Dientamoeba Fragilis

When I received a call from our family GP in June telling me that my six-year-old son had Dientamoeba Fragilis, I was totally unsure how treatment would progress.

She told me it was great that tests had uncovered what was going on in his tummy BUT there has been conflict between doctors on whether it actually causes pain & how to best treat this parasite. Initially recommendation was to introduce a daily probiotic and yoghurt to potentially crowd out the “bad bugs” in his tummy.

First of all, how did he get this? Unfortunately it is one of those lovely bugs that is transmitted via “faecal-oral“. I found out soon after he was diagnosed that 2 girls he plays with at school have had the same parasite this year.

He complained of a sore tummy daily for the last 6 to 8 weeks. I know that most boys fart a lot (TMI?) but he never did until the parasite arrived, much to his amusement & my bemusement! His behaviour also became very erratic with outbursts of anger interspersed with being over emotional and crying more easily than normal. His sleep at night had also regressed, with him waking at 5am daily & always waking during the night. He also had night terrors – “waking” crying & inconsolable. A few weeks ago he was shouting at me “shut up”, throwing pillows & books at me. He then eventually lay down & simply closed his eyes. He has no recollection the next morning.

Treatment
I am not averse to taking antibiotics however if I am able to cure the bug by diet & natural supplements (including kefir & probiotics), then I’d be crazy not to.
So what have we tried?
Kombucha – he tried one sip & said it was too fizzy (he’s never had a soft drink).
Coconut kefir – hated it.
Probiotics – Inner Health for Kids is flavourless & he has been having it daily.
Wild oregano oil – I put 2 drops on the soles of his feet for a few weeks.

Bone broth – I bought the frozen cubes & snuck them into low-fructose smoothies packed with berries & natural yoghurt. I would deem this a success.

Low-starch, grain-free, sugar-free, low fructose (& nut-free for school) diet. Well this was the most challenging….
Fruit – he is currently eating berries only. Previously he would eat a couple of bananas every day.
Dairy – we only have organic milk, yoghurt & butter in the house.
Yoghurt – is it just me or is a yoghurt with claims of probiotics just cancelled out by 15% sugar? We have organic natural or Greek only with no added sugar.
Meat – even though I haven’t eaten meat for 20 years, my children do consume high-quality, organic, grass-fed meat. Organic beef mince, organic lamb, organic chicken are on the Menu.
Seafood – they love crumbed fish so I crumb fish fillets in an organic egg & almond meal to keep it grain-free
Grains – this is by far the toughest area for my son. So far I have removed all gluten. This has meant more rice & corn based products which is also not ideal. . We are using a rice & corn based pasta (Aldi). For breakfast he either has rice puffs (100% brown rice), corn flakes (I’ve found a brand less than 6% sugar), gluten-free Weetbix (made with sorghum, about 2% sugar)

Bread – the biggest failure by far! He has not liked any of the gluten-free breads I’ve tried including Deeks, Naturis, & even the Coles & Aldi home brands. I’ve had success with 2 types of gluten-free wraps only.

We followed this gluten-free & low-fructose lifestyle (diet is the wrong word) for about 6 weeks. He slept a bit better, was less emotional & angry, & never complained about a sore tummy.

Then this thing called life got in the way. There were parties, play dates, rugby matches and evenings out. The anger and tears are back. Last night he woke in such a bad abdominal pain around 1:30 AM (crying, couldn’t even get dressed he was in such pain) that we took him to hospital. Of course nothing showed up. He has complained of a sore tummy again today.

This is just our personal experience. I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist. Go with your gut in every sense of the word – I was chatting to a family today whose son has had some additional behavioural needs & they too have experienced the profound positive outcomes of a bio-individual diet, whether it is Paleo, gluten-free, dairy free, vegan or more tailored to crowd out certain foods that your body reacts to.

