I can’t believe I missed a day already!

As I write the beginning of a snow storm is  starting outside my window, 5-9 inches. Tomorrow is my birthday and I knew the snow was going to start today so I had to go shopping for my birthday dinner ingredients yesterday. I left work and hit the stores. I got home unloaded the car, threw a load of clothes in the washer and left to pick my dad up for church. I was feeling pretty good.

I go home around 8:00, went to put the clothes from the washer to the drier only to find the suds-tub was clogged and my basement was flooded. 2 hours later most of the water was cleaned up so I started the washer again. Halfway through that wash cycle I remembered I hadn’t un-clogged the suds-tub, yup, the basement was flooded again, I didn’t feel like posting yesterday.

A Month of Daily Blogging

I know it has been a long time since I’ve posted anything but it’s not because I haven’t had great blog posts ideas. It’s because I’ve had great blog post ideas but never sat my butt down to write them. Well this April I’m committing myself to posting every day, whether I have a good post idea or not. Some days maybe very organized and interesting, some days not so much.

I’ve been doing the Auto Immune Protocol diet for almost 2 months. I’ve had my good days and my bad. More of my symptoms have gone away but the two that bother me the most are staying put. My eyes and my body always feels swollen. I’ll post some pictures of my eyes tomorrow or Thursday.

More tomorrow.

 

 

The Changes I’ve Made

I was thinking today about how different my life is from just 6 months ago. 6 months ago I decided to give up grain. I started doing research to back my decision and it lead me down a road I never thought I could follow. I went from a bread loving, beer drinking, cheese eating Wisconsin gal to a broccoli eating, herb tea drinking, coconut oil pulling Paleo gal.

I have learned about supplements and am developing a better understanding of why I’m taking them and which ones are quality and which ones are not. My latest is Green Pasture Blue Ice Cod Liver Oil .

I focus on eating nutrient dense foods rather than calories. I eat fat! and lots of it. My favorite is bacon and avocados, not at the same time but… hmm that might be good. I eat liver once a week (yuck, yuck, yuck-still looking for a way to eat and enjoy it)

I make all my own toothpaste, deodorant, dish soap, dishwasher soap and cleaning products. I was making my own lotion but this winter has been so harsh, over 50 days with below 0* temperatures that I had to resort back toVanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream .

I drink one cup of coffee a day verses 1 pot, I haven’t had a beer in 4 months, wine in 3 weeks and these were weekly staples.  I drink more herbal tea than I can ever remember and started to drink more water, not a fan.

What has all this done for me? I’ll be honest, not as much as I had hoped. I do feel better but I’m more sensitive to some foods that didn’t bother me before, chocolate 😦 and eggs. I have lost about 5 pounds but I still feel swollen and bloated. I do sleep better, especially since I don’t let the dogs sleep on my bed any more.

I know too much to ever go back to how I use to eat but this healing process is taking a long time.

I am now researching life style, like meditation, exercise, and fun but this winter, with the cold weather, is starting to take a toll on me. The last thing I want to do when I get home and am freezing is change into work out clothes, so I don’t.

Week 2-How I learned to really read the lables

Week 2 has had its ups and downs. I discovered I was getting accidental exposure to seeds. I drink a lot of tea, I’m not a water person so tea, herbal tea, is my drink of choice right now. I was drinking a lot of teas that had the word detox in their name, they also all had cardamom seed in them. I was drinking 2-3 cups a day.

I also had some turkey bacon and after I ate it I read the label and saw it had paprika in it, dang this is hard. So now I read the labels very carefully and if in doubt I don’t buy.

I am a little dis- heartened because I still see no improvement. I’m beginning to wonder what else I can do

Time to Get Serious

So I’ve been slowly changing my diet and lifestyle to be more Paleo, with all of the research I’ve been doing I don’t see why not. Since I gave up grains, legumes and cut way back on my sugar I continually feel healthier, have more energy and less brain fog than I have in years. I’m reading Chris Kresser’s book Your Personal Paleo Code and because of the information in his book I have also given up dairy. Things are going well but the one thing I was  hoping would  improve, the swollen bags under my eyes, either caused by blepharitis or rosacea, is staying the same. I still can not wear make up or my contacts. So I decided to go the next step and see a doctor that specialises in, I don’t even know what to call it, holistic medicine, functional medicine, basically someone who is not going to treat the symptoms but get to the root of the problem.

My first visit went as expected, a thorough review of my symptoms, a physical exam and lots of questions. I was very happy that I had a good rapport  and that she was easy to talk to. Unfortunately the expectation of a striker diet was also true; along with grain, dairy, legumes, I also have to give up eggs, lectins, nightshades and alcohol. Here is the hardest thing, I can only have one cup of coffee a day. I’m not surprised by any of these eliminations, I’ve done enough research to know that these are all typical food to get rid of when trying to calm down immune responses. Just wondering how I’m going to manage, I love my egg soup for breakfast.

The First Week:

Lucky you! You get two post in one.

The first week was really hard, hard because of external factors. It was parent-teacher conference week at my school so right there I had to plan for two 12 hour days. This was hard because I had already lost most of Monday night at the doctor’s. Also I had gone shopping for the week and many of the meals I had planned i could no longer eat. To make matters worse there was an extreme tragedy in my extended family. They live about 4 hours away and because of it being parent teacher conferences I could not go to lend my support. My stress level was high. Most of the week was a blur. I did drink some wine on Wednesday and Thursday and didn’t pay too much attention to eliminating all of the foods I should. I did continue to avoid the usual, wheat, dairy, legumes, and I added eggs but I did have some peppers and chocolate and like I said, wine.

