From Here to Health

My journey back from autoimmune disease

ED Day 14

Two weeks done!  Yay!! While I admittedly haven’t been perfect, I have been pretty close.  I still haven’t hit that 5 days no symptoms goal so I have at least another week and probably 2 ahead of me.

Breakfast

Applegate Farms turkey slices, garlic olive oil for dipping, steamed organic spinach with homemade pesto

I also had bone broth this morning.  For those of you who haven’t made it before, let me warn you that it stinks.  I had 1 batch going all day Thursday and 1 batch going all day Friday and my house was stinky until midday Saturday!  And to be honest, I don’t really like the way it tastes.  My daughter says it tastes like buttered toast.  I LOVE buttered toast but I guess I wouldn’t want to drink it.  Bone broth probably has been the single most helpful thing I have done to help heal my gut though, so I will continue to choke it down.

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Lunch

Wild caught canned salmon with green onion and chives fried in coconut oil, zucchini cooked in ghee

IMG_2578[1]Sorry about the dirty plate.  One of these days I am going to start taking pictures as more than an afterthought and you guys are going to think you are in the wrong place:)

Dinner

Carrot puree and sausage

The sausage was “off plan”, but I was very low on protein options here at the house.  It was from pastured pork, but it had some spices added to it.  The only spice listed was celery, salt, pepper and turbinado sugar, but there could have been others.  It didn’t give my any digestive issues that I am aware of though.

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Symptoms

I had mild heartburn at bedtime.  So maybe the sausage did bother me?  I thought once my diet got this limited it would be easy to tell what was causing what, but it’s not!  I still think there is something giving me an issue.  My husband says to trust the healing process and see it through for the full 4 weeks before I go trying to change it.  I am trying to listen to him.  Stay the course. Stay the course.  Stay the course.

My only other issue was that I fell asleep on the couch yesterday for more than an hour! I know, I know, you are saying “what’s the issue there?”  You have to know me.  I can count on both hands the number of naps I have taken as an adult and they all happened when I was either pregnant or REALLY sick.  I just can’t fall asleep during the day.  Maybe I am just getting so old that going to a concert until midnight the night before really wears me out?  Gosh, I hope not!

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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

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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:)

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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:)
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Autoimmune Skinny Paleo Plan

So I started a new weight loss plan today.  Story of my life. I have struggled with weight since 6th grade.  Or at least body image.  As a 35 year old woman, I now realize I never had a true “weight” issue.  My body image issue, however, has been a very real issue for over 20 years.  I can’t remember if I have written about this on the blog before (I can’t remember a lot of things these days), but I I have, my apologies.  To be succint with a 20 year story…it all started at a school fitness day.  Remember those President’s fitness tests?  Well, we had one in 6th grade and we all had to weigh in front of each other- something I am sure wouldn’t happen these days- and I weighed 104 pounds.  Someone watching said, “Oh my God, she weighs more than a hundred pounds!”  Well, my child’s mind immediately thought, “Over 100 pounds is too much!”  Mind you, I was the same height I am now, so 104 pounds was definitely not too big.  That is what got the ball rolling and add to that the careless comments by other friends, media and social pressure and my own need for perfection and you have a recipe for disaster.  I was anorexic, bulimic, an overexerciser, diet pill user and consumer of all types of weight loss products.  I even did Zerona a few years back (which sent me into huge flares with my autoimmune disease and didn’t even work). I have no doubt that the physical and mental stress of my “eating issues” played a very significant role in the evolution of my autoimmune and other health issues.

