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Posts Tagged ‘diet experiment’

Meet me at the impasse

November 2, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s been pins and needles around here waiting for our darling Meghan to arrive safely in Texas.  Yesterday she made it and we are all relieved.  Of course, now I am free to miss her a LOT.

I’m amazed by this phenomenon of healing that we’ll call the “That’s Great Now What?” principle.   Even though I’ve been sick as a dog the better part of the last four years and since the Diet Experiment I’ve resolved about 80% of my pain, I find myself longing for more.  I want to feel even better…I want to eat even more.

In order to help myself through this impasse, I’ve started to jot down what all I eat during the day so I can get a better handle on what sets me off.  And trying some new things.  Almond cheese, cheddar flavor which was marginal.  Rice Dream ice-cream-ish dessert.  It was NOT good but only because it was chocolate chai flavor and I don’t like chai.  I’m not sure what my thinking was in buying it but it seemed like a good idea at the time.  It was on sale, that much I remember, and there were not any other flavors.  Hmmm….

I’m not craving a lot so that’s good.  But I’m worn out lately and kinda tired of cooking.  Plus,  it’s time to go grocery shopping and do some meal planning.  Not in that order I hope.

Oh by the way, my doctor emailed me today to say that all my food allergy tests were negative.  That’s certainly par for the course.  All my medical tests come back normal.  She offered to send me to an allergist but I don’t think I’ll go.  It might not be an allergy I have to these many foods.  It’s certainly not the typical allergic reaction with antibodies in my blood.  I can’t say that I understand it…the more I eat certain foods, the more I feel like I have fibromyalgia.  Is that a sensitivity?  Or am I just weird??

Whatever it is, it’s working a lot better to NOT eat these foods that seem to make me hurt; corn and tomatoes for sure, dairy, gluten and soy to a lesser extent.  I’m trying to eliminate or minimize these things the best I can.  And all I really have to do is learn to cook things from scratch.  Delicious things.  It can be done because there are hundreds of people blogging about doing this out there in internet-land.

I’m grateful for each one of them.

Not so mighty fibromite

October 24, 2009 2 comments

I’m really discouraged today.  I woke up stiff with a band of pain around my abdomen about kidney height.  And anxious as all hell.  The lists of foods and food categories that are safe and unsafe are spinning around in my head like Dorthy’s twister.

I need to get a grip on myself.

This corn thing is much more overwhelming than the gluten.  How I’m going to go about this is beyond me at the moment…except to say for today, I can eat oatmeal, sweet potato, chicken and veggies.  Basically.  That can be my diet for today.  I don’t think there is anything bad in these things (my oatmeal is GF).  I could probably find many things wrong with the chicken but I’m drawing a line.

And if the truth be told, I ate pepper jack cheese last night like I was flipping off a stranger.  Boldly and aggressively even while knowing it was wrong and I would feel shitty later.  Sigh…

Oh, and get this.  When I was taking tramadol for my fibromyalgia it would work less and less so I’d take more and more.  (any addict will tell you how that works!)  The last couple of years I took 6 pills a day.  And still had pain.  And brain fog up the butt.  This last spring I went slowly off the tramadol and felt tremendously better.  I am still taking the hydrocodone but it works really well and I have little to no side effects.  Except dependency but I can deal with that.

Anyway…….I googled tramadol and guess what the first “inert” ingrediant is?  Cornstarch!  I could not find any evidence of cornstarch in the hydrocodone.

This is crazy…

So all signs point to corn and it’s devil spawn of derivatives.  Last night I went through the cupboard telling Kevin in an increasingly rising voice, “oh god, this has corn in it, this has corn in it, etc, etc.”  Until he suggested I might want to calm down.

Just for today (thank you AA) I know I can eat unprocessed meat (if there is such a thing), vegetables (except nightshades) and fruits (except citrus).  That’s not too complicated, is it?

I’ve gotta laugh or I’m gonna cry…..

