Back in love… with EXERCISE!!!

Most people who turn into giant sacks of autoimmune disease and fatigue know the hardest part is not being able to do the things they love any more. 

Well, I’m pleased to report that not only am I feeling great 2 days into my vacation in Hawaii (though airplane nuts, hummus and dried fruits were not my friend) but I managed to go surfing today… for 3 and a half hours. I’m so giddy with happiness I want to go dance along the edge of the cliffs and tell everyone that my body is experiencing a miracle. I have missed this feeling of total relaxation after a long workout for so long I want to pinch myself. 

Unfortunately, I know only too well that this is no spontaneous recovery cased by Aloha Spirit because the last 2 times here I was really sick and had to spend most of the vacation in bed or sleeping on the beach which infuriated the hell out of me to the point I didn’t want to come back. 

But as luck would have it,thanks to changing my diet I am a new person and I truly am getting a second chance at life.

My trip here took over 20 hours because I wanted a cheap flight and I was suitably cranky after subsisting on $2 bananas and nuts during my journey. The nuts reminded me why I can’t eat nuts. It was hard to avoid the familiar smells at the airport, but I know cookies, potato chips, candy and sandwiches are to me as icebergs are to the Titanic.

When I landed I went straight to Costco and got crates of papayas (local), organic greens, local bananas, a crate of green beans and pineapple which has been a great high energy diet for my trip. The extra sugar hasn’t been as issue but I’ve been very active so far. Not perfect Eat To Live but I don’t have a stove so it’s raw or canned for me. Met friends for dinner and had a great salad… so local it still had blades of grass in it. I decided to eat those too. 

At this point for me it’s about just avoiding anything that blows up my GI tract and creates bloating. That’s the last thing left to truly figure out. I bought dried apricots and had to give them away because they hurt me to the point I could have passed for a puffer fish. Since my run in with the yeast I haven’t had any fatigue, mental or immune issues. Just lots and lots of energy. I need less sleep every night. 

Been doing a lot of reading too (think Louise Hay, Rhonda Byrne etc) to try and help my mind adjust to this new and wonderful change in my life. I want to make sure I’m not only physically fit, but that I become mentally and spiritually fit enough to stick with this diet and channel all the energy it creates into positive, creative and fulfilling avenues. I am fully aware that my diet and negative lifestyle got me sick in the first place and I will never let that happen again! 


Yeast When You Think You’ve Figured It All Out

Apparently, every time I start feeling better I buy into all the people around me who believe health comes and goes and that elimination diets simply mask spontaneous remission. Well, I have to remind myself… I’m not better… I just have allergies.

So I’ve kept up with my elimination diet, something that would make anyone proud.

But I decided to do to the health food store (as I have written before, it is the most dangerous place on earth because processed foods look healthy there) and picked up Nutritional Yeast and Packaged Salad Dressing.

I started feeling crappy yesterday after a few sprinkles of the flakes of death and didn’t put it together but went to a healthy vegan place today for lunch and I picked a salad that has everything I usually eat, with dressing, seeds and lots of nutritional yeast.

Before I realized what was happening, this afternoon I became itchy, depressed, lethargic and pouring nutritional yeast all over snacks at home. Food cravings for unhealthy foods off the charts… and cravings for N.Y. off the charts.

Then I realized, this is how bread makes me act/feel. Right now I don’t care about anything other than going into the kitchen and eating the whole container of nutritional yeast. Definitely the allergy/addiction syndrome. Before I quit bread I would do horrible things like eating 5 baskets of it in the restaurant, finishing large pizzas alone and of course sitting in the parking lot at Wegmans eating loaves of fresh baked garlic bread. If the world was ending, I would do it again in a heart beat. But having suffered with a lifetime of fatigue and depression that has been unresponsive to medication and goes away on a strict diet or juice fast I am pretty sure where I stand with myself and the white stuff.

Depression/fatigue is so funny, even though I have felt amazing all week when it comes it makes you feel like the world is ending and you will never ever get better so should just go on a food binge. I need to remember that this too, shall pass.

Super stoked to have a decent health insurance plan through the new system so I can go get tested soon and find out exactly what is good and what is a trigger in case there are foods I am missing… as there unfortunately seem to be many. Yeast unfortunately is going to go on the list & the rest of the container… into the dog’s food. It’s good for them, just apparently not for me.

no marmite


A little research pulled up this list of products that contain significant yeasts, most of which I have already indicated as triggers. I have been known to eat Marmite from the jar and used to eat cheese by the pound.

  • Anything fermented (vinegar, alcohol, bean paste, soy sauce, etc.)
  • Any baked good with baker’s yeast (pizza dough, bread, etc., including most sourdough breads)
  • B Vitamins, unless stated that they are not from yeast
  • Barley malt
  • Beer
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Buttermilk
  • Canned or bottled juices
  • Cheese (all kinds)
  • Cider
  • Citric Acid (this used to be made from citus juice, but is now made from fermented corn)
  • Dried fruits such as apricots, figs, or raisins
  • Flavor enhancer (usually MSG, though it may also be yeast extract)
  • Ginger Ale
  • Grapes
  • Jams/ Jellies
  • Lactic acid (generally made from fermented corn or potatoes)
  • Liquor
  • Malt
  • MSG (produced from fermentation of starch or sugar)
  • Mushrooms
  • Raisins
  • Aged meats (sausage, bacon, etc.)
  • Black tea
  • Grapes
  • Malted barley flour
  • Olives
  • Peanuts and peanut products
  • Preserved or pickled foods
  • Root beer
  • Soy sauce, miso, tamari
  • Strawberries
  • Tempeh
  • Vinegar (and foods containing vinegar, such as olives, mustard, ketchup, etc.)
  • Wine
  • Yeast extract  (autolyzed, hydrolyzed)
  • Yeast spreads such as Vegemite or Marmite, etc.



