Archives for: June 2004
My doctor agreed to let me cut my thyroid pills in half. My blood test numbers were 'weird', with the tsh indicating that it was low, but my t4 high (I don't have the numbers, should get them). Since I've been having premature heartbeats (heart palpitations) and felt 'high' he agreed to try cutting my dose. If that doesn't work, I may have to switch to armour or a combined t3 and t4. With the help of the diet, and it's effect to slow down the autoimmune reaction against by thyroid, as well as better providing the nutrients my thyroid needs, I think this will work. I think my thyroid will step up to the plate and start working more like it should naturally.
It's been over a week and my heart rhythms are better, feeling pretting good, though I think my hair may be shedding a little more than usual now. I'll give it more time and see.
Went on a little vacation, and was a little less strict on my diet while there. Seemed to do ok though, and successfully avoided anything that would wreck the vacation. Did buy and bring some beneficials and fresh fruit, and walked my tail off, so I feel pretty good. I'm ready to eat right again though, it was starting to wear me down a bit.
Sad news though, my grandmother passed away. I'm going to her funeral in a couple days, hopefully I can catch up on work by then, but I'll go even if I haven't. I'm glad it wasn't a long, drawn-out, painful thing, as many cancers are, though I wish we'd all been given more time with her. My baby gave her a kiss on the cheek last time we saw her, and it was a sweet visit. My father was very close to her, so I hope he's doing okay; they're all so busy getting everything in order that we haven't had time to talk.
It's amazing how long it takes to learn from my body. Yesterday I was hungry and found myself in close proximity to a potato. I need to plan for moments like that, but needless to say, I ate just a few bites. Always thought potatoes didn't do anything to me, but this time I noticed some pain in my lower back that, recently, has been a rare occurence.
I've been eating too many carbs, very busy, stressed, and figure eating some rice is better than skipping a meal, though I'm not sure that's the case. My new health food store stopped selling free range beef, and I haven't made it to the other HFS. Sad because it wasn't frozen, it was fresh, now I'll have to go back to frozen. Did find out more about Norwegian salmon that my grocery store carries, it's antibiotic free, though given some type of immune booster as a smelt that I'll have to read into, and it's feed is all-natural, whatever that means. Sounds better than regular atlantic salmon, and it's not frozen. I still plan to order some frozen wild alaskan salmon.
Making jerky later today...mmmm.
As a O non-secretor my selection of sweeteners is very limited, no table sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no stevia, no honey, no maple syrup, of course no corn syrup, no dextrose, fructose, rice syrup or barley malt...the list goes on. What I can have are molasses and vegetable glycerine. Molasses works in some things, though for somebody who's not used to it, it just doesn't cut it. So I tentatively tried vegetable glycerine. I found it at one of the two local health food stores, in the skincare section. It didn't have any nutritional info on the bottle but did say it was derived from vegetable oils and pure enough to be taken internally. I was a little nervous at this point, so I did more research when I got it home. Heidi has some good information on it, and I've since noticed it as a main ingredient in a lot of prepared foods like protein bars, granola bars, baked goodies, etc.
I've discovered in my reading that not only is it safe & classified as a food, it actually has some health benefits and is big in weightlifting and athletic circles. I've also found it listed in some recipes for diabetics, even though one website says it does have an effect on blood sugar and that diabetics should be careful with it. It's been through some confusion as to whether it should be classified as a carbohydrate or a fat, presently it's classified as a carbohydrate. It's naturally occuring in the body, a product of the breakdown of fats. I'll have to get my Health Library Diabetes book back in my hands, as I heard it is mentioned in there pretty often. From what I understand the body will use it for glucose if it's short on glucose, but will use it as it would use a fat instead, if it has enough energy. For Os, fats are better than sugars most often. Like sugar alcohols, it doesn't interfere with ketosis, but unlike sugar alcohols (ie sorbitol, malitol), it doesn't cause digestive problems and diarrhea. I suppose that is because it is a naturally occuring substance in the body, easy to digest, and not perceived by the gut as a frankenfood.
That is my layman's read on glycerine; of course, remember moderation is best with all neutrals, for me glycerine is something that makes my occasional 'treat' more compliant.
Now on to the taste, it's quite sweet, a thinner liquid than maple syrup, and seems to be water soluble even though it seems like a oil. Works well in lemonade, herbal tea, brownies, chocolate...I'm continuing to experiment. When I made brownies with it they started smoking toward the end. The flavor was fine afterall, not burnt, but I'll reduce the temperature and/or baking time next time. One more try with it and the recipe should be postable.
