From Here to Health

My journey back from autoimmune disease

New Blog

After taking some time off, I have begun blogging once more. I believe the new blog represents my authentic self. I hope everyone who has been blessed by this blog in the past will come visit me at my new site, Uncaged Canary.

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Blessings,

Corrie

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Health Update…Good News!!!

So it was all clear at my dr. appointment yesterday!  Well…almost.  They do think I have a hormonal imbalance, but of course we all knew that already, right?  My OB thinks that the testosterone that my general doc has me on is converting to estrogen and causing my symptoms of tender breasts, headaches, insane crying episodes and abnormal bleeding.  I know that is crazy TMI, but that’s just the way I roll. I am SO thankful to the Lord above that there was no evidence of cancer, polyps or anything else.  It is a huge weight off my shoulders.  However, it leaves me wondering what to do about these hormones!!  My system is so delicate that it responds on a hair trigger.  I always take the most natural and smallest dose of whatever I am on and I often still get results that are more dramatic than necessary.  I am searching for that sweet spot that puts me in a blissful state of homeostasis…aaaahhhh, I can just feel it.  When I get there, it will be wonderful.  In the meantime, I am eating paleo, talking with my doc about how to adjust my meds and supplements, and dialing down my exercise.  I am trying not to do anything that raises my cortisol.  I am still going to CrossFit because they are my family, but I am just doing the warm-up and lifting and a little very easy rowing.  No WOD for the time being.  I am doing a little yoga and pilates at home, along with some walking when the weather cooperates.

Yesterday's Breakfast

Yesterday’s Breakfast

I am experimenting with pastured eggs at the moment.  I had been off of eggs until my trip to Disney.  I am still not sure if they bothered me or not.  I am planning on doing the autoimmune protocol strictly during the month of April and posting more about my food.   The above breakfast was sausage, 2 pastured eggs with lots of sauteed veggies sprinkled with Lewis Labs Brewer’s Yeast, and some avocado.  It was yummy!

Mint Chip Shake

Mint Chip Shake

I made this twice last week for the kids at breakfast last week and they loved it!  Mint Chocolate Chip Shake I used coconut milk instead of almond milk and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.

Cooper with his standard after drink mustache!

Cooper with his standard after drink mustache!

 

 

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Few more pics and other random stuff

It has been a wonderful and challenging weekend.  I went into Friday, after 4 nights of no sleep, feeling pretty lousy.  In fact, I cried most of the day.   It was really more like wailing, sobbing, generally having a nervous breakdown.  No sleep, autoimmune flare and whacked out hormones will do that to a gal.  I got it together by Friday night to go to the Florida Georgia Line concert with my dear friends for my belated birthday celebration.  Despite the exhaustion, it was such an awesome show!  I had a blast!  They played pretty much their whole album and some super fun covers.  I was so glad I drug my tired butt out of the house:)

Yesterday I went to a funeral for a very dear friend’s mom.  It was a beautiful memorial to her life.  I had friends from the gym step in to watch my kids at the last minute.  When I say last minute, I literally mean that I took my kids up to the CrossFit gym and said, “I need to go to a funeral, can anyone take them?” (I had made prior arrangements, but they fell through).  My boys went home with one family and my daughter with another.  Finn ended up spending the night and having a blast.  My boys spent the whole day with their friend as well and it just left me feeling so blessed.  To have multiple friends who are willing to take your kids with no notice and feed them and love them all day.  Well, it is just a gift!  Love my girls at the gym!

Then at church today I went forward and asked for prayers for a medical test I am having on Tuesday morning.  I will take ya’lls prayers to if you want to give ’em.  I’ve been having some “lady problems” that have been persisting and I should get some answers on Tuesday. I hadn’t really been too scared until this weekend and with all the emotions and hormones flowing I just got scared.  It could turn out to be very minor.  I am praying it will.  I will certainly let you guys know what transpires.  Until then, any prayers lifted up on my behalf would be greatly appreciated:)  I’ll leave you with some more pictures.

Presley striking his best Gaston

Presley striking his best Gaston

Me staying paleo with my giant pork shank. Delish!

Me staying paleo with my giant pork shank. Delish!

Teacups= a face of pure fun!

Teacups= a face of pure fun!

The moment I go to take of my coat at Disney!!

The moment I go to take of my coat at Disney!!

Jenn and I after the FL/GA Line show!  Such fun!!

Jenn and I after the FL/GA Line show! Such fun!!