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

Healthy New Year!

Started my Eat To Live New Year going strong with a large salad from Fins and a berry smoothie. Happy to say, the way I am feeling lately I could have cared less for champagne and a rich meal. 

When I started my 100% vegetable/fruit diet just over a month ago my goal was to be able to function during a week away in the tropics that I booked to motivate myself! Happy to feel less scared about the thought of the trip, or starting school when I get back because I am feeling so much better. I leave in a week and am feeling stoked!

So as I’m already on a pretty healthy diet – for New Years I’m only making a few changes. 

1) A Salad EVERY DAY! 

2) A Green Juice, EVERY DAY! 

3) A Green Smoothie, EVERY DAY! 

4) Clean the juicer, EVERY TIME! 😉 

I also don’t allow myself ‘cheats’ because as a yoyo ETL’er for 5 years – I quickly learnt that moderation can lead to boxes of chocolates and also that my health got worse, instead of better when I wasn’t getting out of the way and just letting my body heal. 

I had to cut out legumes, tried adding peas back and quickly puffed up. On great probiotics but I may have to wait a few months before I can diversify – or maybe I can’t! 

I haven’t had the luxury of running blood work (which didn’t show any major problems in the first place other than immune disorders and EBV/Lyme) but so far – one month later – my energy is up about 60-80%, depression/mind fog is gone (after a lifetime – must have been grains) and I even managed 2 days skiing/snowboarding (Vitamix came for the trip). 

The Holidays, Without Comfort Food

It’s nearly a month since I started my journey towards better health, but to be honest the detox/herx was so terrible the first two weeks I was barely up to snapping at people and feeling sorry for myself, let alone writing about it. 

I have felt terrible for years and at the risk of being controversial, had some pretty bad luck trusting my problems to western medicine. (which is fantastic for emergencies – not so much for mysterious fatigue related conditions, Lyme disease, Connective Tissue Disease, Joint Pain, Epstein Barr and just about everything else I have been Dx with). An elimination diet lead to the elimination of all the foods I love – who knew potatoes could trigger fibromyalgia and swollen joints. I hoped Gluten/sugar free would be enough but I only started getting better when I went to absolute basics. Which indicated major gut damage or ‘leaky gut’ syndrome. 

My will to live and recover is motivated by living 4 blocks from the beach yet not having the energy to surf nor go for runs with my dogs. I’m also starting school in January and can’t afford to be tired any more. 

By removing certain foods from my diet and keeping a food diary I have some days where I am up to 80% better than I have ever been, almost a real person with genuine energy that hasn’t been scraped out of a can of Red Bull. So it’s a worthy mission and one suggested by the GI doctor I saw when the tragic wheat = bloating/depressing/mind fog realization occurred. I haven’t got it perfectly figured out but I’m out of bed for the first time in months and I’m even starting to think about going to the gym again. It’s working, as unorthodox as it might seem. 

So 2 weeks of a nightshade free vegetable/fruit diet (basically Doug Graham’s 80/10/10 with some cooked soups from Dr Fuhrman’s Eat To Live), followed by a juice fast (the hunger took me down on day 5), and another week of mostly raw fruit and vegetables was going pretty well until I hit a minefield. The holidays. 

Christmas used to be one of my favorite eating days of the year. Free candy and cookies are everywhere you go and before I fell in love with animal rights, I would have sold my soul for more gravy. This year, I know I am allergic to grains, legumes and beans which make me tired, dairy makes me congested and cramped and sugar sends me back to square one. I don’t eat meat but that causes problems too. I actually got hives from sliders once. I knew all of the above at Thanskgiving but decided a little of the above wouldn’t hurt and oh how it did. 

Having the best intentions in sticking with my fruit & vegetable regimen unfortunately doesn’t override my lack of desire to hurt people’s feelings. Like the waitress who brought over a taro root pudding for the holidays, which I ate because I didn’t want to be rude because she has tolerated serving me plates of steamed vegetables for 3 weeks and now have had a stomach ache for two days. 

 As years of trying to eat unhealthy foods in moderation failed to turn my health around, I have learned to accept I need to do this to heal. It’s just the fact that nearly every social gathering involves really good food and alcohol. There is a real feeling of isolation when you can’t drink, can’t eat the same unhealthy grain based foods as all of your friends and stick out like Martha Stewart at a strip club when everyone is enjoying fries and you have a fruit cup.

People assume I am a health freak when in reality I am a food addict who didn’t eat a non fried vegetable for nearly 15 years. May be why I got sick but I did enjoy every single slice of pizza. I just want to live and I need to figure out how to do it and feel comfortable at the same time. 

So, although this is my first year spending the holidays with my boyfriend’s family – I’m bringing a side of plain vegetables and am looking forward to great company and a good time. I’ve warned ahead that I’m going to be one of those weirdos that can’t eat the great food offered. Although I may have to pass on a lot of things that look good, it also may be the first year without painful stomach cramps and blinding fatigue at a social gathering. Hopefully next year will be my first of feeling better, too.