I find it ironic that the only sweetener that doesn't cause cravings for more food and more sugar is the only one that isn't marketed as a sweetener. It just seems like a bit of a conspiracy, related to listing MSG as "Flavorings" in the ingredient lists even though it is somewhat addictive and dangerous for many consumers. The food industry seems to be able to protect it's interests and, in the process, fatten us all up quite well.
It's been a few weeks since I went jogging, my cold and allergies were just awful for a while there, but I feel better now, and needed some stress reduction, so at sunset tonight I loaded up the baby in the stroller, covered the whole load with a mosquito net, and some natural repellant, and took off on foot. Walked faster than usual to the park, but couldn't even manage my minimum 1/2 mile of running. Granted, the stroller makes it more challenging and the hike up the hill is a serious incline even for serious-looking mountain bikers. It was a good workout, and I even managed to fit in a hot bath afterward. I didn't eat well today (as in enough food), and I'm sure that didn't help the endurance. But hey, I went and got my blood flowing, and that counts for a lot!
The sunset was gorgeous tonight, they're all beautiful here, but this was really spectacular, wish I had taken a picture to post...but I didn't want to slow down. Flaming orange rays coming off the horizon, just about every type, color, and size of clouds, the colors all reflecting off the lake, and the muted-deep-colored hills seeming to vibrate with their last warmth of the day...just amazing.
I've had a few comments/questions come in, so I will use this blog to respond to them.
Hi Debbie- about psyllium husks for fiber supplement, from what I remember methylcellulose is more agreeable for most Os (though I have trouble finding any regular brand without avoids, check the health food store). I never quite feel well with psyllium husks. The very best thing for O's regularity in my experience is protein in the morning. Odd that a high fiber cereal would stop me up, while eggs or meat just gets everything moving right along. Also, for fiber supplements, the Larch Arabiniglactan in the store here, is great. It's a little more pricey, but for the benefits, it's well worth it, as promotes better health in so many ways. It also doesn't take as much per dose. There are also some posts about using flax seeds that have been soaked overnight, do a search on Heidi's column for info on that.
Thanks to Debra for pointing out that citric acid is in the ingredients in coke. I haven't checked the ingredients for a few years, and it's pretty common for them to shuffle around from time to time. I'll have to look out for that come next Christmas eve! P.S. I'll pray for you too!
Thanks to Chris for pointing out a new book I may have to pick up and add to my library, "What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You", sounds interesting.
Thanks to Natalie also for your comments, I always enjoy reading your blog and basking in your community spirit.
Luis asked about the status of Vitamin C for O's, I seem to remember that it has to be from good natural sources like rose hips or acerola cherry. I think there are some problems with the standard drugstore vitamin C sources causing trouble for Os acidic digestion. I know that I never really thought of taking Vitamin C for that reason, until I saw it listed in some of the health protocols, like the Allergy protocol for non-secretors.
Sorry I've been away, visited my Grandma, she is still feeling pretty ok, but will have to start taking morphine soon, so I'm glad we made it out before then. She's 83, and 2 months ago had no signs of cancer in blood tests or x-rays. A week ago they found that she now has agressive cancer throughout many major organs. She's my last grandparent, her husband died almost 2 years ago from old age and cancer. My other two grandparents passed away before I was born, and didn't live long enough to get cancer, due to heart damage from rheumatic fever and circulation/nerve problems relating to an unusual birth defect.
My Grandma nearly died 11 years ago. I remember the date well because it was my 18th birthday. She went in for kidney surgery, and ended up in the O.R. for over 10 hours. The doctor was a superhero that day, as her arteries were literally falling apart on the operating table. She also had uterine cancer 7 years ago, they removed it and thought they had contained it, but now we're not sure if this is from that, or new.
I'm slowly realizing that I have quite a few risk factors for cancer, my father's family has been in a geneology study because so many of them have had it. My father has had prostate cancer, and his younger sister has fought breast cancer. They're mostly Os from what I can gather, and do tend to survive it against some bad odds. As far as how it relates to me, I have two additional risk factors for gastric cancers... celiac disease and past h. pylori infection. I don't really have to worry yet, as I'm not quite even 30, but now is the time for preventative measures, and there are lots of preventative measures for gastric cancers: antioxidants in teas, pigmented fruits, and supplements such as querticin and the usual supplements like Vitamin C, etc. I take querticin for allergies, but am looking for a good source of vitamin C next time I shop at the health food store or online.
