From Here to Health

My journey back from autoimmune disease

ED Days 10 & 11

I am going to try to make this brief because I really want to hang out with my hubby before he leaves for work.  I feel like I haven’t really seen him in days!  I intended to write this post much earlier in the day but got so caught up in errands and homeschool that it is now 7:00 and I haven’t had dinner or visited with my husband:(

That sounded like complaining.  Sorry.  I have nothing to complain about.  My generous in-laws replaced our A/C yesterday and it is no longer 89 degrees in my house.  And it is a privilege to be able to homeschool my kids.  And my hubs has a job.  So no complaints:)

Day 10

Breakfast

Can of wild salmon with steamed spinach and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

Lunch

Alright- this was not really on point. I was desperate.  I had some turkey and ham deli meat which I am sure had some sort of additives.  I had some zucchini with it.

Dinner

Wild-caught cod with zucchini

photo(28)

The dinner was actually really tasty, but I had pretty serious cramps after dinner.  I’m not sure if it was the dinner though.  Maybe it could have been delayed from the off-plan ham and turkey at lunch?

Day 11

Breakfast

Standard ground turkey in coconut oil with spinach, chives and a drizzle of garlic oil

photo(27)That is a terrible picture.

Lunch

A dear friend asked me to lunch today and I wanted to go, so I went.  I decided that being with friends is just as healing as this diet I am doing so I just decided to do the best I could and move on after.  We went to Humdinger’s and I had Mahi Mahi with grilled zucchini. I am sure just like the last time I went out that there were questionable oils and spices involved.  I thought I felt ok, but about 4-5 hours later I got terrible cramps and bloating?  Sometimes that happens to me when I go too long between meals so I don’t really know if it was that or the food???

Dinner

Ground turkey, homemade pesto, organic green beans, and carrot puree

Other noteworthy mentions- I had an appointment with my doctor who helps me manage all my “issues” today and it was the best report I have had in 4 years!  Yay!!  All of my bloodwork looked awesome with the exception of my high estrogen and borderline low progesterone.  He has me starting DIM to see if we can block a little of that estrogen and get rid of my migraines, sore breasts and bleeding gums that are happening around my period.  If the DIM doesn’t work, there are other options, but this will be the least expensive and easiest. Also, I just want you guys to know that EVERY time I type the word zucchini, I misspell it:)

Leave a comment »

ED Days 5-8

I have been out of town to visit family and friends in Nashville so I have fallen behind on my blogging.  Oops!  Life happens.  I actually started not to do this Elimination Diet because I knew about this trip, but I decided there were ALWAYS going to be things that could potentially trip me up and be a challenge so I needed to just go ahead and push forward.  No time like the present, right?

Let’s start with Thursday.  I was actually still in town on Thursday.  And let me lay it all on the line…I cheated!!  I just want to be totally transparent.  I went to a Pure Romance party at one of my best friend’s homes and we had a little to drink.  Ok, it was more than a little.  One or two is my norm (and that is rare), but I had 3-4ish;)  We started with shots of 360 grape vodka (this was in the car).  No worries- we had a DD.  I think the general consensus was that if we were going to sit around and talk about all the “unmentionables” that get mentioned at these parties then we might need a few before we walked in the door:)  Once we arrived, I added my vodka to some seltzer water.  As if that wasn’t enough, my friend had bought me apple ginger hard cider (cuz she loves me and knows I love cider) and I hadn’t had that flavor so I had to have 1 of those too!  It was yummy!    I didn’t really have any major issues related to the alcohol.  I didn’t sleep as well as usual, which is typical when I drink, but other than that I fared pretty well for an old broad that rarely drinks.  FYI- the party was a hoot!!  We were so silly.  It was tons of fun until the youngest member of our little group ended up over the toilet.  We had to laugh a little that the 21-year-old newlywed just couldn’t hang with us soccer moms;)  I don’t even think I should bore you guys with the food because it has been so incredibly repetitive.  Let’s just hit the highlights of the next few days:)

Before we got in the car for the Pure Romance party.  Are we posers or what?

Before we got in the car for the Pure Romance party. Are we posers or what? I obviously didn’t get the memo about the white pant!

