Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Moo-hoo. And other thoughts on being dairy-free.

Dairy causes my migraines. There, I said it. It also causes my blood sugar to be completely wacky. Who knows what other random symptoms it causes, too.

I always thought that butter was my friend, even if I knew I couldn't tolerate cheese, yogurt, and other former lovers. Not so, not so. I finally started to make the connection between butter and my migraines when I tried SCD yogurt again. A half teaspoon of yogurt couldn't possibly hurt, right? Think of all those awesome probiotics!

Unfortunately, I was looking more for GI symptoms as an indicator of whether yogurt was ok, or even brain fog and fatigue. Not migraines. So it took me awhile for it to finally gel.

(A special thanks to Terri at the HSD for mentioning headaches and dairy in the same sentence. I'm forever in your debt!)

I went without any dairy, including butter, for about a week. No migraines. I made some ghee on a Sunday night. Ate it on Monday. Felt weird, like woozy from the blood sugar roller coaster, on Monday night. Migraine aura started Tuesday morning. Sigh.

I hadn't had any migraines for quite awhile until last summer. I had an aura for the first time in years while I was a few months pregnant and hadn't eaten enough that day. I had a few while my daughter was a baby, especially in the hospital and when we first came home, and I attributed those to hormones. And maybe decaf coffee withdrawal. Yes, that really can happen, I promise you. That 3% of leftover caffeine still did a number on me.

They started getting really bad and frequent once I stopped breastfeeding. Again, I thought my hormones were wacky. But it just kept happening, month after month. I felt like I spent every weekend recovering from a horrid headache, many of which started on a Saturday morning. I would get them around my period, but then be baffled when they would randomly start in the middle of the month, too.

It felt a lot like a blood sugar problem. I could usually feel it the night before as I went to bed, and I would go eat a bedtime snack to try and avoid the coming blood sugar crash. It didn't often help. I felt so clueless as to what to do.

I went to the chiropractor weekly. That was affordable... though it did seem to help somewhat.

I tried supplementing magnesium in many forms. Citrate (which seemed to make it much worse), oxide, malate, Epsom salt baths, mag chloride spray. Not all at the same time, of course, I'm not that dumb. (Not like a patient I once had who overdosed on magnesium laxatives and almost killed himself. His wife found him on the floor of the bathroom, bradycardic in the 30s. His potassium level was in the 7s. No one thought to get a mag level til later in the game after I found out he had taken so much, though I wish I could have known what it was! Anywho...)

The mag actually seemed to make the blood sugar part of things even worse. I felt like I had to constantly be eating so that I wouldn't feel lightheaded and weird.

I did notice that I sometimes felt that way after eating peas. Little did I know that it was the BUTTER, not the peas. Sorry, peas, for blaming you.

I miss dairy. But I don't miss having migraines every few days.

Sayonara, butter.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Your kid has Celiac, too? Poor thing!

I've heard that more times than I care to remember.

I'm never sure whether to set people straight about why I choose to feed my daughter the way I do, or whether I should just escape from that particular line of conversation as quickly as possible. Gosh, we sure have had a lot of snow already this year, huh?!

The hard part is explaining that my kid doesn't have Celiac because she doesn't eat gluten. And that she would have to eat gluten to to develop symptoms. And that damage to her duodenum would have to occur in order to inflict said symptoms. And that I'm just not willing to do that at this point. Knowing what I know now about how difficult it is to heal gut damage and leakiness, there is no way I would subject my child to the possibility of all the symptoms and comorbidities of Celiac Disease just to "find out if she has it."

It's not like I thought I was dying or anything before I was diagnosed...

We look at the whole idea of "having" a disease in such a black and white way, that it would be impossible to explain to someone (especially someone on the SAD) that there are gray shades of gut trouble. That things could be progressing to having leaky gut, absorption problems, digestion issues, and/or flora imbalances, but not technically cause any symptoms or obvious damage that would lead to a diagnosis.

So I pretty much just avoid talking about it and sometimes make it seem like I do know that she is Celiac and therefore needs to eat like I do, just to make it easier.

I kind of feel like a liar.

The other part of this that really gets to me is the "Oh, poor thing!" type statement. Does it look like my child doesn't eat enough?? Sure, she has always been on the skinny side, but she looks healthy. Anyone who has been with her at a normal meal sees that she eats plenty (unless she is sick, like she is now, and I end up with 14 sliced bananas in my freezer that she begged me for and then didn't touch...).