My allergies are finally getting under control again, the gluten from my rye test really threw my immune system for a loop. I came down with a bad cold the next day, and bad allergies for the next week or two. I'm now off gluten for good, forever, 100%
I had a question come in about citric acid that I wanted to answer, and expound on my reaction to it. I first noticed it after drinking a diet pepsi, I got a headache and a goose-egg on my head, like I'd been hit on the head. I figured out that I hadn't actually been hit on the head, and blamed it on aspartame. Then realized diet coke didn't do that to me, and never quite figured out what ingredient it was until I drank a lemonade from the soda fountain and got the same reaction. After comparing all the ingredients, citric acid was the only one that was in all those soft drinks, but not diet coke. It's got phosphoric acid or something like that, which isn't good for a person, either, and I've pretty much given it up all but on holidays. My aunt (who is not a blood relative) also gets bumps on her head and a headache from diet pepsi, but hasn't decided what causes it. Incidentally, she's doing very well on a low-carb diet, so probably an O.
I did some research online tonight about citric acid. My most recent theory is based on the information at this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citric_acid Artificial citric acid is produced by fermentation of a sugar from various sources, with a fungus called Aspergillus niger, interestingly it can be produced with the penicillin fungis, and I'm allergic to penicillin. Anyway, the Aspergillus niger fungus is a common black mold on fruits. Of course all molds can be problematic for Os, nonsecretors especially. So perhaps the fungus or some remnant of it doesn't get completely purified out enough for my sensitivities, or it could have to do with the source of the sugar used.
Of course, citric acid is in soft drinks in very high amounts, compared to other foods it is added to, and I hardly ever notice a reaction from other foods that contain it as an ingredient. Soft drinks are bad for us anyway, that just makes it all the easier for me to avoid them...except when it comes to Coke on Christmas Eve.
I just got my self-diagnosis of celiac confirmed, doc said I'm probably also lactose intolerant. In a way I'm bummed, but in another way, I've committed to the BTD so it's no big loss on either front anymore. I just wish I weren't soooo reactive to everything. I'm thankful to the guidance of the BTD though, never would have even known why I was sick without it. If you're sick all the time, and eating the same basic foods everyday, you don't realize it's the food making you sick.
Here's what I can't eat, due to intolerance, food allergies, reactions, etc.
Wheat, Kamut, Spelt
Ezekiel and Essene bread...there's gluten there in my gut's opinion :-)
Oats (not sure if there's always a celiac reaction there, but they do plug me up at the very least)
Artificial Citric Acid
Dairy, I'm beginning to learn
Corn, I'm beginning to learn
Couldn't eat converted white rice for a few years, but now all rice is fine. I think the wheat was confusing my system.
Then of course, most of the avoids make me feel, at the very least, a little tired.
But hey, the list of things I can eat is much longer!
Still brewing up t-shirt ideas. Mike sent me the idea to just have a shirt for each type, with just an O, A, B or AB in large print, and no other explanation. That way people have to ask us what it means, and we can explain to them and show them our passion for the diet. I like that idea.
I found some ocean caught cod at Costco. Surely it's flash frozen, but I have lots of cherries to help counteract the polyamines. There was a nice recipe on the package, you fry some onions in olive oil, add tomato sauce or canned tomatoes, fresh parsley, wine (I don't have any of that, but it was fine without), the recipe also called for olives, but O nonnies can't have those. Then you add the cod to it and cook it through (adding more liquid if necessary). It was yummy, and didn't make the house smell like fish. Then tonight I made it again, but added mushrooms, and a can of okra with tomatoes, instead of just tomatoes. It was very good.
Had a previously cooked patty of ground buffalo with onions and mushrooms for lunch, eggs with onions and mushrooms for breakfast, and lots of water or sparkling water in between. Plus a few of the chocolate covered cherries from yesterday. (Store them in the freezer, thaw a few at a time to eat once they're thawed.)
Have a great week!
Another t-shirt: "If you think I'm sexy and you want my body... Eat Right 4 Your Type!" Ok, I'm running out of ideas... keep 'em coming.
Why is it that when I'm sick, the time I need most to be compliant, is the time when I want most to eat avoids? After getting sick from the rye, I vowed to be extra good while my insides were healing, and eat mostly beneficials. Then I got sick with a cold (related? probably, celiac disease can mess up your immunity in all kinds of ways). Being sick in both ways made most good foods taste nasty, I didn't eat much, and when I did eat, it sometimes included avoids. The first few days I did ok, with work, but after that I threw caution to the wind.
