Wednesday

Didn’t sleep well last night (toddler issues), but still felt pretty good this morning. Been researching the Maker’s Diet, which has a lot of similarities to what I’m doing already, with some tweaks in the first phase (no grains, little fruit, limitations on types of nuts) and some exciting additions (goat’s milk and cheese, organic coffee).

I’ve eliminated gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and eggs for 3 and 1/2 weeks now. I need to make these changes to the new diet one by one so I can spot any reactions.

May as well start today. With two eggs on a bed of spring greens and avocado with orange vinaigrette. Yum. I’d really missed eggs.

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Leftover frozen lentil soup for lunch. Love this stuff. This is the last of it, and lentils are allowed in the first phase of the Maker’s Diet (though other legumes are not) so I’ll be making more soon.

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My mama made beans and rice with greens and chow chow from the farmer’s market for dinner. Thanks, Mom! Delish!

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And a super alkalizing green juice. Gonna start a modified juice cleanse tomorrow. I’ll still be eating all my regular foods, but will also be consuming several detox juices throughout the day. Trying to detox WITHOUT losing any weight. Tricky.

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Monday

Breakfast was homemade granola with almond milk.

Lunch was this delicious salad. I’ve been really craving raw leafy greens, but they’re so hard to eat when my tongue is jacked up. There’s a lot of maneuvers and manipulations that go into chewing up lettuce. This salad was worth the effort. It took forever to eat, and it was very tiring. But it hit the spot. I felt like it was what my body needed. Spring mix, raspberries, balsamic vinegar, garlic infused olive oil, and slivered almonds.

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Followed that up with a snack of natural peanut butter on a rice cake. And a glass of unsweetened almond milk with stevia, pie spices, extra clove (for the antioxidants), and vanilla extract.

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Dinner was gf pasta with homemade marinara (canned tomato purée, juiced carrot pulp, garlic, onions, herbs from the garden- basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, chives), sweet potato with ghee, fermented carrots and cauliflower, and a greens with strawberries, balsamic vinegar, walnuts, and cabbage beet salad.

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And juice for dessert: carrots, sweet potato, cucumber, ginger, lemon, apples. Weird mix of flavors. Sweet, spicy, and tart. Not the greatest.

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Sunday

Physically, feeling about the same as yesterday. Emotionally, feeling much better. Amazing service at church today. Feel recharged and ready to keep fighting.

Also came across this statement in my devotional from Joyce Meyer: “It has been said that fear is the opposite of faith, and that is true. We can’t live in faith and fear at the same time. Fear paralyzes us and keeps us from receiving God’s promises. It keeps us from stepping out and obeying what God has called us to do.”

I’ve definitely been dealing with a little bit of fear lately. Fear that this is as well as I’m ever going to get. Fear that I’ll never be able to contribute financially again. Fear that if I push myself too hard, I’ll end up back in the hospital. I’m afraid to make commitments because of the fear of getting sick and not being able to keep them. But each of these fears is completely irrelevant in God’s bigger plan for my life. They just don’t matter. And allowing myself to focus on them just holds me back.

Breakfast was homemade granola (gluten free oats, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, coconut oil, honey, and maple syrup) and blueberries with almond milk. And a green juice (kale, celery, fennel, apple, cucumbers).

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Lunch was leftover chicken soup (the last of it 😦 ) and more of the same green juice.

Dinner was tuna salad. Canned, chunk light tuna (lower mercury than albacore) with raw sauerkraut, soy-free vegenaise, and organic Dijon mustard. I desperately wanted to put this on a big bed of leafy greens, but knew I wouldn’t be able to eat them. Need a few more days of healing for my tongue to tackle raw leaves.

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My version of a milkshake. This juice tastes incredibly sweet to me, so it’s a perfect dessert/sweet treat. I should try blending it with frozen strawberries! That would be sooo good! It’s 3 beets, one HUGE carrot, a sweet potato, and a big chunk of ginger. Adding an apple would’ve made it even sweeter, but it didn’t need it.