I remember someone lamenting at a family holiday that she couldn't eat all the good food they were having and had to settle for what I brought. They were eating such delicacies as mashed potatoes out of a box mixed with spreadable plastic, sorry, margarine, and some kind of fluorescent Jello salad. Whoever started calling that type of recipe a "salad" needs their head examined. We were eating salmon, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and pumpkin pie. Hardly a meal to feel sorry for...

I try to just let it roll off my back, but what's going to happen once she gets old enough to realize what they are really saying? How in the world do I navigate the world of a kid who needs to eat a certain way, but doesn't technically "have" to by status quo standards??


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Staying up late doesn't help with adrenal fatigue.

FYI: In case adrenal fatigue does exist, and I am pretty much the poster child for it, it doesn't help you to continue to stay up late. Pretty much every night.

It makes sense that we would be night owls. After all, even though we are totally exhausted by the end of the day, we get kind of a second wind at night. Not that I'm not tired, I totally am, but I finally feel like getting stuff done. Plus, the toddler is in bed, so getting things done is actually feasible. Thus, I usually do "stuff" until I fall into bed.

It's my own fault. There's always more to do. Laundry, dishes, picking up the toy avalanche in my living room who am I kidding-- the whole house, planning my grocery list and looking at the online ads and coupons, reading paleo/SCD/GAPS blogs, creating a comparatively small and useless blog, finding new recipes that I may or may not ever use, uploading all the pictures on my phone that I am terrified of losing, much less doing anything I actually enjoy as a hobby.

Did you know that I once was very interested in pursuing a career in music? Yeah, I forgot about that person, too. Maybe someday I will get around to doing something musical again.

Off to bed. I'll probably wake up tired no matter when I go to bed. Plus, my kid is snotty and coughing (again) and waking herself up every hour. Poor thing. I'm so thankful that she doesn't get super sick when she is sick, but it seems to be an alternating week thing here lately. Just when we start to be better, we get hit by another stupid bug.

Oy vey. I've got to infuse my life with some positivity. I've been such a Debbie Downer lately. Great SNL sketch, not so great in real life. After all, feline AIDS is the number one killer of domestic cats.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

I'm working on it.

I promised you my story.

What I didn't realize was that once I started typing, I wouldn't stop until I included every minute detail I could possibly remember.

So I'm still working on it. I haven't even finished it, much less gone through it to edit. It's boring, too. I'd love to make it funnier or more interesting, but I'll probably have to settle for the facts.

Maybe you can read it if you are suffering from insomnia :)

or I can sell it as a new insomnia cure for only 2 easy payments of $24.95. As an eBook, perhaps?

It is coming, for real. Be forewarned. You will learn more about me than you ever, ever wanted to know!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Story. Intro.

As I recently went to try and tell the story of my Celiac diagnosis, along with all the additional necessary background info that goes with it, not to mention the "foreground" info since, I realized that it has become quite a long and complicated tale. At least in my mind.

I can't really make it short and sweet. I always try to give the condensed version, but it ALWAYS ends up being way, way too long and detailed.

Nobody wants that kind of detail. Except maybe me. I've already forgotten lots of details, maybe important pieces of the puzzle that is my health.

So I think what I'm going to do is tell it here. Piece by piece.

Don't say I didn't warn you...

Play with your food.

I'm searching the interwebz today for Christmas ideas for little K. She needs some play food for her kitchen. Sounds pretty simple, right? Google to the rescue!

So I find things like this at Toys R Us:
Just Like Home Mega Grocery Playset -  Toys R Us - Toys"R"Us
I think there are maybe four things she has ever eaten in that whole conglomeration. It's either grains or nightshades!! (or both)

This was another that caught my eye:
Just Like Home Deli Shop Set -  Toys R Us - Toys"R"Us
And I realize that my kid must be super weird. She does know what bread is, she just doesn't know that the bread we eat is made out of different stuff than "normal" bread. She knows what a hot dog is, but only because there is a plastic one at Grandma's house with the play kitchen stuff. She often takes a slice of plastic pizza out of the oven, declares it too hot, blows on it, then offers me a slice. Her only experience with pizza is when Daddy eats it.

This might be more difficult than I thought.

Does this reinforce how ubiquitous our terrible eating habits have become as a society? Yeesh.

I'm done complaining now. Have a nice day!


