Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas! And Look What December Has Brought...

My last post was on December 11th...  So busy...  yesterday was the first day to slow down a bit, and it felt great!   Naps, catching up on reading... feels so good.  Today I slept in.  I woke up at 6:00 AM, but didn't get out of bed until 7:30.  I read, and then watched an episode of Chopped. 

I'm rereading Natalia Rose's Detox for Women, because I've had a relapse of candida.  You know my last post on the 11th?  After that point I was pretty lax on the sweets I ate- I was more lenient with chocolate, and homemade sweets (like carmel) that came our way.  I did buy some dark chocolate to eat instead, but it didn't work.  I ate that AND the sweets.  And now, over two weeks later, I'm already having some female yeast issues.  I've also felt more bloated and gassy.  Not cool.

One good thing that has come from all of this is that now I know what I was doing WAS working (besides the weight loss), and that it is important to stay with it.  I love rereading things that I read at the beginning of my journey, because now different things stand out to me.  It's very motivating, and I'm ready to give it a go again (starting January 1st!!! :)  For one month I'm going to be really strict, like I was in August.  No fruit, honey, or maple syrup (as well as sugar of course).  And I'm going back to JUICING!  That will replace my breakfast, like before.   My next doctor's appointment is the first part of February, and we'll be doing blood work again.  Hopefully I'll be able to see a difference in my results, compared to August.

On Christmas Eve I decided to go to a Santa Hat fun run.  I didn't know anyone who was going, but it sounded like fun.  When I got there it turned out I knew a couple of gals, and it was fun to run with them.  The best thing of all:  They run together every Mon-Wed-Fri at 5 AM!  And they invited me to join them!!  And they're about my speed (a bit slower, but that's okay)!!!  And they're going about as far as I want to go! (5 miles)  I've been wanting to find someone to run with for YEARS, so I hope this works out.  They're training for the Utah Valley Marathon in June, and I'm a bit torn.  I REALLY want to do it, but I think I'll wait & see how my training goes in January and see if I have enough energy while I'm doing this stricter diet.  Maybe I'll go with the half marathon.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oh, the Temptation!

Christmas season has hit full force.  I love it so much- I'm really in the Christmas spirit this year.  But I wasn't anticipating the TEMPTATION.  I've been so good to stay away from crappy food, but I feel it wearing away at me.  The goodies are tempting me more & more (like the ice cream I mentioned last post). 

The neighbor gifts has started coming...  corn puffs (the chip-like puffs that I USED to use to make into carmel puffs to take around for our neighbor gifts), homemade fudge with marshmallows and nuts.  I have to admit- I tasted the fudge.  And WHEW- sugar rush.  So sweet I could hardly eat it, thank goodness :). 

But I've got to prepare mentally for the weeks ahead & make a plan.  I think I'll get some more extra dark chocolate that I ate back in August & allow myself some instead of whatever goodie I'm trying to avoid.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hummus? I wish.

When I went to Costco last week I gave in and bought some Hummus.  There was a lady giving out samples on those yummy gluten free multi-grain chips, so I tried it.  I purposefully didn't look at the ingredients list on the Hummus because I didn't want to know.  I knew it was pretty healthy for you. 

Well, no one around here likes it but me, and now I know my body doesn't like it.  I feel crappy every time I eat it.  Here are the ingredients:  garbanzo beans, canola oil (a no-no), water, tahini (sesame butter), lemon juice concentrate, salt, garlic, spice, extra virgin olive oil, sodium benzoate (?!), and potassium sorbate (?! a preservative citric acid).   

I also tried to eat Bryer's ice cream.  (It says all natural).  But I didn't look down the full list- one of the ingredients listed is WHEY.  I didn't feel so great after eating that, either.  Okay, okay!  "Uncle"!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

GASP-- IT'S DEAD!

Ohhhhhh..... I made a bummer of a mistake this morning. 

The day started off with my morning run- 7 miles, and beautiful!  Until the last mile and 1/2, that is.  I was running into a headwind and it was COLD.  Even though it was harder against the wind I ran faster, because I was anxious to get out of the cold!

When I got home, I got everything ready to make breakfast.  We were having sausage in scrambled eggs, and sour dough pancakes.  Before my run I poured my entire sour dough start into a bowl & fed it, wanting to make sure I had enough start for the pancakes.  When I got home it was nice & bubbly, and I got all the other ingredients ready to go.  My 6-year-old and 10-year-old daughters like to pretend that they run a restaurant, and they were helping in the kitchen.  I got another bowl out to mix some of the ingredients before adding the sour dough start.  I asked Janessa to crack an egg and put it in the bowl (I was on the other side of the kitchen getting maple syrup and vanilla out).  I walked over to where she was and there she was stirring the egg INTO THE BOWL WITH THE STARTER IN IT!  My entire start.  The one I've babied for weeks and weeks, tenderly feeding and babying.

At this point I'm not very proud of my reaction...  I shrieked and said "NOOOOOOOOOO!"  And looking back, this part is hilarious:  I flung myself back into the fridge (about 6-7 steps)saying  "NOOOOOOOOOO!  That's MY START!"   and put my hands over my face.  I think I freaked poor Janessa out.  She was just staring at me, then she walked out and started to cry.  Poor thing.  I went & got her and told her it wasn't her fault... I had said "the bowl", and why wouldn't she think it was the one with the stuff that looked like pancake batter?

Well, the pancakes turned out great (so everyone says... I still can't eat them).  And now I have the chance to make my own start.  Thank goodness for gnowfglins.com.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Slowing Down in Posting... But Still Going Strong!

When I started this blog it was meant to be a journal of my experience going sugar-free.  I thought it was so crazy... so unusual to go sugar free, so why not blog about it?   I started studying all that I could about sugar-free, candida diets, etc, and one thing would lead to the next, to the next, etc., etc, and here I am.  One huge surprise:   There are TONS of blogs out there about being sugar free.  There are tons of blogs out there about anything you want to find.  Ha.  Some of you may laugh because that isn't a surprise to you.  But maybe it shows my age (40 next year!!!!!)...  I'm a little behind on the technology trends.  Heck- I didn't even use the Internet in college.

But it still is fun to record what I'm going through.  The past four months have been hard.. satisfying... busy... emotional... rewarding... exhausting... confusing... humbling... worth it.   I'm kind of surprised I haven't found my groove yet.  The feeling of constantly adjusting and searching is annoying at times.  I'm still aiming for some sort of normalcy in the midst of all of change. 

In retrospect, I think I've gone over the top with too much change too soon.  It's pretty drastic to do the candida diet, but then all the other things I've done on top of that... all good things, but overwhelming.  My day is a whirlwind:  up early- exercise- rush home- breakfast/scriptures- piano lessons (1 hr.)- take kids to school- study/research/cook/grocery shop, lunch, Shiloh down for a nap, piano lessons (2 1/2 hours), dinner, drive kids around to activities, kids homework, kids bedtime, computer me-time, fall into bed.  Get 5-6 hours of sleep then start over again.