I really don’t notice any difference in how I feel, but it was a stressful week, and I didn’t eliminate everything on the list. But starting Sunday, yesterday, I got serious again.

I had salmon and broccoli sprouts for breakfast,  I made a roast for dinner and had left over lamb/liver meat balls for lunch ( yuck, I don’t like ground lamb). Today was a little harder, I really wanted that second cup of coffee. I even spent 20 minutes on the internet trying to find a site that would say it’s ok, you can have two cups. Instead I read coffee is a seed, another thing I can’t eat and that it can stimulate your immune system. So no second cup for me. I also love to have herbal tea. I started looking into the ingredients and have found that most of the tea I drink has cardamom seed in it. I can’t have seeds so that knock another thing off my list.  After going through all the tea in my cupboard I ended up having Nettle Leaf tea, not crazy about it but it will have to do tonight.

Sugar Detox Revisited

One of my new favorite ways to eat salmon, by the way I did not like salmon until I did the detox.
One of my new favorite ways to eat salmon, by the way I did not like salmon until I did the detox.

I should have ended my sugar detox on the 21st of January, I chose to end it early. If you recall I was starting to complain about being bored Sugar Detox Day 11, Day 16 Sugar Detox. Maybe bored wasn’t the right word or changing up what I was eating and trying new recipes would have taken care of that. I think the better explanation for why I stopped my sugar detox 5 days early was that I was no longer seeing new benefits, meaning I felt as good as I thought I could feel on this detox. I felt great! I didn’t stop because I felt it wasn’t working I stopped because it worked so well!

I stopped on a Friday and celebrated with a glass of wine, the only thing I missed on the detox. After a glass or 2 my son convinced me to get a pizza, I should have known better. Before I started moving toward Paleo I had no known sensitivity to wheat. So we ate our pizza, drank some more wine and were having a nice evening. About 30 minutes after my first piece of pizza I started to feel my gut move around, I thought “I’m just not use to it anymore.” About an hour and a half after the pizza I started having stomach cramps, so I thought “I’ll not finish this glass of wine, drink a big glass of water and head to bed.” Cramps woke me up a couple of time and then at 1:00 AM my body said “NO WAY!!” and I was in the bathroom eliminating my pizza and wine, I’ll spare you the details. I woke up the next morning feeling ok and with a lesson well learned!

My lunch, both left over favorites, from the book. Spinach and garlic soup, quiche.
My lunch, both left over favorites, from the book. Spinach and garlic soup, quiche.

Even thought I am not on a sugar detox I did learn in these last 10 days that sugar really does have a strong effect on me. I have had some sub par chocolate, you know the ones that melt in your mouth not in your hand, and even those, my favorite candy, just didn’t do anything for me. So the sugar I am eating is in the form of fruit. I haven’t even had honey or maple syrup. It also took until last night for me to want a glass of wine, and that was all I wanted and I will never want pizza (the delivered kind) again!

My over all review of The 21 Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo is  I highly recommend it! I can’t wait for a payday or two so that I can buy the cook book that complements it. I had bought the book as a kindle addition because I wasn’t sure it would be for me; I will buy the cookbook in print.

3 Phase Paleo

I wanted to read 3 Phase Paleo by Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry, the Paleo Parents, a couple of times before I did my review. The first time I read it I thought “Wow, where was this book when my family was young? We could have really benefitted from it!” After reading the book through that lens I had to read it again looking for the benefits for me. See I really questioned buying this book because it seems marketed toward families with young kids, that’s not me. Again I thought “Wow.” only this time I was excited for the section on the 3rd phase, which is where I am at in my journey–Introduce Healing Foods. So then I had to read that section again, just to make sure I was still impressed, and I was.

3PP-byPaleoParents-affiliatesidebargraphic
Click here to visit Paleo Parents and buy the book.(this picture provided by the Paleo Parents website)

What I liked about this book, compared to many other great books I have read on nutrition and Paleo, is how practical it is. I felt like after reading 3 Phase Paleo I have the skills to really rock this life style. I love the lists of what to buy at the different stores and the section on how to stock your pantry. I’ve been eating Paleo for longer than I knew I was eating Paloe but if I was new I’d have printed and posted the Food Swap List on my fridge, on my desk at work and in my car! Like I said I have been eating Paleo for a while but after reading this book I feel like I was eating Beginner Paleo. Phase 3 has given me the tools and wonderful ideas on how to move to the next level. Ideas on how incorporate stock, or bone broth, into my diet daily ( I do my version of Stacy’s Soup) and my next venture is getting organ meat into my diet. This will take some metal preparation and the Spaghetti Squash with Meat and Offal Sauce recipe but I will do it.

eggs in broth, so yummy!
eggs in broth, so yummy!

For me the greatest benefit of this book is the recipes. 75 new ways to be creative and try something new, my favorite part of being Paleo 🙂

Now that I have read the book 3 times and have loved it more every time I can’t wait to share how much it has helped me, even without a family to work with, in my journey to better health and real food.