Edit: I have one more thing to add since I have continued looking. PLEASE, PEOPLE, please stop saying that corn is a vegetable. Perhaps this should not irk me so, but it does. Corn is a grain. I should know, I'm from Indiana. (Although, there's more than corn in Indiana...)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Carrots. And Baby Led Weaning.

My daughter has always been on the skinny side, save for a month-or-so-long period around the six-month mark when she suddenly turned chubby. But boy, can this girl eat!

I always kind of wonder why.

I was a teeny tiny child. As in, my daughter would dwarf me in comparison if I'm to believe the numbers in my baby book. I didn't eat a ton then, as far as I know, though I did as I became school age and a teen. I ate like a horse. Or at least a linebacker. And stayed anorexic-looking. Damn undiagnosed Celiac.

So I expect my kid to be pretty slender, especially if you consider that her dad is a beanpole. What I didn't expect was that she would regularly eat more than I do at meals (at the age of two)!

When she first started eating more solids, probably at about one and a half or so, I thought, "dang, this is quite the growth spurt!" But then it just continued. And became a new normal. I know kids go in phases of eating more and less, but her set point seems to be at "more", and I know something is up if it changes to "less."

Is it because she eats mostly GAPS foods like I do? Does she need to eat more because her foods aren't as "filling" as SAD foods? (I use that word hesitantly, since I hate the idea of eating food just to promote a feeling of fullness instead of for nutrients.)

Today's breakfast was a whole banana, some grapes, two strips of bacon, a scrambled egg (sometimes two!), and soup.

So I have a good eater on my hands, and I'm not complaining about that, since I know soooooo many toddlers whose parents have to tie them to a chair with a jump rope and force feed them. Like Ensure boarding, but without the whole prison part.

Ok, not really, but I do know many whose kids will only eat yogurt and chicken nuggets. Or string cheese and chicken nuggets. Or chocolate milk and chicken nuggets. (and then complain that their kid always has horrible diarrhea, to which I gently replied, "you know, maybe it's what they are eating? maybe you could try a little less dairy?" Except it probably wasn't said as gently as I'd like to give myself credit for...)

I remember being so worried about whether my kid would eat. And what she would eat. I spent soooooo much time researching things, that I kept seeing information on Baby Led Weaning (BLW). It doesn't really have much to do with the weaning aspect of things, more with introducing solids. While I took away a few good things from it, like not being worried if my kid wasn't eating meals worth of solids every day at the age of six months, I have to say that it did NOT work out as expected with my daughter. I also think that some people for whom it does work worship BLW as a religion. And also look down on those of us who, after an initial conversion, slide back to a more traditional weaning view.

We started with roasted carrots. Oh, how I wish I would not have started with carrots. Devil eczema carrots.

I should have known that carrots were a problem for her when she wrinkled up her tiny nose at them. Every. Time. I thought she was just uninterested in food in general, which she really was until about 9 months, but she was especially hostile toward carrots.

Part of the beauty of BLW is that you don't have to sit there with a little spoon in hand, feeding baby while your plate of roasted salmon and asparagus becomes frigid and disgusting. Instead, you get to sit there, watching every little tiny bite of anything she tries to take while simultaneously trying NOT to hover, evaluating the approximate size of any bite she does take, and reviewing infant choking procedures on a constant loop in your head.

She gags. She shows signs of choking. You whisk her out of her high chair, turn her over, and smack her on the back. She breathes. You breathe. You realize she probably wasn't actually choking, but you weren't about to take the chance. Once you stop hyperventilating, you give her more. She gags again. You freak out again. She looks at you with that special expression of "what the HELL are you doing to me, woman?!"

Any meal at which she doesn't gag constantly is regarded as a success, with the exception of the fact that you were constantly paranoid. Which makes for such an enjoyable meal for parents and baby alike.

So I stopped with the solids after giving it a good go. I eventually tried some purees, the BLW equivalent of the devil's food (cake). She was way more interested. I was way more calm by the end of a meal. And that cold salmon wasn't even a problem.

She never did like the carrots, whole or pureed. And I gave them to her every dang day. And she had an awful, awful rash on her face for months.

The day I stopped the carrots was the day it started going away.

Funny how one of the notes about food in my baby book said, "5 months. Tried carrots, broke out in rash. Try again later."

Go flippin' figure. That would happen to me with the most nonallergenic food in the world.

Friday, August 16, 2013

GAPS, Round Two

Round One began November 1st, 2010.

