YorkTest Consultation Update! 

I’ve uploaded a little video today for speed! 

I had my Nutritional Therapist appointment ​to talk ​about Ellie’s YorkTest results this morning – so here is me waffling on about how I got on!! ​

Apologies for the moody bitch resting face at the beginning!  I also now know what my ‘thinking/pause word is … “Ummm”!!  Some people say “You know”, some say “Like” but me – looks like I say “Ummm”!! 😳😬😂  Now I know why those who know what they’re doing, edit their vlogs… they’re taking out their ‘ummms’!! 

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PS; Contrary to what I said on the video… we did make a visit to the beach!!

Until next time,

Love & hugs xxx

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A ‘sugar-free’ six weeks holiday?

So, its Sunday evening here in rainy Somerset and we have survived week one of the six weeks holidays.  I’m not going to lie… I’m wondering how I’m going to keep my head for the next five weeks!   I don’t want to be a ‘Negative Nelly’ but I think this has been the hardest start to the holidays so far.

We’ve had multiple meltdowns from Ellie – sometimes not even knowing why which usually ends in her screaming and crying, saying we don’t love her, she is ugly and stupid …. you get the idea.  These have occurred more regularly lately and are more extreme than ever! There have even been points in the week where we have wondered if she needs some kind of help – whether that be some form of counselling, or medication to help her with her anxiety.  I truly can’t believe we are thinking this way but we have a few more weeks before I have a GP appointment booked (which was actually to discuss the RSI in my hand!).

There may however, be a very good reason for this.  If you read my blog a couple of Tweeks ago you would’ve seen that Ellie can now add Yeast to her list of intolerance’s. To help with this, we made a start this week in cutting right down on sugar consumption, along with all foods containing yeast and also things that include Vinegar (which is a lot of her faves!).   We have a telephone appointment in the morning with the Nutritional Therapist so the cutting back will probably be more full on this week.

What I’m wondering is, has all this extreme behaviour really been down to us cutting down on sugar?  Ellie has continued to have some fruit and a little honey on her breakfast – god only knows what she would be like if she’d gone ‘cold turkey’!

Having a quick Google, its clear to see that addiction to sugar really can throw up severe symptoms when you withdraw it.  On reading about things that happen when you stop eating sugar, the symptoms include anxiety, restlessness, and even depression… tick, tick and tick!

Then a video popped up on my Facebook timeline… one of those that tells you the three foods you should never eat, so as per usual, I’m sucked in!  I was pleased I clicked though, as the ‘Doctor’ was talking a lot about Candida and Yeast overgrowth and what this does to our bodies.  What do you think is the biggest culprit… sugar!

We’ve always known that one of Ellie’s main triggers for meltdown  is ‘Food’.  She is literally obsessed with it and I can never work out where she puts it (must turn after my hubby’s side of the family!).  So as you can imagine, this has been an incredibly difficult week – not just for her but for all of us!  I just hope that in a few weeks time she will have settled down… and I can talk to the Doc about my dodgy hand!!

Wish me luck for week two!

Until next time.

img_9537-3love and hugs xxxx

‘Free From’ Friday! Slice & Bake Shortbread (Blog #19)

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In my attempt to become a domestic goddess (its never going to happen!) I am dedicating my  Friday’s blogs to a ‘Free From’ recipe.  Firstly, it will give me the motivation to bake at least once in the week. Secondly, my new ‘Kitchen Mate’ that I treated myself to won’t be gathering dust considering I got it on the premise that I would save a fortune on supermarket free from foods and eventually get my money back!!! ;/

At Christmas time, we bought Ellie a book called ‘The Foodie Teen’ because Ellie loves to read recipes and they were all gluten and dairy free, so at least there was a chance that she could eat most of them (as long as they weren’t too fancy!).  So, whilst the boys in my life had taken themselves off to the local swimming pool, Ellie and I decided to do some baking – starting off easy with a shortcake biscuit recipe.

Now, don’t let the smile in the picture fool you… just before this was taken, Ellie was having a wobble because 1) I wasn’t getting the ingredients out quick enough which therefore meant she wasn’t helping me (!!) and 2) the biscuits we were making were going to taste rubbish as they were plain which obviously means they’re crap!   Food related meltdowns are pretty common around here!  I explained that Ellie shouldn’t judge them before she’d tried them but this fell on deaf ears.  So, in truth, not long after this photo was taken, she’d stropped off to her bedroom and I was left (in peace) to bake!

Thankfully, this was really easy to make – just put all the ingredients into the mixing bowl (or fancy Kitchen Mate!), mix together and then roll into a big fat sausage.  I added a teaspoon of cinnamon to this mixture to add a bit of spice but you could add citrus or dried fruit.  At this point you can either put it in the freezer and use at another time or cut into 1cm slices and bake.

