What Do We Do About Insanity?...And other fascinating articles this week concerning mental health

Dear Family,

There's a church near us that just hosted a forum on Supporting Families Dealing With Mental Illness. The announcement read: "Clinical Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Anxiety Disorders ...one out of five families are affected by these illnesses, and family members need a great deal of support and education in order to help their loved ones. Here in Ithaca, NAMI-FL or the National Alliance on Mental Illness - Finger Lakes Affiliate sponsors a free 12 week Family to Family Course as well as bi-weekly support groups..."

Can Cancer Be Healed With Nutrition? ...And other fascinating articles this week

“If you have complex problems, there probably are no simple cost-free solutions to them, because if there were, somebody would have [already] solved them.”

--Michael R. Bloomberg



[Tomas Cowan is a controversial guy, with some (to me) questionable anthroposophic beliefs. But his article on cancer treatment has some fascinating passages, excerpted below]

Introducing...The Fabry Family

[This is Andrea Fabry's story, in her own words, compiled by me (Sarabeth) from various articles and posts on her website. I am most appreciative that she has given permission for her work to appear here.]

Our family, Chris, Andrea, and 9 children (ages 9-26), moved to Arizona in 2009 to begin a journey of healing following an exposure to toxic mold. Defects in the construction of our 5500-square-foot Colorado home had led to unseen water leaks and resulting high levels of stachybotrys, aspergillus, and penicillum. After two uninsured costly remediation, our health issues remained. We were advised to treat the home like a fire and abandon it and its contents in October 2008.

Losing our home, our pets, our prized possessions, and our cherished memories has been devastating. Recovering our health after ingesting high levels of mold and mycotoxins has been a slow and painful process...

Happy Birthday, Dear Athena! ...and other news

Dear Family,

Not that I give barely one whit about alphabet soup after anyone's name, or what people think about the famous institutions that award said letters, but: My Very Intelligent And Coincidentally Always-Unschooled Youngest Brother, Loren, Recently Got Accepted Into Cornell. Not that I have an Inferiority Complex. And Not that I'm bitter, All-Of-You-Who-Said-That-Unschooling-Would-Waste-Our-Youth-And-Turn-Us-Into-Burger-Flippers. Really, I'm not bitter at all--I'm just having a good, immature time noticing, over and over again, how WRONG WRONG WRONG you were


Introducing...A Dedicated GAPS Mama

Cara Faus knew that something was wrong by the time her daughter was only four months old. Her baby wasn't making eye contact with anyone, ever, and still wasn't rolling over. Cara and her husband kept checking for baby developmental milestones in the coming months, and started to worry, but they also didn't want to be hasty: everyone knows that babies grow on their own timetables. They hoped that their daughter would soon begin developing more “typically,” or at least more happily, and acquire the skills that people take for granted in “normal” children, like playing.

And anyway, there was _some_ forward progress, and _some_ development. They don't call autism a “learning disability” and a “spectrum disorder” for nothing. Katie (not her real name) finally began crawling at 13 months, and still wasn't playing with talking sounds like other babies. But still, again, some kids talk later, and walk later... How can you possibly be objective about one unique child? Cara found that she finally had to look at the whole picture, in order to notice that it wasn't just a physical milestone which was missing or one issue with her daughter's speech that was concerning, but there was rather an entire developmental breakdown manifesting itself in her child's unique set of symptoms.

Why Do People Do This Crazy Diet? ...Introducing, Starlene!

by Starlene

I was slender for the first two decades of my life, even underweight as a child. Then I had my two sons in my mid-twenties and never got back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I thought at the time that having children had changed my metabolism. In looking back with what I've learned from GAPS, now I believe it was the birth control pills I was on for two or three years, and the four courses of antibiotics I'd taken in the year prior to becoming pregnant with my first son.

When I was 29, I went on the first diet I'd ever been on in my entire life. Low fat dieting was the rage and it seemed to make sense. And it worked - at least in the short term. I lost the twenty pounds I needed to lose, and attempted to eat low fat for the next three or four years. I ended up with strong cravings for foods I'd never craved before, like donuts and cookies. Looking back, I think it was the fat my body was so desperately craving. While on the low fat diet I also did not eat any types of sugar, or white flour. It is difficult to eat low fat along with no sugar and no white flour! Over the years I struggled to stay on low fat but I gained the weight back and then some.

TP Inspiration, and A Very Short Update

Dear Family,

We order cases of “Seventh Generation” toilet paper, partly because it's functional and recycled, partly out of habit (Jeff and I have been buying this brand for over a decade), and and partly because it's nice to only run out of toilet paper every few months. Also, because the wrapper features this great quote:

“In our every deliberation, we must
consider the impact of our decisions
on the next seven generations.”

--From the great law of the Iroquois Confederacy

The Formerly Vegetarian, some Acrobats, and some Thoughts on Cancer

Dear Family,

“Even if fifty million people say a foolish thing,
It is still a foolish thing.”
--Anatole France



We recently and belatedly removed the “child lock” on the under-sink cabinet in the bathroom. Jem watched, asked some questions to determine its function, and then said, “Why did we have that hook on the door for a LONG time? You shouldn't, 'cause I'm growing up fast.”

Running and sliding on the icy ground: “It's called SKIDDING!”

Out at night: “I'm really tall in my shadow.”

"Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It" (a brief book review)

Dear Family,

I just finished Gary Taubes' latest book, "Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It." I cannot recommend it more highly--not because it's a "diet book" (which it isn't), and even if you think you have absolutely no interest in the topic of human weight gain/obesity.

Lots on Gut Flora, the Fascinating Ethical Placebo, and Human Milk Ice Cream - Articles this week

Dear Family,

Some of you ask, “Why does this Diet take so friggin' long?” This is from the FAQs on Natasha Campbell-McBride's website gapsdiet.me:

“1. Why does it take so long to change the bacterial profile in the gut?

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