Wednesday, September 30, 2015

UPDATE: Another Addition, Another Disaster

The best thing I can say about this process of addition and re-elimination is: at least I know now how many foods were conspiring against my health and making me feel like shit. Thank you! I appreciate that! But seriously, I'm very surprised! Many, many of these foods were going into my body multiple times weekly, some daily (milk and cheese), or multiple times daily (milk for shizzle). WOW. Scary. No wonder, no wonder, no wonder!

Last night I had the gall to try pistachios. Mind you, this was a food that, prior to the elimination phase, I ate probably 2-3 times a week. Yikes. 

The first thing that happened was a headache, but! I had a very stressful day so I told myself with a wink and nod that the headache could have been coming anyway. LOL! 

This morning I was very groggy, moving in a fog, and am still sleepy. I only got 7 hours in but that isn't excuse enough for how sluggy I feel today. IN SPITE OF THAT, I went ahead and had some more pistachios after breakfast - it couldn't be them, could it? Really?


Ten minutes later, headache. Damn it to hell.

Not that it really matters; honestly, I don't care anymore and will happily leave something out of my diet (that has already been out for 5 months, thank you very much) knowing that it's something my body rejects. I get it. 

What I'm hating now are the reactions themselves. Is that wrong? Probably, but dang it, going through the rejection and getting my body right again is awful, it's miserable, and somehow I keep teeing these introductions up to try it all over again. I must be nuts!

Pistachios, nuts - get it? Tee-hee.

Anyway, enough whining for today.

Once these symptoms clear I will, for whatever reason, be trying organic popcorn. Yes, it does exist. I'm pretty sure it's GMO but I couldn't find any that said it wasn't. So, it's worth a shot right? Ha ha! I make myself laugh. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

UPDATE: Tomato and Cashew Introductions

Sorry all, I completely forgot to report my total 100% tomato failure to you the other day!

So not that happy about it, and must have pushed it from my brain. Meanwhile some good stuff happened too, but let's save that, shall we? Okay then.

Tomatoes seemed innocent at first; when I diced some very finely and cooked them into an egg scramble for breakfast, I noticed no reaction. The following day I decided to eat some raw and ERMAHGERD, so not good. Frankly I eat them cooked more often than raw, but it was worth checking out because who doesn't like some nice tomato in their guacamole, salad, on a sammy, whatever? I diced up two slices of crazy expensive, organic heirloom tomatoes and dropped them on top of my soup.

Lord help me, within 20 minutes I had heartburn up to my eyeballs. It was so bad, so acidic, I became convinced that the damn things were coming out of my nose at any moment. I put up with it for a while but when it didn't go away I chewed up a couple of Tums and (thank heavens) it subsided, but not before a nasty pain started in my upper GI region; the pain stayed for a day and a half. Not good.

I took my four days off to let that sit, and get it out of my system. So then, I think: gee, I'll bet I could try cashews again, it's been a while. And like the fool that I am, I grab a handful of organic, raw cashews and chomp them down before dinner.


The reaction was swift and decisive. I should probably not try cashews again ever, but I'm sure I will because damn it they're so good, and so handy! But for now: no. Just no.

It has now been 4 days since I tried that and guess what? I'm going to try something else that is likely to cause me a great deal of agony: popcorn. Yep, I said it: popcorn. If I can find some that's organic, that is. Not so sure it exists, because I've never looked for it, oh but I will! With some lovely melted grass fed butter, yum!

Good things that happened: strength training is paying off in spades, yet again. On Saturday I went to that 8k I was dreading, and I killed it. KILLED IT! I set myself a new record pace (12:18/mile) and finished the dang thing in 1 hour, 1 minute. Whaaaaaat? I know! I was so in the zone that I didn't notice the miles going by, it was amazing! My favorite EVER!

