Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Banana Bread

Dairy/sugar/grain free yummy goodness!!

Blueberry Muffins

Sugar/grain/starch/dairy free!!  These were the second favorites of the season!

Heaping cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
3 tablespoons Pyure organic stevia blend
Heaping 1/4 cup xylitol
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of Tatar
Dash salt
Cinnamon to taste

1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon water
2 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla

1/2 -1 cup blueberries thawed and drained, depending on preference

Preheat convect @325
Mix dry
Blend wet in bullet style blender until frothy
Fold in wet and berries

Put in silicone cupcake holders - makes 12 muffins. D

Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning halfway through

After 10 minutes turn out onto rack.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Butter Toffee Popcorn

Dairy/sugar/grain/peanut free (like poppycock)

This is a great knockoff recipe for those of us who don't eat corn, sugar or dairy!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

These are super tasty and by far the fan favorite.  And they are sugar/grain/starch/dairy free to boot! Yay!

2015 - A Year in Review

First, my apologies for being MIA for so long.  It has truly been a rough time recently, but not all bad.  Just super busy.

Just right out of the gate I'd like to say I feel a bit better.  Some days are better than others, but all in all, I do see some improvement.

I'd like to think that improvement will continue...

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Hits Keep Coming

I've been dealing with quite a few symptoms lately.  I've had them for a while, but they seem to be getting worse and worse.  Namely my joint pain is just really excruciating some days - And I think my pain tolerance is pretty good, it's just really that bad....My AI skin stuff is acting up, I'm bruising easily and my fatigue is getting worse.  My Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction has even been getting worse again, and I've had quite a lot of nausea and food avoidance issues lately.  Yay me.  Luckily, my dry eyes and mouth haven't gotten worse though!  So there's something good.

Monday, July 20, 2015

We Are More Than Just Our Illnesses

In the spirit of 'overall wellness', I wanted to add a post about perhaps the most important aspect of our wellness - the health and happiness of our hearts and minds.

Sunday was my husband's birthday.  No matter how old we get, I'd like to think these days are special for all of us.  We may not need to celebrate with bouncy houses or balloons, but we should celebrate that we've had another year to spend with our family and friends- time is precious.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Work Continues

I had my liver biopsy done again recently.  I was Stage 2 in March of 2012, I am still Stage 2 as of May 2015.  I am happy that I'm not worse, that's for sure.  I work pretty hard at this and was really hoping it had made more of a difference.  At least I'm not worse.  That's what I keep reminding myself.  Most likely without all this effort, I would be worse- I'm certain of it.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Accidental Gluten and The Trials of Autoimmunity

First, and perhaps most importantly, I want to say that I don't eat 'gluten free' foods on a regular basis.  I mean the pre-packaged kind, because even if they are gluten free (which is questionable), they are usually not very good for you.  But when we were on our honeymoon and traveling and getting all the final touches for our wedding done- I did indulge.  Due to time and due to my lack of being prepared otherwise.  And, of course, that's when it happened.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Something Old, Something New

For those that don't know, I recently got married!
I told many people after my divorce that I would never get married again.  But, as the saying goes, never say never.
When love hits, it hits, and I've married someone that I truly feel is my soulmate.

I'm 37, with a good career and generally a pretty good head on my shoulders.  So when I say that he is my soulmate, I don't mean in the 'in lust, for the moment' kind of way.  I mean that we are a matched set.  We are not perfect- I drive him crazy with my various habits, and he has a couple that have been known to turn me into Rain Man...But we don't sweat the small stuff.  He is the perfect mate for me.  My struggles are his struggles, and vice versa.  My success is his success, and vice versa.  My challenges are the times where he really takes charge and takes care of us (and I'd like to think that is also vice versa).
An important instance of this is my health.  I have health concerns, that's why my blogs exist.  And he doesn't just know about them, he makes them as much a priority as I do.  And THAT is just one, but a big one, of the reasons I know we are soulmates.  We care about the other even more than we care about ourselves.  In the truest sense of the phrase.  That isn't something achieved lightly, and here we are.  I am one lucky gal.

So in the theme of the wedding, I wanted to give some new information and bring something old over from my old blog.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Grain, Dairy, Nut, Sugar Free, AIP Friendly Tortillas

I had been searching for a recipe for tortillas for over 3 years.  I'd come across many, but they were never quite right.  They either fell apart or tasted terrible.  Many were made with coconut flour and a ton of eggs and ended up just tasting like egg.  And while I love coconut and eggs, it just wasn't right as a tortilla.

ALCAT Testing Results

I recently bit the bullet and purchased the ALCAT testing.  I won't lie, it is very expensive, but my numbers have been all over the place and I feel like I've been losing no matter which way I went.  With the testing, at least I know what truly affects me.  And luckily, that list is small, considering.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

And So It Begins

This is a new blog to track my progress, but to also share all the information I gather along the way. I've titled it: Wellness in AutoImmunity: Trying to Create Health by Improving Nutrition Goals or WATCHING- We all need to start watching what we put into our bodies.  We are hurting ourselves and the people we love with the choices we make everyday.  The food and chemicals we put into our bodies are literally killing us.  My illnesses have, in some ways, been a blessing.  I have been aware of nutrition and have tried to find the right path for many years.  It wasn't until I got sick that I found how bad our diet and lifestyle in this country (and elsewhere nowadays) really is.  This is my journey to not only help myself, but to help my daughter, my family, and anyone else who might listen.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

New year, Renewed Commitment

I haven't updated in awhile.  I only see the liver doctor once a year now, but that might be changing.  I'll find out Tuesday.  I only get my blood work done every 3 months, though I only did it twice last year.  It was a super busy year, and I just didn't do as well as I'd hoped.

