Category: Melissa's Earlier Blogs
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.