Back to the present…when I went Paleo nearly 2 years ago, I thought my “weight issues” would be solved.  You hear all these magical stories.  I thought I would automatically find my “happy weight.”  THIS DID NOT HAPPEN.  In fact, I have gradually put on 20 pounds after going Paleo.  Yes, you read that right, I put on 20 pounds after going Paleo. Am I the only one???  About mid-way through this journey, I found out that I was hypothyroid.  So I thought, ok, that is the problem.  Surely, once that is worked out, the weight will fall off.  After multiple medications, I have finally found one that I can tolerate with out insomnia and heart palpitations (Westhroid) and my thyroid is improving, but still no weight loss.  So, this past Sunday it all came to a head and I had what my Dad call a “come apart.”  Ok, who am I kidding? I had a giant, f- bomb dropping, crying on the bathroom floor, dry heaving nuclear meltdown!  My sweet kids wanted me to go watch them launch the rocket they had made and I LITERALLY could not fit into anything that wasn’t pjs.  I had this vision of more nights crying on the floor between the toilet and the wall as my family and friends went out and lived their lives. I don’t want that!  So my plan? Well, it’s going to sounds a little (or maybe a lot) crazy, but here it is…I am doing Bob Harper’s Jumpstart to Skinny for the next 21 days.  With modifications.  I have made it autoimmune paleo friendly.  People in the paleo community don’t often talk about it, but I still think that calories count to a certain extent. I am working under the assumption that even though my food is super clean, it is still too many calories for my small, not quite 5 ft 2 in frame.  So I used Bob’s calorie restricted recipes but made substitutions for things that were not Paleo.  I then further adjusted it to make it autoimmune friendly and low-FODMAP.  Yes, this means it is very restrictive and will be very repetitive.  But I just need to see if the problem really is that I am unwittingly taking in too much food.  My only other theory is that due to my health issues, my body is still holding onto a lot of inflammation that is causing me to gain/resist losing weight.  In that case, I guess I just have to be patient and pray for money to buy a new wardrobe.  I’ll post once a week to let you guys know how my experiment is going.

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Autoimmune Protocol Step 4

Yesterday was my first day without nuts!  This might seem inconsequential, but it turns out that I eat a LOT of nuts.  For instance, I realized that I had nuts at every meal one day last week.  I had pine nuts in the pesto I put over my eggs at breakfast.  Then I had toasted pecans on my chicken salad at lunch.  I don’t always snack during the day, but that particular day I had some almond butter with strawberries.  And then at dinner we had sliced almonds on our green beans.  While every day is not that nut heavy, it is going to be an adjustment.  I do think that the autoimmune protocol is helping though so it will be worth it.  I haven’t had any really bad bloating for 7-10 days now.  I have had some mild discomfort a few times, but that is still a vast improvement.  There is also still some stuff going on with my skin that I suspect could be autoimmune/food related.  Hopefully the nut removal will help.  Only time will tell.

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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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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 Days 12-13

I just need to say that I slept 9 hours last night so I am so excited this morning!!! Yeah!! The last 2 nights I didn’t sleep at all.  I did however read 2 complete novels that were pretty awesome.  I came off my thyroid meds because I think they were giving me anxiety and heart palpitations.  I don’t know for sure if it was the cause or not, but I didn’t feel it last night so we’ll see. I thought at first that I felt wonky because of the 21 DSD, but then it went on too long for that to be the case.  Then I thought it was “lady business”, but that came and went too so I was left with the new thyroid med.  I guess we’ll see how I do without it and then make a decision with my doc.  I feel the need to confess that I fell off the 21DSD wagon on Valentine’s Day.  I split a small coconut vanilla tart with my kids.  It was literally only a few bites, but I wanted to offer full disclosure.  It was yummy and I don’t feel guilty, which I think is awesome.  I am already planning to do the 21DSD again towards the end of March.  I had such a sugar issue that I think it is going to take multiple times for me to get where I want to be.  As an example, I have been having the sugar-free allowed “treats” every day during this go around.  Even though I am not getting the sugar, I think I am still psychologically addicted tothe treat mentality.  I would like to do it again without the allowed treats.  Or at least cut them down.

On another topic, we ran 3 miles at CrossFit on Wednesday.  I am not a huge fan of running and I hadn’t done more than a 400 m sprint since coming off my hiatus in December.  I did the whole 3 miles (in the freezing cold) and it was mostly fine until my knee started hurting during the last 1/2 mile.  Hopefully it won’t give me any problems at the gym today.  Yesterday I was so tired from 2 sleepless nights that my only exercise was a walk with the kids.  It actually turned out to be the best part of my day.  My daughter held my hand the whole way and talked her face off.  My boys would periodically turn around from in front of us to say “love you mom.”  My sweet babies.  It was a blessed Valentine’s Day!