TOOOO busy.  The clutter in my home has gotten a bit out of control.  It's a constant burden hanging over me, but my focus right now is on food.  My kitchen computer area, my laundry room, and my master bathroom & closet are really needing help.  When I do have a bit of cleaning time it is spent doing the mountains of dishes that it takes when you're making home made everything.  My kids all take turns with dishes in the evenings, but I always have to do a load earlier in the day, too.

A few years ago I found a cleaning plan (yes... I like to follow programs.. menu plans... financial planning plans...  everything.  I'm crazy like that) that tells me what to do every day, which helps catch all those little things that are forgotten as we're trying to manage all the big things (like dishes).  It worked amazingly for about 6 months, then summer came & I got off of schedule & never got back on.  My hope is that once I get into a better food system, I'll be able to step back into the cleaning system, too.  I need some B-A-L-A-N-C-E.

 So I'm going to do a little less time blogging, and a bit more time cleaning :).  I still plan to write at least 2-3 times a week, but we'll see with Christmas coming.  So much to do, so little time.  Now, maybe as I'm cleaning I'll come across my camera cable cord... I can't download any pictures right now because it's missing in all the clutter.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving- A Big Success!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  This was my first big holiday after changing my eating to grain & sugar-free, and it was great!   We celebrated Thanksgiving with my side of the family at my parent's house.  I forgot my camera so I don't have any pictures.  I was in charge of bringing pomegranate salad and sweet potato casserole.  I also decided to make a gluten-free pumpkin pie so I could enjoy some dessert.

The pomegranate salad is so easy- you just mix the seeds from two pomegranates, one can of pineapple tidbits, cut up two apples (I used gala), and add sweetened whipped cream and pecan bits.  I should've tried honey sweeted whipped cream, but I wasn't brave enough & used a tiny bit of powdered sugar in it.  This recipe is so forgiving, too.  You an pretty much just add whatever amounts of the different ingredients you want & it will work.  I would've added more pomegranate, but they were stinkin' expensive:  2 for $5.  My sister found them at her grocery store for $0.70 each!!!!  If I would've know I would have had her pick up 10 for me!  We love them around here.

The sweet potato casserole turned out AMAZING!  I am always in charge of the sweet potatoes, because I love them.  I always have candied them up & made them more like a dessert.  This year I used the sweet potato casserole recipe from gnowfglins.  It was a lot like my old recipe, but it asked for honey instead of sugar.  I also added a couple eggs, even though they weren't called for.  Everyone raved about them, and yes, I agree they were amazing.  I wish I had a picture.

Here's the recipe:

Sweet Potato Casserole (from http://www.gnowfglins.com/)
  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons tablespoons butter or unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped crispy nuts*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and chop sweet potatoes coarsely. Place in pot and cover with filtered water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover and let sweet potatoes cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain.

While still hot, beat or mash until smooth. Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup honey, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of butter or coconut oil, sea salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg; beat or mash until the mixture is light and fluffy. Transfer mixture to an ungreased 3 quart casserole dish. Arrange the nuts in a single layer on top. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons honey. Top with 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil in chunks. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and bubbly**.

When I printed off the recipe to take I forgot to grab the 2nd page, so I didn't remember to drizzle the top with honey or top with extra butter.  They were amazing, just the same, so I probably won't do that in the future.  My kids are begging me to make them again, so I'll probably make them again during the week.  I'm going to make another Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy the leftovers.

I think I'll try this recipe for celery root mash (from Recipes to Nourish) instead of mashed potatoes.  I've never used celery root before, even though I bought some.  I planned to use it in a recipe about a month ago, but I never got around to the recipe & I think it's still in the back of my fridge.  I'm a bit nervous, considering how awful my other mashed potato substitute went. 

I'll review the pumpkin pie recipe I used tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Soaked Oatmeal- My First Time Using Whey

Last week when I was at the dairy buying my raw milk I overheard a customer talking about whey- she had soaked her oats in it overnight, and said she had a yummy breakfast.  Here and there I have seen recipes with whey in them, so I asked the salesperson about it.

She showed me the whey, which was only $1/bottle!  I bought some, and last night at the last minute decided to soak my oatmeal.  (When you soak your grains it helps break down the phytates found in whole grains. Phytates prevent the absorption of various vitamins and minerals, so if you break them down, it makes a healthier food.)

I had already turned my computer off and didn't know the recipe, but I decided to wing it.  I took about 4 cups of oats, and then put about equal amounts of whey, covered it loosely, and let it soak overnight.

In the morning it looked like this:


Looked pretty good.  I just wasn't sure how much liquid to put in it on stove, so I decided to Google it. 

Gulp.  In all the recipes I found I was supposed to put a few tablespoons of whey, not CUPS full!  I also saw one blog where the writer was talking about her oatmeal disaster when she tried soaking her oats.  It made the oatmeal all pasty & gooey.  Great.  I decided to go forward anyway. 

I ended up adding about a cup & 1/2 more water, put it in a pot, and then let it simmer until most of the liquid was gone (about 7 minutes).  I dished it up, and served. 



Nobody suspected a thing.  I was nervous that it would taste all sour and they would hate it.  But they didn't even notice!  Grace mentioned something when she was almost done.  She said it tasted funny.  But I said it was fine.  I put cinnamon and stevia powder in mine, and it tasted just like normal.  

So I was counting this as a success... UNTIL...    Me to self:  "hmmmm.... my throat feels funny.  It feels kind of itchy.  Is it swelling?  Wow, behind my knees is really itchy today.  "  Then it dawned on me.  I AM ALLERGIC.  So from they very start they told me I was allergic to milk and needed to stick with raw milk.  I even stayed away from raw for about a month & 1/2.  I haven't felt anything out of the ordinary when I drink raw milk.  The only problems I've had is when I EAT CHEESE.  Hel-lo!  The whey is what is left over when they are making the cheese out at that dairy.  I looked it up & the two proteins in milk that cause allergies for people are casein and WHEY.

I Googled "allergy to whey", and found that you can be lactose intolerant where you body doesn't break down the lactose properly, or allergic to milk, where your body has an immune system response (like swelling, itching, etc).  Well, that's me.  What I'm reading, too, is that you need to cut out all dairy.  :(   (Maybe a reason to reconsider GAPS?)

Another reason I might have had such a reaction is because I used so much whey compared to what I was supposed to.  Maybe a blessing in disguise, because now I know I'm actually allergic, it not being just an "intolerance".  I wonder if Jimmy is having any sort of reactions at work.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Recipe Review: Squash Pancakes

Happy dance.... happy dance!  Okay, Janae, you're my first non-related blog follower.  Welcome.  I know it was a huge step for you to follow a sugar-free blog.  That's okay.  I won't tell! :). 

