Category: Melissa's Earlier Blogs
The state of SAD (as in Standard American Diet) is quite literally sad, there is so little variety, with corn and wheat making up most of what the masses consume. Most people consider variety to be noodles, breads and cereals of different shapes and colors. Not healthy at all... Didn't the phrase "let them eat cake" cause an uprising once? Nobody seems to be complaining now.
I almost laugh when I tell people about what my son and I can't eat and they ask "what else is there to eat?", "hey, when was the last time you tried a new fruit or vegetable...or any fruit or vegetable for that matter? I tried kohlrabi last week and it was really good." Puzzled look on their face says "what's kohlrabi?" I have way more variety in my diet today than I did 6 years ago, and my son will eat a lot more different foods than any other American toddler I've met. I don't think we're deprived!
Speaking of SAD, the other SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, I feel pretty great the last couple days. I didn't even realize it was the solstice, but I noticed I felt good and started cleaning out the garage, then my husband mentioned it to me and it all made sense. I'm on a different schedule than most people with SAD or bipolar SAD, my best day is each solstice and the weeks following. Even though it's the shortest and longest day of the year, it's the day my symptoms lift as day lengths start heading back to normal. Shortly after each equinox, on the other hand, is my worst time when either depression or anxiety/hypomania hit the hardest. So now is a good time for me.
I have to finally rave about wheat grass juice. I've never had cause to celebrate it before, follow-through to drink it daily, or complete confidence in those preparing it for me (gluten-wise), but now that I need to detox and I can prepare it myself, I can really tell a difference from drinking it! I made it through a really hectic day today with hardly a trace of numbness or recurrence of shellfish toxin symptoms.
The uni-bars were great today too. When I'm out, and have to choose between eating mystery foods or eating nothing at all, these give me a third choice. Saved me from hunger a couple times today.
Is it an eating disorder to refuse to eat out? Feels like it, just because it's so different from the norm today...people really eat out a lot. Then, when they eat in, it's highly processed. I'm now an alien from another planet and another era.
I did eat out once this week, however. There's a wonderful little Indian restaurant in Sandy (Royal India) that makes dosa bread, a sourdough flatbread made from rice and lentils. It's lovely, and I really enjoyed my meal with a lamb-filled dosa. It was gluten free and pretty pure, but I didn't 'audit' it, and did end up having a bit of trouble afterward with recurrence of neurologic symptoms. My body is so darn unforgiving! (Probably had some corn something or other avoid in it) I still recommend it to any celiac out there looking for something tasty. It's very impressive to look at, large and nearly paper thin, and everyone at the other tables wanted to order what I had. They also make idli, a steamed sourdough dumpling, with similar ingredients, which tastes great dipped in soup. I'll have to learn how to make them at home, and have the recipes from Globally Gluten-Free, a new cookbook I picked up.
Funny, I can find as many recipes I can eat in a regular old cookbook as I can in most gluten-free cookbooks. I returned a GF baking cookbook this week, because it was all corn and such, I don't think it had a single recipe I could use. I guess it boils down to the fact that I have to cook naturally gluten-free, without trying to replicate foods that are off limits, just focusing on the foods that are simple, natural, and straight-forward.
Today I had beneficial ice cream! What an event! I rolled pieces of banana in cocoa, froze them, and put them through my juicer. It was good. Then I sprinkled chopped walnuts on top, and it was very good. Adding a little homemade compliant chocolate syrup would make it even better, but I saved that idea for another day.
Things are looking up! I wish the same improved health and optimism for all of you.
Yes, it's about time! I got an omega 8005 juicer. Not the very best of the best, but perfectly suitable for what I need. I could have spent 2 to 5X more and gotten an even better machine, but for the price, this looked like the best buy for me. It's a masticating juicer so it doesn't heat up the juice like the centrifugal types. (I'm not sure I have all the right terminology, but hopefully you get my drift) The flavor is much improved over what came out of my old juicer, that was under $40. It's not noisy at all, at least not with carrots and pineapple, which is all I've tried so far. I will try almond butter and frozen bananas and all that fun stuff too. Should save us some money on carrot juice from the juice bar. It's surprisingly easy to clean, expecially in comparison to my old machine.