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Pink grapefruit & strawberry frappe

VEGAN | RAW | GLUTEN FREE | DAIRY FREE | PALEO | LOW FRUCTOSE | JERF

I have never done a juice fast, nor do I plan on ever doing one but I do love adding a blended smoothie / frappe every so often to get a massive nutrient hit in a condensed form (eg 3 cups of spinach blended down to approx 1 tspn, you know what I mean?).

This guy is low fructose for all the IQSers & with the amount of ginger I spiked mine with, I’m hoping all bugs will stay away.

INGREDIENTS

1 pink grapefruit (mine was approx 400g, down to about 275g when peeled)

10 strawberries (approx 150g)

10 ice cubes (approx 100g)

1 tablespoon mint

Ginger, to your taste – I used about a dessert spoon full

METHOD

Throw all ingredients into the Thermomix or your preferred blender, whizz until well liquified. I used speed 6 for 10-15 seconds.

Drink immediately.

Makes 2 glasses, or if you’re greedy like me, you can polish off the whole thing on your own

Vanilla miso tahini fudge

VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE | NUT-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | EGG-FREE | LOW FRUCTOSE | IQS APPROVED | 6 INGREDIENTS ONLY | ONE PAN ONLY

I become innovative when I am craving something sweet – which is a dangerous attribute to have! After scanning the pantry, I came up with this combination which is incredibly fudge-like but without any sugar, dairy, preservatives, colouring & minimal plastic packaging (my other passion currently is the environment). The only ingredient that comes in plastic is the Miso paste.

INGREDIENTS
100g tahini
80g coconut oil
35g coconut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons rice malt syrup
1 teaspoon miso (I love Spiral Foods)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (I use Heilala)

METHOD

  1. Melt coconut butter, coconut oil & miso on a low heat. I never bring any part of this recipe above a low heat. I find the Miso doesn’t completely mix in which gives the fudge some lovely salty pops
  2. Once almost all melted, tip in the tahini & sprinkle in the vanilla
  3. once all mixed together, turn off the heat & stir through the rice malt syrup
  4. You can let it cool slightly, then pour into silicone moulds. I recommend placing the silicone mould tray on a chopping board so it doesn’t bend/spill when you’re lifting it into the freezer. Seeing as it is halfway to Christmas, I thought I’d give my Christmas tree moulds a go 😉
  5. Depending on the size of your mould, these can be ready in as soon as 30 minutes.

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Salmon & sweet potato patties

GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | PESCETARIAN |NUT-FREE (optional) | 7 INGREDIENTS ONLY | mixing bowl & pan only

I’m all about making life easy, especially for families where it seems multiple meals are often made to address all family requirements. These salmon & sweet potato patties (better word?) are gluten-free, dairy-free, meat-free & can easily be nut-free. They use basic ingredients which I would bet you already have at home.

INGREDIENTS
400g sweet potato
1 medium salmon fillet
Juice & zest of half a lemon
1 tbspn chia seeds
1 organic egg

OPTIONAL

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped kale – it doesn’t add much taste, I add it to increase the nutritional value
  • 2 tablespoons thyme – I add herbs to everything but they can be omitted if you feel the taste is too strong for littlies
  • 1 tablespoon sumac – adds a nice citrusy taste (not as sour as lemon)

CRUST

1/4 cup quinoa flakes
1/4 cup almond meal

If you are nut-free, you can use all quinoa flakes. You could also use a standard breadcrumb if you’re not fussed about gluten. If you don’t have quinoa flakes, you could use all almond meal.

