So I Thought I Was Grain Free…

As you know I went grain free August of 2013 after reading Wellness Mama’s article Are Grains Slowly Killing You and as a result some of  my auto-immune conditions improved. I no longer needed to use medication to control my asthma (if I really even had asthma) I no longer suffer from seasonal allergies and my eczema seemed to go away. I felt amazing. Then, in the Fall of 2013, I had a new condition pop up, Blepharitis. After some research I found out that one of the causes of Blepharitis is Roscia, another autoimmune condition.  The eye doctor I saw wanted to put me on antibiotics but by that time my research into nutrition made me ask if there were some more holistic ways I could control it; fish oil and hot packing. After a few months I saw very little improvement and I started researching for more answers. That’s when, in February of 2014  I found the Autoimmune Protocol diet and eliminated (in my opinion) everything else from my diet but meat and veggies.

On the autoimmune diet I lost weight and for about the first 6 months felt great! People I didn’t even know would comment on how healthy I looked and I seemed to have hope and energy to spare. But then about just after Thanksgiving things started to slide. I look at myself in the family pictures from Thanksgiving and I look vibrant. I look at pictures now and think not so much. This is when, on the suggestion of a good friend, I tried accupunture. It felt amazing but the woman I saw did not speak very good English and I had a hard time communicating with her. She looked at my age and instantly blamed everything on menopause and just couldn’t seem to get past that. Her treatment plan was to come to her for 10 years to get me through it. I didn’t believe that was what was causing my issues so I moved on.

I continued to spiral down, having eczema breakouts, mainly on my neck so a lot of my shirts were really bothering me. I became more anxious and depressed. A lot of the plans and ideas I had for my job, house and life just seemed too overwhelming and my stress increased to a point where even one of my students told me I should “ Do some breathing exercises and drink some of my de-stress tea”.

Around that time I found a local Functional Medical Doctor. Despite the fact that my insurance doesn’t cover it I knew I had to keep searching for answers. I was approaching 50 and if you remember this blog was originally going to chronicle my journey to be “Fit by 50”. After the first appointment we decided to do some actual testing, not just relying on what I said or how I felt. We did a nutrition test and a gut biome test. Wow! my body is not a healthy place! Just to name a few things I’m deficient in many nutrients, like magnesium (which I was taking daily) and the vitamin B family (which again I was taking daily). So this indicates that my body is not absorbing nutrients. My gut biome wasn’t the best and needs more diversity. I also have high levels of lead and gasoline in my system… Not sure where that is coming from.

This led to food and mold allergy testing. I really wanted to know what I could eat so that I could bring back in some foods may help me. I walked out of her office with the allergy testing kit, a  list of supplement to take and a little hope.

In order to test for antibodies in you blood for allergens you have to eat foods that you react to so for the next two weeks I ate pizza, nachos, eggs, nuts, seeds, spices I’d been avoiding, cheese, oh and drank some nummy nut brown ale. It all tasted so good and I felt so awful. I was going to eat this way for 3 weeks but just couldn’t do it! I was even having panic attacks again! It sucked! I was counting the days to my blood draw. After my test was sent off I started following AIP again and taking the suggested supplements, I wasn’t feeling any better. I was still anxious and though I had gained weight by eating everything I thought the weight would just drop off, it wasn’t. What was going on?

Finally my  test results came back and the email from my doctor said “ The only thing I would tell you to avoid before seeing me is corn and turkey. “  My first thought was “That’s it?” Oh, I was so naive!

I started looking into turkey because I wanted to know if that meant I couldn’t eat any poultry and it looks like all poultry have different proteins so just because you are allergic to one doesn’t mean you are allergic to all. And I don’t particularly like turkey so … no big deal.

Then after a few days I started looking into corn-my mind was blown-CORN IS IN EVERYTHING! I REPEAT, EVERYTHING!  Now, I panicked! Here I thought I was grain free but all my supplement(that I just bought) were corn based, my sea salt had an anti caking agent that is corn based along with vanilla extract, just pick up any processed food and you will see an ingredient derived from corn. After a few emailed questions to my doctor she also suggested I avoid corn topically too– Well here we go again, it’s in hand soap, dish soap, laundry soap, toothpaste, and on and on and on.

I don’t have a face to face with my doctor for another week but thanks to the help of my sister’s friend, who has a corn allergy, a facebook group and the Corn Allergen web site I’m starting to navigate the corn free world. I allowed myself to  mope and whine for a few days but now I’m trying to replace “This Sucks” with “I’m up for the challenge!”

And this is what my cat Yum has to say:weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmzxo9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999iio


Yum is always getting into trouble

I walked away and came back to that added to my page so I thought I’d share =^..^=

Sugar Detox Day One

I’m sure the first day is easy for most people and it was extremely easy for me. I did indulge on a little more sugar than normal yesterday, with it being New Years Eve and all, and I did pay for it this morning. My payment: more trips to the bathroom.

I started out my day with my typical cups of coffee. I had invited my parents over for a sugar-free, grain free dinner so I was busy most of the day taking down bits of Christmas decorations and cleaning in-between my preparing the meal.

