tightly and let sit out for 3-5 days to get some carbonation in it. I put them in a small cooler just in case one should get too much pressure and explode but I’ve never had one do so. After this second fermentation period put in refrigerator. Look on Craig’s List for scobies. Once you start making Kombucha they multiply like rabbits so if there is anyone in your area making it they probably will have extras. I’m in Southern California and would be happy to give you one if you live here.

  12. Sorry, that should be purchased “GT” Kombucha bottles :)

  13. My husband and I just started using Strata Flora from Life Enthusiast(on your recommendation)and really love it. We’ve tried several other brands without great results. I’m very leary of many of what used to be the best natural supplement brands since many have sold out to what I consider to be “the dark side” (ie. Garden of Life sold out to Proctor and Gamble last March) This is a whole other subject though. Have you looked into which natural brands can still be trusted? For instance, not many make vitamin C supplements that are not from Chinese genetically modified corn. Some of my favorite supplements are no longer healthful…

    • I heard about G of Life. Someone just recommended them to me but I don’t know what to think. I have been looking at their green drink and stuff. I personally haven’t liked how pushy his direct marketing arm has become.

      I haven’t done too much digging into that. Sorry. I do like NOW Brands ethics. I am starting a new probiotic that I ended up putting on that post. It’s really interesting and super potent. Did you see it? Here is a link to the probiotic. If you are interested I can tell you more, but they have tested the strains for 20 years and use only the most potent. It’s one of the only brands I have found that I can tell works. It is pricey as well but you can get rep pricing.

  14. Regarding the probiotics, one of my friends is going to school to study homeopathic medicine. She recommended to me GUTPro by Organic 3. They are based out of Ann Arbor. She said …

    It’s one of the cleanest brands around. There’s so many additives in tablets and things now, I appreciate finding quality products without them. This product is one of the best..and with probitiocs it’s important the strains that they use are non competitive. This is a great brand, they make them fresh here in MI and ship them to you quick. They were formulated by a family who had all sorts of allergies and issues they were trying to address but could never find the type of product they needed, so they started their own company. I hadn’t bought any yet due to the price. I went with a cheaper alternative, and actually, the pills turned out to be about $1/svg. If you think about it, spending more up front, this will last a lot longer than a month for 1/2 the per unit cost of the other pills. Here’s a link to their site: http://organic3.com/gutpro/

    • Hi Lisa. What do you mean by non competitive? I hadn’t heard of that. I thought all the good bacterias are supposed to be in there. I do have a good resource I could check with. He’s an expert in the industry. I had heard of them before. Thanks. You mean yours cost $1/ day?

  15. Are all of the probiotics recommended dairy free? I have 3 children with milk, eggs, all nuts, peanuts, wheat and corn allergies and are very sensitive to the smallest amounts. We have found that probiotics help, but I am not sure how to navigate all of the information. Thanks for you help! :)

    • Hmmm…the InLiven that I linked to is. Primadophilus Bifidus has a trace amount. I do think the Strata Flora is DF. I also think the Dr. Ohira is DF. Let me know if you need more info but I think that covers it :).

  16. Gina Love 17 says:

    I have been taking the Lady Soma Probiotics for about 1 year now and I can’t belive the difference it makes in my digestive health! My OB/GYM reccomended Lady Soma. I have had stomach/instestinal problems my whole life and I have diagnosed with IBS. since taking the probiotics I have seen alot of improvement.

  17. I was looking at the inliven probiotic link; can you take it even though it has wheat/barley grass and grain? Also, how long does one jar last?

    • I take it b/c it’s fermented grains. A lot of folks can handle fermented grains b/c almost all of the gluten is gone. But it is not totally GF. Miessence has a totally GF probiotic as well. The jar’s longevity for use depends on how much you use. I was trying to take 1 heaping tsp per day but it was a little much for me (I think I am just the “detox sensitive queen” and so I scaled back. I am giving my son 1/2 tsp daily and he appears to do quite well on it. It hasn’t been that long but I think it is helping him more than what he was taking. If you take about 1/2 tsp per day it should last about 3 months. You can also get 20-40% off which I would be happy to tell you about. It makes the prices a lot more reasonable. Feel free to ask more here or contact me at wholenewmom at gmail dot com if you have more questions.

      • I came across your site randomly after researching probiotics. I’ve only poked around on the InLiven site briefly but I am very interested in purchasing some of their products. I am however confused about the representative mention at the top of the page.. Are you somehow profitably affiliated with Miessence? Even so, I’m not sure if that discredits the product… In all honesty I want my acne to clear up and my guy to feel better. I’ve had candida for a year now and its scary I’m only 25 and I know there’s long term effects that can come out of it, if its not properly addressed. It’s difficult to decipher the difference between ponzi schemes, fake sites and quality products out here. I’m hopping the Miessence products will be a weapon against my candida.

        • Yes, I am a rep. I thought I made that clear in the posts. I am not trying to hide it at all. It’s a great company and I am proudly affiliated with them. You can become one as well for 20-40% off or you can be a lifestyle member for 20% off. I haver recently talked w/ several other health bloggers about acne and they said that probiotics and being on whole food is paramount.

          Ponzi schemes are totally different than ethical direct marketing. In a ponzi you give money to get more money back down the road – it’s a fake investment. That’s as I understand it. Direct marketing is where you don’t have a store but you buy from a rep who markets to you. It can really be a good thing but tons of the companies are a pain in the patooey in my mine. This one and Lilla Rose are the only ones I like at present. http://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/healthy-beautiful-hair-easily-lilla-rose-review-and-a-giveaway/

          Hope that helps!

  18. I’ve read most of what you’ve written on probiodics, several posts, and I’m left with one question. Gluten free? I see the InLiven Fast Track is, but is anything else really good gluten free? Love your posts, keep up the great work!!

  19. Hi,
    Just wanted to mention that raw cabbage kraut (made with just cabbage and salt) is a source of probiotics and can be made at home inexpensively. It is also available commercially.

  20. Hello,
    I believe I have Candida rash on my lower back and am feeling very lucky to come cross your site.
    About Strata-Flora, you mentioned that one bottle lasts about 5 months. Can you tell me which size bottle you are taking? ( 115g or 340g.) .
    Thank you very much .

  21. Interested in Miessence. Do you still recommend this one? Do you prefer the powder or liquid? How long does each one last? Thanks! :)