Archives for: December 2007
My cat has been getting a bit scratched in fights lately, so when I saw a raccoon in the back yard, I knew something had to be done about it. I called Animal Control, and found out what to do. Then I picked up a raccoon trap at the city and set it outside where I saw the raccoon. The first night, the raccoon had set off the trap door and got the food out of it without getting caught. The second night, it got caught, and all it's family (3 others) came over to try to help it escape (and get as much of the food as they could). I could watch them from a window and feared that they would be able to get it out before the animal control officer could come in the morning. They dug lots of holes around it, but it was still there in the morning. I didn't like having that many raccoons hanging out in my yard most of the night!
The next night I caught another one, and there were more in its company than before, 4 or 5. They're cute, smart, good climbers, and a danger to our pets and us, as they are fierce and harbor many diseases and parasites that can infect pets and humans. Each morning, the officer came and took away the raccoon, to take it to the shelter where I presume they will put it down. I have 4 or 5 or more yet to catch! Needless to say, I've missed a little sleep this week worrying about the critters. At some point they may decide to stop coming around and I won't be able to catch them all, but I'll persist as long as necessary.
They have no natural predators here, so their numbers can really grow out of control, I've never been much of a hunter, but it has to be done. They're quite frightening since they don't show any fear of us. I can open a window and yell or growl at them, and they just back up a few feet and stare at me. They can look at me right outside my window, just a few inches from me, with no fear.
So that's my excitement this week!
I picked up a copy of Scientific American Mind this week, and there was an interesting article about how to prepare children (and any age) for success. When parents praise their children for "being smart" or "being talented" like it is just a born or inherited trait, then that often sets the children up for defeat. School, and life, do become hard, for everyone, and when things are no longer easy, these children think it is hard because they do not have the traits necessary to do it easily. At that point, they give up or lose interest in that which has become hard. It is better to praise a child for how they go about the growth and learning process, and the effort they put into it, or how they get to the end result. They taught a group of students about how the brain forms new connections between the neurons whenever you learn something new, and emphasized that "smart" comes from hard work, and can be built. Often, those who demonstrate the greatest successes are those who don't start out all that smart, but they have a love of learning, and a love of the subject and the work it takes to learn it, and eventually, they make breakthroughs.
You can apply this to everyone, and it's not just the brain that can be changed. We are just beginning to understand epigenetics, but all indications are that we are all much more plastic (changable) than anybody every guessed before. We can turn on good genes and turn off bad genes through diet, how we interact with our environment, how we move, what we learn, etc. etc.
If there's some positive trait you simply think you lack, think again, and work to change it...and you will develop that trait. If you don't want to do the work, or other work that is more important, admit it, and move on, at least you will no longer be holding yourself back through your thinking. "You Are Who You Choose To Be" That's a line from The Iron Giant, a great animated movie. (Yes I take much wisdom from children's films, but it's good that they often have it.)
Today I've been milk-free again. It was a bit harder because there is some back in my fridge again, but I figure after 3 or 4 days, I should be fine with that. Funny though, I went toward the fridge to get some water, and explained to my son what I was doing, "I'm just getting a glass of milk". Mentally I had to stop myself, no, not milk, water. Kind of funny. I don't think I would have grabbed the milk, but it's funny that my subconscious came out like that. Another few days and that will be gone.
Tonight was also tempting on other fronts, everyone else wanted pudding. So I made some with soymilk, and then proceeded to fight off the temptation any way I could. My type O son was a good example, I got out a pomegranate that I'd sectioned and put it next to the pudding, then asked him which one he wants. He chose the pomegranate. That's his newest food discovery, and after watching me eat them, and feeding me the seeds he pulls out, he finally decided to give them a good try. He eats the whole seed just like I do, and almost as fast. So, I opted for pomegranate myself the first go round of pudding. The second took bigger measures, so I fried some bananas in ghee, nutmeg, cloves, coriander and cardamom. That was good, and definitely did the job, now I feel warm and healthy, whereas if I'd eaten the pudding I'd feel empty.
At the forum, Drea said something great that is now my marching order when it comes to avoiding the addictive avoids...dairy being my biggie, since wheat is no longer at all tempting to me.