Today was a super busy day- I spent most of it getting ready for my group piano lessons today and tomorrow.  When it was time for dinner I hadn't even planned anything.  I threw together tacos for the kids, and Jimmy ended up eating them too (He's been really good about his eating and has lost about 15 pounds in the last month).  He decided that they were better than the alternative:  Squash pancakes.

I had leftover cooked squash in the fridge, so decided it was time to try out this recipe from gnowfglins.com:

1 cup cooked, pureed squash [I used a little butternut and mostly acorn squash].
4 to 5 eggs [I used 4]
1/4 c. coconut four [I used this] OR whole wheat flour OR 1/3 c. sour dough starter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 to 2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
butter

Serves 6

Separate eggs.  In one bowl, whip egg whites a few minutes until frothy/foamy.  In a separate bowl, combine yolks with squash, flour, sweetener, vanilla and spices.  Fold in egg whites.  Fry slowly in lots of fat in cast-iron skillet over med-low heat or on a griddle with a bit of butter at about 300 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Watch for the bottoms to begin browning when the edges look dry and flip once.  If you find the pancakes are very thin and breaking apart, add a bit more flour or sourdough starter to the batter. 

The lazy way:  Instead of separating the eggs, just mix everything together in one bowl.  The pancakes might not have as much height or fluff, but they're still perfectly fine, especially for a weekday morning. 



Check out that crazy batter!  I'm glad I didn't put an extra egg in because they were moist enough without.    My first mistake:  I just hand mushed the squash instead of blending them.  Second mistake:  I think they would be better with the 1st recipe option of folding in stiff egg whites so the pancakes are fluffier.



The first flipping went better than I thought, but they still looked pretty rough!  The second side brown really fast and got a bit burnt looking.


Here's the final product.  Some real beaut's, eh?  They tasted pretty good, but then about an hour later.....  BLEH.  I feel SO yucky.  I have no idea what caused it- The new Grade B maple syrup I used?  The acorn squash I haven't ever used before?  Some of the spices in it ? (cloves, nutmeg, etc.)  All I know is that this is not on my list of favorites.  They're heavy in my stomach, and I just don't feel well at all.  They get one out of five stars.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Regrouping.... AGAIN.

This week I've been kind of down... overwhelmed... discouraged.. however you want to say it.  I think it stems from my disappointment of my Dr.'s visit last week.  I guess I was hoping to get some praise or validation from the doctor showing that what I was doing was making a difference.  I know that seems silly, because of course it's making a difference when you've lost 25 lbs & that's what a lot of people talk about when they see you (especially if they haven't seen you for awhile).  But I guess I wanted more excitement from my doctor.  I still like him, of course, but I'm a "pleaser" type, and I that would've really meant a lot if he would have mentioned it.

And then I was bummed about the sour dough not working out for me.  I'm still happy about having it for my family, but still.... disappointed.

I'm still eating very well, but I want to have something I'm working toward.  I still feel some candida symptoms, so I think I need to step back, look at the candida diet foods again, and make sure I'm cutting out what I need to.  I've been more lax in eating regular cheese, but I don't feel well when I have it.  I need to go back to raw.  I eat brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat pretty regularly, but I think I need to scale back on those for the next few months until my next dr.'s visit.  I also need to cut out my natural sweets like honey & maple syrup.  I'm having them 3-4 times a week, when they should be out for candida.

I wish that I could find a meal plan that meets all my needs, and that would work for my family too.  I've looked at & tried a lot.  I think that I'll use the gnowgflins meal plan, but also tie in recipes from the grainless meal plan & gaps diet.  I just need to get it organized in a way that is easy to follow, including shopping lists & recipes.  Now to just find the time...

I hate being down.  I'm very blessed, and I know it.  I'm grateful for my family, my health, my church- everything.  I'll get this organized, and get used to these changes.  I need to remind myself not to stress it and bite off more than I can chew.  One step at a time.  Everything will be alright.

How do you get through discouraging times?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sour Dough- Could This Be IT?

For those new to my blog, I found out in August that I am sensitive to gluten.  I seriously had no idea!  I was also told that I had an incredibly high Candida level, and I was sensitive to milk.  Basically I went off of most grains, all sugar (both processed and natural), and most milk products (except butter & eventually raw milk).

Once I had been off of wheat for a few weeks I could feel a reaction to it when I would have it.  Part of our sacrament at church is eating a small piece of bread (like the size of my thumb-nail), and my throat gets tickly when I eat it (I could have something gluten-free if I wanted, but I haven't thought it was worth the hassle).  This reaction, though, has been enough to make me pretty cautious.  I've been pretty good about not eating gluten (although I've strayed a bit more with the sugar!).

I've heard that some people who are gluten sensitive can handle sour dough or soaked grains with no problem (thanks, Kelsey via comments on THIS entry), so I decided to give it a try.  Kelsey also suggested going to http://www.gnowfglins.com/, which I had never even heard of before.  I LOVE this site!  So much great info. 

Well, one thing led to another, and one of my sweet friends surprised me by bringing over a pint jar with a sour dough start in it on Saturday night.  The timing was perfect, and it made my day!



I quickly started the gnowfglins foundation course, then jumped to the course on sourdough, because I wasn't even sure what to do with it, or how to feed it. 

My friend also gave me a recipe for sour dough pancakes, so I decided to try them on Sunday morning.
[I was going to post the recipe, but my ds cleaned up the counter, and I'm not sure where he put the recipe card!  I hope not in the trash.  I'll post it when it's found]



I ground some wheat and got the dough soaking the night before.




In the morning I added the rest of the ingredients, and the pancakes turned out amazing!  Much better than my standard whole wheat pancakes.



I ate a couple with Greek yogurt (with a bit of cinnamon and stevia).  It was SO yummy!  But soon after.... bummer!  Itchiness!  My throat itched, my skin itched, and I started getting a slight headache.  So, guess I won't be eating sourdough breads, either!  Bummer.  I'm still going to make them for my family, though, because they are really missing bread.



My friend also gave a cute little loaf of bread.  She didn't say it was gluten-free, but said it was made out of a bunch of grains like spelt & millet, and I can't even remember the rest.  I decided that since I had had the pancakes that morning, then I was going to eat the bread, too.  It was SOOOO good.  I need to get the recipe from her.  But of course, more itchiness.  This time I could see a faint read lacy reaction on the undersides of my arms.  It went away pretty quickly, but still.  Oh well.  None of that either.

Oh... and few other things that I noticed after having the pancakes/bread:

*  I get out of church at noon, and eat lunch by about 1:00 pm, and yesterday I was VERY hungry by lunch time.  Much hungrier than I have felt in a long time.  On my low sugar/gluten diet I don't feel those hunger pangs.