I've still remained 100% grain free of course, but some of my other good habits of working out and morning green drinks got inconsistent.  I've also been eating more sugar and legumes that I did before.  All these things combined, and my numbers are up, my symptoms are worse, and I have new symptoms now of joint pain, extremely dry mouth and eyes.  Not good.  So back to research I went.  I knew I had to step up my game in order to fight this.

So, I've decided to go to the complete AutoImmune Protocol (AIP).  It's pretty strict, but I'm not ok with dying sooner than I have to, I have a family that I'd like to see grow up/old.  I am engaged to be married soon and he and I have decided to do this together.  He already ate a fairly strict diet, much like I do, so the change isn't exceptionally hard on him (except not having spicy food), but I will say he is an exceptional man for doing it.  In fact, our whole house is AIP complaint for all meals.  We have 3 girls aged 6,8 and 9 and they will not be getting separate meals.
Grains are out completely, but we do allow them some nuts, seeds, chocolate and dairy in limited quantities for their school lunches and for treats.

Today completes the first week of the AIP for us.

The first couple of days without any coffee, sugar or chocolate were actually much worse than I would have thought they would have been.  Usually the worst addiction is wheat.  Many people don’t know this, but wheat can cross the blood brain barrier like opiates (heroine, morphine, oxycodone).  This is part of why it is so addictive.  And it can cause actual, physically painful withdrawal symptoms when taken out of your diet.  But I did that 3 years ago, and it honestly wasn’t that bad for me.  I also have a pancreas problem, Not AI, that caused me to have to eat very low carb for a long time.  So I haven’t eaten many wheat products for 16 years now (minus a short stent of thinking fresh, homemade whole wheat bread made the difference from the highly processed kind a few years ago, which it does not).

Those first few days I felt so tired, had headaches and generally felt like I’d been hit by a truck.  I hadn’t expected much of anything because I didn’t think this was such a HUGE change from our normal eating, so this was a bit tough for me to accept.  After about the 3rd day I started feeling better.  I actually made it to the gym this week too, which is pretty amazing.  Today I’m feeling pretty good as far as the diet change goes.  My hip and knees still hurt, but it is slightly less than it was.

I don’t expect miracles in just 1 week.

Generally the diet is fine.  Not having any chocolate or coffee is really the worst of it for me, but choosing life over coffee is an easy choice.  Our daughters haven’t really even noticed much of a change, I think, except that we've all talked about it.  We never had bread or any grains at a meal anyway.  Just now there’s also no dairy or legumes as well.  Those are 2 things we probably used fairly commonly.  Today was the first weekend morning breakfast to make.  We can’t have eggs, so instead we made homemade turkey sausage and sweet potato hash.  Turned out pretty good, but I think the girls would have preferred my grain free waffles or an omelet…Maybe in a few months.

Besides hopefully fixing, or at least preventing further damage of my liver, this diet has had some really cool side effects too.  My fiancĂ© and I actually get to cook together now, not him cook and I bake.  We’re doing it together.  And it makes us feel closer.  This ‘thing’ we’re doing together, for us.  I REALLY like that.

So it’s been a week.  I’m feeling better from the initial drag, but we probably have many more weeks to go before other things improve, but I’m in it to win it - WE’RE in it to win it! :)

For all the people I know with AI, and for those I haven’t met yet- I plan to continue to update the progress of things.  There needs to be a better solution to AI diseases.  Taking a pill to (marginally) manage symptoms, and even cause worse side effects is just no way to live.  We exist, having moments of less pain where we can enjoy life, but that’s not enough. I actually want to FEEL better, to GET better.  With the AIP and other lifestyle changes, I hope to accomplish that.

For those that don’t know what the AIP is, the short list.

Don’t eat:
* Grains
* Pseudo grains
* Legumes
* Nuts
* Seeds
* Sugars (including honey, maple syrup and artificial sweeteners)
* Dairy
* Night shades (here's a good list
* Eggs

Do enjoy:
* Meat
* Seafood
* Sea vegetables
* Green leafy vegetables
* Cruciferous vegetables
* Fruit
* Gourds (squash, pumpkin, etc)
* Sweet potatoes
* Alliums (onions, garlic, shallots, etc)
* Spices as long as it doesn’t fall into a category above
* Coconut

We also have a green, blended drink ever morning with:
* Frozen fruit
* spinach
* kale
* carrots
* cucumber
* lime
* aloe cut from a plant
* aloe juice
* coconut water
* parsley
* avocado
* Milk Thistle Extract

With the right fruit, the smoothie is delicious.

And for those interested, besides my liver meds, these are the supplements I take (some are for AI in general, some are due to my liver disease specifically):

Fat soluble vitamins / and because my liver doesn’t process them: A, C, D, E, K and Calcium/Magnesium
Gut healing: Probiotics, Digestive enzymes, L-Glutamine, NAC, Betaine HCL +Pepsin, slippery elm
For SIBO / Yeast overgrowth in the gut: Anti-microbial, Caprylic Acid
Krill Oil
Biotin (my liver meds make my hair fall out)

Some Good Resources:
Wheat Belly Book by William Davis, MD