Dangerous Grains

It’s only been 2 months since I started this journey but I have settled into better health very easily.

Last fall it was very hard for me to even keep the house in shape but I now have shining kitchen counters, clean floors and a cluttered desk thanks to my new graduate studies. It’s easy to walk all my dogs daily despite the snow and I’ve been to the gym a few times without needing a nap.

The cold weather (as low as 5 degrees) in NJ made me question my progress as I got depressed and joint-sore again but as soon as it was in the 30s I was once again buzzing around and feeling better. It’s wonderful getting up at 7, 8 in the morning instead of my usual 9-9 sleep with additional naps.

Probiotics have helped me manage some nuts, seeds and beans so my food has gone from very plain to a huge variety of grain free crepes, bean soups and cashew cream sauces. Lots of raw vegetables is important and I have trained my local vegan eatery to make a huge salad for me without the nutritional yeast that vegan chefs are addicted to. It makes me itch, unfortunately.

As I have been so much better, I decided to try and add quinoa back in last night. It’s a great grain high in iron and complete protein.

Having been 2 months grain free – I immediately got sharp stomach pain that I recognized only too well from my elimination diets. It never bothered me too much when I was eating grains daily, but I was near death anyway. So quinoa is on my naughty list and I won’t be doing any more grain experiments any time soon. Also have been rewarded with my first headache in 2 months, I certainly don’t miss them!

I’ve read science behind this kind of reaction before on Paleo blogs and it turns out quinoa is potentially dangerous for those with celiac disease because it mimics qualities of gluten. Here’s one article: http://www.glutenfreesociety.org/gluten-free-society-blog/is-quinoa-a-safe-gluten-free-food-alternative/

Looking forward to an active & healthy spring! 🙂

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The Superfood Binges

Other than our Florida cousins, most of us end up paying double digits for any fruit of the ‘superfood’ variety. I agree with Dr Fuhrman that most of the hype is nothing more than crafty marketing but there’s no question of the benefit of whole fruits. Some in particular such as the Noni have been used for healing in Polynesian tribes for hundreds of years.

On my annual trip to Kauai (I’m thrifty and get good deals) I’ve been loving finding Noni’s (cheap but disgusting), Sour Sop juice (with mint… to die for) and the Mangosteen at roadside stalls. Stores seem to have the standard fare but if anyone is eating right and traveling be sure to look at local produce markets!

I will add pictures when I am home but my favorites have been the Mangosteen (gross shell, incredible center), fresh passion fruit, rambutans (lychees with a fro) and my favorite, the EGGFRUIT. This mango shaped delicacy is grown in Florida too but has a unique dry texture like an egg. And it TASTES LIKE CAKE!

I found a local lady who will send Noni juice from her farm to the mainland for $75 (two giant mason jars which is gross enough to last a long time) – if anyone wants her info let me know.

Other than my distaste of the cold, this trip has compounded my theory that humans are best suited to the tropics. Where else do cakes grow on trees!

Conquering Cravings

It seems like it’s human nature that as soon as we get our heart’s desire, we take it for granted. 

Like a girl I know who was really sick for nearly 20 years, found a limited diet that resolved most of the symptoms but kept getting in her own way by rolling the dice with foods…. 

It started last night with a can of lentil soup because I was starving and couldn’t be bothered to cook a healthy meal. I’m allergic to tomatoes but there was trace amounts in the ingredients. I figured maybe it had magically gone away in the last week since I last had a reaction. Poof, skin pain all night. Instead of letting myself detox I did the unthinkable and bought ‘healthy’ chickpeas… coated with vegan chocolate! This occurred this morning. Within 30 minutes I was drugged like Emma’s encounter with the Mad Hatter on Once Apon A Time. Eyes heavy, legs weak, walked around looking for flip flops while I had them on…

In my past I might have decided to just go get pizza at this point but I’ve learned that when you are eating well your body can usually flush out toxins pretty fast. I also know that the only reason this happened is because I am traveling, didn’t plan my meals correctly and most of all went into a health food store hungry ( I have posted this before, but these can be the most dangerous places for someone on a healthy LID).

There are certainly great ways to control cravings. Juice fasting, never shopping hungry and filling up on greens consistently as part of a balanced diet. 

However almost everyone on this path will eventually be caught unaware & some badass willpower will be required. I may have to force myself to purchase and consume bananas. Sometimes I use the AA trick, I won’t have it just for today. I’m spiritual so I also pray for help with cravings. Food can be nothing more than an addiction, wrapped up in a package saying Vegan & Gluten free. The real problem food – sugar – sneaks into nearly everything. No worries for those who can tolerate it but I need to remember I’m not everyone else. It’s not my diet that’s extreme, it’s the fact I was in bed all last year that I need to focus on. And now I’m not. Plus I hiked 6 miles on a solid mud trail that seemed uphill both ways this week before my food failures started. The new me doesn’t run on chocolate.  I’ve messed this up before and can’t ever let that happen again. 

So This Is What Energy Is

Well I always did wonder how people manage to get things done, work jobs, keep the house nice etc etc.

I woke up this morning literally BUZZING with energy… I drank coffee/alcohol for 15 years to try and self medicate my health situation but nothing can compare to this feeling of unlimited energy with a calm, clear, collected mind. Cleaned the kitchen and now I’m working on reformatting my iPhone which is something I have been putting off since it broke 6 months ago. 

Yesterday I managed to get over my roadblock of not being able to read (it used to put me to sleep like many others with extreme fatigue issues) and really enjoyed some great books about thinking positive… something that I have been doing a lot lately.  

The North East has been hit by a foot of snow which normally would make me panic because snow takes so much energy to clear but this year I’m not worried – just enjoying my green juice and getting ready to go out there and take some pictures for the magazine I work for. 

My energy, like everyone has been cyclical the last few weeks but it seems lately the peaks and highs are getting better and better and there are much longer windows of productivity.

However, I do not consider myself ‘cured’ or ‘in remission’ because I did the same thing in summer (detox diet) and got sick again as soon as I decided I was cured and could go have vegan pizza. My health is returning conditionally, after a probable lifetime of dietary intolerances and I’ll probably have to eat this way for the rest of my life. 

The hardest part of course, will be sticking with this as I have failed before. I find health food stores to be even more dangerous than conventional due to the number of ‘health promoting’ processed foods they have. Bought a block of Daiya cheese at “Deans” yesterday which literally made my stomach growl so loud that my dogs were scared. Thinking back, a lump of plastic made of pea protein, chemicals and synthesized plant nutrients really isn’t whole food and it’s undigestability should have come at no surprise. Coconut yogurt (plain) was fine so I am hoping to get more seeds back into my diet if things keep going well! 

Here’s what I am doing so far: 

16oz Peppermint Tea with lemon to wake up 

16oz apple/romaine juice (really cheap as these two things constantly show up in the expired produce cart at Stop n Shop) 

16oz banana/greens smoothie

Giant salad with lots of avocado (I’m skinny!!), apple and spring greens/kale

Daily thick soups with any vegetables – no nightshades. Bee pollen and hemp hearts added.

Steamed veggies/squashes if still hungry.  

Can’t afford organic apart from leafy greens but it’s working regardless.

Supps: 2 Pbx, D3, Omega3, Cal/Mag/Zinc, Iron, B12, Ribose & Zinc