*  This morning when I woke up I was HUNGRY.  When I first started this diet in August I was worried I would feel hungry all the time, and thought I would wake up starving.  But I NEVER did.  Not once.  It's kind of comforting to have that full feeling, and not be anxious about eating again.

~This post is linked to Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist.com~

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Productive Day with My Chef!

You may remember how I'm doing a trade where I teach my friend's son piano lessons, and she's bulk cooking for me once a month (see HERE). 

Yesterday we had our second cooking marathon, and it was great!  This time I took some pictures. 

Cindy's first project:  Cauliflower Pizza Crusts


These are SOOOOOO good!  One of my favorite recipes right now.  They are so easy, too.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
2 Cups Cauliflower
2 Cups Mozzarella
2 Eggs

Blanch Cauliflower and shred. Put in a strainer to remove excess water.
Combine with mozzarella and eggs.

Place in mounds on parchment paper making sure that it is distributed evenly.
Bake at 450 for aprox 10 minutes.

You don't really taste the cauliflower much at all.  I've also made them with raw goat's milk cheese, and they were great, too.

I just freeze them, then we can use them for a snack or dinner by putting a bit of marinara sauce on it, sprinkling a little more cheese, and then you can put any toppings you want.  YUMMO.  5 out of 5 stars.

Other projects from the day:


Two different types of lara bars.  Nice to have on hand for after school snacks.



Cranberry Scones.  These are made with almond flour, egg, butter, honey, and cranberries.  Super easy, and I LOVE THEM.  The weird thing?  The rest of my family doesn't get in to them.  I served everyone one this morning, and none of the kids ate it.  Strange.  I think they're almost like a cookie for breakfast.  For me?  5 out of 5 stars.  Not so good with the kids, though.  I'll just save them for my lunches or snacks now.


A couple of nice big pans of meat balls.  No, no liver this time.  Cindy doesn't do liver :).  We had some last night, and they're very yummy.  I froze the rest.  I found out something very interesting today, though!  I was watching a free video on www.westonaprice.org  (Check it out HERE) about cooking materials recommended for your whole foods kitchen, and they mentioned how you shouldn't be using aluminum.  I just realized that my cookie sheets are aluminum.  Whoops!  They said you could cover them with parchment paper and be okay, though.  That's what I'll have to do next time.

Yes, a very productive day.  It's so fun to have my own "personal chef".

Monday, November 7, 2011

It's Been Three Months?

Boy, does time fly.  It seems like ages ago that I had a dietary overhaul, but it's only been three months.  It's still hard for me to believe that so much can change in such a short period of time.

In 3 months I have: 

*Lost 22 pounds (it was 25 pounds one day, but I'm not going to count it until it stays consistent).

*Become incredibly in tune with my body... I know which foods affect it negatively, and have learned it's not worth the reactions of eating those foods (mainly wheat).

*I've eaten liver... twice!  That's monumental and worth mentioning (see post HERE).

*I've learned that there are a bazillion and a half ideas on what makes up healthy eating, and it is incredibly time consuming and difficult to sift through it all.

*Become more mentally clear.

*Learned about body brushing, bath detoxing, and coffee enemas.  I had never even heard of these before.

*Learned about colonics (see HERE), although I can't afford it right now.

*Learned about soaking grains.

*Learned about the Gut And Psychology Syndrome and how one should eat to heal the gut.

*Learned it takes an incredible amount of time to plan, prepare, and cook everything from scratch- more than I even imagined.

*Learned that my food budget has gone up by about $500 a month.   (I'm probably going to start soaking my grains and making things out of wheat, which is cheaper than meat, nuts, and produce).

I really could go on and on.  I've learned so much in this last little while it's hard to narrow it down. 

Today I had my first follow-up visit with Dr. Porter, the doctor who diagnosed my Candida.  I was looking forward to it because I thought we would do blood work and we would follow-up in two weeks and go over the results.  Turns out we have to wait until February to do the blood work again, because not enough time has lapsed.  That really bummed me out.  He didn't comment on my weight loss or anything, either, which surprised me.  He did say it seemed that I was doing a good job, and to keep doing what I was doing.

It was nice to ask him a bunch of questions I had- I asked him if he had heard of GAPS, and he was so surprised.  He said he loves it, but he doesn't think I need Intro to GAPS.  I also asked him about amalgam fillings (he thinks ideally they should come out), sore teeth, hair loss, and any other worries I've mentioned on this blog.

My next visit is in February.  Here's to a healthy and successful three more months!  That will be the test- to see if I can keep plowing forward, full steam ahead, with as much gusto as before. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gotta Read This- Wheat Belly!

I've read more in the last three months than I have in a long time.  I'm REALLY glad that my daughter has a Kindle that I can borrow- I find a book that looks good, and I can download it right then for about $10.  Guess it's time that I get my own so I can give hers back.

Last week I came across the greatest book!  It's called Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, by William Davis, MD


Dr. Davis is a cardiologist that witnessed many of his patients regaining their health after giving up wheat.  In this book he explains how eliminating wheat from our diet can prevent fat storage, shrink bulges, and reverse a lot of health problems.

Okay, okay.  I know this sounds extreme.  I think if I had found this book before I started this transformation three months ago I would have laughed it off, and considered it too extreme, or just a big fad.  But the thing that I'm amazed with is how time and time again what he explains in the book I HAVE EXPERIENCED.  I am reading this book after the fact, and what he's saying is right.

He starts off by bringing out the point that men & women in the 1950's and 60's were much thinner, but they didn't exercise much at all (especially women- it was considered unseemly).  Today many people are exercising like crazy, but they're much heavier than people from back then- many even overweight (YES! That was me!)

Here he brings out the point that our wheat of today is much different that wheat of 50 years ago, altered by genetic research.  He makes the case against wheat by stating documented peculiar effects of wheat on humans such as:  appetite stimulation [makes complete sense!  I am not abnormally hungry any more!  I feel in control!], exposure to brain-active exorphins, exaggerated blood sugar surges that trigger cycles of satiety alternating with heightened appetite, the process of glycation that underlies disease and again, inflammatory and pH effects that erode cartilage and damage bone, and activation of disordered immune responses.

He states that a complex ange of diseases result from consumption of wheat, from celiac disease, to an assortment of neurological disorders, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, curious rashes, and schizophrenia.  He talks about "flop over the belly fat" vanishing when his patients eliminated wheat from their diets [YES!  I did too!  You know how low rider pants are popular for women?  I've hated that style because of my roll of blub hanging over the edge.  Now?  3 months after no wheat?  Not a problem any more. I mentioned this to Jimmy- how amazed I was that I could get so flat with out tons of sit-ups and ab work- Sorry Jillian.]  And he says that typical weight loss totaling 20, 30, or 50 pounds within the first few months was common [Right there, too!]