 

 

 

 

 

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A Peaceful Day

So despite all the challenges that have been going on lately, today has been such a peaceful day and I have been thankful.  I have had really bad headaches for the past 3 days that are gone today.  Yeah!! I’m pretty sure they are related to my hormones.  I am really hoping that my hormones are just in some sort of flux that is going to level out to this beautiful, calm place of homeostasis.  Autoimmune conditions are really challenging in that so many things can become triggers.  It really seems like as soon as I have some sort of “program” down pat something else pops up.  I won’t lie, it gets me down.  But not for as long as it used to.  Like in all areas of life, change keeps coming and you just have to keep adapting.  When I stop to try to “figure out” why I could eat coconut one day and be fine and then the next time I can’t seem to tolerate it, it just makes me crazy!  I think so much of it has to do with stress.  I can eat things on vacation with no problem at all but then try to eat them at home and they tear me up!  So often the rhyme or reason just seems too elusive to figure out.  Probably because I don’t need to figure it out.  It is that constant need to know and be in control that is at the heart of so many of my issues.  But back to today…I slept in because I went to bed with a migraine and didn’t fall asleep til after midnight and then the cat came to get me up for breakfast at 3:50am and then my daughter got in my bed around 4:30am!  My energy level has remained pretty constant today despite my disordered sleeping over the past few nights.  My boys are sick (again!) so homeschool was light today.  I did all of Finn’s work with her and then my mom took her until about 3:00.  Makes me realize how much work she is!  She loves school, so homeschooling with her is a complete joy, but once that is done for the day it is hard to shake her.  She demands my attention.  She just isn’t a child that plays well on her own.  While she was gone, I was able to go for a walk and listen to another of my paleo podcasts and squeeze in some yoga.  Things that I can technically do while she is around, but she wants to do them with me and talk to me the entire time so I don’t get the same benefit of clearing my head space.  The other lovely thing about today is all my food has been already prepared for me.  Well, I make meatloaf in the crockpot last night which was leftover for today and I have soup in the crockpot for dinner tonight.  The hubs bought me Paleo Slow Cooking by Chrissy Gower and I have really been enjoying it.  Finn is currently crying in her room due to the lack of my attention so I will leave you guys with a few more Disney pics and see you later.

Cooper and Doug enjoying gluten free dessert at Hollywood and Vine

Cooper and Doug enjoying gluten free dessert at Hollywood and Vine

Finn enjoying her bed

Finn enjoying her bed

We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside for the second time and this room was SO much better than our last room.  Last time Finn has to sleep on what looked like a dry rotted 1950’s camp cot and this time she had the precious fold out bed with a real mattress and a picture.  She was super happy!

My filet with spinach at potatoes at Le Cellier.

My filet with spinach at potatoes at Le Cellier.

This is my boys favorite restaurant at Disney.  They both had steaks that were 4 times the size of mine and ate every bite!

 A little Disney crazy:)

A little Disney crazy:)

 

 

 

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Still catching up…

Not  sure when I will really be caught up!  I need to set aside a time that is devoted to this blog, but between 3 kids, homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, working and the self care it takes to keep myself running the time seems very limited!  I know I am not the only one.  If any of you out there have any tips for how you carve out blog time and make it more manageable I would love to hear them.  If any of you are homeschoolers and have any great curriculum tips, I would love to hear those too.  I am feeling prompted, hopefully by the Lord and not my own inner neuroses, to change homeschool curriculum again.  What we are doing feels overwhelming and just boring!  There were times when it has been fun, but it’s not any more.  I think my kids need more hands on activities, more fresh air, and more time to pursue individual pursuits.  I also started homeschooling so I could really give them a good Biblical foundation and Bible has gotten totally squeezed out around here due to “more critical” subjects.  In this world, I am pretty sure that a strong faith and character are pretty darn critical themselves!

On another topic, I am in a bit of a flare. I don’t know if it is due to being “off” my eating at Disney or stress or probably a combination of the two.  I wish I could always figure out my triggers, but life is never that easy.  While I did remain totally gluten-free at Disney (which is pretty easy because they are so accommodating), I did have cheese and sugar.  I have a love of the gluten-free bakery, Babycakes, in downtown Disney so I went there twice.  I’m sure some soy and corn snuck their way in as well over the course of the week while I was unaware.  The things that are out of whack are mostly hormonal with a touch of digestive upset.  In my quest for answers, I started reading The Hormone Cure by Sarah Gottfried last night.  I can’t really make any recommendations yet because I haven’t finished it, but I will say that it is chock full of info!  I took the tests that she gives to assess hormonal imbalance and I clearly had 1. High Cortisol, 2. Low Cortisol (obviously at different times than the high cortisol) 3. Low Estrogen 4. Potentially low Progesterone 5. Low Thyroid.

None of this was really news to me.  A little overwhelming to look at on paper, but not news.  I briefly looked over her management strategies and some of them I already use.  There are also a few that I want to try. I’ll keep you guys updated on what I decide to try and how it is going as I progress.  My time is up for today, but here are a few pics from Disney:)

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Kids ready for Star Wars adventure. We rode this three times.