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I’ve been struggling to get in my samento and banderol treatments. They’re the herbal tinctures I take to treat Lyme. They have to be taken on an empty stomach, at least 15 minutes apart from each other, and at least 15 minutes before eating a meal. This is easy to do in the morning, but I’m supposed to do it twice a day, and I forget to time it correctly. I’ve usually just eaten or am sitting down to eat when I think of it. I’ve also been trying to take L-glutamine to heal my leaky gut, but it also has to be taken on an empty stomach. I know it’s possible to get all these supplements in during the day, I just need a better system for taking them correctly. I did get in 2 servings of L-glutamine today. Mixed it in pomegranate juice. That’s motivation to remember to take it- it’s the only way I’d allow myself such a sweet, processed juice.

Took my end-of-day probiotics with a few watermelon slices. I’m currently taking 3 high potency probiotic capsules and 3 probiotic HSO (homeostatic soil organisms) tablets. Since I’m still taking nystatin and other herbal antifungals (grapeseed extract, oregano oil) during the day (even though it doesn’t appear to be working) I can only take the probiotics before bed. The antifungals would kill off the probiotics before they got a chance to colonize.

Thursday

Woke up with a pretty swollen lip and tongue. We’re having tropical storm weather. Totally matches my mood and general health today: dreary.

Buckwheat cinnamon rolls for breakfast. With sweet potato “cream cheese” frosting. And a mug of ginger tea. That cheers me up a bit.

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Lunch was leftover and frozen baked spaghetti (gluten free-of course) with grassfed meat sauce.

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Juiced 2 of those ginormous carrots from the farmer’s market, and a chunk of ginger.

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Snacked on watermelon.

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And an alkalizing green juice. Kale, fennel (has natural TNF inhibitors), cucumbers, an apple, and I squeezed in lemon juice at the end. Yum!

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Sent the husband to the grocery store for a whole organic chicken because I was craving comfort food. Perfect chicken soup. So healing when you add a little vinegar to the water- helps extract minerals from the bones and makes the soup much more nutritious than a soup made with store bought broth. Plus the combination of carrots, onions, garlic, celery, and fresh herbs from the garden. And Himalayan sea salt and pepper. So simple. So delicious.

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So, this is the first significant flare I’ve had since starting the elimination diet. I’ve had lesions, but no fatigue. The fatigue set in yesterday afternoon, and it’s still here. I napped for over an hour this morning in my daughter’s bed while she played around me. And I fell asleep again during her actual nap time. This is after a good 8-9 hours of sleep last night. I haven’t had any major achy-ness with this one. The lesions aren’t even that bad. The one on my lip is swollen and ugly, but it doesn’t interfere much with eating, so it’s not a big deal. The one on my tongue is more of a problem, but as long as I eat on the other side of my mouth, I’m good. I do have a few “sore spots” that are uncomfortable while eating, but don’t seem like true lesions. All-in-all, the fatigue is the most debilitating with this one.

I’m really starting to think my flares may be linked to hormonal changes in my body. It would make sense, since the disease manifested its first symptoms when I was pregnant. I also think the worst flares are sometimes linked to my “cycle” if ya know what I mean. Though that is hard to track since I have an IUD and don’t have a normal period. Also, I used to have horrible night sweats regularly, but haven’t had them at all for a while. Just had my first one (though really minor- didn’t even have to change my clothes) the night before last.

I was doing so well with the elimination diet (no gluten, no soy, no eggs, no dairy, no corn) until now. I did eat crackers with dairy (butter flavor or fat or something) in them a few days ago. Not sure if that triggered the immune response, or if my body’s been fighting off this pathogen that got my family sick last week, and just finally got confused (or worn out) and started attacking my healthy “self” cells. Or if I made a mistake somewhere in my diet that triggered this inflammation.