A big a-ha moment

October 23, 2009 2 comments

So I’m dinking around on the web, not feeling good because of the tomatoes.  And I decide to investigate corn.  I’ve been really focused on gluten free and I know nightshade plants such as tomato get me bad.  But remember when I had corn one evening?  Of all the things I’ve challenged and gotten a reaction to, it was the worst.

I’m reading these corn allergen/intolerance sites and things start falling into place.  When I’ve been eating my baking I get a stinging throat.  Not a big body thing but a nasty sting.  Well, all my baking has vanilla and guess what kind of alcohol they make it with?  Yep, corn.  Ditto baking powder.  And some corn sensitive people can’t do sorghum or xanthan.  All in my baking.

Plus I’ve had several surgeries in my life.  Everytime I get sick as a dog and always have problems right afterward.  I definitely vomit my guts out, even with a surgery that is supposed to be a day surgery.  I end up staying overnight at least.

Guess what was in my IV the whole time?  Glucose.  Made from corn.

I’m not kidding.

So next up on this Diet Experiment path is focus on eliminating corn and it’s bajillion derivatives.  I’ve got to admit it’s a little overwhelming.  But maybe if I clear out corn, I’ll find I can bring other stuff back in.  One can always hope.

Makes me wonder if tramadol has a cornstarch base or something because I got so much better after I stopped taking it.

Next week’s doctor’s visit is going to be good.

A little bit of everything

October 22, 2009 Leave a comment

I was reading Elana’s Pantry and came across this post.  Another woman battling fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue who is seeking improvement via her diet.  It’s crazy, isn’t it?  How many of us are out here suffering, losing our hopes and dreams, and living in daily pain?  Who knows if our fibro, etc, caused our food intolerances or our food intolerances caused disease?  I have no idea.  But I’ve felt the difference in my body enough to know they are connected somehow.

It’s amazing how many people I’m reading about who are managing their fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, epstein-barr, lyme disease, ms and lupus through dietary changes.  It just blows me away.  Why aren’t more people talking about this?  Am I just listening in the wrong places?

I think about the heightened suicide rate in people with fibromyalgia.  Or the women with fibro that went to Dr. Kevorkian to die because they had no hope.  And I was getting there…I was getting to the place of “what’s the point?”  If living means pain and only being able to do the things I love about 5% of the time then how long do I really want to go on?

Well, help came in the form of someone else with fibromyalgia who told me that I had to change my diet.  It took me over a year to screw up the guts to try it.  That’s crazy, isn’t it?  I just never thought it would work for ME.

Even though I currently have shingles and have a long way to go on this road of tuning into my body, I feel better than I have in years.  It’s crazy…and wonderful, too.

Okay, a little food.  The other day I made something I’m gonna call:

Sticky Almonds

  • 1 to 2 cups almonds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • agave syrup
  • sea salt
  • optional spices…I used cinnamon and a little chili powder.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Mix the olive oil, the agave and the spices in a small mixing bowl.  Dump in the almonds and stir to coat them.  Spread them out in a single layer on parchment on a baking sheet.  This is when I sprinkled sea salt over them.  Stick them in the hot oven for about 12 minutes…but watch them because you don’t want to burn them.  Just get them warm and fragrant and utterly delicious.

Let them cool and then try not to eat them all at once.  Ha!

This morning I made myself gluten-free oatmeal with raisins, dried cranberries, a little almond milk and mashed up Sticky Almonds.

It was a little taste of heaven.  Thank you.

Send in the cheese

October 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Pepper jack cheese even.  And it tasted great.  Since I’ve been using eggs without too much of a problem, I decided to try some cheese.  Not to excess…just a little snack on the side with my chili.  So far, so good.

I’m having body pain but I think it might just be from the shingles.  I’m still doing better than I did before the Diet Experiment even with the shingles.  Go figure.

I’m tired and worn out today but still managed to do some errands and work in the studio.  For dinner, I just threw some chicken thighs in a pot, ditto quartered onions and drizzled olive oil spiked with spices over the whole thing.  It will make a lot of high protein dinner served with some fresh green beans that arrived in our Community Supported Agriculture produce box from Fresh Abundance. Ahhh…nothing better than fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies delivered right to your door.  I love it.