Gluten Free Pizza and Brownie from Pizza Planet

Gluten Free Pizza and Brownie from Pizza Planet

Sometimes I crave pizza so this was a nice treat.  I only ate half and the brownie, while gluten-free, was made of almost 100% sugar so I had to forgo that.  I let the kids have about a 1 inch piece and then we just chucked them!

Finn mesmerized by Beauty and the Beast at Hollywood Studios!  All my kids are big fans of live theater of any sort!

Finn mesmerized by Beauty and the Beast at Hollywood Studios! All my kids are big fans of live theater of any sort!

Dinner at Hollywood and Vine

Dinner at Hollywood and Vine

Kind of a messing looking plate, but the food was really good.  Those mashed potatoes were for my boys but I did taste them and they were awesome!  The salmon (which I am sure was not wild caught) was very tasty and tender as well.  And the pork was off the hook!

 

 

 

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Hello Out There

So very sorry that I have fallen off the radar lately.  I think I already told you that my kids were sick, but then it got myself and my husband.  It was super bad timing because it made me miss my trip to see Sarah Fragoso, but we are all better now and I am thankful for that.  I was a slacker after that because we went to Disney for a week!  It was fabulous, but COLD!  We followed up that trip with a quick trip to Nashville to visit with my brother and his family.  We returned home on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday one of my best friends had a baby.  He was 4 weeks premature and has Down’s Syndrome, but mommy and baby are doing great.  That same morning, another best friend lost her mom to pancreatic cancer.  Then yesterday was my birthday. The big 35!  So…I have been busy.  I have also been dealing with some hormonal and digestive flare ups to go along with all the action.  I am going to post details  and pictures later.  Right now, breakfast and homeshool.

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Boo Hoo:((

So everyone in my house is sick:((  It started with Presley, then it was Cooper, then Finnlee, then me and now Doug.  The worst part of it is that I was supposed to go to the taping of Sarah Fragoso’s new paleo cooking show tomorrow and now I can’t:(  It is taping in Nashville and my whole family was going to travel with me.  We were going to push through it and move ahead until my hubby got sick today and that was the final straw.  I had both my cookbooks ready to sign and I was pumped:(  Oh, well.  These things happen.  I will get over it and hopefully another opportunity will come my way.  Let me also take this opportunity to tell you  that I am officially off the sugar detox as this illness has sent me head first into a half gallon of ice cream.  I crave ice cream when I’m sick.  Luckily, this is first time I have been sick in a long time so I don’t have it very often.  Here’s to hoping my next post will be bring good news!

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21 Day Sugar Detox Days 21-21

So it is over.  It is currently the morning of the 22nd day and I’m done!  I am going to try to recap a little of what I learned during this 21 days in list form.

1. I was addicted to sugar and treats!  For the first 2 weeks I had some of the “legal” treats everyday.  But, for the last week, I let them go and I survived!  It was nice to feel that sense of freedom from that need.  I found what worked for me was going for a quick walk or picking up a book and relaxing for a few minutes.  It was more doable than I thought possible.

2. The “detox” period lasted longer than I thought it would.  I was probably 2 weeks in before I quit having periods of what felt like low blood sugar.  I felt better on days when I at least had some rutabaga or something slightly more starchy.

3.  I think I have SIBO.  Or some other form of intestinal issue.  I took on the autoimmune protocol while doing this 21DSD because of it.  I am also flirting with low FODMAPs.  I experienced what I think was some die-off effects about 10 days in and continued for a week that made me come to this decision.  Because of this, I plan to continue with some version of this plan for the next few months.

4. I LOVE kombucha!  And I can tolerate liver, for my health.

5.  For those of you wanting to know, I felt like I lost a little bloat/water weight during the first week.  However, once the SIBO/die-off stuff came on, the bloating came back with a vengeance.  It is still working it’s way out.  I think for the more “typical” person though, there would be some weight loss.

6.  My CrossFit performance was better and more effortless.  Yesterday’s WOD was:

20 Hand Release Push Ups, 21 Thrusters (squat to a ball then push barbell overhead) , 400 meter run

20 Hand Release Push Ups, 15 Thrusters, 400 meter run

20 Hand Release Push Ups, 9 Thrusters, 400 meter run

I finished first in the gym with a time of 11:47.  And it wasn’t very hard.  I used a 35# barbell for my thrusters so next time I will have to raise that.

For dinner last night I made a delicious soup.  Well, I guess delicious is debatable because 2 of my kids wouldn’t eat it.  It was grass fed beef, organic green beans, parsnips, carrots, celery, red and yellow onion, garlic, parsley and lots of seasonings.  Basically anything I had left in the fridge or freezer.