Also, there was no kayaking, too damn cool in the morning and we really didn't feel like hauling the damn things up on top of the car! Truth. So instead we took the little dog and went hiking around the 11 mile reservoir. It was a gorgeous day, I felt like a million bucks in very large bills, the dog had fun - it was glorious.

Right, back to it, just thought I'd share another defeat or two, and another victory or two too. 


Friday, September 25, 2015

UPDATE: No New Additions, More Changes

Howdy everyone!

It's Friday and I'm happy about it and I'm not about to hide that. Woo and hoo!

Today I wanted to talk to you about more of those signs that your body gives you as things change. I'm experiencing another one of those physical epiphanies, this time with my kraut. First it was the L-Glutamine powder, now this. I had some really delicious white cabbage-pear kraut last week that I didn't finish until yesterday, which in and of itself is quite an anomoly given that just a few weeks ago I was running out of my home made stuff and had to supplement with store bought - but now I just opened a fresh jar of red cabbage with apple and...

I just don't want it.

I've eaten some, and want no more. It isn't bad, my stomach is totally telling me "no thank you", and this is a signal that I have to be receptive to, and I now am. The stomach rolling over when something is put into your mouth is a sign people! 

So, yeah. Two weeks ago the powder stuff, now my home made kraut, and oh by the way, my appetite is waning of late. I'm thinking/hoping that the remainder of the crud I came down with last weekend is causing that, but my average weight has dropped to 146.4, and I'm just not eating with gusto right now. If this does not pass I may call my Endo and ask for an early blood test, as this may be caused by my thyroid levels.

My double secret hope is that I can find remission from Hashimoto's thyroid damage and eventually be taken off of Levathroxine and stop seeing the Endo all together. That's the dream, kids. Just putting it out there so that the universe has a chance to soak it up and maybe spit back something nice.

Today I have a headache, and a dull feeling of yuckiness in my chest, but I have an 8k to run tomorrow that I'm regretting monstrously (how was I to know I would get sick and lose a week of training? the things we can't predict..) in a rather hilly area of town. The worst thing that could happen is not being able to run much of it, I suppose. I can walk like a maniac and take forever to do it if that what I need to do, eh?

This weekend is supposed to be just gorgeous for the time of year, so I'm trying to plan some nice outdoor activities for the hubby and I. We're talking about kayaking on Sunday even though the temp on the mountain will be quite chilly in the morning. I'd really like to get out and see some fall foliage (those aspens are changing right now!) and relax a little bit before the week starts; work is incredibly busy and rather stressful right now. 

Without further ado, I bid you fare-the-well for now, and until we meet again - peace!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

UPDATE: Chile Pepper & Tomato Introductions

Well hello there my Hashimoto's fighting friends! I hope that the late summer/early fall is treating you kindly, and that you are enjoying good weather and good health. This is my favorite time of the year - not because pumpkin spice everything is starting to appear on store shelves, in commercials and on FaceBook, but because: weather. I love the weather in the fall, love it! It's warm but the sunlight is filtered in that special way that makes the changing leaves appear to be lit up from within, and makes the sky look so blue that you take your sunglasses off to be sure it really is. Not only that but all of the yummy squash are in high season, and the warm scented candles are making their first appearance on store shelves. Just this morning I picked up caramel (yum!) and cinnamon-nutmeg scented candles; they are filling my home with delicious fragrances as I type.

Meanwhile in the oven...

A gaggle of white sweet potatoes are baking up so that I can make myself some sweet potato waffles (they freeze beautifully), and two white squash baking so that I can scoop their sweet, soft insides out for a lovely custard. In the crock pot is a giant chuck roast slow roasting on a bed of onions with a jar or pepperocini thrown in for deliciousness. OH! And we have a load of organic, pastured chicken wings in the smoker for a football afternoon snack. Life is good!