I took a lot of food to get me through the weekend at my brother’s house.  I made up a batch of salmon cakes (my husband did it actually). He can somehow get them to stick together even without the egg.  I do not have that talent.  Then I took my big batch of carrot puree and some cooked green beans and zucchini.  Top it off with my pesto and there you pretty much have most of my meals.  We did end up going out twice.  The first time was dinner Saturday night and the restaurant had grilled chicken breasts with cilantro and green beans on the side so while mind-numbingly boring, it was diet appropriate.  We went out again after church on Sunday and I had grilled rainbow trout and grilled zucchini.  I feel pretty certain that there was a low quality oil in play and some seasoning that was questionable, but I seemed to tolerate the meal just fine.  I even went to a birthday/graduation combo party for a friend who was graduating from a nurse practitioner program (her daughter was turning 3) and there was lots of food, cake, ice cream and booze and I just wasn’t even tempted.  I drank my sparkling water and ran my mouth and was totally satisfied.

Addy digging into her cake

Addy digging into her cake

As for symptoms- I am currently suffering from some constipation.  I know, TMI, but we have already talked about that.  I pretty much don’t know the meaning of TMI!  I started out on this diet with the opposite problem, but now the pendulum is swinging all the way to the other side.  I also had a little mild discomfort after the Saturday night restaurant meal, but it went away almost as quick as it came.  The only other issue I’m having is a weird charlie horse type cramp in my left calf.  I woke up Sunday morning with it.  I have had 3 of these types of cramps lately.  I am wondering about dehydration or magnesium deficiency?  Not sure.  I have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, so maybe I will have some more info after that.

The kids outside the restaurant Saturday night.  We had to limit the stolen rocks from the rock garden!

The kids outside the restaurant Saturday night. We had to limit the stolen rocks from the rock garden!

Salmon and carrots yet again.

Salmon and carrots. Surprised?

Leave a comment »

ED Day 4

I had a little variation in my food today, so I decided I would go ahead and list it.

Breakfast

5 oz. turkey cooked in lard (just got this from US Wellness Meats and thought I could vary my fats some more)

1/2 cup cooked organic spinach

1 organic green onion (green part only)

drizzle of garlic-infused oil

IMG_2513

IMG_2516

IMG_2521

Lunch

Totally the same.  I finished the last of the salmon cakes (which I use loosely since without the egg they were more like salmon crumbles).

More zucchini cooked in homemade ghee with fresh basil and oregano.

Made another batch of carrot puree.  It’s amazing how sweet this tastes when you aren’t eating anything else with any sugar.

Quick word about ghee-  I thought I hated ghee because I bought some about a year ago and it is still in my fridge.  However, the ghee that I made at home is delish so if any of you thought you didn’t like it, try making it yourself:)

Dinner

6 oz. grass-fed ground beef

1/2 cup of leftover zucchini from lunch

1/2 cup steamed organic green beans

2 Tbsp homemade pesto (4 cups basil, 1/2 cup garlic oil, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, salt to taste)

IMG_2518

IMG_2519

Symptoms

Mostly good news!  No headache.  Slept well.  Energy level was good.  So good in fact that I was kinda jonesing to go for a run, but I didn’t since I am really trying to stay low-key on the stress level for this first week.  I did go for a walk instead.  It was just too beautiful not to.  We are having the CRAZIEST weather here. It was 59 degrees this morning. In Memphis!  It is normally 90 upon waking!!  Totally a blessing from God, especially since our A/C is on the fritz!  Back to symptoms.  Let’s continue with the good part.  My face has totally cleared up.  And my gums are better. Yay!!!  My legs are still broken out with itchy bumps.  And I did have some moderate bloating and cramps after dinner.  They only lasted about an hour and then they were completely gone which is pretty good compared with how long they sometimes last.

2 Comments »

ED Day 3

I know it is crazy boring, but Day 3 looked just like Day 1 and Day 2 as far as food goes.  The strange thing about it is that it really hasn’t bothered me.  My cravings have been SO mild.  What is up with that???  Usually when I start some program like this the cravings are OFF THE CHARTS!!!  I try to come up with ANY random excuse I can to indulge in something off plan.  And this is the strictest plan of any I have ever been on.  I am seeing that alone as a total blessing and success:))

As for symptoms, they were a little different today.  Let’s keep the good news rolling first.  I had no stomach pain today!  Woo Hoot!! That is a rare occurrence.   I don’t have horrible stomach issues everyday, but I usually have some sort of minor discomfort at the very least.  Today, nothing!  Ok, well, nothing is not really true.  While I did not have any pain or bloating, I did have loose stools.  I know that is TMI, but modesty about bodily functions left me long ago.  When you are really suffering, you get to where you don’t care what you have to tell… doctors, practitioners, friends, random strangers, whoever might be able to help.  And I am hoping some information in my story will help somebody at some point, so I am not holding back on the gory details.  Back to the poop, it was only a couple of times, but it was definitely loose and the food was not fully digested.  I have been out of my digestive enzymes for 2 days, so I am thinking there is a real possibility that it is more due to that than to the change in diet.  Or could be a combination.  Maybe by the end of this process I won’t be so dependent on the digestive enzymes.  We’ll see.  My hair loss was also better today. But my gums were still super sore and my legs are still broken out with the itchy bumps.