Thanksgiving Meatballs, avocado, spaghetti squash, cauliflower/parsnip mash

Thanksgiving Meatballs, avocado, spaghetti squash, cauliflower/parsnip mash

This was lunch on Wednesday.  There was a 5th meatball but I literally forgot it in the toaster oven and it caught on fire!  Like a serious flames shooting out fire.  I had to wake my husband to put it out and then the kids and I had to spend the rest of the afternoon at my mom’s house due to the smoke!  The 4 I ate were delicious.

I made “healthier” peanut butter cups for the kids for Valentine’s Day.  Here’s Finn after one of hers.

Enjoying a Peanut Butter cup with Breakfast

Enjoying a Peanut Butter cup with Breakfast

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21 Day Sugar Detox Days 9-11

My mornings have been so busy the past few days that I haven’t had time to post.  At the point, I’m not sure I can remember the specifics, but I’ll try to hit the high points.  Let’s start with the “not so good.”  I have kept thinking that this detox was giving my low blood sugar or energy crashes, but I am starting to wonder if it is the new thyroid meds.  Over the weekend I began feeling anxious with a racing heart and just “off.”  I had been feeling hormonally off for about the past 10 days.  At first I blamed in on my cycle and then I blamed in on the 21DSD, but I’m not totally convinced it was either of those things.  Last night it was the worst and I barely slept a wink.  I didn’t take my thyroid meds this morning and emailed my doc to see what he thinks.  On the to good stuff.  My mother and Finn and I went to see Mary Poppins on Sunday night.  It was so much fun!  Finn was absolutely mesmerized by the scene changes and tricks.

Finn and I at Mary Poppins

Finn and I at Mary Poppins

It was her first big live theatre show and I hadn’t been since she was born so it was such a treat!  As a side note because I am looking at my bangs in this picture, I think I am going to have to start washing my hair with real shampoo at least once a week.  I like the No Poo method in some ways, but my hair is just getting too heavy.  As I refine my method I will keep you posted.

Yesterday, the kids spend a big portion of the day making Valentines.  Finn has 20 kids in her homeschool class that she needs a Valentine for and I agreed to let her pick out any ones she wanted.  But no, she said, “Aren’t you supposed to make Valentines?”  So that is what we have done and they are turning out really cute.  And it didn’t end with the kids her in class.  Yesterday I mailed large envelopes of Valentines to relatives living out of town.  My floor is still covered with supplies.

Presley and Finn in the Valentine Factory

Presley and Finn in the Valentine Factory

I made the Paleo Parents Carbonara recipe for dinner and then had the leftovers for lunch.  It was super yummy.  I added wild caught shrimp to mine because I had it on hand and my kids love shrimp.  This is the leftover lunch portion.  It looked better the night before.

Shrimp Carbonara

Shrimp Carbonara

 

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21 Day Sugar Detox- Day 8

I’m hanging in there.  That sounds a little desperate.  It’s not really that bad, I just still don’t have as much energy as I would like.  So…I broke down and had some sweet potato today.  It’s not exactly against the rules.  She recommends it for athletes which I think I qualify for on some days.  Not today mind you as I only walked for about 30 minutes and did some rebounding for 10 minutes.  Maybe it is something else entirely, but at this point I am assuming the lack of energy is from the lack of carbs.  Other than that, I finished a novel, started a new one, did some housework, some homeschool testing with the kids (yes, they weren’t thrilled since it was Saturday), and running some errands.  The boys had a new friend spend the night and it was so much fun to watch them together.  They had the best time riding scooters and plasma cars, playing on the playset and climbing trees.  I love watching my kids be kids.  Not sitting in front of the TV numbing their sweet minds.  No judgement really.  I mean, I love some mind-numbing TV for myself, I just don’t love it for my kids.  Their new friend was so sweet and didn’t think our paleo eating was weird.  As a matter of fact, he cleaned his plate at both dinner and breakfast!  I love that.  My kids cleaned their plates too.  Pretty hard not to since I made 50/50 Bacon & Grass-Fed Beef Burgers from Eat Like a Dinosaur and pastured sausage and Easy Peasy Pancakes from the Paleo Parents for breakfast.

My Paleo Lovin' Boys

My Paleo Lovin’ Boys

Mine are the two on the ends:)  Cute, right?

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