Saturday, October 20, 2012

So what SHOULD I eat??

It seems as though there is something wrong with every food.

Grains- bad. Not only from a gluten standpoint, but the others make my blood sugar wacky. Plus, they feed the yeast.

Legumes- I seem to have more, ahem, "side effects" from these now than I used to, even with soaking. Nuff said.

Nightshades- I know I don't deal well with these, except maybe a little cooked tomato. Plus, little one has nasty, nasty reflux when I eat tomatoes. Had I known that, maybe I would have gotten some sleep during those first terrible months... or maybe not.

Cruciferous veggies, like broccoli, cauli, cabbage- similar to legumes, but for the little one. Though, come to think of it, they have started to bother me more the few times I have had them. Kind of like beans, but less. What's the deal?

Sugar- so many reasons. Not even gonna start with that one.

Fruit- feeds the yeast.

Dairy- not sure why, but I feel yucky any time I have some. Tried a little bit of cheese the other night on an omelette-y/fritatta-y thing with chorizo and spinach. It sure was good, but I felt tired and just gross for awhile after. I do eat butter. And yes, I've tried raw dairy. Maybe I should try it yet again, but it hasn't made a difference so far. And the one time I ate raw milk cheese? Sorry, but it tasted and smelled like a cow. The business end of said cow. Not worth it.

Nuts and seeds, including almond flour, cocoa, coconut flour- PHYTATES. I have severe problems with phytates. I think part of this has come to a head while nursing, but I don't exactly have the absorbing capacity to make up for whatever minerals the phytates bind. I've been feeling weird for awhile, thought at first it was just Mg deficiency, and now I'm thinking it is probably multiple minerals from phytic acid. Fail.

I do soak them, but maybe I don't do it long enough or the right way. Or the right whey... since I don't exactly have whey to ferment them with...

I'm sure there is something here that I've missed. Because any time one of my friends says, "Hey, can you eat __________?" I almost always have to say no, then follow up with an abbreviated explanation of why that no one really cares to hear.

So what's a girl to do? What's a girl to eat??

Grass-fed beef and lettuce. That's about it. Sigh. Not that I don't love a good burger or steak, but I'm running out of options here. I have to force myself to eat salad. I just have NO appetite for it.

And what is little one supposed to eat??

This is getting expensive and depressing. Even soaking my nuts and seeds has only been moderately effective. I thought using blanched almond flour would be ok, but I should just avoid it. Cuz then I bake with it and make yummy things and eat too much of them and really screw myself in the phytate department.

Thanks for letting me rant,

(Oh, and little one is allergic to carrots. Sigh.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Imagine with me, if you will:

You committed yourself to an insane dietary plan like GAPS, SCD, etc. It helped, so you try to stick to it for the most part. You've had to add a little rice or quinoa here and there, but you at least remember what you learned from going GAPS. You decide to feed your child accordingly, starting with vegetables and fruits (organic as possible), adding grass-fed beef, pastured chicken and eggs, and so on.

And then teething starts. And goes on for months. And the poor child can barely function, much less sleep.

(And this is the ONE situation in which you really, really wish she still took a pacifier... at least she'd have something to chomp on while falling asleep...)

So, tired of seeing poor baby in pain, you decide that maybe giving her some Tylenol isn't the end of the world. After all, you are a pharmacist. You're supposed to like drugs, right?!

So maybe acetaminophen (hereafter known as APAP) might contribute to asthma development. Or might overwhelm her tiny liver. But you look past those minute risks, and decide that the benefits win.

The bottle says gluten free. Yay! Easy win there!

Then you look at the list of ingredients. #1 is anhydrous citric acid, which you know you can't tolerate, as most commercial citric acid is derived from an Aspergillus mold, therefore activating your overly-sensitive yeast/mold sensor.

Following is a list of other ingredients just as questionable. The label touts "No high fructose corn syrup!", which is great, but the stuff has a bunch of sucralose in it, the likes of which alters GI flora. And sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that can cause diarrhea. There is basically no sweetener that could make me happy.


And now that the infant drops have been discontinued, you have to give her 3.75 mL to get the 120 mg dose you want. Doesn't sound like much, but that's like four swallows!

(Maybe we could have kept that concentration available for parents who read the label carefully and follow directions. I can see flaming comments in my future... but it sure would be handy. Should have bought a ton before it totally went off the shelves, but didn't think about it. Fail. I know the new standard concentration is safer, yada yada, but still. Come on.)

Too bad you can't just give her plain APAP powder, if you could get your hands on it. Which you can't. Plus, it tastes horrendously bitter (thus the flavoring...).

So what to do? Wouldn't it be nice to have something like a plain, concentrated suspension you could add to some appropriate food? I would totally give it to her in a syringe filled with applesauce...

