Goji Berries for Chronic Illness

I’ve written a bit before about my son, Gabe, and his health issues.Ā  One aspect we deal with is the ups and downs that occur with his health.Ā  He has allergies and a very sensitive immune system.Ā  Allergens seem to have a massive systemic affect on him and of course, his skin problems.Ā  He had been doing really, really well this summer but I wasĀ dreadingĀ this time of year because it has always been very hard on him.Ā  Here, in Minnesota, the ragweed gets really bad through late August and September.Ā  The ragweed affects him terribly.Ā  So much that we have to shut up the house and run two big air purifiers 24/7.

As August stretched on and Gabe continued to go downhill, it dawned on us that he was in no shape to go to school.Ā  The allergens triggered a big flare with his skin.Ā  Areas that had been healed for a long time became red and flakey and painful again.Ā  He deals with a lot of pain every day to the point that we have little bottles of children’s ibuprofen stashed around the house. Ā Image may contain: 1 person

I signed him up for an online school, because I was not about the make him suffer through another school year.Ā  Last year was pretty bad.Ā  He spent so many days quietly suffering while trying to be a “normal kid”.Ā  He had something crazy like 47 absences.Ā  This year we are going to give him the break that he needs.Ā  I’m his learning coach and his caregiver so I won’t have as much time to blog.

But I absolutely will continue to research all things health and natural wellness.Ā  In an attempt to help my son (and myself!) and whoever happens across my blog.

What has been helping Gabe the most lately has been…*drumroll*ā€¦ goji berry powder!Ā  I got mineĀ here.Ā Ā I actually bought it back in February but didn’t do much with it.Ā  I was keto with a vengeance and once I realized it had carbs, it gotĀ shelved. Ā I was organizing my kitchen cupboards awhile back and rediscovered it and figured I should give it another shot.Ā  I started making “recovery drinks” or post workout drinks with coffee, ice, collagen powder, a heaping tablespoon goji powder, a tablespoon of raw cocoa, pyure sweetener and a bit of milk.Ā 20180913_1401202792594796765434391.jpg The shake isĀ so good.Ā  Not only does it taste amazing but it’s jam-packed with antioxidants. and a bit of protein from the collagen.Ā  I noticed I felt really amazing after drinking it and was experiencing less soreness after workouts.

So yesterday, when Gabe was just dragging and too tired to even do school work, I decided to whip up a fruit smoothie with a secret scoop of goji powder included.Ā  He sucked down his smoothie (goji, while not super tasty on it’s own, blends really well with other flavors) and wasĀ bouncing off the walls for hours. Ā It was really wonderful to see him happy and full of energy again.Ā  He’s had a really rough month.Ā  He got all his work done and even some extra stuff.

It’s definitely something I’ll incorporate into his regular routine.Ā  I’m also going to look into Indian Gooseberry, or “Amla” because it is like Goji berry onĀ steroids. Ā 

Here is some moreĀ more info on the amazing health promoting effects of goji berries.Ā  You can add it to coffee, yogurt, smoothies.Ā  I even used it as the “flour” in some dark chocolate brownies.Ā  They wereĀ amazing and had a flavor like the brookside acai chocolates but richer and more complex.Ā  Maybe I’ll post a recipe in the future šŸ˜‰

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Chilly Keto ColdBrew Mocha

Guys, I was doing a flex-keto approach and doing high and low carb days along with some intermittent fasting.Ā  Which worked wellĀ for awhileĀ until I found myself eating TWO big ole gluten free smores last weekend and then realizing I had gained, or was well on my way, to gaining back all the weight I had initially lost.Ā  *sad face*

So I did what I usually do to atone for too many dietary sins.Ā  I started trackingĀ every single gram of carbĀ with my fitness pal.Ā  It’s still amazing to me that calories don’t really matter.Ā  1,500 calories with over 100 grams of carbs will have me gaining weight while 1,800 with less than 30 grams of carbs will have my body fat quickly dwindling away.Ā  This may not hold true for all but I know it certainly is for me.

20180603_0941431091780791.jpgI’ve said it before but I’ll say it again- one of the best things about keto is the fact that you can still have creamy, delicious treats.Ā  Like this cold brew based coffee drink I am sipping right now.Ā If you’ve read the blog for awhile you’ve probably figured out that I am a bit obsessed with both coffee and chocolate.Ā  So I love finding new, low-carb ways to combine them.

I picked up some starbucks brand cold brew at target.Ā  If you get some, make sure it is unsweetened.Ā  Most kinds come pre-sweetened.Ā  Definitely don’t want that!

I blended about a cup of cold brew with half and half (food of the gods!), cocoa powder and my monk fruit sweetener to get this delicious, frosty treat.Ā  You can also add ice to make it more frappuccino-esque.Ā  I think for future versions, I’ll have some coffee ice cubes on hand to add in.Ā Ā 20180603_093440940081504.jpg

Keto ColdBrew Mocha

  • 1 Cup Cold Brew Coffee
  • 1/2 Cup Half and Half ( you can sub in filtered milk, almond milk, or heavy cream)
  • 1 tbs. Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tbs. Natural Sweetener (such as stevia, monk fruit, orĀ erythritol)

Combine ingredients in magic bullet style blender and enjoy!Ā  This refreshing treat is sure to put some pep in your step at 182 calories, 8.7 grams of carb (about 6 net carbs), 14.5 grams of fat and 4.6 grams of protein.