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

Yum is always getting into trouble

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

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.

Morning of Day 4

I truly meant to blog everyday on my sugar detox but on the afternoon of Day 2 I was hit with another health setback, Rosacea. I have been struggling with Blepharitis for months now and felt like I was in a continual flare up. I also need new glasses. I decided to wait for my eye exam to talk about my Blepharitis flare up. That’s when the word Rosacea was said. What I liked about my doctor was that he was respectful to how I’m eating and how I’m trying to remove toxins from my diet, so he gave me an option. I could try to heal myself with larger doses of fish oil or I could take a more aggressive approach and go on an antibiotic and steroid eye drops, ok, I’m vain, I took the more aggressive approach. I feel I can work on my end changing my diet to heal my gut( a post on gut heal will be coming soon) and taking the antibiotics to speed things along. Yes I realize that the antibiotics will be working against me trying to balance the flora in my gut but hopefully I’ll develop some good habits so when I can come off the antibiotics I will be able to heal my gut quicker.

Ok, now why you are really here, to hear how my detox is going, I have one word  -Great-!!

I could not be happier with how not difficult this is, I won’t say easy because it’s not easy but I will say it’s not difficult either. What makes it tough is planning and as the book The 21 Day Sugar Detox preaches planning is the key. Today I’m  doing my 2 week grocery shopping run and to sit and plan 14 meals and making sure I have something to snack on took about an hour. All of the dinners I’ll be eating will be from the book. But, I feel good and prepared for my next 14 days.

So far I have not felt any different, no withdrawal symptoms  like I thought, so I guess that’s good. I’m a little hungrier than normal but once I eat something, usually cheese, I feel satisfied. I have alway slept good so that hasn’t changed. As for energy and mental clarity I have noticed no changes.

Today will be a big challenge for me, I’m going out for lunch. Thanks goodness for online menus, I’ve already picked out what I will eat, a cobb salad, and now I just have to sneak my own dressing in and pray that it doesn’t come with something  sugar infused.