Here is the Table of Contents:

Introduction

PART ONE  WHEAT:  THE UNHEALTHY WHOLE GRAIN
Chapter 1  What Belly?
Chapter 2  Not Your Granma's Muffins: The Creation of Modern Wheat
Chapter 3  Wheat Deconstructed

PART TWO  WHEAT AND ITS HEAD-TO-TOE DESTRUCTION OF HEALTH
Chapter 4  Hey, Man, Wanna Buy Some Exorphins?  The Addictive Properties of Wheat
Chapter 5  Your Wheat Belly Is Showing:  The Wheat/Obesity Connection
Chapter 6  Hello, Intestine.  It's Me, Wheat.  Wheat and Celiac Disease
Chapter 7  Diabetes Nation:  Wheat and Insulin Resistance
Chapter 8  Dropping Acid:  Wheat as the Great pH Disruptor
Chapter 9  Cataracts, Wrinkles, and Dowager's Humps:  Wheat and the Aging Process
Chapter 10  My Particles Are Bigger Than Yours:  Wheat and Heart Disease
Chapter 11  It's All in Your Head:  Wheat and the Brain
Chapter 12  Bagel Face:  Wheat's Destructive Effect on the Skin

PART THREE  SAY GOODBYE TO WHEAT
Chapter 13  Goodbye, Wheat:  Create a Healthy, Delicious, Wheat-Free life

Epilogue
Appendix A  Looking for Wheat in All the Wrong Places
Appendix B  Healthy Wheat Belly-Shrinking Recipes
Acknowledgments
References
Index

So, even if you're skeptical, read this book!  I would love to hear your take on it.

The main that I've had to grapple with is how this book ties in with my church's Word of Wisdom, which is
revelation that contains specific instruction about beneficial and harmful health practices.  In one of the church manuals on gospel doctrine it states:  "Each of us will be healthier as we follow the Lord’s counsel to (1) use herbs, fruits, and vegetables, (2) use grains as a central part of what we eat, and (3) eat the flesh of animals sparingly. Each of these groups of food provides essential body nutrients."

I wrote to a fellow Mormon blogger, Newell Wright at http://www.lowcarbwisdom.blogspot.com/ after I found a post he did on the word of wisdom and low carb eating.   He had a great take on it. 

In his email to me he said: 

I have had some issues with the Word of Wisdom and wheat, and Wheat
Belly effectively gave me a great answer: the wheat in 1829 is not the
wheat we are eating today. Plus this: in 1829, the average 30-year-old
had consumed as much sugar in her/his lifetime as the average
2-year-old today. Most sugar came from either honey (which had its own
collection difficulties) or from fruits in season. Honey and fructose,
combined with man-made seed oils, have caused a lot of problems.

When we abuse our bodies by eating wheat, fructose, and seed oils, I
am convinced we are violating the spirit of the Word of Wisdom,
whatever it says or doesn't say about wheat. We need to contextually
interpret it: it is about not defiling our temples (bodies). If my
temple becomes diabetic, then I am defiling it when I eat things that
cause it harm.

Well said, Newell.  I love the insight.

*This post is linked to The Healthy Home Economist's Monday Mania.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The L.I.V.E.R.

WARNING:  Don't read this post if you have a weak stomach. 

I couldn't wait to write this post!  I needed a video camera yesterday- I wish you could've been there.

My challenge yesterday was to make meatloaf that included liver along with the hamburger.  I got my liver soaking the night before.  [Remember that I'm a newbie here, and had no idea why I was soaking it (I haven't gotten that far in my Nourishing Traditions reading yet).  After a bit of research, I found that it's to tame the strong flavor, not to get rid of impurities, as some suggested.]

I decided that I better get the meatloaf ready to cook before my kids got home so they couldn't see me & wouldn't know.  Best decision ever!   

First off, in the recipe it doesn't say what to do with the liver!  It talks about adding the hamburger, but never mentions the liver, other than there is a 1/2 lb in it.  I thought that if I cut it up it would be too noticeable in the meatloaf in little chunks, so I thought I had better mush it up more.  I don't have a food processor, so I just threw it in my Vitamix blender.  Oh. My. Word.  




What to do?  I considered tossing it out, but decided I couldn't give up now.  So here's what I was working with:



Gives me shivers just looking at it.  I pulled little bits of vessels here & there that were too fibrous to blend in.  I didn't get a picture of the fibrous tissue wrapped around the bottom of the blender blade that I had to pull and tug at to get off.  I went ahead and added the liver to all the other ingredients, but increased the hamburger from 1 1/2 pounds to 2 pound hoping that it would give more substance since the liver was so.... mushy.

Here are the two loaves before baking:


They actually don't look as bad as I thought they would.  I also added a glaze that had tomato paste, mustard, honey, garlic powder, and a dash of cayenne pepper in it.  Perfect for a disguise!

Here's the final product:



Not so bad, eh?  Everyone ate it!  And they didn't even suspect a thing.  It didn't taste that bad, but wasn't as good as my normal meatloaf.   Not too bad considering we're eating something that is so repulsive to me.

As for the side?  Looks pretty good, right?  Like some yummy mashed potatoes?  Well guess what?  It's PUREED PARSNIPS  (7 peeled parsnips boiled until soft, then blended with some butter, garlic, and basil added).  Even the description doesn't sound so bad.  But they are HORRIBLE.  Awful.  Yucky.  I ate all of mine, but was the only one (and felt a bit nauseous for the next hour).  Couldn't be because I knew what I was eating in the meatloaf, could it?

What an adventure.  I give the meatloaf 2 out of 5 stars, and the parsnips 0 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Regroup, and Back at it!

Halloween threw me off a little bit.  A lot, actually.  It was go-go-go from 5:00 am until my head hit the pillow at 11:30 pm.  Or was it midnight?  I can't remember.   I'm still trying to catch up on regular household chores, because it was such a whirlwind on Monday.

I did my grocery shopping and stocked up on a lot of what I'll need for the month (plus some.  I might have enough meat now for TWO).  Good thing Costco has those big flat carts- A regular cart wouldn't have cut it. 

I have one more month of my Grainless Meals subscription, so I'm still going to follow that for my family.  Today we're having a lovely surprise... liver in the meatloaf!  Shhhhhh.... don't tell them.  I'm going to see if they even notice, because it will be mixed in with the ground beef.  They didn't notice the chicken liver that I put in the chili a few weeks ago. 

I have to say, though, that preparing the liver is DISGUSTING.  Chicken liver wasn't so bad, but beef liver....  I was gagging as I was cutting it (1/2 a pound covered with a cup of water & the juice of one lemon, to soak over-night).  And I'm supposed to eat it?  I keep reading how great it is for you, and even read that some people EAT IT RAW, to get the full benefits (after freezing it for 14 days to kill any bad things in it).  I think that it's time that I write a post about the great benefits of eating liver, so that I can get motivated (kind of like the detox bath post).

This morning I made cranberry scones from a recipe from HealthHomeHappy.com grainless meals menu plan. 