What really sealed the deal for me was, with my newfound post-shellfish-poisoning food ultra-sensitivities, I reacted to a couple sips of carrot/pineapple juice from the juice bar, which uses canned or concentrated pineapple juice - must have added citric acid or corn-derived vitamin C. (How's that for a run-on sentence!) Also I noticed some Dole canned pineapple had citric acid to it, which I had never seen before. I can't live off the mercy of food manufacturers anymore.
Any great ideas of what to do with my juicer? I'd like to start juicing some greens into the mix...spinach, collards, kale. For today we're all happy with fresh carrot/pineapple juice. I'm also using it to make baby food. It's easier than my little baby foodmill, and the baby likes the results a bit better. His favorite canned baby food is pears & winter squash, so I better pick up some of those and make up a batch. My invention I'd like to try is sauteed bananas, frozen, then put through the machine and mixed with cocoa and spices. That should be one nice ice cream! (Not a baby food just yet though
I'm wondering if my corn reaction isn't really an allergy at all, but more of a personal toxicity. The thing that makes me wonder, is the similarity to the reaction to shellfish toxin. Also, the fact that the reactions are compounded by each other. Perhaps it's just another illustration of the power of a lectin. I'll be seeing an allergist for the first time, finally, anyhow. We'll see what I learn from that, at least I should get an epipen for my pistachio allergy. They aren't a common food, like peanuts, but you never know! Rosemary is pretty common, and I suppose that could evolve beyond a rash.
BTW, I've lost about 10 pounds since my ultimatum. When was that, May 18th? About 3 weeks. I'm not trying to lose weight, since I'm nursing, but I'm trying to heal and get healthy again. (I have weight to lose, pregnancy really hits me that way, so no complaints 'bout it.) I still have symptoms crop up from the shellfish poisoning, if I get stressed, tired, or eat a little of something I shouldn't. I still worry a bit about the toxin and breastmilk, but I called every authority on the matter I could, and they said if it wasn't affecting him after two weeks, it probably wasn't going to. It's probably not the type that goes through the milk. As far as toxins from weightloss, I think since I was healthy and compliant during the gain (pregnancy), that there shouldn't be much trouble there either. Most of all, I need to feel good to raise my boys, and that's my primary motivator. Formula sometimes gets recalled for worse than my breastmilk could have in it.
Anyway, thanks for all the comments, I haven't had time to reply to everyone, but I hope to!
I thought I've been sensitive to foods before, but this is ridiculous. I must be at 98% of my toxic load, with 100% meaning showing symptoms. It really makes me realize that Dr. D'Adamo wasn't joking when he compared avoids to poisons. I wouldn't be surprised if shellfish toxins are lectins themselves, much like other natural poisons. Many of the effects are strikingly similar, though they vary by a few degrees.
It only takes a tiny bit of avoids (or stress) to trigger something weird now. My body has a lot of work to do to complete the recovery, and I'm not wanting to stand in the way. I guess I not a person who can have my cake and taste it too.
You don't have to worry about me falling off the bandwagon for a while, it would hurt!
I have lost weight with my newfound compliance, though I'm not trying to lose weight. I suppose that if I'm eating lots of healthy, nutrient-laden food, then it's probably not such a bad thing to lose weight while breastfeeding. Most dieters think I'm nuts with how much I'm eating.
It's meat and vegetables all the way now, baby. At least I have my cayenne to kick things up a notch. Tried this: browned some ground beef, onion, garlic, compliant taco seasoning in a pan, added Great Northern Beans (allergy and fatigue beneficials, so it seems), torn kale, and broth. More seasonings, and behold, taco soup! That was easy and weirdly enough, the kale is a good stand in for the traditional soggy tortilla chips. Next time, I'll add some carrots. Gotta love those beneficial carrots.
Also had a lovely pineapple walnut salad. You guessed it, just fresh pineapple and walnuts. Couldn't be much simpler or tastier.
Keeping a lot of steamed broccoli on hand to toss into whatever, or snack on. Who says a snack has to be a cracker, broccoli makes a fine snack. My son is eating a lot more of it too, he has to have a few bites every time he sees me with it.