Wish I could do that. Blend modern drugs and science with vehicles more appropriate for natural and organic diets.

I feel like such a schmuck for being so anal about what she eats, then pumping her full of this crap for dessert at every meal. But hey, we gotta do what we gotta do, and this kid is the slowest teether in the history of dentition.

And by the way, her diarrhea abruptly stopped when she went a day without APAP. Guess I have my answer there. Ick.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pyramid Scheme: It's just SAD

I forget where I first heard the acronym SAD used for the Standard American Diet, but it sure is spot-on.

Everyone I talk to understands the way I eat. I never get comments and questions like "Gosh, that sure doesn't sound low-fat" or "I have high cholesterol, I could never eat that way" or "How can you be healthy without whole grains?"


It seems like so many people are paying attention to "healthy" eating, or at least they are trying. Counting calories, eating diet foods, what have you.

So why, then, does no one seem to understand what a healthy diet really entails? Even some of the mass media is eschewing carbs (and thus, sometimes, grains). I know for a fact that I actually agreed with what Dr. Oz was saying the one time I saw him on TV...

Even people who are close to me, who understand the most about why I *try* to avoid grains, why I don't eat much processed stuff, why I soak my nuts and seeds, etc. make comments that just don't make any sense.

So it's not always that we are oblivious to what we're eating. It's that what we're taught is pretty much just blatantly wrong, and we just can't get it out of our heads.

I about screamed in delight when I read a blog post from a local doctor that told the TRUTH about grains: that they make your blood sugar spike (and, therefore, crash), then causing other hormonal issues and ultimately leading to weight gain and a whole host of other problems.


And DUH!

At least DUH for someone who made progress using the GAPS diet. And lost weight and gained muscle while eating plenty. And who feels at least marginally weird every time she eats rice pasta...

But I think back to that damn food pyramid that I still have embedded in my brain from junior high health classes. Remember that one? With the enormous base of breads and grains, it was like 6-11 servings/day? I know they've changed it since, but it's still ridiculous.

Not to mention that I, with no formal training in the area of dietetics, have taught dieticians at my office about gluten issues. They said they had no education or experience with it. That is just not right. I know some great dieticians, but it seems exceedingly weird to me that so many have no clue about Celiac. It seems like this has gotten better over the past 2-3 years, but geesh. If they aren't the experts, who are??

(Side note: when I was first diagnosed with Celiac, the doc told me nothing and referred me to a dietician. When I called to schedule the appointment, they didn't even know what Celiac was, but said that I could come talk to the dietician anyway and she would try to look something up about it. Because I couldn't do that myself...
Also, that it would be at my own expense, since my insurance only covered dietician visits in cases of diabetes. The insurance people were clueless too, by the way. I called to complain, since I have a condition which can only be managed by dietary intervention, and they basically told me I was SOL. Pretty sure I told them where they could stuff their whole wheat bagels...)

I often feel like I'm giving a lecture every time someone asks about what I'm eating. I consciously try to make things as general as possible. After all, it would be a VERY long conversation to fully explain it. But sometimes, I feel obligated to include as much of the story as possible. Maybe I'm not inconveniencing someone with my verbosity, maybe they will use the info to help someone else figure out their food-related problems. Maybe it will spark interest in real healthy food.

As long as we can just ignore that dumb pyramid. Thanks, USDA. Grain subsidies, anyone?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Life. And sticking together. And blogging.

I often think "I should blog about this!" throughout my day.

It doesn't always have anything to do with Celiac Disease. It is often just me ranting about something or other.

Then, I think- what else could I do with my time? Something more useful? Actually tackle the mountains of dishes and laundry? Or get back on track with working out? Or do some meal prep so I'm not scrambling later? Or the other bazillion projects I need to finish (Er... start...)? Or anything else that might free me up later so I can stop "managing" my daughter and actually being present with her?

Blogging just doesn't seem like an important thing in the scheme of life; however, I start to think of how so many blogs have given me ideas, inspiration, and encouragement, and I realize that maybe there is something more to it than just a relatively anonymous place to vent.


I ran into a friend at the grocery store today. I wouldn't have seen her had I not been making my second trip into the store. As is typical, I was feeling like a failure because I left my list out in the truck and decided to wing it, only to have to go back in after checking out. After all, how can you make vegetable soup without vegetables? I'm good at substitution, but not that good...

She's been through waaaaay more than I have prior to her diagnosis last year. Her daughter has also been chronically ill and in pain. She said I looked well and asked how I was doing. I said we were doing pretty well, which is the truth most of the time. I still deal with a lot of fatigue and off and on anxiety, but looking back at where I've been, I'm doing just fine. Praise God! (Now if I would just stop eating rice, that would help!)

