Archives for July 23, 2014

The Complete Autism Spectrum Disorder Health & Diet Guide Includes 175 Gluten-Free and Casein-Free Recipes


n May 2013, the American Psychiatric Association provided new diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a term that incorporates diagnoses previously described as separate: autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.
This incredibly comprehensive book on ASD will be an invaluable resource for parents, caregivers and health professionals alike, since it combines the expertise of an outstanding author team with years of invaluable practical experience and a range of skills.
Autism is making headlines in the news these days. The authors of this book clearly explain ASD – its symptoms, possible causes, promising therapies, and available resources than can improve a child’s quality of life and help them reach their full potential. 
One of the diet therapies that families often try is the gluten-free casein-free (GFCF) diet. Although research is still somewhat divided, some families who try the GFCF diet report reduced ASD-associated symptoms in children with milk and or/wheat allergies, suspected food sensitivities, or gastrointestinal symptoms.
This book provides balanced and healthy meal plan options and delicious GFCF recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.  This is truly an invaluable ASD resource for parents, caregivers, and health professionals, with its expert combination of research and practical experience.
This book seems like it could be a very helpful resource and I loved the recipes! Below is one of the recipes in the book.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

No point trying to freeze these — the minute anyone knows they are in the house, these cookies disappear.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
  • Baking sheets, lightly greased


1 cup            sorghum flour                                            250 mL

2⁄3 cup           whole bean flour                                        150 mL

1⁄2 cup           tapioca starch                                             125 mL

1 tsp             baking soda                                                   5 mL

1 tsp             xanthan gum                                                  5 mL

1⁄2 tsp            salt                                                                 2 mL

1 cup            vegetable shortening, softened                 250 mL

11⁄3 cups        packed brown sugar                                  325 mL

2                   large eggs                                                           2

1 tsp             GF vanilla extract                                           5 mL

2 cups           mini GFCF semisweet chocolate chips      500 mL
(see Tips)

1 cup         chopped walnuts                                 250 mL

  1. In a bowl or plastic bag, combine sorghum flour, whole bean flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, cream shortening and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop dough by level teaspoonfuls (5 mL), 11⁄2 inches (4 cm) apart on prepared baking sheets. Let stand for 30 minutes. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from baking sheets to a cooling rack immediately.



Read chocolate ingredient labels carefully for gluten-, milk- and casein-related food products. Choose GFCF or vegan chocolate.

For crisper cookies, replace the shortening with vegan butter substitute and replace half the brown sugar with granulated sugar.


Makes 61⁄2 dozen cookies.

Nutrients per cookie

Calories                      83

Fat                            5 g

Carbohydrate             9 g

Fiber                         1 g

Protein                      1 g

Calcium                  8 mg

Vitamin D                 1 IU

Courtesy of ASD: The Complete Autism Spectrum Disorder Health & Diet Guide by R Garth Smith, Susan Hannah, Elke Sengmueller 2014 © Reprinted with publisher permission.

Self Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to facilitate this feature. No other compensation was received. Recipe credit is listed above.


Melitta Taste of Summer Sweepstakes!

Chill out this summer by creating the ultimate Melitta cold coffee drink recipe for a chance to be our featured “Barista of the Day” on Facebook and win a bag of Melitta coffee (prizes awarded daily).

Also be entered to win their grand prize – free coffee for a year! To enter, please visit: August 4th).


Self Disclosure: No compensation was received and is not affiliated with SoCal City Kids.


Walk With Sally Breaks Records at White Light White Night Walk With Sally Celebrates the Success of Their 8th Annual White Light White Night With Record-Breaking Numbers


On July 19th, Walk With Sally transformed the rooftop of The Plaza at Continental Park into a heavenly oasis complete with gourmet bites from the South Bay’s finest restaurants, Patron cocktails, a limo photo-booth, celebrity-filled red carpet including John Paul DeJoria, Ricky Schroder, Dean Winters, Jackie Johnson and more! Over 1,200 guests gathered in white couture to enjoy an evening of food, drinks, music, and good times; however, the spirit of giving was the focus of the evening. Through generous attendees, sponsors, and donors, Walk With Sally was able to raise over $400,000! The amount of money that was raised truly made this year’s event bigger and better than ever and will provide free-of-charge mentoring and support services to children of parents or siblings with cancer. In addition to the generous attendees, sponsors and donors, over 100 local Air Force Base personnel volunteered their time and efforts to help make this the most successful event to date.

Credit: Walk With Sally. No compensation was received to post.

Veteran Hollywood Casting Director Offers Aspiring Actors & Parents Keys to Show Biz Success, in From Start to Stardom New book reveals how to break in, take a great headshot, find an agent, get auditions, what to do, and what not to do to get cast


What do Miley Cyrus, Jonah Hill, Megan Hilty, Selena Gomez and Mariska Hargitay all have in common?