Lots of high-energy drinks too, combining homemade ginger syrup, herbal teas, carrot juice, prune juice, blueberry juice, lime or lemon juice, sparkling water, etc. in many interesting ways.
Anyway, sleep is beneficial too, so goodnight!
I've been noticing a lot of new food allergies lately. You know, kind of like how pineapple can make your mouth numb? I've also had a lot of back pain. My diet wasn't great (at this point in the story), and I had been glutened fairly recently out of my own carelessness.
Ok, now, my back started tingling, like bugs crawling under my skin and then went kind of numb.
Within a couple days the same thing happened in my feet and lower legs.
By the time I went to my osteopath, the tingling was on my right shoulder. He said, "You may not need an adjustment, we need to do an MRI to rule out MS" Of course, I freaked out a bit, though I tried not to. That day the symptoms worsened, and I realized other symptoms I had or had previously experienced, and there were many. My strength and endurance started to leave, my face started to tingle and went numb, and I was afraid.
The moment I heard MS, I went back on board BTD with hypercompliance. I'm talking beef and greens, mostly greens, at all times. I can count on one hand the avoids and neutrals I have had over the last week, and it was less than a few grams total (and these are the lesser avoids, I won't even look at processed foods, restaurant rhoulette, corn derivatives or dairy again). I also made it a point to get out and walk with my boys every evening...didn't know if it would help, but with the numbness now travelling over my body, I wanted to enjoy life and feel the breeze on my face. Every time I kissed my children, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to feel the kiss the next day. On night I woke up with the numbness in my upper legs for the first time, and some difficulty going to the bathroom. I freaked out once more.
Then, I had the crisis and the breakthrough. I found true north once again, and was determined to fight this. I prayed and got blessings from all around me. This helped me, I relaxed, and started to have a few more steps forward than back...kind of. Every time I felt better I was afraid to celebrate because I knew in an hour I might feel worse again. I cannot stand unpredictability, I want to know what's next!
6 days after the doc appt, I got in for the MRI. I hated waiting, but unless I was in terrible pain or paralysis, it wasn't considered an emergency.
Soon after the MRI I got a pretty bad case of diarrhea, but that's no biggie for me. This time I chalked it up to more fiber in my diet.
Next day I got word that the MRI was fine, and though this didn't necessarily rule out MS, it was promising. As long as I continued to get better, I wouldn't need more tests, just watch out for the symptoms in case there's a next time. More unpredictability and uncertainty!
When I started feeling worse again, taking more steps backward, I was determined to get to the bottom of all this. Could be gluten ataxia or celiac neuropathy, but my symptoms didn't quite jive with what little inforation I could find on both. Most like neuropathy, but isn't that just the extremities, not the face?
Google and search, over and over. Then I tried searching for facial numbness: broken nose? Nope. etc. etc.
What would be the right question to ask me at this point?
Ok, are you ready to ask me the right question? What did I fail to mention to my doctor, that might be important here? What would House ask (of course, once I was on the brink of death, for drama's sake)?
What foods gave me a numb mouth reaction?
Bingo! Shrimp and crab (one or both)
Shellfish Poisoning. With all the press and thoughts on allergies, I forgot about food poisoning, it's not something I had much experience with or thought much about.
Think pufferfish, fugu...well little did this inland-dweller know that all bottom-feeders can accumulate a bit of this toxin, or a similar one. So, moral of the story is, if you ever get tingling or numbness after eating any type of shellfish (and even some types of fish), go to the ER. I can't stand the thought that other people can go through this and worse. I never gave too much thought to my nervous system, but now I'll always be thankful to feel the breeze, a kiss, even a little discomfort now and then.
Here's the most informative link I could find.
When I said I felt my food was poisoning me, I wasn't kidding! I'm continuing in hypercompliance for at least 3 months, as I want to recover fast and stop stressing my body with any other poisons. Beneficials certainly are medicines too. I felt better after every beneficial, and worse when I hadn't eaten enough of them.
I don't know if I'll ever eat shellfish again, and you couldn't pay me ten million dollars to try fugu...