The Consequences of Bad Choices

We took the kids to Calypso on Friday and we had so much fun. Martin went out and bought a picnic lunch for him and the kids and I decided to make my own paleo picnic for me.

I used 2 cans of tuna, 1 small avocado, the juice from half a lemon, a bit of organic olive oil that I got at the farmer’s market, and some salt and pepper. I also topped it with some sweet potatoes that I had had for breakfast, sauteed in coconut oil. It was simple, delicious, and quite filling. Next time I would add some herbs, though. To make it more flavourful. I also ate some smoked salmon, wrapped in some roasted seaweed (nori) that I got at an asian market near where I live. It’s so delicious, but I didn’t realize that some smoked salmon has sugar in the ingredients. It really is important to read the labels in everything, because you just never know when there is some hidden ingredients like sugar or wheat or gluten.

Last night I made the most delicious roasted chicken. I got the chicken from the Organic Farmer’s Market and it was quite a good sized bird. I slathered it in butter and used poultry seasoning and sea salt on top of it. Inside, I found the liver and neck still in it. Awesome! I added it to a crock pot with some of the leftover carrot tops and onions skins, tons of garlic, and some leek to make soup. I stuffed the bird with lemon, garlic and onions, and around the outside I put lots of leek, onions, carrots, and garlic. I roasted it for two hours at 375F and it came out beautifully. I served it with mashed carrots that I mixed with lots of butter and cinnamon, and I braised the carrot tops in the last bit of boar fat that I had and some chicken broth.

It was so delicious. Even the kids ate it and told me how delicious it was! When we were done, I picked the rest of the meat off to use for the kid’s school lunches and threw the carcass into the crock pot with the rest of the stuff. Before I went to bed I strained out all the vegetable matter so that it wouldn’t overcook and turn bitter. This morning I had a delicious cup of chicken broth that tasted fantastic.

I woke up this morning with the itchiest nipples ever. I knew it was from the butter that I used on the chicken. I guess all dairy is out for me, which really sucks. But I was bad today. I figured since my nipples were already on fire and the eczema spot on my arm was already itching like crazy and since I was really in the mood for a treat, I had some ice cream. It was delicious, but I’m still trying to figure out if it was worth the intense burning itch on my arm.

Anyway, I made the choice and now I’m living with the consequence.

I was on the phone with Maddy last night talking about how I don’t think eggs are working for me anymore either and my husband just rolled his eyes and said, “gawd, you can’t eat anything anymore! You never used to have all these problems when you ate this stuff!”

It’s funny that he noticed that, but it’s not true. My eczema used to be this bad, worse even. It’s only cleared up since I stopped eating dairy and eggs. And I love eggs. I love eggs so much I used to eat 3 almost every single day for years. Anyway, I’ll still eat them once in a while now, regardless of how many days later I’m left itching. I’ll still make paleo mayo with the yolks (though I have yet to try a recipe with just the yolks and no whites.)

No reaction though, had been as bad as when I had the milk. It’s been a week and I still have the remnants of blisters on my hands and feet. I have no pain, thankfully, but the marks are still there. It’s pretty crazy, to see them.

Anyway, I would have used coconut oil on the chicken but I ran out when I was baking. I bought some today so I don’t have to worry about using butter anymore. Which is a damn shame. I’d like to try ghee, but I’m going to wait a couple of weeks to get my body off the dairy and eggs first before I make any attempts to try anything else.

I’m not sure what else I’ll be making for dinner tonight. Maybe something simple like shrimp with lemon and oil or something. Maybe wrapped in a nori roll. Could be delicious.

We’ve also decided that after dinner tonight we’re going to have a ‘lunch packing party’ since the girls start school tomorrow. We’re all going to pack our lunches to make sure everyone’s set for school. I’ll be taking some pictures of their lunches to illustrate how easy it is to pack a paleo lunch!