Because I have been out of bone broth, I have been drinking grass-fed gelatin in my rooibos tea.  Rooibos tea is a little bit of an acquired taste I think.  I have gotten to where I like it.  Especially when it it the only option besides water or bone broth!  This Great Lakes gelatin dissolves in cold drinks and you can’t taste it at all.  I don’t think it is as good as drinking grass-fed bone broth, but it is a good quick option.

2 Comments »

ED Day 2

So I am not going to bore you guys with a list of foods today because it was EXACTLY the same as yesterday.  If you want to know, just check out the ED Day 1 post.  I foresee this happening a lot because it is easy and let’s get real…how many ways can I do these 4 veggies??  My meat will probably rotate around based on what the rest of the family is having.  We just got a giant box of meat from US Wellness Meats so I will be trying to cook those selections in a way that is ED friendly.  Luckily my kids don’t really care.  They often prefer dinner to be simple.  They like to have a hunk of meat and just dip it in something yummy so that works out in my favor while I am doing this.

Moving on to how I felt today.  In a word- BETTER!  Granted that is not saying overmuch since I felt like totally doody on day 1, but I’ll still take it.  No headache today for starters.  And the skin on my face is clearing up. The bumps on my legs are another matter. My hair was still falling out today, but at a MUCH slower pace.  I was only picking them off myself like 2-3 times an hour versus constantly all day long!  My biggest issue today was probably my sore, bloody gums.  I don’t really know what to make of that except to say that I think it is hormonal and must have some type of inflammatory component to it as well.  Hopefully healing the gut will cut the inflammation.  I also experienced some bloating/gas issues in the later afternoon (3-4 hours after lunch).  It was mild compared to how bad it is at times.  Weirdly, it felt worse than it looked.  Normally when I feel like  that, I look 4-5 months pregnant and that didn’t happen.  I still felt it, but the visual was definitely different.

I had one other success in this arena yesterday.  This is going to sounds silly…..but I didn’t buy gum!!  I know.  Sounds redonk, but it really felt like a victory for me.  Whenever I commit to something like this, there is always some way in which I cheat.  I hate to say it, but it is true.  And this time, I can’t afford to cheat.  It could really screw up my results and this is WAY too important.  After 3 years of experimenting, I really need to know what foods I can tolerate and what foods I can’t.  I know there are a lot of tests out there that could help me in this endeavor, but the truth is that I just can’t afford them right now.  Plain and simple.  So this is it. I stood there reading gum labels and trying to justify how this would be OK but my less crazy voice won out and I put it all back.  Thank heavens for small victories, right?

Leave a comment »

ED Day 1

Just to clarify, this is not day 1 of my erectile dysfunction.  I’m just betting that by week 2 I will be too lazy to type Elimination Diet every day so I’m shortening it now:)

I’m going to start off these posts letting you guys know exactly what I ate and then follow-up with how I felt.

Breakfast

6 oz. turkey cooked in coconut oil (enough to cover the pan)

1/2 cup cooked organic spinach (cooked in extra-virgin olive oil)

Topped with 1 Tbsp garlic-infused olive oil, green part only of green onions, and Salt & Pepper

photo(26)Lunch

5 oz. wild canned salmon mixed with sautéed carrots, chives, green onions, parsley and salt & pepper

1/2 cup carrot puree- steamed carrots blended with coconut oil and cinnamon

2 medium zucchini cooked in homemade ghee with fresh basil

photo(25)Dinner

5 oz. pastured pork shoulder cooked in the slow cooker with organic green beans and organic carrots

1 Tbsp of homemade ghee/garlic olive oil blend with parsley

photo(24)OK…so that was the food.  I had no snacks and nothing to drink except water. The food was a little boring but it certainly wasn’t bad.   Which is good, because I will probably be eating about the same thing for the rest of the 3-4 weeks.  I’m sure the blog is going to be about as boring as my diet, but hang in there with me.  I am hoping that using this protocol will lead to some serious healing and answer all those questions I have about which foods I actually can and can’t eat.

