Best time in History for ”Keto-Thanks”

Ok, so for any of you on the ketogenic diet, or who are considering it, ponder the following: 

Think of having to do this diet without having any product labeling information – how in the world was that even possible?!  

Think of  having to hand-calculate the fat, protein and carb ratio amounts!  Can you imagine how time consuming that was?! That amount, and intensity, of math is far greater pain than my eight labor and deliveries were!  Beth Zupec-Kania surely you have crowns in heaven waiting for you for the creation of the KetoCalculator 😉 

Think of having no internet support groups/forums/ resources.  For us, the Charlie Foundation has been a life-line.  For others who may be reading this, you may have your own favorites.  The people we have had the opportunity to “meet” – even though not face-to-face –  have so blessed us as we have wept with those who are weeping and rejoiced with those who are rejoicing.  Knowing we were not alone. Watching, learning and  growing in grace, in so many ways, with all those who share similar burdens has been a very special part of our journey.

Thank you to all who have gone before, persevering, pressing on, clearing the way, creating new tools and giving light to those of us traveling behind you on our keto journeys. May we be as faithful to help those behind us!

If you have the blessing of being on the diet at this moment in history, give GREAT THANKS today!!!!  Truly, KETO-THANKS!


 I thank my God upon every remembrance of (all of) you, always in every prayer of mine, making request for you with joy.”

Phil. 1: 3-4

Pumpkin Frappe! Shake! Ice Cream!

Different names for one delicious, delightful, delectable, luscious, scrumptious delicacy!

This is one of one of my favorite “THM” fall frapuccinos and I am not sure why I never thought to make it “keto-friendly” until today.  And today, Autumn absolutely loved it….along with a few of her sisters, whom I had to make another batch for! I am quite sure this will be served on Thanksgiving day 🙂


Here are the ingredients: (For specific ingredient amounts, click on the Recipes” tab) Please note: To make this shake, you will need to have already frozen “coconut milk cubes” – unsweetened coconut milk that has been frozen in ice cube trays.

IMG_0328First measure your cream in the blender. Blend until cream becomes “whipped,” now remember this is not going to look like much – but wait!


Next, measure out cream cheese, unsweetened pumpkin, sweetener of choice, pumpkin pie spice, and a dash of salt.  Also, add a bit of vanilla or maple flavoring or a bit both. Put all ingredients into the blender.


Next, place the specified amount of frozen unsweetened coconut milk cubes in a plastic bag, crush them up and place them in the blender.



Blend until consistency of a thick shake. Serve up deliciousness from the blender into a special glass, or freeze if you like it more like ice cream, and indulge in pumpkin keto-yumminess – even as it drips all over you!


Apple Spice Doughnut Bites…Yes, Donuts!


This recipe comes from Dawn Martenz’s blog at  Dawn is the author of “The Keto Cookbook.”  This is the cookbook I mentioned in both the video and under the “Resources” tab.  As I have stated before – we lived in this cookbook; it was the foundation for everything we made when we first started out on the diet.  There is soooo much good information on her blog, so make sure you check it out!

You could add a bit of pumpkin pie spice to these to give these a “Thanksgiving Flavor.”


Welcome to Holland

For anyone reading this who may be in a different place in life than where you expected to be, you might enjoy the following poem/essay.  It was written in 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley, about having a child with a disability, yet its message applies to “multitudes.”

“Welcome to Holland” 

When you are going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation to Italy.  You buy a bunch of guide books and make all your wonderful plans: the Coliseum, Michelangelo’s David, the gondolas in Venice.  You may even learn some handy phrases in Italian.  It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.  You pack your bags and off you go.  Several hours later, the plane lands.  The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland ?!?”  you say.  “What do you mean Holland?  I signed up for Italy!  I’m supposed to be in Italy.  All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy”

But there has been a change in the flight plan.  They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.  It’s just a different place.

So you go out and buy new guide books.  And you learn a whole new language.  And you meet a whole group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.  But after you’ve been there awhile and you catch your breath, you look around and begin to notice Holland has windmills- and Holland has tulips.  Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone one you know is busy coming and going from Italy…and they are all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.  And for the rest of your life, you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go.  That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, and very lovely things about Holland.




50 Pounds of Mashed Potatoes….to Bless With!

We have the privilege every Thanksgiving season to provide a banquet feast for all the invalid residents of a local health facility where we meet for church.  This year we provided the 50 pounds of mashed potatoes that were needed for one of the evenings. Potatoes are pretty high carb, so although Autumn may not be able to eat more than a tablespoon or so – she can cook them up and serve them!




Many of the residents are part of our Sunday congregation. We cook up and bake all the Thanksgiving goodies, set up the tables with festive fall decorations and candy favors, meet them at the door with hug or a hand shake, warmly inviting them to a home-style evening of fellowship – complete with lots of piano playing, harp, flute, violin….  and singing! Never let the diet keep you away from the opportunity of serving others!




“But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they have no means to repay you. “(Luke 14:13)



IMG_0225It is more blessed to give, than receive” (Acts 20:35)

It’s Sunday, so…..