One more thing; Martin’s mother was nice enough to go to Costco for us and buy a bunch of food that I would never normally buy for the kids. While I appreciate the offer, I don’t consider yogurt covered granola bars healthy. Luckily, on the side of the box it says that it may contain traces of nuts and/or tree nuts, rendering it unacceptable for the girls for school. I’ll just drop off the 38 bars to my mom’s house. That way it’s not wasting food, and I know the kids won’t be eating them. Phew.

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My Autoimmune Protocol and Some Poop

When I went through Diane Philippo’s Practical Paleo, I never really thought to look at the autoimmune conditions meal plan. I was perusing through it again today, and I actually read through the conditions that it can help, and low and behold, type 1 diabetes is on it. It’s also on the blood sugar regulation meal plan. Things to avoid while on the autoimmune protocol: ALL DAIRY. Well shit. I wish I had looked at that sooner.

I also listened to The Paleo View’s latest podcast on autoimmunity today, and I learned so much. In fact, this has been a day of learning for me. I’ve also figured out a way to personalize a meal plan for myself.

First thing’s first, my fasting blood sugars have been perfect for 2 days in a row. Yesterday 4.7, today 4.6. This is awesome. I am being incredibly diligent with what I’m putting in my body and it’s finally paying off. I went as high as 9 yesterday, and while that’s not what I’m aiming for, it’s a lot better than the 20’s I was hitting a few weeks ago. I’ve also noticed that after eating just protein (like salmon or chicken), my blood sugars are highest about 4 hours after, instead of 1-2 hours after a meal that has carbohydrates (in the form of vegetables).

Obviously I have a violent reaction to raw milk, and most likely all milk. No more milk for me, or dairy. Obviously no wheat or gluten either. No nuts and seeds. No cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, mustard, turnips, or rutabaga.

This seems a little strict at first, but I definitely think it’s worth it in the short term to tackle my health with some nutrient-dense, gut healing foods.

I also wanted to mention page 75 of Practical Paleo, which discusses poop. I have never had an ‘ideal’ poop. They are either ‘Ms Rocky’, or ‘Ms Runny’. I don’t poop everyday. If I’m lucky I poop every other day. Otherwise it could be every 2-3 days. This has always been the same whether I was vegan, vegetarian or now paleo. If I switch it up with my diet, I go more often, but then it tapers off again to this same routine.

I’ve discovered this is most likely due to my thyroid, which causes constipation. I’m really looking forward to focusing on eating for my thyroid health, which in turn will help with my diabetes and any other gut troubles I may be having.

We went out for sushi tonight. I ate a ton of sashimi and I brought my own wheat-free, GMO-free tamari sauce. My friend laughed at me. He thinks the best way to lose weight is to count calories and watch what you eat. He has no idea what it’s like to feel like your body is attacking itself. He tried to laugh at me about not even eating rice, which is ‘basically harmless and has little, if any, nutritional value’. I was like, exactly. Not only that, I explained to him that when I eat sushi, I have to give myself triple the amount of insulin to handle the sugar load. The white rice on its own spikes my blood sugars pretty high, but they also add sugar to that rice. If that’s what it’s doing to my body, that I can actually monitor with a glucose monitor, imagine what it’s doing to yours? No thanks. I’ll just stick with the sashimi. Speaking of which, I’ve always gravitated towards sushi, and salmon in particular, and I just discovered today that they are high in iodine, which is a key mineral for thyroid function. It’s interesting how many foods I am intuitively drawn to that just happen to be good for certain things like blood sugar control or thyroid health. Salmon, onions, garlic, eggs.

My sister told me today that she didn’t think the amount of bacon that I eat could possibly be healthy. I told her that I advertise a lot of bacon eating on facebook, but that I don’t actually eat as much as I talk about it. I haven’t had any in over a week. She replied with, “a whole week without bacon? gasp!”

I tried to show her the post that Diane Sanfilippo questioning whether bacon is a Health Food or Delicious Devil in Disguise. She told me that there was no way I could convince her that bacon is a superfood. It’s almost funny because she’s worrying about my health as seriously as I’m worrying about hers. She’s a long-time vegetarian, and I honestly doubt I’ll be able to change her mind. I’m concerned for her because she eats so often, yet is always hungry. Keeping in mind that we live across the country from each other and I haven’t lived near her in years. However, I still worry like crazy that she’s hurting herself without realizing. I think it’s almost comical that she’s worrying about me in the same way.