Cranberry Scones

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups almond flour (I made my own)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 eggs
4 tbsp honey
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (I used fresh)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a baking sheet with butter or coconut oil (I used parchment paper).  In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and honey.  [I completely skipped over this step.  I just threw it in all together, and it was fine.]  Combine wet and dry ingredients.  Fold in the berries.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes [I made mine bigger, so they took more like 20 minutes].



I know they don't look like much, but they tasted really good!  You can't see it very well in the picture, but the cranberries turned a bright pink, and I thought the tangy sourness matched the sweet honey taste very well.  On the down side, my kids didn't eat them very well.  I think they just need to get used to them, and I'll make them again.  I also don't like the heaviness I have in my stomach now.  I like it when I have fresh juice or a soup that leaves me feeling lighter and refreshed.  I give this recipe 3 1/2 stars out of five.


Projects I'm working on today: 

Pumpkin seeds- I saved all the seeds from our jack-o-lanterns, soaked them in salt water, laid them out to dry overnight, and I'm going to roast them all day in my 170 degree oven (the lowest it will go).



There are quite a few there, so I'm going to make sure to stir them often.  I didn't have room for another pan.

Crispy Nuts-  I soaked three pounds of walnuts last night in some salt water, and am baking them along with the pumpkin seeds.  Normally they would be ready by tonight, but we'll see how much longer it takes having them in at the same time as the seeds.



Roasting two chickens (then broth tomorrow)

Making two quarts of yogurt (ready for tomorrow)

Making sauerkraut (if there is enough time!)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I hope you've had a safe and Happy Halloween!  I love seeing my kids so excited.  Fun times- great memories! 


My almost 10-year-old, next to her beautiful creation.



My 80's chick (wearing my actual sweater from 9th grade!  It's my bow, too, but I never wore it like that.  I would pull my hair to the side with a barette.  It's hard to replicate big hair without a perm) , a scary vampire, and sweet little bunny.  My oldest was already out with friends by this point, so no pic.

As for the candy... I haven't been able to bring myself to take it from them and be the scrooge of Halloween.  We're making a lot of changes right now, and I have to pick my battles.  I'm excited that my kids are eating so much healthier.  Step by step, we'll get there.  Now next year, it should be a different story.  I'm planning to have made enough changes that we can take away some of the candy factor with out as much shock.  This year?  I think some of that candy might just disappear....

A few updates:

I've decided to add back all of my supplements that my doctor had me taking when I first started this new diet adventure (HERE).  I stopped taking them three weeks ago because I ran out and couldn't afford to buy more until payday.  And then when I started the GAPS Intro diet, I thought I would just do the supplements that were mentioned, in the Steps listed.  Now that I'm paranoid about my teeth and my hair I'm adding back all my supplements and not being as strict with the GAPS Intro diet until I talk to my doctor next week.  I'll do a mixture of intro & regular GAPS.

Detox Bath update:  I've tried it twice, and it's actually not so bad.  I think I can make a habit of it.  Now if I can just find the time...  It's harder than I thought to steal away 20 minutes at bed time.

I'm going to be cancelling my gym membership, so I've got to get more creative with my exercise.  I'll still run 3-4 times a week; 2-3 on an indoor track, and Saturday long runs outside.  I've got to pull out my Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred dvd.  It's a great 20-min workout.  I just need to figure out how to run the dvd player with my satellite remote (or get a new remote for my dvd player).  Otherwise I can't scroll up and down to the right program.  Project for this week.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pulling My Hair Out- Literally

I mentioned my concern about my teeth a few weeks ago.  I have another concern now that I'm researching:  My hair is falling out! 

I have thick, coarse hair, and always tend to comb out some after showering.  One of the questions they asked me at my naturopath doctor visit was if I was losing more hair than normal.  I said possibly, because it seemed like a little more.

But now when I'm showering, I'm taking away GOBS of hair.  It's really gross.  I should take a picture and show you how much comes out after one shower.  Not normal.

I did a bit of research online, and found that you definitely can lose hair when you have rapid weight loss, usually when it's over 20 lbs- yep, that's me.  I've now lost 25 pounds in three months.  Some things I read leaned toward a B vitamin imbalance.  Others mention magnesium.

I just read another possibility that is alarming to me (taken from this link):

1. Tooth discoloration and hair loss seem to be common trends in GAPS patients?
Tooth discoloration and hair loss are very rare in GAPS patients, and usually happen in very toxic people, particularly people with metal toxicity. Hair and teeth are those places where the body often stores toxins in. Many things happen in the body, as the GAPS programme is initiated. We don’t know what happens exactly, but it is possible that the hair, full of toxins, get dropped by the body to allow new “clean” hair to grow. With teeth: I have seen autistic children who had their permanent teeth growing with black spots embedded in them. One particular boy displayed noticeable improvements in his autism in the weeks following the removal of the black spot by the dentist. It is possible that his body has stored mercury from vaccinations or some other toxins in the growing tooth. We don’t know what happens exactly, but it is likely that the detoxification initiated by the GAPS Nutritional Protocol starts shifting the toxins around, which may be the cause of tooth discoloration in the initial stages. In the long run, however, your child is likely to grow beautiful white teeth, as I have seen in so many GAPS children.

Another link to teeth!?  Hmmmm.  I've been toying with the idea of going to a holistic dentist to remove my amalgam fillings, but it's expensive, and I don't have dental insurance.  Time for more research to see if it can wait, or if that is something I truly need to address in order to overcome my candida problems.  Things I've read from the very start mentioned getting rid of amalgam fillings.  I've got a bunch.  Bother.

I would LOVE to hear any advice or experience you've had with hair loss while losing weight, or amalgam fillings.  If you've had any removed, did you notice any differences?

*This post is linked to the Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania.  Check it out!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Intro to GAPS diet- Day 5

This afternoon I had a bit of a GAPS Intro melt down.  I got REALLY anxious, which is something I haven't felt since the first few weeks that I cut out sugar, back in early August.  I was serving Bekah an almond power bar that I made yesterday for the family, and I suddenly lost it.  I HAD to have it, and decided that it was okay since everything in the bar was still in the regular GAPS diet.  I didn't stop myself.  I wasn't sure if I'd have a reaction or anything, but it really calmed me down. 

Now to figure out why I was feeling like that.  I think it is because I ran 6 miles this morning, and then for breakfast I had onion soup, and for lunch I had carrot/cauliflower/onion soup.  Maybe not enough calories & my body suddenly freaked out?