All of the spiciness is possible now because YES, I have successfully reintroduced chile peppers!!!!! Can I get an Amen? I'm so beside myself it isn't even funny! I love those bad boys so much, all kinds of them, and boy do they make Paelo cooking more fun, adding some depth and spice to the mix. After the requisite waiting period, I also added organic heirloom tomato this morning, and haven't had a reaction so far. It's only been 4 hours so I'll save the celebration, lol. Tomorrow I'll have some with each meal and see how that goes. I like tomatoes, but I really only like heirlooms and not all the time, so that one is a nice to have but not a 'can't live without it' for me. Still, nice to have the options.

Sadly I have also come down with some crud, after the hubby was sick with a cold all week and I was mistakenly confident that I wouldn't come down with anything. HA! Joke's on me. I have either a bad cold or the start of a sinus infection. Regardless I made myself take some Tylenol Cold, stuff I hate to take, so that I could get through the cleaning of the house and handle the cooking I need to do. I feel crappy but it's not the end of the world, it's not even 1:00 PM yet and I'm done, so I have the whole day to rest and relax. I see a nice, soothing bath in my future!

Went for a run yesterday with the sickness in my sinuses and throat, so I didn't make it very far, only 2.5 miles. I was so anxious to get home that I ran the entire thing and killed my previous mile time, but it wasn't worth it. I spent most of the rest of the day recovering from putting myself through that. But I'm happy to be sticking with the interval and strength/toning exercises, it will become more important to honor those commitments as the fall takes hold and people tend to become complacent!

Currently my average weight is 147.5. That's a little higher than I want it to be, but I'll take it. I guess I have to take it! I'm pushing to stay closer to 145 than 150, and it looks like I split the difference - that'll do just fine for the moment.

Well, it's time to check on my roasting things...


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

UPDATE: Paprika Intro And "When Your Body Says No, Listen To It"

Tuesday September 15th, 2015

Hola happy people! I've missed blogging and it's great to be back after the nearly debilitating brush with processed food/sugar overdose/alcohol. I feel great this week, and after a two week rest from food introductions I've made the leap to another nightshade, paprika. I may never forgive eggplant for making me feel so super shitty, but I have a fresh perspective on the remaining food addition items and am going to give a couple of the failures another shot. 

First, the results on day three of paprika = clear. No reaction whatsoever, and I have used quite a bit of it since not having a reaction to the first ingestion on Saturday. I just want to be sure I'm clear, hear me? So yes, I have stopped just short of rubbing on my skin by rubbing it on a pork roast, then steaks, and finally chicken. I think I've covered the items I want to use paprika on, and no reaction. Oh happy day!

Second, I've decided to give cashews, pistachios (separately) and grass fed milk another go. Maybe I'm too stubborn for my own good, but if I can't have dairy I'd like to have cashews to make pretend cream sauces (they are SO GOOD! if you haven't tried them and can tolerate cashews please do). But, because I grow increasingly weary of frigging coconut milk, I have to try grass fed milk again. I know, big sigh, I imagine you see some writing on the wall - well, I refuse to see it just yet. Lord knows I've been patient, and I think that even if I can't add milk when I try it this time, I will probably try it again! Not until much, much later, but - it's hard to give up on this one, for me at least.

Third, best news EVER, my weight has stabilized a bit, and my average is now hovering around the 147 mark. I can live with that. I have lived with that! I went shopping with Mrs. Jenn the other day and she threatened me with physical violence to get me to try on a pair of size 8 Pixie Pants at Old Navy; I had tried on a 12 last year and they were so tight that I couldn't button them, so I was leery at best. Well, I tried them on. They felt odd because I was wearing running shorts and the waistband was thick, but I bought them anyway. Washed and wore them yesterday and guess what? They fit! They weren't tight, they looked adorbs and damn it I should have had someone take a picture. Next time.

Here's a snippet of my reintro schedule for the next few weeks:

I'm not sure what I'm going to try for hard liquor. Vodka is out, it's either made from wheat or potatoes or something else I can't have, and it's the only spirit I've ever really cared for. That one remains TBD. Perhaps I'll try potato instead there, and push the hard liquor out further, until there's something I'm interested in drinking. Dunnow.