I then asked how she was doing. I could tell by her hesitancy that things were still pretty awful. She has found more food intolerances. I (not so wisely) mentioned that it took me years and years to figure mine out enough to even feel human again. I felt like an idiot for saying that. After all, who wants to hear that it took someone else on the order of years to improve?

But then she said that it was encouraging to know that it had taken awhile. It took me a bit to realize that it could, in fact, be encouraging. That whole light at the end of the tunnel thing. The hope I felt when I came across someone else's relatable story, a new piece of info, or a new safe meal idea, many times on blogs.

And that's when I realized that even though I complain a lot (I think it kind of naturally goes along with a sarcastic sense of humor...), maybe my story is important to other people. Maybe my ideas could help someone else. If nothing else, blogging provides me a way to reflect.

Since I write lengthy summaries in my personal journal every day, I take a ton of time for that already... not...

So maybe I'm back. Not with regularity, but occasionally when I have something to say. It might not be the prettiest or funniest or best-worded, but it's real. And I hope I can help!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chocolate and Avocados.

I have a problem.

Well, technically, I have a lot of problems... har-dee-har... but I won't go there.

I have a problem with chocolate. I want it.

I've been revisiting an old recipe based on this lately, but I don't really measure anymore, so it has changed somewhat.

Now, you probably think I'm crazy to want to eat chocolate with avocados. That such a simple combo of ingredients would be so addicting.

Ok, busted, I am crazy. But this is still yummy, I promise. Pinky swear.

I hadn't had any chocolate since I figured out that the little one had major reflux, and that my diet affected it. A lot. REALLY wish I would have figured that out earlier, but that's a whole 'nother topic.

So I tried some of this when I had some avocados just on the edge of overripe disgustingness, and was reminded of how much I liked chocolate. Ok, maybe love. Or addiction.

Oh, dear.

I then thought about how amazing it would be paired with chocolate cake, proceeding to make a coconut flour chocolate cake.

"So, SC," you say, "why is this an issue? Go for it, you've deprived yourself enough!" Alas, but I am the one whose body doesn't like chocolate now. At least in the amounts that I had been eating it...

It all started with some muscle weakness. Then foot cramps. Then mouth sores. Then anxiety. And I was like, what the crap??? I know that you can crave chocolate when magnesium deficient, so I figured that was the answer.

Simple enough.

Except- why was I magnesium deficient all of a sudden? Sure, I wasn't supplementing it like I used to, but I hadn't for quite awhile. What gives??

I believe the answer lies with phytates, because this all came to a head when I had some noodles I made with tahini. More tahini than normal. Unsoaked sesame seeds in said tahini.

Sesame seeds are uber-high in phytic acid, which can actually bind certain minerals including magnesium, and cause them to not be absorbed.

Chocolate is pretty high on the phytic acid scale, too.


Funny how the very thing people crave that is high in magnesium can also bind magnesium and flush it right out the pooper.

So anyway, I cut out the tahini for awhile, cut back on the chocolate, and supplemented some magnesium. Took a few Epsom salt baths for good measure. Mostly just to assuage my guilt for taking the time to sit in the bathtub and loaf.

I'm still eating some of my chocolate stuff, though. I just can't resist. Try it, you'll see what I mean.

Chocolate Avocado Multi-Use Goodness (aka frosting, pudding, whatever you feel like calling it)

1 3/4 - 2 ripe, average-size avocados
3-4 T. cocoa powder (I use Rodelle and LOVE it)
1/3 - 1/2 c honey, to taste
1 t. vanilla (I also use Rodelle here)
3 T. coconut milk (optional)

Plop all ingredients into food processor or blender-type apparatus. I use the chopper/grinder attachment to my Cuisinart handheld stick blender. Love that thing. (I have also used the mini food processor, basically the same thing). Blend.

Add more sweetener or coconut milk if desired. Blend again until super smooth. Add more coconut milk if you want it lighter and pudding like. Less or none for frosting.

Eat. Enjoy. Try to save some for later. Fail.

It is seriously that easy.

(And why 1 3/4 avocados? I cut some up for little one for lunch, then use the rest plus one to make this. By making this, I'm being efficient and not letting things go to waste. Or so I tell myself...)

Count of times that, while writing this post, I ventured to the kitchen for "just one more bite": 4


Friday, August 10, 2012

The voices in my head

I've probably written this post a million times.

In my head.

It's like there is a tiny elfin narrator inside my head, constructing sarcastic sentences and hilarious examples while I while away my time at mundane tasks. I think his name is Fred.

I don't do a whole lot of actual writing anymore, what with trying to keep the kiddo and myself alive and awake/asleep at the appropriate times and fed and whatnot. 