Either way, just gotta push through and keep building a stronger foundation for good health.

Tuesday

Had a little bit of a lesion outbreak that I started noticing late in the day yesterday. Two on my lip, two inside my cheeks, one on my tongue… all minor, but irritating, and seemed to be ready to grow into a major problem. I started using the dexamethasone mouthwash more regularly (I’ve been avoiding it, not wanting to disable my immune system even more than the prednisone is already, given the respiratory bug that’s been plaguing our house). But they (the lesions) seem to have calmed down today. I was a little nervous, but I think they’re going to head out before they become an issue. Whew!

Breakfast was homemade granola (from the Immune System Recovery Plan) with apples and almond milk.

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Dug some stuff out of the fridge to juice with lunch.

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And had the juice with leftover rosemary potatoes and a jarred, organic white cabbage and baby beet salad.

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My daughter’s favorite treat when we go shopping at the health food store. She loves her some seaweed snacks. But she let me eat a few.

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And MY favorite treat when we go to the health food store: kombucha.

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Snacked on these and some trail mix during nap time.

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And juiced this stuff. That’s a lot of ginger. Very spicy. But I want to fire up my gut and get to the next level of health before I go in to see the integrative doc at the end of this month and discuss tapering off prednisone. I’ve got to be strong and ready.

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Dinner was a microwaved burrito. I topped it with fermented carrots and cauliflower. That sounds weird, but it was actually really good. So far, fermented veggies seem to work well with any savory dish that could use a little extra salty flavor. And they improve digestion of whatever you’re eating.

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Wednesday

Woke up slightly congested today. Thinking it might have been the yogurt yesterday. Dairy really seems to mess with my sinuses. Used the neti pot to get cleared up.

Quick breakfast of leftover quinoa muffins and earth balance spread with orange spice tea before heading to the dentist. I have really good teeth, but cleanings can be uncomfortable since the hygienist has to dodge lesions all over the place. I have at least 5 right now, but they’re all small, with only one seeming to have potential of becoming a problem.

For lunch, I broiled tomato slices with uncured salami and put them on a bed of spring greens and fennel fronds, and topped them with chives and dill from the garden. I can never keep dill alive for long. Only had it for a few days and it’s already looking sad. Anyway, I topped the salad with a homemade vinaigrette: oj, champagne vinegar, olive oil, and dijon mustard.

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I think this is my new favorite smoothie. Neapolitan. Strawberries, my sexy chocolate mix (cacao, carob, maca), vanilla extract, and almond milk. Enjoyed this outside while baby girl played in the yard and we both dodged bugs constantly. Almost lost my smoothie several times due to involuntary swipes.

Also, snacked on cinnamon date and Brazil nut smush. I could have rolled it into balls or pressed it into bars, but we just ate it out of the food processor with a spoon.

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It’s not green, but I’m pretty sure it’s alkalizing. And it was delicious. Beet greens, celery, apples, cucumber, and parsley.

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Dinner was leftover gf vegan mac n cheese and this microwave meal from the freezer. They used white rice instead of brown, and there were maybe 2 teensy broccoli florets in there. But it had good flavor.

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Did the P90X Shoulders and Arms, and Ab Ripper workout today. I didn’t push myself too hard and used light (5 lb) weights. I’ve cycled through this program several times over the last few years, so playing my own music (thanks, Pandora) to work out to was a nice change and helped to keep me motivated through the whole thing.

Going to try to get to bed early tonight. And planning on doing some yoga tomorrow.

Tuesday

Breakfast bowl: brown rice, an egg, sautéed garlicky broccoli, avocado, raw sauerkraut.

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Pomegranate Chia Fresca

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Snacked on pomegranates, carrots, cashews, and raisins. And had this leftover frozen lasagna for lunch. Almost vegan Alfredo.

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Organic plain yogurt with pomegranate seeds. Generally avoiding dairy, but this was a treat.

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Alkalizing green juice.