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, the author of GAPS, wrote an excellent article titled One Man's Meat is Another Man's Poison, and I strongly recommend that you read it!  Here are a few excerpts that make me think of what happened to me today:

Depending on what your body is doing at the time, depending on the season of the year, on the weather and the level of stress you are under, your body can switch between different ways of energy production: using glucose for example or using fats. Only your body knows what is appropriate at any particular moment of your existence, and it requires very different nutrients for different patterns of energy production.
***

No matter how clever we think we are, we cannot calculate how much salt or water we should consume at any given time: only your body knows that, and it has excellent ways of telling you what it needs – thirst for water, desire for salt or any particular food, which may have the right mineral composition. Make no mistake, your body knows the nutrient composition of foods on this planet.
These are just a few factors to demonstrate to you that no laboratory, no clever doctor or scientist and no clever book can calculate for you what you should be eating at 8am, or 1pm, or 6pm or in between. Only your body has the unsurpassed intelligence to figure out what it needs at any given moment of your life, as your nutritional needs change all the time: every minute, every hour and every day.
***
So rather than feeling guilty for eating outside of my GAPS Intro diet, I'm going to trust my body, and know that what I did was okay.  I love that I'm getting in tune enough with what I'm eating that I can know that what my body is craving is okay, not just an addiction to sugar or wheat and craving a bunch of garbage.  (BTW- The only reaction I had after eating the almond bar was the backs of my knees itching a bit, but it wasn't bad).
Tomorrow I enter STAGE 2!  I get to add fresh herbs, fermented vegetables (I've only been doing sauerkraut juice up to this point), fermented fish (? I'm not even sure what this is?), and egg yolks.

Intro to GAPS diet- Day 4

I wasn't going to post about Day 4, because it's all pretty standard now.  I'm eating lots of boiled meats, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and butternut squash.  But I just remembered the soup I ate last night, and it was really good, so I've got to post about it  (& I'll do another post for Day 5).

The soup from last night is  Meatball and Broccoli Soup (SOURCE).  I made a few changes to it that were really good.

On Thursday I made some fish broth by boiling a whole tilapia for 8 hours.  I could only find a farmed whole fish at the store, so I hope I'm not doing more damage than good.


 I took the fish out, salvaged what meat I could (it was a tiny amount for how big a fish it was- a few bites worth), and then strained the broth into some quart jars.  When Jimmy saw this he asked if I even felt one tiny inkling that this was a bit.... weird.  I just smiled.

For the beef/broccoli soup I used 2 quarts of beef broth, 1 quart of water, and 1 cup of fish broth.  I added about a pound of broccoli, and ten meatballs, and let it simmer for about a half hour.  I removed the meatballs, added a couple cloves of garlic, and then blended it nice & smooth.  It was a lovely green color- reminded me of split pea soup.  When dishing it up I added back the meatballs, and sprinkled it with salt and pepper. 

It was so good!  The fish broth gave it an interesting tang, but not too strong.  Jimmy didn't even guess the fish broth was in it.  I give this soup 5 stars out of 5.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Dreaded Detox Bath

In my "What Can I Eat Now- 30 Days on the Intro to GAPS Diet" e-book (sample HERE) it says that I should be doing one detox bath a day.  First of all, I had never heard of a detox bath before this program, and second of all, we have one bath tub in our home, and it's one of those small ones that I don't really find relaxing.  When I think of a relaxing bath, I think of a nice big soaking tub in a beautiful setting.  Maybe something like this:


.
I know, I know- I need to be grateful for what I have.  I have visited other countries where a bathroom is a luxury, not to mention indoor plumbing.  I need to remind myself that as I'm having a hard time finding the motivation to take this step. 

I've come this far, though, that I should be doing everything I can to get the results I want, right?  So I decided that today I'm going to read about detox baths and try and work that into my schedule at least 4-5 times a week.  Maybe up to 7- we'll see!  Maybe I'll begin to love it and wonder how I ever lived without it.

Here's a web page from wikihow.com on detox baths:  Detox Bath.  This has already made me more excited to try it.  Interesting point from the post:  Your skin is known as the third kidney, and toxins are excreted through sweating. A detox bath will assist your body in eliminating toxins, as well as absorbing the minerals and nutrients that are in the water.

In the e-book it says: 

Detox Baths Detox baths are a part of the GAPS intro (and continuing) protocol. You will alternate between seaweed, Epsom salt, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda.

Each day along with the menu it tells you which kind of detox bath to take.  Today my detox bath is supposed to have seaweed powder, something I don't have.  I think for now I'll start off basic with Epsom salt, vinegar, and baking soda.  I had never cared to know what Epsom salt is made of until a few minutes ago:  MAGNESIUM sulphate.  Hmmm.  Think that might help my possible magesium problem?


OK- wish me luck.  I'll start this tonight.  (I know- torture to have to set aside half an hour a day to soak and relax, right?)

Have any tips on detox baths?  I'd love to hear them.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Intro to GAPS diet- Day 3

Ahhhhhh.  Much better.  I know that I was experiencing some die-off symptoms yesterday, but I'm feeling much better today! 

Yesterday I felt a little nauseous and had a headache (mainly in the morning, but no, I'm not pregnant!).  Thankfully that wore off once I had lunch.  Maybe it was that yucky onion soup for breakfast.  I ended up putting the onion broth/onions in my blender and pureeing into more of a creamy soup.  It still wasn't my favorite, but a lot better than eating the onions sliced in the broth.

In the evening yesterday I suddenly started having symptoms like I was getting a cold- stuffy nose, my throat feeling itchy/funny, and sneezing.  I have felt that before over the last few months, and it was always quite sudden, but went away quickly, too. 

Here are common die-off symptoms (the ones I'm experiencing/have experienced in red):

Fatigue, brain fog, gastro-intestinal distress such as nausea (not any more), gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, low grade fever, headache, sore throat (slight), body itch (behind the knees!  I thought it was a reaction to something I was eating, but couldn't figure out what), muscle and / or joint soreness or pain, feeling as if  coming down with a flu (slight- not so bad) .

When you do a candida cleanse everything I've read says it isn't good if you have a big die-off all and once and feel horrible.  I feel like I've got a pretty good balance here, because I'm having enough symptoms to know it's working, but nothing too bad.

One of the biggest changes today is how mentally clear I feel!  There is a distinct difference!  The last few days I have been VERY spacey- answering questions wrong, saying the wrong words when I'm trying to say something- in a BRAIN FOG (another die-off symptom).  It's hard to describe unless you've had it happen before.  It's a step past "dumb blond".  

I have read that when you first start GAPS or a candida diet some of the symptoms you were having in the first place get worse before they get better.  I was hoping that because I had cut out simple sugars and most fruit for a few months that I wouldn't experience die-off symptoms as bad, but I can see that there is more work to do!

Today's Menu:
Boiled roast beef (with leftover butternut and onion soup from yesterday)
Creamy Cauliflower (with butter and lamb tallow - I'll use chicken fat instead of the tallow)
Crock pot Onions (I'll use the leftover from yesterday)
Mashed Carrots (boiled an hour, then mashed & adding garlic and chicken fat).
Sauerkraut Juice (!)  (I get to introduce sauerkraut juice- 1 tsp!  Thankfully I like it. It's supposed to be homemade, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.  It's on my to do list.  For now I'm using pricey fancy sauerkraut from the health food store).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Intro to GAPS diet- Day 2

Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh.