So maybe that's the reason for the running internal commentary. Words just keep cramming into my head and do the clowns-in-the-car routine until I let them out.

Unfortunately, what I have to say is always more organized/witty/useful in my head. I can't usually remember it once I actually sit down at my computer. Figures.

So, in an effort to turn down the volume on that pesky cerebral narrator, I am blogging. Well, without really talking about anything in particular. But blogging, nonetheless.

Take that, Fred.

Now it really gets interesting when I get songs in my head and my life is a musical...


Saturday, April 21, 2012


So, I found a pretty good recipe for bread with coconut flour and flax seed. Seems to be GAPS legal, too, unless I'm missing something obvious. Which wouldn't be unusual these days.

If I could get more than 3 hours of sleep at a time, that would help. Sigh...

Remember though, folks, no bread stuffs have passed these lips in probably over a year. So take my recommendation with a grain of salt if you're expecting "real" bread.

Now, of course, I couldn't just follow the recipe. I had some chia seed I wanted to try (thanks to for sending a sample), so I subbed that for flax. Flax doesn't seem to like me much anyway...

I poured some boiling water on the chia to activate its gel-ocity, and other than that, followed the recipe. It was kind of hard to incorporate everything because the chia was gloppy, but I just used a fork and stirred like I meant it. I'm too lazy to clean my food processor or mixer, so I just did it by hand.

It actually turned out pretty good!! It stuck to the pan a little, but that is about my only complaint. (That and I'm wondering if the overload of chia is what is causing an overload of air bubbles in the plumbing, if you know what I mean... but totally worth it. Plus, I can always blame it on the baby, right?)

I ate it plain with tons of butter. After so long without anything bread-like, it made me wonder what took me so long?

I see possibilities with a burger, maybe some jam or something (no not at the same time. ick.).

Just had to share my good fortune :)


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Crunchy Mama

If you would have asked me a few years ago what I would be like as a mother, I would never have expected what I have become.

I am a crunchy mama.

As in granola crunchy. Well, if I ate granola. Instead of thinking that granola equals awful.

My food came from the grocery store or a restaurant. Pasteurized, homogenized, winterized... errr... It didn't matter what you ate, as long as it was in moderation. Cleaning products were supposed to kill every possible bacterium, virus, spore, nanorobot, etc. Western medicine was the only logical way to diagnose and treat any condition, and doctors had all the answers. Vaccines save lives and don't hurt anybody.

Celiac Disease provided an easy answer to my problems. Gluten is the devil! Just avoid it and you will be ok! So much research has been done into the CD mechanism that there is no question as to how or why it develops.

Or is there?

Once I started to question things, once just going GF didn't solve my problems, I started to realize something.

No one REALLY knows what they are talking about.

Long story short, without getting too soapboxy, I became Crunchy Mama.

I only started feeling somewhat human again after FINALLY discovering SCD/GAPS and also caring exactly where my food comes from. I mean, I obviously knew it came from a farm. Unlike my college roommate who was appalled by all the fields on the way to my hometown. Not to mention seeing cows! In real life! Wow!

I know the people who produce my meat, eggs, and some of my vegetables/fruits. I know that the chickens are pastured, and the beef grass-fed. I know that they don't use pesticides, even though they don't shell out the dough for organic certification. I try to eat in season and organic as much as possible.

And honestly, that just tastes better, right?? Like the realization come June of "Hmmm... that's how a strawberry actually tastes..."

I digress. (How unusual).

I've tried to use less harsh cleaners, and I eventually want to change my toiletry stash to all more natural options. (There I go using the word natural, as though that means something. Sorry.) I also try to use less hand sanitizer, less antibac soap.

I take probiotics and try to culture my food. Heck, I'd almost consider taking worms, as is proven beneficial in a few studies. Almost.

I actually don't realize how many things I am no longer "normal" about until it comes up with my friends or family. Like when we're shopping, and I refuse to buy flame retardant PJs for the little one. Or I hear people talking about how their low fat diet isn't working very well, and I'm like duh... Or I hear on the radio that autism diagnoses are up 600% in the last 10 years. Yes, 600%. Celiac probably isn't much different. I'm sorry, that's not just better diagnostics and awareness.

I guess I'm getting used to being crunchy. Maybe I'm a crunchy honey roasted almond. That sounds good... better than granola anyway!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Professional Bloggers

I don't know how they do it.

I read a decent amount of blogs and forums when I get a chance or have a specific need for information, recipes, what have you. A lot of them are written by people who seem to be busy moms. And who seem to have just as much cooking and such to do.

They have thoughtful posts, recipes that might actually work (and have more specific instructions than "a glug of this and that"), and pretty pictures.