“how healthy do you really feel…?”

I responded with, “healthier than i have in a long time, blood sugars are regulating, lots of energy, weight loss, blood tests from the doctor are awesome, saturated fat is good for you, it’s not the devil it’s been made out to be, i’ve eliminated all processed foods from my diet, if you read the science behind it, you’ll understand, this is so healthy”

I know the mindset she’s in, and I know that if someone had tried to tell me about paleo a couple of years ago, I would have laughed in their face. I wish I had known about it sooner. In fact, I had just started eating a bit more meat and finally accepted that I was no longer a vegetarian. I looked up online “ideal human diet” and that’s what led me into the wonderful world of paleo. The science behind it works intuitively, and I know this is the right way to eat. Which is also the same thing I thought when I was a vegetarian. I want her to come around, but there’s no way I can force the issue. I’m hoping I can show her how delicious and healthy these foods are when she comes to visit in September.

Tomorrow I have to get up early to go my first meeting for work. I’m off to bed early tonight! I will post some recipes soon, I just need to make something with  more than 3 ingredients!

 

Agony

I am in agony today. The blisters on the palms of my hands are migrating to the top of my knuckles and they itch and hurt. The blisters on my feet are so tender that it hurts to stand up. I’m so frustrated. I don’t even know if Tylenol would help.

I wonder if benedryl would help, or if it’s even paleo.

This sucks.

Raw Goat Milk and Eczema

I’ve been reading a lot about the virtues of raw milk. I haven’t had milk since I was 16-years-old and decided to become a vegetarian. I had raw goat’s milk once when I was visiting my uncle in BC. It was so delicious. When I found the Ottawa Organic Farmer’s Market, I found some raw goat milk and couldn’t wait to try it.

It was delicious. It was creamy. It was everything I wanted it to be. Until I broke out. I thought I was getting a wart on my thumb last yesterday. I had had a glass of milk Saturday morning, and again last night before bed, not thinking anything of it.

Then I thought I was also getting a wart on my finger. Then my hand started to itch. And my feet. After I had the milk last night, I felt a bit queazy and the ithching got really bad.  The eczema on my arm flared up so bad that finally had use corticosteroid cream to relieve the itch.

When I woke up this morning, my hands and feet really hurt. I thought I was getting warts all over my hands, but luckily I think it’s just blisters. They hurt like blisters. Here are some pictures, I didn’t use any filters on them as I wanted them to be accurate, except for the foot one. I just got back from a barefoot walk (which felt so good on my itchy, blistered feet!) and I was hoping I could filter them enough to look clean. Obviously I was wrong, but you can still see the lumps.

                  

 

Anyway, looks like dairy is out for me. Which is a damn shame since it tastes so good. Anyway, I’m going completely dairy free until this resolves. It’s just not worth aggravating it by eating cheese or having cream in my coffee. Sigh. I love cream in my coffee, and I have to start getting up in the morning for my new job. Ugh.

Next post I hope will be a recipe! It’s River’s birthday today and she’s asked for waffles for dinner. I have some leftover maple cream cheese frosting from her birthday cake that needs to get eaten, so I’ll use that for a topping for the kids. I think I’ll just make myself some salmon though. I want to keep it really simple for now, until my body starts to heal from this outbreak.




I’m an Elitist

My husband told me tonight that I’m an elitist. I (half) joked that my snack was better than his snack. I had home made liver paté smeared on cucumbers with raw goat milk cheese. It was accompanied by garlic stuffed olives and a delicious 2008 cab-merlot and some wonderful company. My best friend Maddy. He had BBQ lays chips. An entire bag.

I was really insulted, and I think maybe it’s because it’s a little bit true.

I have a really hard time doing anything halfway. Go big or go home, I’m either in or I’m out. When I was a vegetarian (gasp!) I used to scorn the consumption of meat. I talked myself into how positively disgusting meat smelled. However, I was always tempted by it, and when I gave in to temptation, it always tasted as delicious as I remembered it being.