"My will power comes in the form of not eating that first piece"
You see, a few months ago I heard through the grapevine that somebody I respect, thinks I'm not healthy, since there are so many foods I can't eat. So I went about trying to prove that I could survive as well as anybody while eating like they do. Maybe I did prove my point, I felt as good as most people. I also proved the point that I want to feel better, and look better, and be stronger. It's not about surviving in the same boat as everyone else, I want to be able to leave the boat and swim to the sandy beach.
So then I decided ok, I have will power, if I eat milk one day, I can stop the next, or I can eat it in moderation. I sort of could, but I didn't have quite as much will power as I hoped, and I wasn't losing weight or feeling great.
Casomorphaholics* anonymous, maybe in the future, post-genotype diet, there will be such a group. So, now I've been sober for 2 days. I don't keep the milk about, my husband has some but I moved it to the basement refrigerator so it wouldn't tempt me while I'm in withdrawal.
After two days, I am feeling better, better than average, better than last week, just plain better. My joints don't hurt, my heel doesn't hurt, my fingers don't hurt, etc.
If you don't know what White Lines are, view this video.
I often get asked about celiac disease, by those with symptoms or those who discovered the above info about white lines. My advice for Blood Type Dieters is a bit different from my advice for standard americans, since BTDers are generally more willing to make lasting dietary changes, without being advised into it by an MD. But here it is:
If you suspect gluten intolerance but don't have severe intestinal problems, a biopsy is not necessary, IMO. (It is necessary with severe problems, since other things could be going on instead or in addition to Celiac disease, or the damage may be so extensive to require follow-up care). You don't need a lab to tell you something you will already know, once you eliminate gluten for a few months and see how it helps. Of course, you give up the chance of getting a positive biopsy in the future, if you're gluten free, but if you see real results, you won't need lab results. (This applies especially for BTD pioneers, we are willing to give a diet and honest try and listen to our bodies). Poor gut glycosylation can be so minimal on a biopsy that they may not interpret it correctly anyway, if you haven't developed full blown celiac disease. And as I read in an article by Dr. Rodney Ford about testing children for celiac disease, why wait till the bitter end for positive test results, if consuming gluten is making them sick? I've never regretted putting my youngest on a GF diet, because I know it makes him sick, but I often regret waiting so long to put my oldest on the diet, after so much damage and misery.
I can certainly see changes in my white lines, when I'm compliant and avoid accidental glutens. The ridge height then improves and the lines fade. Yet, if I get glutened or have milk the lines come back pretty fast and the ridge height gets lower (the very middle of my prints is almost smoothed down, at its worst.) Take some prints, and compare in a few months. My prints were much easier to get last spring than they were 2 years ago, though I still have some way to go, thanks to my occasional milk relapses and restaurant-going.
I also have dermatitis herpetiformis, so my elbows and knees also 'speak to me' if I've been too careless, and I get rough circles of thick dry skin on them, and milk can cause these for me as well. I am certainly lectin-sensitive, from too much time eating gluten and damage that isn't so fast healing when you're no longer a youngster. Many avoid lectins can mimic my gluten response, to a lesser extent.
Without a biopsy, maybe you can't officially call yourself a celiac, but chalk it up as gluten sensitivity which can be just as serious as celiac disease. It wasn't too long ago that dermatitis herpetiformis was not considered as serious as celiac disease, the medical community now realizes it has all the same risk factors as CD, including gastrointestinal cancer, etc. and no longer require an intestinal biopsy before putting DH patients on the diet.
You could get a stool test from enterolab if you want something to back you up. That's what I did for my son because no matter how much I told family that gluten was making him sick, they believed the lab more than they believed me. He had a classic case, as many children with it do. He hardly needed any tests since gluten made him look like a walking skeleton, gluten-free made him healthy, simple as that. If I had subjected him to all the tests, it would have been misery for him (and me), and the tests may not have come out positive yet, since it can take months or years of illness before the damage is extensive enough to show up on the test.
Doctors will cast doubt on the stool test, but at least it's something. Blood tests may also be affordable enough, but they miss too many cases, even of full blown CD.
I've been using Intrinsa again. I've gone on and off it a few times because it caused me to have very loose stools. I finally decided this was probably a candida die-off reaction, or something similar, and I've been sticking with it this time. As expected, that reaction improved with time. It's a very good supplement for healing the intestines, and fighting candida. Of course, diet is key...so avoid the gluten and avoid the avoids.