I feel a little inadequate.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


So, about breastfeeding. It's so easy and natural.


The natural part, maybe. Definitely is the best thing for baby if at all possible. Easy? Not so much.

I tried to research before lil K was born, I really did. Promise. I read most of the articles on La Leche League's website.

I didn't feel like I ever found any solid, real life information that was helpful in preparing me for the real thing. All my friends warned me that it was hard. The problem is, I didn't really understand what was hard about it! And not for lack of trying!

Looking back, the hardest things for me were fighting the myths that I read or was told by other people. Also the sleep deprivation. Oh, and did I mention the sleep deprivation?

1. If it hurts, you're doing it wrong.

Ugh. This one is SO ubiquitous!!!!!! I just want to bang my head repeatedly with a metal cookie sheet every time I hear this one. If only I hadn't believed this, I might have done something before I had a RAGING yeast infection!!!!!! The exclamation points are completely necessary.

It's not going to be comfortable, especially at first. BUT, it should get more and more comfortable as time goes on. Not more and more liable to make you curse. Seriously, I swore like a sailor for at least the first 12 weeks post-partum. At one point, I had to grab the armrest of the couch and yell every time she latched just so I could try to deal with the pain. I would rather be in labor again. It was like someone stabbing my boob repeatedly with a hot knife. Showers were torture. Heck, air was torture.

The sad part is, I'm not exaggerating.

Pain is NOT normal. Also, doctors may or may not be hip to the yeast infection buzz. I went round and round with my doctor trying to get appropriate treatment. I literally spent HOURS on the phone. I could sing you the terrible hold muzak. Combine that frustration + the pain + trying to go back to work + hubby being gone for the week + cranky baby = MELTDOWN.

Trust your instincts. If something seems wrong, it probably is. If you've ever had yeast problems in the past, suspect it as a culprit for nursing problems. It is way more common than I would ever have imagined. (Actually, I had no idea this could happen, until I googled breastfeeding pain looking for some sort of help! And I've done a lot of research about yeast over the years! Fail.)

2. The boob is always the answer.

Um, no. She's clearly not hungry every time she cries. In fact, feeding sometimes made it worse. (Now I know we were battling silent reflux. Hindsight...)

Lil K was a super long nurser. She would take upwards of an hour to eat. I really wish I knew better at the time how to tell when they stop swallowing and start non-nutritive sucking. I think this would have saved me hours of frustration. (Have you ever tried to pee while breastfeeding? Quite a feat.)

I think if I had been confident enough to stop a nursing session when she was done eating or soon after, I could have gotten more good sleep for both of us. I tried doing the side-lying position in bed a few times like a good attachment parenting mom, but her reflux couldn't handle it. So I sat up every time she nursed, trying desperately not to fall over asleep. This did not work well for us, since we would spend an hour eating, then an hour or so trying to get her back to sleep, then it would soon be time to eat again. Oh the memories... errr... mammaries??

3. A little formula won't hurt anything. No one can breastfeed exclusively!

I seriously was told that "No one I know has ever been able to produce enough milk to exclusively breastfeed."

I had people (who shall remain anonymous) concerned for lil K's health when no such concern was needed. I had visitors on a day when she slept through the night for the first time (and it never happened again, for months). She ended up being hungry and cranky most of the day, both of our bodies just weren't used to that! So, while I appreciated the concern, it didn't help matters. In fact, it helped contribute to my complex of "Is she getting enough to eat?!" which then inhibited my letdown, which then did lead to some problems. Thankfully, once I got rid of some stress and made sure that I ate tons of food and drank a gallon of water every 5 minutes, that resolved itself.

Our doctor was not worried. Lil K was growing and developing right on track.

As for the formula thing, I was pretty bound and determined not to give her any. She clearly had tummy troubles, especially when I ate dairy. Why on earth would I willingly give her milk-derived formula??? And soy? You've got to be kidding me. Soy rips me up even worse than cow's milk. Not to mention the high levels of phytoestrogens. I haven't had soy in years.

If there was absolutely no alternative, then yes, many kids have tolerated it just fine. But given our history, and her possible propensity toward Celiac, I'm not taking chances with formula unless there is clearly no other option.

Thanks, but no thanks.

4. If you're worried about milk supply, do a "yield" with a pump and see how much you get.

This one really messed me up. I was somewhat pressured into doing this to prove that I was producing enough milk. Don't ask.

Though how we would have known how much "enough" is, I have no idea. I really didn't know how true it is that a baby is WAY more efficient than a breast pump. That's just how it is. Plus, the performance anxiety totally inhibited my let down. So I would sit there, pumping away, trying to relax, imagining rivers of breastmilk flooding from my body to little avail.