I guess the same is true about paleo. I crave ice cream. I enjoy chips. I miss the convenience of fast food. But I don’t eat these things (especially for the next 30 days while I do this thyroid meal plan) and it’s hard for me to forgo something without delineating exactly why it’s not good for me, and you.

I can’t imagine how hard it must be to live with someone who nags you constantly about what you eat, which is why I won’t do that to my husband. He’s made his choice, and that’s fine. However, I think he feels more guilty about it than I am angry because he told me I was on his case all day about everything he ate. Which is funny, since he slept in until noon and I got him a sandwich from the deli for his lunch. When he said he wanted a calzone for dinner, I told him to feel free and get himself one. I happily made Maddy and I some deviled eggs, which were delicious and quite filling. I never said a word to him about his choices.

I know that he knows that he’s not eating healthy. I know that right now he doesn’t want to worry about the food he’s eating because he thinks it makes him happy. I know this has nothing to do with paleo, but with him being in control (even though his eating is out of control). I have faith that at some point (hopefully soon, but I’m willing to wait) he’ll realize that he’s not doing himself any favours by gorging himself and eventually he’ll come around. He even told me that he can’t un-know what he’s learned about eating healthy. Right now he just wants to eat what makes him happy, which unfortunately is junk.

Anyway, I’m trying to be there for him, and I think that’s all I can do at this point. It just sucks that he’s telling me that I’m on his case about his eating when I’m not. In fact, I’m more worried than anything. He’s gaining weight and doesn’t seem to notice or care how much his eating is affecting him. Like I said, I have hope that at some point he’ll hit his rock bottom and realize that this gorging has to stop. I love him and I’m worried about him. I’m also worried about the message this is sending to the kids. I don’t want to be so strict with them that food becomes an issue; I don’t want Martin to eat whatever he wants whenever he wants because I don’t want food to be an issue.

All that being said, I made the kids a lovely paleo dinner tonight. I cooked them organic hot dogs in a coconut oil, sliced with an egg over-easy on top. Rowan calls these eggs he can pop. He loves to pop the yokes, and he’s only recently decided he likes eggs, so I’m over the moon about that. He’s a super picky eater. I also served it with half an avocado. Rowan usually just picks at his dinner, and it freaks me out because unless I force feed him, some nights he won’t eat at all. So many issues revolving around food in this house!

The one thing I have to keep in mind though, is that I’m doing this for my health. I believe in this the way to a healthier life. I don’t want to be that mom that can’t play at the park because she’s too old/tired/sore etc. I want to be active and fit and healthy. I want to eat real food and cook up a delicious storm in my kitchen! I want to feed my kids well and have them make healthy choices when it comes to what they put in their bodies!

I asked River (who will be 5 on Monday) if I could make her a cake for her birthday. She was very enthused by the idea. I made her a gluten free lemon cake with maple cream cheese frosting and blueberry syrop in the middle. I made it refined-sugar free, with raw honey and maple syrop. Everything was sourced as locally/organically as I could. Yes there is sugar in it. Yes this is for her birthday and is considered a treat. I don’t mind though! I don’t mind her enjoying a delicious, gluten free cake for her birthday! I wouldn’t say it’s healthy, but I would say it’s a hell of a lot healthier than anything you could buy at the store.

This is a long, slow process, but I know eventually they’ll come around. I have my convictions of good health and I just have to lead by example. It’s tough though. It’s really tough when every meal I make the kids groan, “is this another paleo meal?” Or my favourite, “I don’t like that.” That seems to be Willow’s reflexive answer to anything I talk about making for dinner. Anyway, I had the kids look through Eat Like a Dinosaur and Practical Paleo for recipes that they would actually enjoy eating. It’s easier to have them on board. Willow’s almost 10, so she’s definitely old enough to be helping me in the kitchen.

Elitist or not, I know paleo is better for you than any other SAD diet out there. Whether it’s primal, paleo, or tweaked in whatever way to fit into your life, real, whole foods is still better than anything from a package. I just wish my husband could see that.