So. Chile pepper. I spelled it wrong there. Very excited - very! To get to try a green chile. I love me some green chile, New Mexican (Hatch) being the best, but hardest to come by here in southern Colorado where Pueblo chiles are very popular. Suffice to say this is one of the key ingredients in LIFE in the southwest, and I love them dearly, and miss them. Tomorrow I will get to try them. Super YAY!

Tomatoes are next after that, and while I have missed them a little, I'm not that excited. Life without tomato hasn't been bad. Having to find organic tomatoes is probably the most daunting part of this for me, and I'm sure that next spring I'll plant a whole mess of organic, non-GMO veggies in my garden and it will save me a ton of money because that stuff ain't cheap! Sadly I have a brown thumb so... we shall see.

Finally today: "When Your Body Says No, Listen To It": 

This is a lesson I have learned over the last 128 days, but it can be difficult to read the signs correctly because sometimes the thing your body wants to say no to is something that is good for you, seemingly. Case in point: L-Glutamine powder. This is an amino acid supplement that I have been taking since June. It's a flavorless, odorless powder that I've added to my tea or bone broth after breakfast daily. Very recently it has started to taste absolutely vile to me, much like the amino acid "shakes" did way back in June. Yesterday I managed to glug down my scoop of the powder dissolved in bone broth, but just barely. That was when I realized what was happening - my body had been, increasingly over the few days prior, starting to reject this supplement. When something that is odorless and tasteless starts to taste awful, it's a sign! So here's my sign: stop. I put the powder away and am not taking it for a while. If things change and I think I need to start again, I'll give it a shot. But much like food introductions going poorly, having a reaction suddenly to something that you've been ingesting for some time is probably an indication that your body doesn't need it anymore, or at least that it's time for a break. 

Once again,
So please, no lawsuits. I'm just a person like you, changing my life and getting more in tune with my body, and listening to the clues it gives to me.

Until we meet again, Peace!

Friday, September 11, 2015

That Sugar Thing, It's No Joke

Friday September 11th, 2015

First of all, today is a day of reflection and prayer, in my humble opinion. I will never forget what happened on this day in 2001, I will never forget where I was, what I was doing, or how terrifying it was to see the events of that morning unfold - and hope that none of you will either. A candle burns in my heart for the lives lost that day.

I'm updating you today because I think it's important to be honest about what happens to your body when under the influence of sugar, and quite possibly too much caffeine as well. Over the long weekend I not only drank too much wine and ate a crap load of sugar (only once though, thank heavens), I also drank a lot of coffee in the morning. Probably 3-4 cups. We, as a group, went through 3-4 pots of coffee each morning and even though I was hydrating like a motherfucker, I know that much caffeine isn't a good idea. I went through all of this detoxing and whatnot only to poison myself! And frankly, I'm still paying the price for that.

Here's what I got in return for my weekend of over indulgence:

3 days of banging headaches
3 days of feeling flu-like symptoms (fever, body aches, nausea - these came and went)
4 days of kidney pain 
4 days of extreme fatigue

In short, I was a miserable pile of flesh and bone. I'm getting over it today but WOW last night I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital. My left kidney hurt so much that I couldn't sit or stand comfortably, I had to go to bed at 8:30. It felt better when I was laying down but I have to tell you, this scared the shit out of me! Thinking in the back of my teeny brain - this couldn't all be from one weekend of misbehaving - or could it?

The answer is yes. Enter this into a Google search "can too much sugar make your kidneys hurt", the results will knock you over. 