…That wonderful smell must be chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven!

Chocolate chip cookies are to Sundays what pizza is to Fridays….Mainstay Yum!

Warm chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven are the one food that EVERYONE in our family of 11 (and counting) agrees are absolutely the best food life has to offer (well almost :)).

So of course we had to find a recipe for Autumn as  well – and we did!  Sometimes she will have these along with a chocolate or vanilla shake or chocolate milk!

Here is what you will need (Click on “Recipes”tab for exact measurements):


Weigh and combine all ingredients in small dish:


Put dime size amount of batter on parchment-lined cookie sheet:



Place in 350 degree oven for about 6-8 minutes depending on your oven:


And serve up! That is once again…Keto Joy!


Pain Levels The Playing Field

Although we never discussed it, Tresa, Kate (the moms in the video) and I, along with perhaps many other people we have met on our keto journey, may not share the same political or religious views; we may not even share the same taste in music or movies.  But that never prevented us from respecting each other as human beings – that I would say – are made in the image of God. You don’t have to agree with people on everything, or accept everything others believe, to give help or accept help. Giving grace, responding with respect, honoring in humility.

Don’t ever hesitate…if you can help.


Love thy neighbor as thyself. (Mark 12:31)

Ice cream shakes and chocolate milk – everyday!

When I first inquired about the ketogenic diet, a nurse told me, “It is really hard, you have to drink cream on the diet.”

And that is considered hard? 🙂

Let me just say that I would like to indulge in as much cream as Autumn gets to enjoy!

Autumn often has ice cream shakes several times throughout the week, but almost always on late Sunday afternoons because all her siblings love a big batch of Jamocha shakes for….dinner!  We eat a late lunch so the shakes are a late dessert/dinner 🙂

(If Autumn is having “milk” with one of her meals, she just measures out the needed amount of cream, adds a little water and some chocolate stevia drops for  a delicious chocolate milk.)

These are the ice cream shake ingredients (Click on “Recipes” tab for exact measurements):


First, measure out your cream and unsweetened coconut milk, then blend it on high until it is no longer runny.IMG_0072IMG_0074IMG_0076

This is what it will look like. Now it doesn’t look like there is much there, but just wait!


Next you add ice cubes and frozen coconut milk cubes.

We have never hooked up our icemaker so they are standard ‘ice cube tray” size. I pour the coconut milk in the tray and freeze them (then store them in ziplock bag), so we always have frozen cubes on hand.  The plastic bag contains 3 frozen coconut milk cubes and 3 ice cubes. For some reason the blender (even though it is a Vitamix) does not blend smaller amounts well, so I crush the cubes up with that good old meat mallet before adding them to the blender.




Then measure your cocoa and sweetener of choice. Today, Autumn wanted to have a chocolate raspberry we added some Sweetleaf drops.  Add a dash of salt, and blend all the yumminess together!IMG_0080




Pour into a favorite festive glass..and….


Enjoy that cream!!!!


Sometimes we have chocolate chip cookies to go with them….and Autumn does too. I will post that recipe soon!

Let Your Life So Shine

I “met” Natalie on Facebook when we were just starting our seizure journey last year.  Natalie is the mother of Gianna, a stunningly beautiful, brown-eyed  8-year-old girl who has more challenges than I can even name.    I broke out crying the first time I watched a video of Gianna that her mom had shared.  I cried because of the incredible grace of this mother…never giving up….always encouraging her daughter to press on.  She has given her life to searching for answers to help her daughter ….and along the way she helps all of us.  Her life is like a stalworth, beaming lighthouse for others to catch a glimpse of… on the murky waters trying to find their way in the storms and fog….and it keeps shining.

One day Natalie posted that someone had watched one of her videos of Gianna and left the following comment;

“Why don’t you just kill her, and save the government money.”

Shock…Horror…What? …Really?!!!!

It literally took my breath away when I read it.

So what does Natalie do?  She keeps going.  She is not existing.  She is living – living perhaps more “lively” than many who have none of these challenges and are just merely existing in their own self-centered world.

We need to get beyond ourselves.  “Whoever loses his life shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25)

To the Natalies’ of this world…faithfully serving the beautiful Giannas’ of this world… I salute you…and am indebted to you.  Thank you for giving us a stunning example of grace. For those of us who have the ability or resources….let us take the example set before us…find someone whose load we can lighten…today…and everyday.


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“Let your life so shine” Matthew 5:16

Living – not just exisiting – another reason for KetoJoy!

There is not much living you can do when your child is dropping to the floor up to 80 – 100 times a day.  Even when Autumn first started having seizures and was “only” having 1 or 2 an hour, someone always had to be with her for fear of injury.   She had to be very careful as to what activities she did.  She could have never done what she did today – making candles with hot beeswax sitting in boiling water! 🙂


Autumn chose to wrap her candle in purple ribbon for Epilepsy Awareness Month and green buttons to represent The Charlie Foundation.


The diet that many doctors and patients  think is such a burden…brings to us such a blessing…allowing us to live again…and not just exist…that is Ketojoy!