Now let’s talk about how I felt.  I felt like sh*@!!  I don’t know that it had much to do with the food.  As a matter of fact, I think it had very little to do with the food.  It was the first day of my lady cycle and I have been having migraines on that day for the past 6 months.  Yesterday was no exception.  Add to that that our AC went out on Friday and I live in Memphis, TN where the heat index is 110 in August and you have a pretty miserable scenario:(  Let’s tack on the fact that my hair started falling out in mini clumps yesterday and you can see why I felt like sh*@!  I know the migraines and hair loss are related to my female hormones because they follow a very predictable pattern.  I am hoping that the ED will help with this, but I will just have to keep monitoring it and let you know how it plays out.  If I don’t have a migraine on the first day of my next cycle, I will be relatively sure that this diet has a lot to do with it.  Crossing my fingers!
As for digestive symptoms, they were mild. Still had a my normal mild degree of bloating that I always have.  I also had some mild acid reflux at bedtime.  But, I was never hungry and the cravings were pretty mild considering it coincided with my period.  Stay tuned for Day 2:)
Leave a comment »

What Went Well Wednesday

I am going to admit that I didn’t keep a list yesterday like I did last Wednesday, so this may not be completely chronological.  But here are the highlights of the last few days.

1. Increased my deadlift to 135#.  I know, I know…that is still a light deadlift, but it is the first time I have been able to increase my weight without back pain so I am stoked!

2. Increased my benchpress to 75#. (FYI- these aren’t maxes, they are just working weight doing multiple sets of reps)

3. Had a girls’ CrossFit lunch with 10 ladies from the gym.  We awesome food, fellowship and fun.  I love these ladies like family:)

4. Got my new digestive enzymes with HCL.  Seriously hoping that they help with the bloating.

5. Haven’t had a night this week where I was up all night! Yeah!!

6. Got a 2 hour massage from a massage therapist, CrossFitting friend.  Heaven!

7. Only one of my kids required an expensive antibiotic for the pink-eye that ran through our house.

8. Took a long walk with my boys. (picture below)

9.  Discovered Chris Kresser’s podcast and love it!

10. Made hubby made me awesome sweet potato chips!

Hello Kitty Sleep Mask

Hello Kitty Sleep Mask

My Newphew, the Easter Bunny

My Nephew, the Easter Bunny

Coop and Pres on our Walk

Coop and Pres on our Walk

 

 

Leave a comment »

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!!

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

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:)

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Health History – Cont.

I left off telling you that I had decided not to take the allopathic medicine approach to my autoimmune conditions.  Gasp!  The doctors (and some others) thought I was crazy.  They said I was putting my life at risk.  But I had to search for other answers.  I HAD to have peace about my journey.  Because my mom was already in the health and wellness field, she had a few contacts for me to try out.  I started with a Naturopath in Oregon.  As I am located in Tennessee, all of our meetings were by phone.  He advised me to get lots of tests run.   I had mutiple pee, poop, blood, hair, saliva and urine tests totaling about $4,000.  Mind you I did not have $4,000, but I was desperate and determined!  Through these tests I was able to get lots of information that while expensive, did turn out to be incredibly useful.  It allowed me to see more of the root causes of my issues and treat them instead of just putting a band aid over my symptoms.  My hair test revealed that I had high levels of certain heavy metals.  My urine tests showed that I was only absorbing about 20% of the iodine I was taking in.  This test was done after blood work revealed that I was hypothyroid.  My stool tests showed candida albicans (yeast), bacteria, parasites, and also revealed that there was essentially no mucous lining left in my colon and intestines.  I also did allergy testing and the only food allergy I had was to gluten. Yeah!  One silver lining.  I could have been allergic to a lot more.  Let’s see…what else was there?  Oh yeah,  I was anemic and hypoglycemic.  He said I was on the road to becoming diabetic.  My saliva tests revealed that my hormones looked like that of an 80 year old woman!  My progesterone and testosterone were nil.  How did all this happen??  I was supposed to be a vibrant, young wife and  mom.  Full of dreams and full of life!  This was not what I had envisioned for my future.  But this is where I was and I had to face it.  Stay tuned for the next installment.

Leave a comment »