I made a crock pot roast with homemade bone broth, carrots, celery and onions, it was delicious. For my sides I made mashed cauliflower, much to my son’s disappointment, he thought it was going to be mashed potatoes and herb biscuits. Everything, even the apple crisp which I messed up on, turned out wonderful. All but the roast are recipes from The 21 Day Sugar Detox.The apple crisp is not in the photo because it was still in the oven and when I took it out my boys ate it so fast I didn’t have time to get a picture.

I feel great, accomplished and full.

Oh and Happy 1st Birthday to my dog Bessie. 20140101-210733.jpg

Still Grain Free

I’ve been grain free for 25 days. I still feel great. The last two days I’ve been tired but…students are back at school and days are busy. I’m pretty sure anyone would be tired after the first couple of days of the school year.

What is so great about this change is how much I’ve learned about food and my body. I have tried so many new recipes and was forced to become a better planner when it comes to food. I  still have a hard time when I leave the store, 45.00 for less than a bag of groceries, but I did buy some things that should last for a while, raw honey, apple cider vinegar and flours.

Why I Went Grain Free

Becoming grain free has been nothing but positive for me. I’m having fun making new foods, I feel great and I think, where it is more expensive at first it will even out. I even have a co-worker who went grain free around the same time i did so we get to share our excitement with each other as we feel better and better.

Though today when I was at the grocery store a gentleman asked me why I was grain free. I answered him but I could tell that he thought it was not a good answer. I gave the “wheat is so genetically modified that you don’t recognize it” and “don’t know what it does to the body” answer. I said I ate nuts and seeds. He said wheat is a seed…Crap, I had no come back other than,” well I just started so i haven’t done all my research, gotta go, good luck picking out your wild rice cereal.”

Well if you know me the last way I want to come across is as uninformed. So I revisited the web sites I did my research on and a few more and here is my list of why I am grain free.

Do I need more reasons? No and the best thing about it is I feel great!!

16 Days and Counting

I have finished Day 16 of being Grain Free! On Day 9 I wrote a post that I never got around to posting. In that post I talked about how I really didn’t feel too different. Well all that has changed, I feel great! I had lost 2 lbs but as of my last weight in had gained one back but I did have a sugar fill day on Sunday. It’s not my weight as much as my mental state. I have been the type of person that when I get overwhelmed I have a hard time doing anything. It stresses me enough where I can’t prioritize and so nothing gets done. Since Friday (Day  13) you can’t stop me. I’m still not good at prioritizing but where before I would just sit and “figure out what to do next” now I can sit for about 10 minutes and I’m up doing something. I have a mental clarity that I don’t remember having before. I know it sounds a little hokey but that is how I feel. I also feel more optimistic and less stressed about things. It is a great feeling.


Butter Wars

In my continuing quest to get fit I’ve been doing a lot of research. Mainly I’ve been doing research about nutrition or “what should I eat”. The book Wheat Belly by William Davis sort of started a chain reaction for me. As I started to research alternatives to eating wheat I first came across the blog Wellness Mama (love) and I read things in her blog that  inspired me to keep researching which lead me back to the Paleo Diet.  So what does this have to do with butter? Well,  I love, love peanut butter and have been making my own all summer. I love it, my kids love it. but as I’m doing this research I’ve been reminded that peanuts are not nuts but legumes and legumes can be toxic (so sad I love black beans). So I made up my last bunch of organic dry roasted peanuts, enjoyed some on my grain free banana muffins  and did more research on what I can use to replace peanut butter.

First I read about sunflower seed butter and then random nut butters. I did have a partial bag of raw sunflower seeds so I thought I’d give that a try. Remember I said raw, mistake! I did read I should roast them first but was so excited to try it that I forgot to roast them. That batch was not good. So I added coco powder and honey, that made it palatable. Next I took the small bag of almond slivers I had and all of the left over nuts from last Christmas, mainly almonds, a few  hazelnuts and 2 walnuts. Well since the sunflower seed didn’t taste good without roasting I though I should roast these nuts. I roasted them too long and again needed to add coco powder and honey but then it was really good, you could still taste the burnt taste but that just added to the flavor.

Who won? Well sadly peanut butter is still my favorite so it looks like more experimentation (darn ;)) needs to be done to fine a nut butter that I make well and that I like.

Another Book Review

This last weekend I had the chance to review the book Wheat Belly  by William Davis MD. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about food but was shocked to hear about how we have altered wheat to the point where someone from 100 years ago would find it almost unrecognizable. No wonder there are more and more of my family and friends discovering that they feel better without wheat. Most of the book said things I’m already familiar with, wheat consumption causes all sorts of negative things to the body. Inflammation, insulin spiking, diabetes, mood swings and more.

What I didn’t like about the book, and I had the opportunity to look at the accompanying cook book, was that I felt Dr. Davis contradicted himself. At one point he mentioned quinao as a grain not to eat yet it was listed in a few recipes. The big one for me was his including of sweeteners like stevia . The research used in the book Skinny Bitch stated that even though stevia is a plant the process they use to create the sweetener  uses chemicals that are not natural.  Why would I give up wheat and then put a chemically treated sweetener in my body?

Except for a few contradictions I enjoyed the book. It pushed me to do more research and as my journey continues to get fit I decided to take it one step further and go completely grain free for one month. In the last 70 hours I’ve only had 2 things that  contain a grain. And I will add them to my wall of excuses.