Of course, later, when there was no pressure, I got more. It still wasn't very efficient, though. The one time I pumped at work was laughable :)

Which leads me to another point that I've somewhat mentioned- Stress totally affects breastfeeding. I can't even tell you how much better it got when I finally started getting some sleep and wasn't constantly feeling hyped up just to stay awake. It sounds like pointless advice, because I have no idea how I would have implemented this, but try to get rid of as much stress as possible and get some sleep!!

5. The nipple shield has nothing to do with how much milk she gets.

Umm... it says so right on the package that it can inhibit milk supply and letdown. Unfortunately, I got one in the hospital and never saw the packaging.

I was told this numerous times when the lactation consultant said that it had nothing to do with her taking FOREVER to nurse, possible supply issues, yada yada. Good thing I didn't listen, worked on getting her to latch without it, and things have steadily gotten faster and better ever since.

And now, the most important one of all (and I almost forgot it, not intentionally saving the best for last...)

6. What you eat doesn't affect your baby that much.

Just stay away from the obvious no-nos, and everything will be great, right? Oh. So. Wrong.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I wish I would have started out on the right track with this one.
See previous post about tomatoes.

I was obviously already gluten free, and as soon as I realized she had gut issues, I started looking into using probiotics. The trials of L. reuteri in colicky infants had both the placebo and treatment groups on a dairy free diet. So, I figured if I expected it to work, I'd go dairy free as well. I've only tested it once with a bit of cheese, but I have no idea if it mattered. I'm guessing the tomato sauce that went with it caused enough of the subsequent discomfort that I'll never know! Not worth risking it at this point. Poor thing has been through enough!

Seemed like garlic, onion, and broccoli bothered her, as well as other really green stuff (though that one is more of a guess). So I got rid of anything that tasted like anything.

The change I resisted the most would be the classic reflux foods. Tomatoes, citrus, and chocolate/caffeine. This one really hurt, especially when I was having so many low blood sugars from not eating enough. I'd just take a few swigs of OJ to feel better until I could get some real food in me.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I won't rehash all the tomato post here, but let's just say it has been painfully obvious since then that these were major culprits in K's discomfort. Poor baby.

So if you ever hear that line about how it shouldn't make that much of a difference, especially if you have had any experience yourself with food intolerances and the difference diet makes, just try making changes. It is SO worth a shot. I wish I would have trusted my instincts here waaaaaaaay earlier.

So that's my story. I'm sticking to it, for now. Until we start solids in a few weeks, and that's a whole new ballgame!

(Much of this post is for my own future reference, should I ever be brave enough to pop out another one. If it helps anyone else, great!! If it offends anyone, sorry, you should have stopped reading a long time ago :P)


To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate?

Boy, that is the question!

Seems like there are two extremely zealous sides to the debate. Problem is, I have seen both sides of the coin.

On the hand of the Pro-vaccinators: my Western medicine education, a friend whose baby had pertussis, a family member whose 4-month old baby died of bacterial meningitis (The most heart-wrenching and horrific tragedy imaginable. Of note, they were intending to immunize.)

On the hand of the Anti-vaccinators: my experience with Western medicine not being able to adequately recognize and treat my own problems (and believe me, it's not for lack of trying different doctors and such), my success with the GAPS diet and further research on Leaky Gut Syndrome (and its association with autism), and the fact that I have a genetically-linked auto-immune disease that could be passed to my daughter and activated by an immune system insult

So you may be able to see my dilemma. And, of course, as soon as you bring up the subject, your most meek friend is pounding her fist and stomping her soapbox. Or writing flaming insults in the comment section of whatever webpage you've happened upon, searching desperately for some relevant and unbiased information.


I decided at first to try a more relaxed approach, only doing two vaccines at a time and doing only the ones for the most risky diseases. I thought I felt comfortable with this, and soon realized that I was just trying to convince myself that I was comfortable with it. In fact, I was panicked. Like not sleeping at all, paranoid. Like I had any sleep to lose at that point...

So after her second set of two, when she just wasn't herself for WEEKS afterward, and we seemed to regress on any progress we had made in the gut department, I decided that we just weren't going to do any vaccines at her 4 month visit.

Yes, I'm THAT MOM.

(Ask me a few years ago if this would have happened, and I would have laughed. Of course not! Vaccinate everyone for everything!)

I don't go along with all the conspiracy theorists on either side. No, I don't think drug companies are evil brainwashers. I also don't think that vaccination is without known risk, nor is it appropriate for every child. No, vaccines have not been shown in any study to cause autism.

But how many FACTS do we really know about the environmental factors associated with autism development? We DO know that it is associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome and that it is a genetically-linked disorder, likely activated by a set of unknown environmental factors.

Sound familiar?? (Like Celiac? or the other, related issues I've had in the past?)