Fifteen minutes into baking and down comes a now smiley Ellie gushing at how amazing it smells!  After the frustration she’d caused me earlier, I was struggling to match her mood.  It’s like living with Dory (Blue fish – Finding Nemo) living with Ellie. She’d totally forgotten that she’d pissed me off not 15 minutes before!

Anyway, once the biscuits had cooled a little (just enough so our mouths didn’t burn) it was time for the taste test.  Thankfully they got the…

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So not so rubbish after all then!!

In our quest to cut down on sugar to help with Ellie’s Yeast Intolerance (more about this next week) this recipe didn’t contain any evil white sugar.  It was sweetened by Maple Syrup which still isn’t great – so I might do some more Googling into what else we could use to sweeten it up (any suggestions welcome).

The recipe is from The Foodie Teen by Alessandra Peters.

Until next time,

img_9537-3Love and hugs xxxx

Research on Yeast Intolerance… OMG!! (Blog #18)

As you may have seen, on Friday we had our YorkTest results back for Ellie which indicated she had a Yeast intolerance. 

First of all, how naive was I to flippantly say “I can do Yeast”, thinking it would be a case of withdrawing bread and a few other things! I mean, she’s already Wheat, Gluten, Dairy and Soya free… surely this can’t be too bad! Wrong! It’s found in vinegar which is in bloody everything! Well, anything you might want to put on top of your dinner… and Ellie loves ketchup and salad cream! There are also a whole host of foods that aggravate the Yeast production in the gut! 

So, as I do research on what I can and can’t give Ellie to eat I look up the symptoms of Yeast intolerance. 

Whilst some of the obvious ones don’t particularly ring true, the Neurological symptoms were spot on! 


I’ve always known that there was a strong link between the gut and the brain but couldn’t believe that with the exception of headaches – Ellie is suffering with all of those other symptoms. 

For a while we had put it down to hormones with her being a near teenager and autism playing a part, but it had got so bad, I had a ‘gut feeling’ 😉 that something wasn’t right.  It got so bad last night that I was in tears to a friend on the phone considering counselling or medication for Ellie. 

This morning Ellie has woken up all sunshine again, but she can literally change like a light switch to a screaming, crying, self deprecating mess. 

Whilst I don’t think this will be some kind of miracle cure, I’m so glad we have taken the test so we can start the process of making Ellie’s gut a little better. 

Now I’d better ring for that Nutritional Therapist appointment! 

Until next time, 


Love and hugs xxx

Here’s to Gin & Friendships and Psyching myself up for the holidays! (Blog #17)

It’s midday on a Sunday and I’m still sat on the sofa in my summer pjs. After having a very much needed day out drinking Gin and eating platters of meats and cheeses with my two oldest school friends, I’m now sat thinking about the stretch of the six weeks holidays in front of me! 

Arrrrrrggggghhhh!!!!!! 

I’m buggered whatever I do here. If I have a plan all written down, Ellie will go on and on about it, decide it will be rubbish and drive me crazy and if I don’t tell her she will go on and on about and decide we’re not doing anything and it’s going to be the worst holiday ever…driving me crazy 😜!!

She actually got upset when I told her that we wouldn’t be doing something every day! With 43 days to fill, I’m not putting myself under that sort of pressure… plus, I don’t have a money tree at the bottom of the garden! I know, there are lots of things we can do for free, and believe me, we will, but the stress of going out is sometimes too much to bear! 

We’re due to go out for a walk along the river this afternoon with the dog, stopping off at a little pub and then walking back again. Hubby started to chat about the dog (who’s still new to the family and only four months old) and how much he loves her to which Ellie said accusingly “you don’t love me then”!  True to form, always turning a conversation around to her!  So already feeling stressed Ellie then started worrying about what we are going to talk about on our walk and whether we were going to have a good time. No matter what we say to reassure her (which I can only do for so long before I sound sarcastic) she still looks like she’s been slapped around the face with a kipper! 🐟  

At this rate, who knows if we’ll go as Ellie is currently upstairs ‘calming down’. 

The thing is, Ellie is now 12 years old and a lot of her peers go out and meet up with each other, have sleepovers and do things together.  This doesn’t apply to Ellie.  

I’ve no doubt that her peers think the world of her and support her – she’s in a lovely tutor group, but like most of our special ones, Ellie finds friendships difficult.  She’s never been asked to a sleepover or around a friends house which is heartbreaking. 

Thankfully Ellie really enjoys school and has a lovely little mate called Ed who is also part supported by Ellie’s LSA. To me, enjoying school is the most important thing,  everything else is a bonus. However, when I think about the firm friendships I formed at secondary school, I would really love that for Ellie too… and I don’t mean a big group as she couldn’t handle that. The only plus side at the moment is that there’s no bitching and friendship break-ups – see, I’m a ‘glass half full’ kinda girl! 