Fridge/Freezer Soup

Fridge/Freezer Soup

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21 Day Sugar Detox- Day 19

Just 2 more days!! I’m not sure why I am really excited because I have no plans to go on a sugar bender.  Guess it just feels good to finish something.  Except a book.  Lately finishing books has felt a little sad.  I LOVE that feeling of suspense, of not being able to wait til I have a quiet moment to pick up my latest and bury myself in a world that is not my own.  Bittersweet for sure.  And Downton Abbey!  That did not feel good to finish last night!  Why in the world did they do that??  I think maybe they are going to try to hook up Tom and Mary.  Doug (my hubby) says no, but I think they have worked too hard to give Tom awesome hair to not make him center stage!  More on topic, I am feeling better today. My joint pain is not getting any worse and my energy level and sleeping are improving.  I went to CrossFit today.  I can’t really do snatch because of the inflammation in my elbow, so I did backsquat and clean.  I went up by 5 pounds on each of those lifts so I was happy.  Slow and steady!  The WOD was 5 hand stand push ups, 5 pull ups and shuttle runs across the gym for 8 rounds.  My time was 6:57 which seemed pretty good. I did my HSPU off a box, but I did my pull ups without a band:)

Here’s some pictures of a few of the things going on around here:

Liver Stew

Liver Stew

This was the second attempt at liver and it was much easier to eat than the first.  My husband made it once again because I still haven’t worked up to cooking it myself.  But I will!

Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver/Butter Oil Blend

Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver/Butter Oil Blend

Finally got my Fermented Cod Liver Oil!  It comes highly recommended by Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe.  I am only taking about 1/4 tsp right now to get acclimated.  We’ll see how it goes.

Sausage and spaghetti squash "pasta"

Sausage and spaghetti squash “pasta”

This was breakfast for me today and it was so good!  I found this pastured, local sausage and then added it to cooked spaghetti squash with a little full fat coconut milk, ghee and parsley.  Very yummy!

Pork Burgers over Arugula

Pork Burgers over Arugula

Lunch- Pork Burgers from Paleo Indulgences. I used some Tessmae’s Zesty Ranch over it and it was quite yummy!

Popsicle eating sickies

Popsicle eating sickies

My 3 babies all eating popsicles.  A rare treat around here- generally only allowed when they are sick, which they all are:(

 

 

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21 Day Sugar Detox – Days 15-18

Sorry I have been MIA for the past few days. Both my boys have some flu-like virus thing going on, so that has disrupted the normal schedule around here a bit.  I can’t believe I only have 3 days left on the challenge!  I also can’t believe that I’m not jonesing for some sugar.  I mean, sure, I would take it, but it’s not like the only single thought that I am having 24/7 which is what I expected.  I have learned so much through this process.  I started out thinking that is would just be about the sugar addiction.  As time went on I realized that the physical things going on had to have a deeper root.  After some research, I think it is likely that I have SIBO (small intestine bowel overgrowth) or some other type of gut dysbiosis.  It doesn’t come as a shock.  I have always been prone to yeast issues and this is a similar deal.  I think the reason that I have been having such a difficult time physically with this 21DSD is because I am having some die-off effects.  From my reading, it appears that you can have a worsening of symptoms when you go through this phase.  So…I think I am going to have to stick with the no/low sugar approach for some months to come.  I have also taken on the paleo autoimmune protocol (no eggs, nightshades, nuts, seeds) because my systemic inflammation is up.  I thought it would improve since we all know that sugar is inflammatory, but per the usual, my body didn’t respond in the typical way.  Instead of giving up and going back to the sugar though, I am going to stick it out.  I think my gut is just not fully healed from the Celiac and leaky gut issues.  The past 2 years have been full of lessons learned.  Sometimes I wish they would have all come at once so I wouldn’t have to keep going through this cycle, but then I’m sure I would have just been overwhelmed and possibly given up.  In His perfect timing, God has given me just enough information to make progress without making me feel like it was impossible.

On the more day to day stuff, I have been walking, CrossFitting and doing a little yoga.  I would love to find a yoga studio I could go to a couple times a week, but I don’t think it is feasible at the moment so I am doing it at home.  We did G.I Jane at CrossFit on Monday and I was pretty pleased.  I did the level 1/2 which was 75 burpee pull ups.  My time was 9:39 which I thought was respectable, especially considering that I am not in top form.  Not much else going on.  I still haven’t finished the Downton Abbey season finale, but I know about the giant spoiler.  It was bad enough with Sybil, but now Matthew?!  I’m going to try to finish it tonight so I can actually see what happens.

This was my breakfast this morning.  I though it was delish!

chicken sausages, spinach, rutabaga hash

chicken sausages, spinach, rutabaga hash

My boys finished this Lego project.  I thought it was good for a couple of 10 year olds:)

LEGO Taj Mahal

LEGO Taj Mahal

 

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