Yes. Too much sugar OR caffeine can damage your kidneys and make them ache. Crazy, right? Well maybe not in my case. I have had several kidney function tests (before going Paleo AIP) come back abnormally low. So I may have some kidney troubles to begin with, eh? Now clean up the ol' body, and take better care of the kidneys for a few months, the tests come back normal (just a tad on the low side, according to my last labs that were drawn in June). A couple of months later, have an indulgent weekend and what happened? I overloaded my body with so much garbage that my kidneys said "F you!".

This is quite a revelation. And honestly - no wonder I felt so shitty all the time! Evidently my body wasn't firing on all cylinders, waste wasn't properly being removed from my bloodstream - how scary is that? Even more frightening - this was all because of FOOD. Wow. 

If you didn't believe me before, believe me now: what you put into your body matters, a lot. Don't do to yourself what I have done to myself. It's not worth it in the short or long run. Spending 4 days (it will be 5 or 6 by the time I feel better, I'm still dealing with it today, just on a much milder level) recovering from a 3-day weekend of "screw it, I'm gonna do what I want and even eat some damn marshmallows" isn't smart. I'm embarrassed that I let myself fall into that trap.

Be good to yourself. It's 100% worth the trouble it takes.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Morning After OR The Vacation Hangover

Wednesday September 9th, 2015

Lerd my head hurts today...

Not only did I cheat a bit whilst in the mountains this past weekend, I also forgot my must-be-refrigerated probiotics. To make up for that small oversight I drank kefir and ate my weight on Bubbie's. I pooped like a champ, actually so that has me thinking that perhaps I don't need to keep taking the very expensive probiotics on a daily basis? I will most definitely check with Dr. Jessica when I see her in next week.

Meanwhile, back in my body, things are not great. 

I feel like doo-doo today, thank you very much. I'm back to eating the way I eat, which is all well and good, but OY the food hangover is terrific. I have a headache, my guts are bubbling, and even though I did have a major BM this morning I feel plugged up. I feel detached from reality (foggy), cranky, tired -- and all because of some over indulgence BOO but totally my bad. It may take a couple of days before I can feel normal again. I know there is a price to be paid for acting a fool when on vacation, and I'm paying it. 

Oddly enough, I met a lady in the outdoor saltwater spa who also started Paleo AIP in May, and she'd lost 27 pounds. We high five-d all around while the two of us sat there with alcoholic beverages in our mitts, she with a beer! It was kind of an "lol" moment because we were both evangelizing our new way of eating while TOTALLY breaking the rules! Good to know I'm not the only one, and good to know that it's survivable.

K, more bad news: my average weight has gone up a pound each week. I'm not happy about this development and will (trust me) be working hard to reverse that trend. If I hit an average of 150 I will NOT be happy! Right now I'm sitting at 148.4. Not terrible but I don't want it or need it to go any higher. Aaaaaaaa-men.

Anyway, we had a great time. Here's some photographic proof of said great time, and even though I'm hurting today I know that I will work through this, and with a little help from my inner-diet guru, I won't stray again. Until my next vacation. Coming up in 5 weeks. 

Oh, hell.

Beautiful, no? Yes.

The hubby and I are going back for our anniversary at the end of March. He might even be able to ski! Not I, not for love or money. I'll hang back and enjoy the spa, the fitness center, the hot tubs, pools, library, etc. And I'll make dinner. That's a good deal!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 8th, 2015 - What I Did Right And Wrong On Vacation

Hey everyone, hope you all had a really great Labor Day weekend! I did, or I should say we did, spent it in the adorable ski town of Breckenridge with our dear friends from Las Vegas. We stayed in a condo on a gorgeous property with tasty views, pools, jacuzzis, transportation to a bustling activity area on the next ski hill via gondola and tons of great amenities. The town itself is an experience in shopping that takes me two days to cover because there are shops everywhere and always want to go into each and every one of them. It's a great place, we had a lot of fun, even got some exercise here and there (4.5 mile nature hike, walking the main street and, of course, at the fitness center on property. 