It is thought that high functioning autistic children have feelings of intense loneliness, even though it is thought that they like to be alone. 

I find that so sad. 

I know Ellie watches a lot of things on YouTube of young girls and families vlogging about having sleepovers, doing ‘friend things’ and she compares her life to theirs and must wonder why she doesn’t do those kinds of things.  

I suppose that brings me back around my friendships. I am so incredibly lucky to have a wonderful group of friends and also amazing friends outside of that friendship group.  They are the best form of therapy (though this blogging lark is pretty good too!) they don’t judge (true friends don’t) and their support is second to none. 

I thought that when my mum passed, that I would be lost without that female bond (my mother-in-law was also lost to cancer), but this awful event in my life has made those friendships stronger. They’ve been a tower of strength to both me, hubby and the kids and I know any one of them would be there if I needed them… as I would be for them. 

I just hope Ellie gets to be as lucky as I am one day. 

Until next time, 

Love and hugs xxx

Bliss at our fave bar, Vinos!👍🏻🍞🧀🍇🍖🍸

Digesting the YorkTest! (Blog#16)

So yesterday, we got the results back of the YorkTest (re-test) we did for Ellie last week.   We first did this for Ellie some 9-10 years ago when she was two years old and was seriously regressing and we had major concerns about Autism.

Back then the test confirmed what we thought – wheat and dairy were having a huge effect on her brain function and her ability to communicate and understand (see first few blogs for more).

Anyway, the results came back as Yeast showing as a intolerance and nothing else. NOTHING ELSE!  Now, I wouldn’t expect wheat or dairy to show up as Ellie doesn’t have this in her diet (maybe just now and again in an emergency like there only being a burger van to get food from!) but other than that, very little so its likely that these wouldn’t be in her system to test against.  A huge relief though to find that the 11 foods that were picked up a few weeks ago didn’t show up.  To be honest, I did wonder if Ellie was following the instructions the Kinesiologist gave her and whether sometimes she couldn’t be bothered to keep her arms raised.  I mean, this is the girl that finds a bag of cotton wool balls heavy! 🙂

So, come Monday morning, we will be eliminating Yeast as best we can from her diet – along with still keeping her wheat and dairy free (after what we went through all those years ago, I’m terrified to fully re-introduce those at the moment – plus it would mess with any improvements from the Yeast withdrawal).

So, what are the symptoms of Yeast intolerance? If you Google this you are immediately taken to symptoms of Candida.  These include: Abdominal bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. anxiety and depression, hives and psoriasis, impotence and infertility, menstrual problems, respiratory and ear problems, unexpected weight gain, feeling “bad all over”.

There is a useful video with the lovely Dr Hilary Jones on the YorkTest site that explains the symptoms of yeast intolerance and foods to avoid.

http://www.yorktest.com/food-intolerance-advice/problem-foods/yeast-intolerance/

Symptoms mentioned on the site are:

  • Bloating, Cramping, Diarrhoea, Constipation, Headaches and can also cause;
  • Acne, Eczema, Fatigue and Sugar Cravings

The symptoms that ring true with Ellie are the Anxiety and Depression (but could this be part of her Autism profile?) and also Ezcema and Sugar Cravings.  I’ve always said she is addicted to sugar!

Having looked at some of the foods Ellie enjoys – crisps being the first that springs to mind, the varieties she can have all have yeast extract in apart from the Ready Salted.   Ellie is constantly asking for crisps and gets very upset when I say she can’t have any more.  She’s even been caught sneaking crisps up to her room (crafty kid).

Its also in all types of food such as vinegar – does this mean no tomato ketchup and salad cream?  No wonder she likes it so much!

Other big culprits are Marmite (safe there!) dried fruit, Bread, Mushrooms, Gravy and Stock cubes, Fermented drinks, Beers, Wines and Ciders (safe there too!) and Ginger Beer (does anyone actually drink Ginger Beer?!).

It looks like I’m going back to checking everything again and seriously reducing/stopping the consumption of Prawn Cocktail crisps, Tomato Ketchup and Salad Cream, amongst a long list of other stuff!

I’m not going to be very popular around here! :/

I’ll keep you posted… but be warned, there may be many more vlogs involving distressed scenes and wine!!

Until next time,

img_9537love and hugs xxx

York Test results day! (Blog#15)

I’ve gone all professional and added a video!  No clue if I’m doing it correctly… and as I type this blog the video shows me upside down!!

I hope when you watch this I’m turned the right way up! If not, I’m going to look a bit silly, but you can have a laugh at my expense… I have broad shoulders (I blame my Dad for that!).

I’ll be blogging more about the York Test results and my plan of attack very soon.

Until then, 

img_9537love and hugs xxx