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‘Tis the season to boost my willpower and not eat all things sugary, then feel like crap come January 1st. It’s easier said than done. About three weeks ago, I went to my college homecoming. We ate pizza, burritos, drank copious amounts of wine, and had a good time reminiscing until the wee hours of the morning at the home of one of my college roommates. Two days later, Larkin broke out in a weepy red puffy rash on her entire face and her legs. WTF. She’d always had a bit of baby eczema on her cheeks, but this was bad. Long about a week after my dairy-free diet, I was really wanting something sweet. I scoured Pinterest for energy bites, and played around with several recipes until I came up with something easy that tastes a lot like my mom’s homemade scones. The combination of orange and cranberry sings of Christmas morning rolls and special weekend breakfasts. Although we don’t eat these things often in our household, it’s funny how a combination of flavors can take you back. The Cranberry Orange energy bites were a holiday life saver!
After our pediatrician assured me it was eczema and that I should put hydrocortisone cream on it, I smiled and thanked him and did what I normally do. Go into psycho mom-with-a-sick-kid mega geek mode and spend all day on the internet researching alternative remedies. Because I really do not want to use a steroid cream on my 6-month old unless it’s absolutely necessary. It turns out that no one knows what causes eczema, although many folks have a good idea. Anything from an allergy to dust to a food sensitivity can cause the skin to react. Usually the best natural course of action seems to be to heal the gut (hello probiotics and bone broth… oh wait, my baby is breastfed so this shouldn’t be an issue) and keep the skin comfortable.
Since the end of October I have not eaten dairy or gluten or sugar (and I even went a week without eggs to see if that made a difference — I was starving so eggs made a comeback). Larkin gets 1-3 doses of probiotics a day, and her usual 1/2 tsp of cod liver oil plus vitamin D drops. She has not eaten dairy or eggs since. I have bathed her in epsom salt baths 1-2 times a week, I wipe her face down with saltwater twice a day, and at night I lather her cheeks with Lanolin (it helps!). So far I’ve kept the major outbreak from returning and I’m hoping that as her gut matures it disappears because I have no idea how people deal with life-long eczema.
Did I mention these are super easy? Just throw the ingredients in the food processor, blend, and roll into balls. Happy early holidays!
CRANBERRY ORANGE ENERGY BITES
Place into a food processor:
- 1/2 cup craisins
- 1/2 cup dates
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
- grated rind of 1 small orange or clementine
- pinch of sea salt
Blend until everything is chopped and sticky, about 2-3 minutes. Roll into 1-inch balls and store at room temperature. I’m sure these would last a week, but in our house we’re lucky to have them for two days. I usually double this recipe.