Gosh! Its been months since I’ve last blogged properly on this site! But I’ve got a yummy “Ice Magic” recipe to share and some updates on where we are with our food journey so I guess now is as good a time as any.

We’ve had a rough couple of weeks in the Healthy Bellies household. My middle son is having problems in school with attention and focus and I have been called in to school to discuss this with his teachers as his performance is sliding very rapidly apparently. Since changing his diet at age 4 nobody has ever mentioned the possibility that he might be on the autistic spectrum. He has, for the most part, been just like other normal kids. Last week in a meeting with his teacher, she said that “he is most certainly on the spectrum” and it really knocked me. Not because this was news to me. We’ve known this for a long time, it’s why we do what we do so passionately. It threw me because for the first time since making so much progress at age 4, other people can now see it, we’ve regressed. At the same time as schoolwork was declining in the classroom, at home we have also noticed the return of some of his sensory seeking behaviours that we haven’t seen for a long time, and also noticed that he has returned to being more sensitive to sounds. In addition to this he is sporting dark, deep circles under his eyes even after solid good nights of sleep – “allergy shiners”!! So something is amiss. His behaviour thankfully has been a dream so it could definitely be worse. We most certainly aren’t back in the dark days of age 2-4!!

It’s disappointing to say the least after all the hard work we’ve put in and the successes we’ve had. I hate to see him struggle. The only thing I can possibly pinpoint it to at this stage is that I’ve recently started to be less strict, more moderate, more “normal” with his diet. He has remained gluten free and is predominantly grain free and dairy free at home. We still follow our golden rules of eating LOTS of veg and very little little sugar at home. I have told the school that he is not to have gluten, dairy, soy or artificial colours and preservatives but since September I have allowed all 3 of the boys to have pudding /dessert at school once or twice a week. Previously they have only ever had fresh fruit. I felt bad that they were always missing out. But my gut tells me that is likely to be at least part of the problem. Jelly. Ice cream. Gluten free iced spongecake. Who knows what crap is in that stuff?!? I should have checked more thoroughly first. But better late than never, so I’m off to the school kitchen tomorrow morning to find out! Instead of feeling bad that my 3 were missing out, I should be feeling concerned that the school deem it ok for all the other children to eat like this EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK! I did also let the boys have a few sweets at Halloween and they have been having gluten free cereal once a week on Saturday mornings so that I get a morning off cooking! I guess for someone like Cayden, all this junk adds up. And of course it may very well all be being triggered by something else but it can’t hurt to cut the crap again!

The kids and I have discussed it at length this weekend. We talked about the peer pressure to eat things we know aren’t good for us. And also our own personal desire to eat things that we know aren’t good for us. I’m definitely guilty of that one!

It feels so unjust that we need to remain so strict in order not to regress. But hey, as I tell my kids, and as my parents told me – “Life isn’t meant to be fair. Life isn’t fair. Get used to it!”

So school pudding is off the table again and instead I have promised the boys that I will religiously make a yummy “pudding” at home twice a week.

That’s where the silver lining comes in! First up this week was the banana, walnut, lucuma “ice-cream that we made a few weeks ago but this time with paleo “Ice Magic” on top. Wow! Thanks for the inspiration Elizabeth Llorente (of Feel.Move.Live).

See recipe and pics below!

Banana Walnut Lucuma Vegan IceCream
– 2 to 3 frozen bananas
– 2 tablespoons lucuma powder
– pinch of salt
– pinch of vanilla powder or ½ tsp of vanilla extract
– dash coconut milk or other dairy free milk
– handful of walnuts
– handful of chocolate chips. I use these semi-sweet Enjoy Life gluten, dairy and soy free ones.
– 1 tablespoon to ¼ cup of maple syrup to taste
Whizz bananas, lucuma, coconut milk, salt and vanilla in Thermomix/blender/food processor until well blended and ice-cream consistency. Taste and add maple syrup to desired sweetness. Lucuma is sweet so you may not need any maple syrup at all.
Stir through walnuts and chop chips.

For the “Ice Magic” I used this recipe from The Coconut Mama but halved the quantity as it makes A LOT. I also omitted the maple syrup/honey as we were putting it on top of some pretty sweet ice cream. It had a bitter dark chocolate taste without any sweetener but was so good. Kid nod of approval x 3!

ingredients  plain  ice cream

In addition to being naturally sweet, lucuma is gluten-free and a source of antioxidants, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals necessary for bodily functions and of benefit to the immune system. It provides 14 essential trace elements, including a considerable amount of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus!

Just 1/4 of a cup of walnuts provides more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value of plant-based omega-3 fats, along with high amounts of copper, manganese, molybdenum, and biotin.

Combine that with the coconut oil and raw cacao in the Ice Magic shell topping and this pudding packs a considerably more nutritious punch than the school pudding we are swapping it for 🙂