METHOD

1. Peel sweet potato, cut roughly into 4cm cubes & boil until soft
2. Mash sweet potato, it doesn’t have to be smooth
3. Pan-fry the salmon fillet, don’t worry if it’s not entirely cooked as it will be cooked again once in the patty
4. Throw the salmon fillet in with the sweet potato & again roughly mash (a fork will be fine)
5. If you’re using thyme &/or kale, you can just use some kitchen scissors & chop it straight into the mixing bowl.
6. Put in juice of half a lemon & zest – this can be omitted
7. Mix in chia seeds (this helps the mixture bind), then mix in the egg with a fork
8. In a separate bowl, pour in almond meal & quinoa flakes (or whatever ingredients you use for crust)
9. Using your hands, form the mixture into balls then coat in almond meal/quinoa flake mix
10. Put all the patties on a plate & throw in the fridge for at least 1 hour so they set. Any sooner & they may fall apart.
11. Pan-fry in preferred oil on a medium heat – they only need a minute or 2 on each side

MAKES 12 PATTIES – enough for 3 young children

Serving suggestion: mayonnaise or pesto or even better – mayonnaise mixed with pesto. I’ve popped up the recipes for both – just do a search 


Easy (sugar-free) scones

VEGETARIAN | EGG-FREE | NUT-FREE | SUGAR-FREE

INGREDIENTS
2 tspns apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup organic milk
2 cups wholemeal s-r flour
1 tspn baking powder
1tbspn organic butter

METHOD

  1. Add the vinegar into the milk & set aside for 5 minutes, until the milk thickens (it looks bad, but is meant to be!)
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius
  3. Sift the flour & baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter using your fingertips
  4. Add the milk to the flour mixture & stir quickly.
  5. Turn out into a floured surface, knead lightly & roll out to 2-3cm thickness.
  6. Use a round cutter & cut out the scones. They only need a small gap on the tray as they go up, not out once cooked.
  7. Using a small amount of milk, brush the tops of the scones
  8. Set the timer for 10 minutes. It may need 1-2 minutes longer.

Serve immediately

Apologies for no photos with this one – I had a slight lapse where some photos weren’t saved….ahhh, technology! Good excuse to get back into the kitchen & make these for you

Best low-fructose bliss ball recipes

Most bliss balls are crammed with fructose in the form of dates, or added sweeteners. It’s time to step outside the box & try some of the awesome low-fructose recipes out there – choc full of nuts, cacao, seeds, coconut oil, & sweetened with nut butters, cinnamon, vanilla or a touch of low-fructose sweeteners including rice malt syrup or stevia.

IQS Choc-Cashew bliss balls

IQS Fruit-free bliss balls

Lilian Dikmans Peppermint bliss balls

The Nourished Psychologist fruit-free bliss balls

Honest to Goodness bliss balls can be made nut-free. I would personally also omit the goji berries to make them lower in fructose.

Jessica Sepel’s sugar-free protein balls – these contain a little stevia, which is a good substitute for sugar as it is low in fructose.

Everyday Simple Health bliss balls – contain no added sweetener. Once you have been sugar-free for a while, you will find some of the most simple ingredients actually taste quite sweet – like cinnamon.

I always save the best til last – this is my favourite bliss ball recipe, I’ve personally made it & can’t wait to make it again – Teresa Cutter AKA The Healthy Chef’s raw cashew & vanilla lamington bites

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broccolini & sweet potato quiche

I loved making a simple quiche, but I never seem to have the same ingredients in the pantry so it is different each time. This is also the first time I’ve prepped in the Thermomix.

CRUST
1 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 organic egg
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white chia seeds
1 tablespoon thyme (can replace with parsley or rosemary)

  1. Turn the oven to 170 degrees celsius
  2. Blend all ingredients on reverse speed 3 for 10 seconds
  3. Put in a pie tin & set a timer for 15 minutes

FILLING
3 stalks (approx 130g) broccolini
1/2 small (approx 85g) sweet potato
6 organic eggs (aprox 340g)

  1. While the pie crust is cooking, throw broccolini & sweet potato in the Thermomix for 10 seconds on speed 4
  2. Add in the eggs & put on reverse speed 3 for 5 seconds
  3. When you remove the pie crust from the oven, turn the oven temperature up to 180 degrees
  4. Slowly tip the egg & vegetable mixture into the pie tin. Set the timer for 25 minutes.