I did some stuff right:

Brought the foodstuffs that I can eat (eggs, pastured bacon, greens for salad, roast chicken strips, fermented cabbage, Paleo dressing, coconut milk, electrolyte water, club soda, coconut chips, sweet potato chips cooked in coconut oil, and very Paleo protein bars (Epic meat bars, heavens they are tasty!). We only ate in restaurants twice and that was easy enough, k? I ordered the way I knew to do, and the food was really quite good both times. I stuck to my food 99% of the time.

I did some stuff wrong:

Drank far too much coffee, as in 4-5 cups each morning. I also drank quite a lot of water but having that much coffee is overkill big time. I also drank too much alcohol; these folks are our cocktail pals and we don't let any moss grow on our drink cups, if you know what I mean. We drank a lot of wine. I also drank something that I would not normally allow myself to have - hard cider. I get tired of wine, what can I say? The Cidre from Stella Artois is delicious and gluten free. So I had a couple of those while enjoying a delightful sunset with my hubby, parked on the patio at the bottom of Peak 8. 



I really blew it. 

The resort has a fire pit, and they loan out long forks for the roasting of marshmallows. 

Now, in case I haven't said this before, I have a major weakness for marshmallows. I love them. I could wear them as clothing and eat my weight in them every day - that's how much I love them. 


After drinking too much wine for my own good yesterday, I threw caution to the wind and asked hubby to get a bag of the fluffy, white, sugary bastards and get a fork from the front desk. Yes, I ate toasted marshmallows. 

Not just a couple of them, more like 12. Maybe even more. Damn it to hell!

It just goes to show you that all of the good intentions and planning in the world sometimes cannot save you from yourself, and bloody temptation. I'm still super pissed at myself but I need to let it go. I got up this morning and felt so guilty that I went directly to the fitness center to work off that garbage, and I felt super DURRRR all day. Stupid, kind of like my brain wasn't connected to my body or something. Of course 3 straight days of partying didn't help that any! 

Okay, so I fecked up. I'm human. I screwed the pooch a little bit but I will recover and I am determined to keep that poison away from my mouth from here on. 

With Disneyland coming in just a few weeks, I am now officially worried about the temptation that is all over that park. 

One day at a time y'all. That's all I have. Forgive, move on, and don't screw up again. This is my mantra for today!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

September 2nd: Milk Update and Before + After Pics

Howdy fighters of autoimmune disorders! I'm in a pretty good mood for someone just this side of a reintroduction FAIL. When it came to grass fed milk, my body simply said

And I accept that, because I sort of knew that milk was going to be a problem for me. Seems it has always sort of been. Sort of. Damn it, but hey - I have coffee, chocolate and wine! I'm gonna be okay!

Symptoms of reaction started with gas and bloating, and escalated to runny BMs on day two accompanied by some fabulous hot flashes and a headache. Enough for me to say, okay, I hear you body! No more milk.

So now, I've about had it with reactions for a while. Meaning I will be taking at least two weeks off from introductions, as I said I would. Sigh...

Problem: my weight has increased by 1 lb this past week to 147.9. No bueno! Some of that, I'm pretty sure anyway, is due to inflammation caused by the milk. 24 hours after ingesting 2 tablespoons of it in my tea I'm still suffering the gastrointestinal consequences, I'm afraid. For today I'm increasing bone broth and fermented items (I'm having coconut water kefir after breakfast instead of tea, for example) and staying far from sugar. 

Now for some good news - the strength training is paying dividends! Here are the before and after from the first 4 weeks of toning with Mrs. Jenn, during which time we progressed from 5 lb to 8 lb weights, and we will be starting to introduce 10 lb today! Yay!

     August 3                                       August 31

      August 3                                       August 31

In addition to the decidedly bad hair day I was having on Monday when the after pics were taken, I can see the difference in those arms! The bottom two are very surprising, they look like I had work done when in fact, I did work (see what I did there?). This is very encouraging and will keep me at it even when it's hard and I don't want to because it hurts!