Paleo for One

My husband informed me a couple of days ago that he is no longer interested in eating paleo. He misses his cereal in the morning because it makes him happy. In fact, he told me, he’s miserable without it.

I’m pretty upset about this admission, but I can’t force him to eat like this if he doesn’t want to. However, since I am the grocery shopper and the cook, I will not be making separate meals for him. I make the kids’s lunches, and I am still refraining from eating grains, so my family will eat what I feed them. If my husband wants his cereal, he can buy it himself. I am still making paleo meals for the family, including lunches for the kids.

The reason I’m not terribly upset by his decision, and the reason I don’t mind it so much, is he’s already starting to have some stomach trouble. I know going back to grains is starting to heighten his anxiety. I’m waiting for him to realize it as well. I wonder how long it will take.

In the mean time, school is starting up soon and I just listened to a new podcast called The Paleo View, by the Paleo Parents (who wrote the book Eat Like a Dinosaur) and Sarah Ballantyne of The Paleo Mom.

It’s wonderful to hear their take on how they feed their kids, and I think when my girls start school I’ll do a feature on their lunches. Last year was easier than I expected with the paleo eats. I love the bento boxes because it separates all the food and it keeps me on my toes in terms of diversity.

I’m going to have the girls help me write a list of things they love to eat so I know what to get at the grocery store. Willow, my 9-year-old is starting to get picky, so I’m hoping this will eliminate any issues we might have.

The hardest thing about doing paleo right now is feeling like I’m completely alone in my house. The kids, when given the chance, will always pick something unhealthy. I try not to give them the chance, but I have no control over them when they’re visiting my parents. I’m trying to teach them as best I can about being healthy, but it’s hard when Martin’s not on board either. I will make this work, though. I am trying my best with the kids. I’m having them look through Eat Like a Dinosaur with me to help me pick out meals that they’ll enjoy eating.

As for myself, I’m not having too hard of a time keeping at it. I like the way I feel, I just wish I could lose weight. I’m still hanging out at around 185lbs, but my blood sugars have stabilized and will hopefully lower when I start adding in some more exercise. I need to walk more, and lift some heavy things. Luckily, my best friend Maddy is doing this with me, so we always bounce idea’s off each other for meal plans. She’s my only support in this, and I’m glad I have it. Her family is much more readily accepting of the paleo way of life.

The food has been delicious, though! I love every recipe I’ve tried from Practical Paleo.

Breakfast today was bone broth (the recipe is from Practical Paleo.) Lunch was takeout, a beef and chicken shawarma salad with no pita chips, and I picked out the red cabbage since it’s goitrogenic and I’m avoiding those for the moment. Dinner was 2 red deer/boar meat sausages without the casing, mixed with 4 eggs and a 2 TBLS salsa in a delicious, if salty, frittata. The sausages were saltier than they usually were, so I might talk to the vendor at the farmer’s market on Sunday.

Tomorrow I’m checking out the Organic Farmer’s Market! They have lots more options for pastured meat, which I’m looking forward to. They even have rabbit meat!

More on that in a later post.

Yeast Beast Update – WARNING: There is Vagina Talk in the Post

I seem to have forgotten that my body doesn’t really like sesame seeds. I’ve had pretty strong reactions to them before in the form of explosive diarrhea, which is ridiculous that I would forget that, alas tonight I did. I only garnished my meal with them, but I’ve been pretty gassy all night. Maybe it’s the garlic. Maybe it’s the onions. Most likely, it’s the sesame seeds.

I guess it doesn’t help that I started my period today and my uterus is feeling a bit crampy too. Yikes. I guess I’ll see in the next couple of hours how bad this might get.

As for that pesky yeast infection, it seems to have been curbed. I’m so relieved. I think the fluconazole really fixed it, and also of course, the elimination of the ice cream. I think the constant ingestion of diet coke and way too much ice cream not only caused, but encouraged the yeast infection.

I’m hoping that as my period flows this month, it’ll cleanse out whatever other nasties might be lurking in my vagina so that when it’s over, I’ll finally be able to have sex again.