It died sometime in early February 2011? When I, pregnant and starving, experienced my first migraine aura in years. Once I revived my blood sugar, regained my sight, and got a grip on reality, (hey- I was pretty freaked out. I though I was having a stroke for a little bit there...) I knew it couldn't go on this way. I just needed more to eat.

Plus, the taste/smell/thought of chicken was enough to send me sprinting to the porcelain throne.

So I may have made it two months.

Believe it or not, though, those two months were enough to convince me that I needed to give GAPS more of a try. Later. Someday.

I suppose that someday is now. Sigh.

I was thinking to myself, "Self, I should keep a journal. Maybe that will not only keep me motivated and accountable, but also provide an easier way to evaluate my potential healing progress."

Lo and behold, the return of the blog.

(Cue angels singing, heaven opening, fanfare-y music)

So I'll outline a bit of what I'm doing, and what I'm doing differently. I don't do GAPS by the letter, and I certainly don't ascribe to the notion that there are "legal" and "illegal" foods (just sounds so bureaucratic), but GAPS is definitely the inspiration for and the logical basis behind my own diet.

There is so much to tell. The "How I Got Here" side of things. The "Where I Am Now".  The "Other Factors to Consider".

Here's what I'm going to do. If you want info on GAPS itself, please look at the GAPS website. I'm not going to go into a dissertation on the how/why of GAPS. There are a billion and a half other bloggers who have explained it, likely way better than I would anyway. Plus, the book is pretty helpful. Too bad I've forgotten who I loaned it to.

So GAPS. It's worth another try. Here goes nothing...

(By the time I'm posting this, it is a couple months since I first wrote this post. I suck at posting. I'll give you the full update soon, though my results have been disappointingly underwhelming. Sigh.) 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

GAPS-friendly, Paleo-ish Pumpkin Pie

Ok, so my latest addiction is pumpkin pie. It's kind of ridiculous, actually. Between my almost-2-year-old daughter and myself, we have consumed an entire pie in the last 48 hours. Oops.

Granted, it's been a little crazy here. I worked the past couple days at my old job, and I'm totally out of practice and the loop. Just because you remember how to ride your bike doesn't mean it's not going to be extremely awkward when you get back on and try to ride...

Anywho, we ate lots of pie. And it was splendiferous.

Here's how I make it, with a very, uh, standard recipe format. Right.

I use as few dishes as possible, given my aversion to washing them.

Get out a batter bowl, whisk, rubber spatula, 1/2 cup measuring cup, 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, fork, and pie plate.

Put 1/3 cup butter in the bowl. Nuke it for 30 seconds or til the butter melts. Add 1 1/2 c. almond meal. (I like almond meal that I make myself in the Vitamix better than almond flour. Not sure why, I just like the texture better.) I usually add a little coconut flour too, like maybe 1/8 cup?

Stir up with fork. Dump into pie plate. Squish into a shape vaguely resembling pie crust using your spatula or, let's face it, your fingers. Set aside.

Into the bowl go the following:
  • 1 small can pumpkin (15 oz.)
    • I like this one from Farmer's Market, though I use Libby's if in a pinch. The FM stuff tastes different, but it has more taste in general. Plus, you won't get your RDA of BPA, since the can isn't lined with BPA. Good choice.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • Again, with the BPA thing, I like Native Forest. Of course, it would have to have something wrong with it (doesn't everything), being that it has guar gum. Fail. But at least that is better than xanthan gum! That's some nasty $#!+ right there.
  • 1/2 cup honey
    • Measure and pour the coconut milk before the honey, don't rinse your cup, and the honey will pour right out. No muss, no fuss.
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla
    • Rodelle is my fav for this! I'm sure I've mentioned that before...
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • dusting of freshly grated nutmeg
Whisk. Pour. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 350 for approx 30 minutes. Remove either once your delicate almond crust gets almost burned, or the middle doesn't seem jiggly anymore. Whichever comes first!

I'll warn you, though. This is not like SAD pumpkin pie. It is way better! It's more like a pumpkin custard with a nutty, textured crust. Seriously good warm, too. I usually destroy my pie by taking out a messy, pudding-y piece as soon as it is cool enough not to burn and destroy my mouth. Don't want everything to taste like rubber for a month... (Jim Gaffigan. Hot Pockets. You must see this.)

Anywho... good stuff. I'll take a picture sometime if it ever lasts long enough.