That said, I am not comfortable vaccinating my specific child. It it not being selfish. In fact, I think that is a horrifically selfish argument, to say that choosing not to vaccinate is selfish.

If I and my child were completely healthy, with no known health issues, I would probably continue to vaccinate.

I know what I know. I've experienced what I've experienced. And I am not comfortable screwing with my child's immune system more than I already have. It is too susceptible to damage, given our history.

(Have I ever mentioned that my Celiac was triggered around the time that I had to get a bunch of vaccinations to continue in pharmacy school? I didn't even realize this until I started researching vaccinations for lil K. Correlation is not causation, but boy, does it make you wonder...)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Honey, vanilla, cinnamon roasted almonds

Yes, just as good as it sounds!!

Why didn't I think of this before? I eat almonds, I eat honey, how about honey roasted almonds??

Duh. Guess I was just too busy surviving the first couple months of motherhood with a cranky baby :)

I'm still perfecting the implementation of the yummy idea. After all, almost every recipe I looked at instructed one to sprinkle the almonds with sugar after glazing.


So I tried a couple things. Here is the mess in my kitchen as I tried. Along with Sophie la girafe, little K's best friend. First, I tried covering 1 cup of almonds with a glaze of:

1 T. melted coconut oil
1 T. honey
several sprinkles cinnamon
1 glug vanilla
few shakes sea salt

I put in a 350 degree oven for probably 10 minutes. It got almost beyond the point of caramelization. To the point of burning. And very little glaze actually stuck to the nuts...

Trying again...

This time, I roasted first for 10 minutes on 350, then glazed in a pan. It worked a little better. Same basic recipe, just 1 T. of water added to the mix.

I brought glaze to a boil over medium heat, then added almonds and stirred for about 5 minutes. At this point, it seems like all the recipes say "until the mixture is completely absorbed". Umm... that didn't really happen... So I just dumped them out after probably 7-8 minutes onto some parchment to cool.

Of course, I had to eat some before they cooled. My house smelled like that kiosk of yummy nuttiness in the mall where you walk past and your mouth waters...

Good, but sticky.

I'll let you know when I figure out how to do this. In the meantime, I'm going to go eat more sticky almonds!!


Update: I just didn't cook them long enough. I eventually put the sticky ones back in the pan, watched veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery carefully, and took them out just before being burned! You can tell because the glaze becomes less stringy, and the sound is more buzzy than bubbly. Very scientific, I know... I can't stop eating them. Well, I could, but why??

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Crack Pot

No, it's not what it sounds like...

I use my Crock Pot every waking hour. Ok, maybe not that constantly, but it sure seems like it.

Imagine my dismay, therefore, when I see a miniscule white vein running down the side of the black ceramic crock. I tried to convince myself it was just leftover chicken slime that wouldn't scrub off.

Of course, the next time I used it (which was actually immediately after washing...), it cracked down the middle. I'm guessing it would have been in two pieces if I had let it go any longer. Insert sad face here.

Luckily, I am a pack rat. I still had my ancient (albeit smaller) Crock Pot with the broken switch thingy (the correct word escapes me). So, I figured out how to turn it on by grasping on tightly with a potholder over my hand, and voila! Back in business!

I'm still planning to buy another larger slow cooker, just haven't been anywhere to look for one. Guess I could order online. Was thinking about spending beaucoup bucks on a nice one, but it looks like those are just as burdened with troubles as the cheap-o ones. So, until I find a new one, the little one will have to suffice.

So what do I do with said Crock Pot that keeps it forever plugging away on my counter?

Let's see, mostly chicken stock. Lately, though, I've tried two new things that have gone over pretty well.

Crockpot Chicken and Quinoa


Slow Cooker Applesauce

Both from fellow bloggers, but who actually blog regularly and take pictures and other such helpful things!

The quinoa recipe was a nice change from the two other foods I've been eating as of late. It was more soupy than I envisioned, but was still yummy! I used the dark meat from a cut up chicken while using the chicken breasts for tasteless stir-fry. I would recommend it!

The applesauce seemed like a great idea, and it was! It was easy, as it doesn't require laboring over the apples for a long time (no peeling, slicing thinly, etc.). It smelled GREAT, though at 4:30 this morning, I was a little worried it might burn. I put a little water in just to ease my mind and went back to sleep. (For 20 minutes until little K woke up for pre-breakfast...)

It turned out a tad soupy, but that's what I get for needlessly putting water in there. It tasted REALLY good, especially for using out-of-season grocery store apples. Can't wait to try it this fall with some flavorful apples!!