So it’s a short one for today.  Still tired but always hungry.

Story of my life.

Cheaters never prosper

October 15, 2009 2 comments

Food cheaters, that is.  I didn’t so much cheat as just try something new…a challenge to the Diet Experiment.  Last night we had burritos with homemade salsa.

Tomatoes.

But man that salsa was good.  Ramsey and I made it…she was my little food processor since she can stir tomatoes with a spoon until they give up all their juice.  It was freshly made from chopped tomatoes (red and yellow), chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, olives and green chilis.  Hmmm…chilis, that’s in the nightshade family, too.  To the veggie mix we added cumin, chili powder, sea salt and a little bit of agave.

Nummy.

When I put my burrito together I used rice tortillas, refried beans (from freshly cooked pintos), a little hamburger (that was cooked in more tomato sauce), a little cheddar cheese (dairy), lettuce and salsa.

So really the tally of forbidden foods is more like this:

  • Dairy from the cheese
  • Tomato from salsa AND hamburger (nightshade plant)
  • Green chilis in the salsa (nightshade plant)

This morning I woke up with a groan.  The pain isn’t too bad, probably a 5 out of 10, but it such a familiar and unpleasant feeling.  Body stiffness and general achey-ness.  Not worth it.

As a side note, yesterday I woke up with a rash on my forehead and my scalp is really itchy.  I tried some new “organic” shampoo…it’s probably made out of corn or something.  Did I read the label?  No.   That print is so small.  But I’m not going to use it again.

I have this morning to get my sh*t together because Jacob’s caseworker is coming over at 2:30 to go through his yearly Service Plan.  Ugh…an hour or more talking about what he can’t do.  Not my favorite.

Gotta eat clean today and get myself back on track.  I’m really beginning to think rice might need to go off the list.  Or at least be like soy and eggs where I try not to eat very much but allow little bits through because not to would be an extra level of vigilance that I’m just not ready to attempt.

It’s a learning thing.  But no cheating for today.

Restorative sleep??!!

October 14, 2009 3 comments

This is still utterly amazing to me.  I went to bed last night after feeling crappy all day…migraine, low energy, some body aches.  My sleep was deep and restful and I woke up feeling good…even though it is raining outside! This blows me away.  For the past 4+ years a bad day was always part of a larger flare up.  Like three bad days in a row, three bad weeks in a row, and last winter, three bad months in a row.

I really needed those chocolate chip cookies 🙂

This whole experience has got me thinking about the nature of fibromyalgia.  There are so many related and overlapping conditions; chronic fatigue, Crohn’s, IBS, MS, lupus just to name a few.  I’ve been tested for neurological and immune system dysfunction with all my tests coming back normal.  In spite of that I’ve grown to believe FM is probably a neurological condition having to do with neurotransmitter regulation.  I know my neurotransmitters are screwed up from having PTSD and chronic depression (long story for another time).

But why would this diet make such a difference?  I’m eating more nutritionally for sure so that has to help my body work more efficiently.  What if FM is a problem of neurotransmitters AND immune system dysfunction?  I know this; the more pain I’ve been in, the more I crave carbs and sweets, the more I eat them, the more pain I’m in.

Or, what if the hypersensitivity that is a hallmark of fibromyalgia extends to the immune system in this way; foods that might previously given me some trouble now become big problems because my immune system is hypersensitive?  By eating a carefully controlled diet I can remove a lot of the food reactions and thereby reduce the overall effect of FM on my body.  Hmmmm…interesting.

I’m reading a new book called Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger.  He researched the processed food industry by studying the ingredients in a Twinkie.  It’s fascinating and also kinda gross.  And it makes me wonder what all we are doing to ourselves with our American diets.

I feel a cause coming on.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep on tweaking my diet and trying to learn more about processed foods, whole foods, organic foods…and cookies.