Friday, August 2, 2013

So maybe this isn't so bad.

I sometimes wish I took more time to blog. But then, I wouldn't have as much time to cook. Or sleep. So you can see how it falls down the priority list. Maybe if it was my job, but whatever. I'm never going to be THAT dedicated.

That said, I've been meaning to blog for a long time. Blog posts often form in my mind as I wash dishes. And heaven knows, I do a LOT of dishes. My latest and most important update post was going to be about how I was trying GAPS again. Mostly. And was. I've eaten some buckwheat and quinoa bread lately, and I actually feel better with it. So that wagon has kind of sailed.

It's not a willpower thing though. It's a migraine thing. I don't know if my hormones have decided to run amok, or what in the world is going on, but I have NEVER had this many migraines. I thought maybe it was a magnesium thing, so I took more magnesium. After a few days, I felt weird, and I had more migraines. So I tried zinc. Then calcium with some mag. Then none of the above because of the citrate content. This belongs in a separate blog post. I'll get around to that eventually.


So the moral of the story is that I've been feeling like crap, just a different kind of crap from before. Gotta love variety.

I've had a lot of down days, when I'm just so damn frustrated that I can't figure this out. That what seems to work for other people is totally useless for me. That I'm always seeming to miss that one piece of the puzzle that would make me feel human again.

And on top of it all, I'm just plain tired. Of being tired. And spacey.

Things have gotten slightly better since I started taking some l-glutamine. It's been on the shelf in my ever-filling-with-useless-crap supplement cabinet for probably a couple years now, but I was always hesistant to take it while I was breastfeeding. I know it's just an amino acid, but still. I'm paranoid.

So things have looked up a little bit. I'm still having some blood sugar issues that seem to feed into the migraine issues (or vice versa?) and singlehandedly keeping my chiropractor in business. But I don't feel quite so tired. Maybe more like a normal person when they are hungover instead of someone in a coma.

That said, the point of this post is that things aren't really so bad. Yes, I'm still sick and tired. Yes, I have to cook ALL. THE. TIME. and I have no social life and no time to pursue the things I really enjoy. Yes, I would love to travel, learn new things, see faraway friends, go out for a cup of coffee.

But my genetically-linked disease is not spina bifida. Nor is it Batten Disease. SB is potentially terrible, and BD is a worst nightmare scenario. Both of these have recently entered the lives of friends.

This might not make a lot of sense, but I'll attempt to describe this accurately... It's hard to have perspective when your day-in-day-out reality of just surviving the exhaustion and pain clouds your view. When I hear of friends going through such awful circumstances, I feel such pain for them. I pray a lot. I somewhat understand (as much as is possible) just how terrifying it must be. It makes me realize (in my brain) how lucky I am. The problem is, though, it often doesn't jolt me into really realizing in my heart that I am fortunate. It doesn't usually inspire gratefulness. Just sadness and fear.

Today, though, it finally did. God must finally have gotten through to me and finally beat into my head just how good I do have it.

It's just food. It's not a debilitating, fatal disease where I have to watch my child regress and eventually slip away. That just breaks my heart. And along with breaking my heart today, it finally replaced my guilt, fear, and self-absorption with gratefulness.

And for that, I'm truly thankful.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Top 5 reasons to blog in the middle of the night

I have a bit of unexpected time. Granted, it is the middle of the freaking night, and I am what my husband calls "exhausperated", but hey, why not blog? Doesn't everyone want to read about my exhausperated thoughts??

So here are my top 5 reasons why you should blog at 1:21 AM.

1. Because if you go to sleep, and your one-year-old wakes up screaming AGAIN, you just might start actually banging your head against the wall instead of just thinking about it. And that's just not nice.

2. Because you have such clear thinking when you haven't gotten much sleep lately. And everyone wants to read about that. And know that you get really terrible songs stuck in your head when sleep-deprived. And that you develop a potty mouth.

3. Because waiting up to see if your husband can text you when he lands in China is cool. And since he only had about 20 minutes left in his flight when your kid finally stopped protesting sleep, why the hell not?!

4. Because I love reading "Top #" Lists. They are my fav. Especially when you can tell that someone is really reaching for that last reason.

5. Did I say 5? I really meant 4.

So was this post completely pointless? YES. Do I actually have useful things to say, and useful info to share? YES. Will I ever get around to doing that?

Depends on if I ever get some sleep...

Good morning.