I feel crappy right now.  Yuck.  The detox effect has kicked in, and I feel nauseous and a bit shaky.

It doesn't help that the soup I ate this morning is yucky.  It is onion and leek soup.


It smells really good, but it tastes like nothing- a huge disappointment after yesterday's amazing Intro butternut squash soup.   And it doesn't help that I made pumpkin oatmeal (with pumpkin pie spices and raisins) for my kids.  It smells SOOOOOO good. 

Recipe:

Onion Leek Soup
2 quarts stock
1 quart water
5 onions, sliced
4 leeks, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon sea salt (or to taste)
Simmer everything for one hour or overnight on low in the crock pot.
(source) *

My menu for today:
Onion Leek Soup
Meat Patties (you form hamburger into patties, cook in chicken broth with carrots and cauliflower added, remove when done then blend broth & veggies into sauce to pour over burgers- this sounds good)
Squash chunks
Meat strips (boiled roast beef)
 Another challenge that I'm facing right now is the MICROWAVE.  You're not supposed to use it on GAPS.  They say it destroys the nutrients.  Grooooaaannnn.  I'm realizing now how much I depend on it (I'm using it right now to thaw my hamburger).  This diet will really test me on my planning ahead skills, which aren't the greatest right now.


*All recipes I post for the Intro to GAPS diet are taken from the e-book "What Can I Eat Now- 30 Days on the GAPS Intro Diet" from www.homehealthhappy.com.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Intro to GAPS diet- Day 1

Yes, I did it.  I took the plunge!  I'm on day 1 of my Intro to GAPS diet.  For those of you who have never heard of GAPS, it stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome.  I describe the Intro to GAPS diet more HERE.  The purpose of doing GAPS is to help heal the gut, which will prevent toxins and other unwanted things from entering the bloodstream and causing all sorts of problems (GAPS basic info HERE).

I ordered a 30-day meal plan for my GAPS Intro diet from http://www.healthhomehappy.com/, and I'm really glad to have found something all laid out for me to use.  The diet is a HUGE change, and this takes helps make it less overwhelming.  HERE is a sample of the meal plan I'm following.  It's great because it tells you what cooking equipment you'll need, gives you a shopping list, and even tells you what to tell friends, family, and others about your diet (because people will think you're crazy!).

I made my chicken broth yesterday, and had one huge pot taking two burners, and then two other pots on the stove the entire day.  It smelled really good, but I wasn't so sure how it would taste.  I didn't know if I diluted it too much.  Last night I put the broth into jars, and I ended up with a lot!


This should last me quite a while!  I used the plastic container of broth today for my butternut squash soup (probably not BPA free... I ran out of jars, though!).  I'm going to freeze most of it, and left extra room at the top of the jars for it to expand in the freezer.

My menu for today (any order):  Intro Butternut Squash Soup, Boiled Broccoli, Sweet Onions, Chicken Meat with Soup.

I made the butternut squash soup this morning by simmering 4 cups of butternut squash in 2 qts of chicken broth and 1 qt of water.  I also added one tablespoon of Real salt.

It didn't look very good at first, but when the squash was soft I blended the soup up in my Vitamix, and it looked creamy and smooth.



It was a bit thin, but when I took a bite..... Heavenly!  SO GOOD.  Unbelievably good.  I am surprised that something so simple could be so good.  If everything I eat the next month tastes so good I shouldn't have any trouble.  You can do anything for a month, right?

And remember, this diet has six stages.  In this first stage the diet is very basic, and then we add more & more variety at each stage change.  If all goes well I'll be on each stage for 3-4 days.

I decided to wait on the magnesium.  I read a blog post where someone was supplementing on magnesium and had a crazy reaction to it- they got so tired they had to immediately go to bed & they were groggy and incoherent.  I decided to wait until dinner, closer to bed time.  But then I read somewhere else that magnesium can mess with your sleep, so not to take it after 5 pm until you know how it will affect you.  That made me nervous, so I think I'll wait for a while.  On this GAPS intro all my foods are soft anyway, so it won't be an issue for me.

One thing I haven't found any information on is if there is anything wrong with heavy exercise while you're doing this program.  I'll have to play it by ear.  If I start feeling too wiped out I might have to ease off on the strength training for awhile.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Enough Planning Already. Tomorrow I Start the Intro to GAPS Diet.

I've gone to Costco.  I've gone to the grocery store.  I've cooked four chickens.  I'm just about ready to take the plunge & start Intro to GAPS. 

I was going to start today, but I simply wasn't ready.  I didn't want to do all the finish-up prep work on Sunday, so today's my gett'er done day. 

Things I still need to do: 

Make my chicken broth.  I'm boiling the chicken carcasses (read POST here) for 8 hours, straining the liquid, and then I should have lots of great broth, which you should have with every meal for the next 30-days.  I have no idea how much broth I'll end up with, but hopefully it's enough for a few weeks.  I'll freeze some of it so that it will last.

Buy at least 2 lbs of fish, including scales & bones.  We'll see what my local grocery has. 

Buy at least 2 lbs of meat bones.  I have NO idea if they have what I need.  I might have to purchase my meats online in the future.  My plan B until that happens?  Beef broth from the store if I can find some with out MSG, and one that has lower salt.

Make onion broth.

Buy a large strainer.  I'll probably use my colander until I can buy one.

I should be ready by tomorrow.   I went and bought some liquid magnesium, by the way.  We'll see if I notice any difference by tomorrow.

*****

A great blog, The Healthy Home Economist, is having "Monday Mania" where people from various blogs list a link for interesting blog posts.  I've found some neat things there, and put a link of my own this week (#58).  Check it out!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Uh Oh- What's Going on With My Teeth?

Something's been bothering me off & on for a few weeks now.  My teeth are hurting. 

It's not one tooth.  It's more on the top left side, but it's affecting both sides.  The pain is hard to describe.  It's kind of along the gum line, but also radiates into the teeth.  It feels like when you have something stuck between your teeth & you need to floss it out.. that kind of pressure, but kind of painful, too.  It's most noticeable when I eat a lot of raw foods, like my salad.  I also felt it a lot today after eating roast beef.  It feels like my gums are receding, like my teeth are a bit wiggly (FREAKY!).  I looked at them in the mirror, and they're a bit red, although they're not bleeding when I brush.

Tonight I decided to Google it, and I came across a raw food blog where they were discussing this.  Turns out this is common when going raw, and that it might be a MAGNESIUM deficiency!  Really?  In solving one problem I'm creating another?  They suggested drinking wheat grass juice, and another person suggested liquid magnesium drops.  Guess I know where I'm headed tomorrow!  I'll keep you posted.