Where there's a rat there's also a snake.
Ever notice how one avoid leads to another? They travel in packs, it would seem. They can be found together at restaurants, in processed foods, and craving-wise. Once you eat one, you want more. I did discover in my forays to the dark side, that I don't really like the taste of soy anymore, I used to love tofu and soy sauce, but now I don't. Corn still does bad things to me, as does milk, of course, I didn't doubt that they would, don't know why I had to rebel again.
Today, I'm trying harder. My cold isn't as miserable as it was, and I'm more able to deal with things. Sparkling water with sometimes a little cherry juice, pom juice, or lemon juice, is doing good things for me, so are the cherries. I'm still trying to cleanse the gluten out of my system, and feeling better, nuts and seeds aren't irritating my exposed villi like they were a few days ago.
Since I had gluten in my system (twice in the last month!) I went in to my doctor to have the blood tests done. I feel it was enough gluten to see the effect of it, and would be very surprised if the blood tests look normal. The experience was enough to convince me that I'm a celiac, but a few years from now, the experience may not be as fresh in my memory, so I want numbers too.
Yes, it is cherry season!
To combat my chocolates craving, I made some chocolate covered cherries. Had a whole huge bunch of cherries from Costco that I know won't stay fresh long, so I pitted half of them, melted a large bar of unsweetened chocolate on the double boiler, added 2 T. vegetable glycerine, dipped the cherries in, put them on waxed paper and put the cookie sheet full of them on a shelf in the freezer. I just tried one, a little too frozen solid to tell for sure, but I think they'll be good once they thaw a little. I froze them to speed along the chocolate hardening, and to get them kind of juicier inside, like the old chocolate cherries I remember that have the syrupy stuff inside. I'll know in a while if it worked. I hope I put enough glycerine in them, I don't want it too sweet, but maybe a little more would be better. I'll add a note to this entry once I know for sure. ---Yup, they're good, as they melted, they oozed out a little cherry juice. Those who like sweet stuff way want to add more glycerine or some molasses.
Be good, and be well!
My stomach's almost better, just a little sensitive to some foods while healing (such as seeds & nuts which seem to irritate it). That will improve. I don't know if it distracted my immune system or what, but I've had a bad head cold for a couple days now. To deal with the cold, I've been trying hard to stay on track. I read the can of chicken broth I had on hand, and couldn't bring myself to using it, must have had 10 or more ingredients, many of them avoids. So I went to the store and bought a natural brand with just broth and a little fat. Sure tastes more bland, but I adapted. I added salt, garlic and many different spices, even terragon which I usually don't know where to use, but it needed a sweeter herb. Also fresh parsley and oregano from the herb garden, and some sliced deli turkey (the "noodles"). It did the job, and tasted ok. Nothing has tasted great with this cold, though I've been craving spicy food (I've never had trouble with spicy food). I found some compliant hot salsa with just tomato, serrano pepper, garlic and cilantro and salt as the ingredients. It was very spicy and felt good. I used rice crackers in place of corn chips, and only bit off a tiny bit of the cracker with each big scoop of salsa...they're more crunchy than corn chips, thus, it doesn't take as much to get the same 'bite'.
Today I had a moment of weakness, I was super thirsty at the mall and wanted something bubbly; being still miserable with my cold, I caved in and had a coke. Well, that's my coke for the year. Bad.
I did notice how my celiac reaction differs from my lectin reaction. With wheat I have both types, but the rye only gave me the celiac reaction. The lectins in wheat react within 20 minutes and make my joints hurt, then make me irritable/depressed for about 24 hours. The celiac reaction takes at least a couple hours to start up, and is primarily digestive. First sign is gas, then it feels like I have an alien inside me trying to get out, and I won't go on with the description from there! So, I'm gluten intolerant and lectin sensitive, but hey, when I eat right, I'm healthy! A few years ago I didn't think I'd ever be able to say "I'm healthy". Knowledge is power.
I'll be going into my doctor next week to ask him more about celiac disease and see if it needs to be monitored via blood tests, etc. I figured out that doctors only can pay attention to your primary complaint at a regular office visit, so I scheduled this one as a consult, that should help. He's an osteopathic doctor, and quite good at listening, but it's still good to make sure to schedule enough time in advance.