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The last of the coconut banana breakfast cake. Melted two squares of 70% dark chocolate on top.

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Red beets and apples. Super sweet.

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Today is my last day on doxycycline. Starting banderol and samento (herbals to treat Lyme) tomorrow. If all goes well, the only prescriptions I’ll be on for the next few weeks are prednisone (steroid) and nystatin (antifungal). What an improvement from a couple of months ago when I was popping at least 7 different prescription medications. I’ll also be using dexamethasone mouthwash as needed when having mini-flares.

Gotta get focused on sleep, exercise and meditation to move to the next level. I feel like I’m at a good place with nutrition. Not perfect, but consistent. My supplement plan is working. And I’m working on minimizing toxin exposure. But I’m not getting to sleep at a decent hour (though we sleep late, so I get enough sleep, just not at the optimum hours between 10 and 7). I’m not exercising regularly. And I don’t have a consistent stress relief/meditation practice going on. I think making changes in these areas will have the biggest impact on my health. Following through is the hard part.

Anyway, for dinner tonight: tuna salad (vegenaise and organic Dijon) on a bed of spring greens, with yellow tomatoes and roasted red pepper, drizzled with champagne vinegar, lime juice, and hemp seed oil.

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Wednesday

Quinoa muffins and mini-quiche with watermelon. Strawberries and chia pudding. (Yes, I almost forgot the pic. The quiche is missing a couple of bites.)

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Leftover buckwheat pizza.

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Alkalizing green juice. Celery, cucumber, apple, ginger, lemon.

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Pecan crusted chicken on a bed of romaine. Rosemary roasted root veggies. And roasted cauliflower with garlic and onions.

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Generally feeling ok today. Starting to notice trends in my energy level. I usually feel great first thing in the morning, then get tired after breakfast, then feel exhausted and about to pass out in the early afternoon. Then I get a boost of energy around 8pm. This leads to me trying to do too much late at night and not getting to bed early enough. And I really struggle through the bulk of the day because I am so freaking tired. Just the severity of my exhaustion varies depending on how badly I’m flaring. A lot of what I’ve been reading describes similar energy patterns as a symptom of low functioning adrenals. So, one of my main goals moving forward is going to be getting on a more manageable schedule. This will be a challenge with my non-napping 2 year old, and my life-long night owl tendencies. But my exhaustion during the day has been really crippling lately. I can’t think straight and literally stumble around because I can barely stand up. I dozed off on the back of my daughter’s head the other day while helping her with a learning game on the computer.

On another note… my natural doc has agreed to shorten the duration of doxycycline (Lyme treatment) as long as I do an herbal “tail” of samento and banderol for 2-3 months. Soooo, one more week of antibiotics and I can knock that off! Three more weeks of antifungals, and that should be done. Hoping I can detox from all that and be primed for tapering prednisone by my next appointment! I got the sense that he felt he was going against his better judgment by cutting the antibiotic treatment short. But I’m balancing here between conventional and natural medicine and the information I’m getting is completely conflicting. And I’m no scientist. Besides, if the scientists can’t agree on this issue (Lyme disease in general) how are regular people supposed to make educated decisions about their own healthcare. It’s a crapshoot. So I found a bit of a compromise that I think will work for me. For now, anyway.

Tuesday

Tongue is slightly less swollen this morning. Lesions all still in the healing process- all seem to be on the way out rather than getting worse. And I just realized this morning that I cannot remember the last time I had bad night sweats. That’s pretty significant. Not sure what may have caused that change.

Breakfast was easy- warmed up the quiches I made yesterday, and sliced up a watermelon.

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My husband is home, so I’m making his favorite for lunch- pizza. Though I’m sure he’d rather have a slice from our old neighborhood Italian joint in Queens than have this healthy version…

Got the crust recipe from “Nourishing Meals.”

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Dry ingredients…

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Wet ingredients…

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Finished product…

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Herbs from the garden that made it into the pizza- basil, oregano, rosemary.