They were all cast, or discovered by veteran casting director Lisa London, some of whose casting credits include: Miley Cyrus in the pilot of Hannah Montana, Jonah Hill in Grandma’s Boy, Emma Stone and Katherine McPhee in House Bunny, and the first Ellen DeGeneres TV series Ellen. London has found future stars for more than two decades as principal of London/Stroud Casting, working on over 50 television shows, movies and pilots.

Her book, From Start to Stardom: The Casting Director’s Guide for Aspiring Actors, is a step-by-step guide for aspiring actors and their parents. London writes about how children, teens, and young adults with an interest in Hollywood careers can get started and the key to having the best shot at stardom. She lays out what you need to know about what makes for an effective headshot, how to find and work with an agent and/or manager, how to get auditions, and what to do, and not to do to get cast. She also reveals details and insider secrets about what happens behind casting directors’ closed doors.

“I wrote the book, because, I love seeing new actors succeed,” London said. “And because so many people over the years have asked me questions about helping their children, even college grads have asked me how to get into movies and television. Drawing on years of casting experience, I have a good understanding of the process and the pitfalls, and I hope my insights and observations can make the journey easier.”

From Start to Stardom includes interviews with some of today’s hottest teen stars, leading managers and agents, photographers and directors, as well as sample acting resumes, and practical, actionable advice for aspiring actors and their parents.

“Best book ever! There’s so much to learn when getting started in Hollywood, and this book is smart, concise and very insightful! A true must-have for every parent and actor.” – Tish Cyrus (Miley’s mom)


“I wish this book was available when I graduated from college and started auditioning. It’s so great to hear this advice from a casting director’s perspective. And Lisa is the best! I should know, she gave me my first TV job, and we’ve been friends ever since!”– Megan Hilty (Sean Saves The WorldSmash and Broadway musical Wicked)

I received a PDF version of the book and found it to be an interesting book and would be helpful for parents who have children who are aspiring actors and actresses. 

From Start to Stardom 
By Lisa London
Publisher: From Start to Stardom Press (April 2014)
Pages: 166
ISBN-13: 978-1493771448 / ISBN-10: 1493771442
Available: paperback (
$19.95), Kindle ($9.95) 

Lisa London Blue shirt for Web


Self Disclosure: No compensation was received but I did receive a PDF version of the book to facilitate this feature. Photo is of the Author and provided to me for this feature.



The rare Bryde’s whale along with endangered blue whales are being spotted in the waters off Long Beach. Little is known about the elusive Bryde’s (pronounced BROO-duhz) whale, which is typically found south of this region in tropical and subtropical waters. 

The public can visit the Aquarium of the Pacific and embark on Harbor Breeze Cruises for a three-hour whale watch excursion with Aquarium experts daily at 12:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The Blue Whale & Sea Life Cruise combo ticket is available for purchase on-site at the Aquarium of the Pacific and may be purchased in advance by calling 562-590-3100. Prices are $59.95 per adult age 12 or older, $55.95 per senior age 62 or older, and $39.95 per child (includes whale watch and Aquarium admission). Guests will be able to listen to the whales they see and can learn more about whale communication through the Aquarium’s interactive Whales: Voices in the Sea kiosk exhibit featuring the largest whale on the planet—the blue whale. For more information, the public can visit Whale watch tickets can be purchased without Aquarium admission through Harbor Breeze Cruises by calling 562-983-6880 ($45 on weekdays and $50 on weekends per adult, $40 per senior, $30 per child). For more information the public can visit


AQUARIUM:  The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is dedicated to environmental education. Its vision is to create a sustainable future for nature and its resources by building relationships between and among people. The Aquarium is home to over 11,000 animals in more than 50 exhibits.



CORP:            Harbor Breeze Cruises has been providing public whale watching, world port, and charter cruises for over 20 years in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Their experienced captains provide comprehensive narration about the characteristics of each cruise. The double-deck sightseeing vessels are U.S. Coast Guard-inspected, certified safe, and are complete with seating, snack bar, restrooms, salon, and plenty of outside viewing room for everyone. For more information, visit .


MV Triumphant: Aquarium of the Pacific whale watch and harbor cruises feature a new vessel in the fleet operated by Harbor Breeze Cruises. The new 150-passenger, 83-foot M/V Triumphant was christened on July 17, 2013. Designed by Nic de Waal of New Zealand’s Teknicraft Design and built by All American Marine in Bellingham, Washington, theTriumphant features Environmental Protection Agency Tier II-compliant engines and consumes 30 to 40 percent less fuel than conventional passenger vessels of similar size and speed. The high-efficiency hull design features a hydrofoil wing lifting system. A wrap-around exterior walkway on the main deck is wheelchair accessible, and the bow of the boat is constructed with tiered stadium-style padded seating. The boat is equipped with a snack bar and serving area, sound system, dance floor, and a programmable LED lighting display in the cabin and on the exterior of the vessel.

Self Disclosure: No compensation was received to post. Photo Credit: Aquarium of the Pacific.