So now comes the real question from this cheapskate: is it cheaper than pre-made applesauce?? Though the flavor is vastly superior, I'm wondering... Meijer carries some that lists only "organic apples" as ingredients, and I've tolerated it just fine! It is about $2.50 a jar for about 3 cups. I used up most of a bag of organic apples that was, I believe, $4. I think I got a little more than 3 cups.

Sadly, I think the yummy homemade stuff is more expensive! Still a great idea for fall, though.

Will keep in mind. Ok, enough boringness.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

So, about those tomatoes...

When will I ever learn??

You know, I cut things out of my diet for a reason. I don't just look at a particular food one day and think "Hey, maybe as a unique sort of torture, I'm going to deprive myself of that!"

So you would think that I would be extremely cautious about adding things back into my diet that I knew had caused problems. Not so.

I plan to do a post on breastfeeding myths sometime. I know I could have benefited from some just practical, real-world advice. I only did a little reading before little K's birth, and it all seemed too oversimplified. Um, yeah. Right on...

I digress. I promise this is related... On to the tomato story. So, poor lil K suffered from painful gas and what I'm going to call "silent reflux" for awhile. Like months on end, awhile. And I was too:
to really figure out the cause. As you know, I already have pretty limited choices for food. I wasn't about to limit it even more.

I started giving her probiotics after a couple weeks. That helped. Duh. Another post on that.

I stopped dairy when she was about 2 weeks old, too. Mostly because the studies of "colicky" babies and probiotics had both groups on a dairy-free diet.

I finally realized after a couple months that the reflux was a problem and causing lots of crankiness and trouble sleeping, so I cut out citrus, chocolate, and tomatoes. Happiness resulted. (Well, for the most part.)

Last week, I thought I'd give some cooked tomatoes another try. Didn't seem like so much of a problem at first, so I continued to eat the leftover spaghetti sauce. (More on my current eating habits later). Lil K started to get cranky with teething pain. Ok, not that weird.

Then the inconsolable crying started. The not being able to lay her down without bloodcurdling screams. The flashbacks to the first couple months of her life. The banging of my head against a wall.

Tomatoes?? Yep. I ate the last of them Wednesday afternoon, right before this whole thing dawned on me.

You would think, given the horrendous issues I've had with nightshades, that I would be wary of them in the first place.

Mommy fail.

By now, Saturday afternoon, she's still having some issues with sleeping through naptime and getting overtired/cranky, but that is not unusual. Other than that, she's happy, sleeping normally at night, and laying down to sleep or play with no problems.

Hallelujah. Beware the tomatoes.

(P.S. I consumed some chocolate around the same time, which was also a bad idea. But that just seemed to make her extremely hyper and have trouble sleeping. Will have to try an independent test again later...)

(P.P.S. I wanted to include a picture with this post. I really wanted to take a can of tomato juice and bang it up, put some ketchup around it to make it look like a tomato can had been murdered... but I don't have that kind of time. Nice thought, though :) )

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


So I'm considering getting back into blogging. Though, as I type this, I have a very cranky 5-month-old whining at my side. Nothing seems to help except chewing on something constantly. I'm bouncing the bouncy chair with my foot, feeling guilty for "ignoring" her. (I have this complex about having to constantly be directly paying attention to her while she is awake, which is another post for another time.)

Apparently, teeth are quite annoying and painful.

So, I may or may not be reentering the blog-o-sphere (Is that really a word??). Reasons I would like to:

1. I like to write. Not necessarily for anyone else's benefit, but just because I like to. Unfortunately, many a journal have been started and subsequently eaten by dust bunnies for lunch. Maybe a blog would do it...

2. I like to share my experiences. Okay, maybe oversharing might be the word. I have nothing to hide; therefore, I sometimes go into more detail than many would care to hear. Plus, something about being a healthcare professional just kind of makes you not care if you talk about "taboo" subjects like poop or something.

I also have a lot of experiences that might be helpful for someone else to hear about, especially when it comes to food and such. And some baby stuff. I'm clearly an expert now...

Reasons why blogging may not be such a good idea:

1. See #2 above. Oversharing could be an issue. Though I may be blunt when writing, I'm also quite non-confrontational. Wouldn't want to offend people, start arguments, or (heaven forbid!) invite criticism.

Okay, that's really two things. This numbering thing is keeping my thoughts so organized... yet another reason not to blog right there? Stream of consciousness?

I could potentially dip into so many different topics, with no particular rhyme or reason as to why.

2. See intro. Said baby takes up just a little bit of my time, though I'm feeling much better than in previous months, thank you.

(Now I'm back after a hiatus that involved a poo-splosion, some silly songs, breastfeeding, and the beginnings of a nap... maybe...)

3. Ok, enough about why I shouldn't continue a blog. Here goes nothing. If you don't like it, don't read it. But if you want to read it, hope you enjoy!