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I used a no salt added jarred marinara sauce. Dressed it up with herbs and himilayan salt and boosted the nutrition (and thickened it up) with carrot pulp leftover and frozen from juicing.

Roasted cauliflower, onions, and garlic and layered those on top of a layer of whole basil leaves. Then sprinkled daiya cheese over the top and finished it off with a bit more chopped basil and oregano.

Great flavor, though the texture of the crust was a bit cakey. I’d definitely make this again.

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Love me some coconut water.

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Alkalizing green juice.

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Carrot juice.

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Had a kombucha explosion in the car. Have GOT to try to make this stuff myself soon. Very soon.

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Dinner was veggie sushi with spiralized jicama, red pepper, avocado, bragg’s liquid aminos, hemp seeds, and hemp oil. A simple salad and leftover miso soup (diluted and stretched with organic vegetable broth.)

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Somebody is loving spiralized jicama. And apparently, miso soup is now her favorite food. She ate 3 bowls of it.

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Saturday

Woke up with a headache this morning. Thinking it’s partially due to dehydration and partially due to blood sugar imbalance because of my sweet, high carb dinner last night. I drank lots of water and had this for breakfast (brown rice with sautéed beet greens and an organic egg)… and the headache immediately started to improve. I rubbed some essential oils (clove, lavender, chamomile) around my shoulders and neck, an inhaled them from my hands for a bit. The headache was gone in a couple of hours. Yay for avoiding Advil!

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Carrot/ginger/orange juice. Great immune booster with all the vitamin A from the carrots and vitamin C from the orange juice. And the ginger revs up your digestive system. I’m building up my tolerance to the flavor and heat of ginger in my juices, and am using more and more every day. It has so many medicinal properties. I ended up drinking more than 48 ounces of this juice throughout the day, this was just my first glass.

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Lots of snacking going on today. Gluten free toast with natural peanut butter, cinnamon, and xylitol.

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Hummus and gf crackers.

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Sweet treat: banana chips. (These do have some added sugar. I don’t know WHY they do that. I’m sure they’d be sweet enough on their own.)

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Mouth is feeling irritated, so I’m reverting to comfort food. Good thing my new comfort food is super healthy. Mashed roasted cauliflower with garlic and onions. It doesn’t look too pretty, but it’s soooo good. This would make a good dip, too. But I just ate it straight, like mashed potatoes.

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Blackberries.

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Really dragging and feeling tired tonight. The in-laws took baby girl for the night, and I didn’t even realize the extent of my exhaustion until she was gone. Needing something nourishing and healing. Enter my new favorite cookbook, Nourishing Meals. I made some adjustments. Used nori seaweed. Omitted the carrots (since I’ve already consumed so much carrot juice today). Omitted the chili flakes (since I’m a wuss when it comes to spicy heat). Replaced the cabbage, onions, and cilantro with chunks from my frozen nutritional boost greens (kale, celery, and parsley) leftover from juicing. And I added a container of cubed tofu. Since miso soup at restaurants always have tofu cubes and I figured I could use some protein.

The actual recipe.

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My version. Very hearty.

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Friday

Scrambled eggs with dill and asparagus for breakfast.

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Had a juice date with a friend (and a play date for our daughters). Made this green juice (kale, parsley, fennel, cucumbers, apples, celery) and a sweet red juice (beets, apples, carrots, strawberries).

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Snacked on cinnamon sunflower truffles.

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Lunch was random leftover veggies. Roasted cauliflower and a golden beet.

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My daughter requested waffles for dinner. So I obliged.

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Let me be clear that there is not anything healthy about this mix, except that its gluten free. Tonight’s dinner was a treat for us. The mix includes sugar and questionable leavening agents. But it does make delicious, fluffy waffles. We topped ours with earth balance coconut spread, maple syrup, and blackberries. I’ll be working on my own homemade mix soon, so there’ll be no need for store bought.