Monday, June 2, 2014

Day: the end

So this whole thing is over now. Hooray!
My dr. thought I had hypoglycemia, but I don't.
I thought I had non-Celiac gluten intolerance, but I don't.

This is not to say that any of this has been a waste. I learned so much about myself in the past month.

I learned to change my relationship with alcohol. (We didn't break up, but it's not as intense as it used to be).
I learned that refined sugar is nasty stuff (just like the experts have been saying all along!)
I learned that I need to have whole grains in my diet to help control my epilepsy and keep my mood up. (So much for that book, "Grain Brain.")
I learned to make some pretty awesome smoothies and they're a good way to start the day.
I learned that green tea is a better, more mellow buzz than coffee.
I learned that I need to not overeat. Because overeating=bloat and food coma. DUH.
I learned that I need a good core workout if I want better looking abs. DOUBLE DUH.
I learned that dairy in largish doses probably isn't the best choice for my digestive system.
I learned that living without dietary restrictions is WAY more fun.  
And I learned that it's a little weird to have so many people in my community know so much about  me and my eating habits.

So now it's time for me to live a little more privately. To focus on the summer and on healing my back (don't get me started!) so I can get back on my bike and ride my 100-miler in August.
Thanks for all the encouragement.
Happy eating!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day What? (I'm no longer counting): My God! What have I done?!

Well, talk about old habits dying hard and failing and feeling like shit. Were we talking about that? Well, let's.

Last week I spoke with Dr. Pujari on the phone to go over my blood work that she had ordered to see if I had any hormonal anomalies that would explain my epilepsy. Unfortunately, my hormones are normal. (If my progesterone had been too low during menses, it would've been possible to treat my seizures with progesterone cream or herbs instead of benzodiapezines).

The only thing that was a red flag for her was my blood glucose was a mere 66 and she thinks I may be hypoglycemic, so we're doing a re-test for that.
I think that I was in the middle of this whack-a-mole diet so at that moment in time when my blood was drawn, I may have been hypoglycemic, but not in general. I really don't have the symptoms the Dr. Google says that I should if I truly have the condition.
My thyroid number was a little low too, so I'm taking a ANOTHER supplement in the mornings to help with that.
In the end, we decided to discontinue the diet, save for testing dairy, but she told me to not test sugar in case I do have hypoglycemia and, oh also, I should avoid alcohol altogether.
So I totally scrapped the diet. I mean, like, TOTALLY. (except I still make smoothies).
And I'm totally ignoring the advice to  avoid alcohol.
See, I learned from someone with hypoglycemia that if you drink alcohol, you should drink while eating protein. Which I had been pretty vigilantabout for  the first few days.
Wine with dinner Thursday and Friday nights. Only two glasses. No problem.
Except, oh, the ENTIRE 8" pizza I ate on Friday night with my 2 glasses of wine. REAL crust (not gluten-feee), with goat cheese and no mozzarella. OF COURSE I bloated. Any normal human would be!
And OF COURSE I felt a little shitty in the morning. I ate too much damn food...and possibly too much sugar? (Pizza crust and wine are sugars). So, yeah. Next time maybe just two pieces of pizza.

Saturday night I had about FOUR glasses of wine. FOUR! And a delicious dinner filled with bloat-inducing peppers that cleared out the pipes the next morning. Maybe that's not a bad thing?

Sunday we had friends over for dinner and I had beer and rosé wine and red wine and oh, that was fun! I didn't count my drinks. But there were a lot. I took two Advil and drank a bunch of water before bed and ended up not feeling so bad in the morning.

The last couple nights the wine has been slipping back up to the levels where it was before, so I'm re-locating and re-activating my off switch because I do not want to go back there. Eating and drinking anything I want (except dairy) has made me realize how much better I actually felt on the diet. I don't know if I feel bad now because I'm eating too much or because of what I'm eating. Which is confusing because of all the testing I had done before. I thought I didn't have any food reactions except for peppers...but maybe it's a combination fo things. Maybe it IS the sugar.

Today for lunch I had two beef sliders (wth cheese) and too many sweet potato fries. I could barely keep my eyes open at my desk afterwards! Honestly. It was one of the biggest food comas ever. I've felt like CRAP since lunch and now it's past 9:00 pm. And my belly is HUGE! (for me)
Maybe I AM reactive hypoglycemic. Maybe I just eat too damn much. Maybe I'm all, "Whoo-hoo! That diet is DONE! Bring on the FOOOOOOD!"
I think it's probably the latter.

I need to pause and take this as a learning moment. Or really, a listening moment, because the doctor already told me this:
Eat 6 small meals a day.
Whole grains are very important to my brain health.
Avoid simple sugars.
Avoid alcohol.

I hate, "avoid."

So I need to find my balance. I'm not going back to square one, but I am going back about a week before the food party started. And we'll see how I feel.
Oh, and see what the blood test reveals.
Of course, I'll let you know. But I don't think it'll be anything.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

To what end?

I've been doing a lot of thinking since I got my thinking capacity back. It started last week when I  saw this Kickstarter video by a woman who's trying to raise money to make a movie about body image.
Watch it here. Then come back.

Ok, I know, right? Were you crying? I know. Me too. It made me think a LOT about my stupid little belly...which is little! I'm bummed that it's not flat. WHY? What right do I, a 40-something mother of two, have wanting the abs I had when I was 25? It reminded me of this stand-up bit I saw — I think it was Louis C.K.— where he's talking about middle-aged people getting plastic surgery and he says something along the lines of,
"Why should you get to look 25 when the rest of us have sagging faces?" (If anyone knows who this was, send me the link.)
It's so true!
Why should I get to look 25?

I talked about this with Queenie and Jina on Friday night and Queenie even said something along these lines:
"You've had 2 kids! You have a little belly! You eat all day and then your belly pops out after dinner! That's NORMAL!"

I know. You're right. You're right!

And then the next day my friend Jenn really drove it home for me. She asked,
"What kind of food reaction are we talking about here? How bad is it?"
And I wanted to pay her $200.00 for the consultation.
I just kind of laughed and said, "You're right. I mean, I know I can't handle peppers, but it's never been so bad that I've had to stop eating them."

My sister is lactose intolerant to the point that she's doubled over in pain for hours if she has the smallest amount of dairy.

That has NEVER happened to me with any food. NEVER. (not including food poisoning)

Jenn continued to tell me about her recent revelation where she asked herself why was she chasing this fountain of youth? She'd recently been to Florida and told me that everyone on the beach was just hanging out in their bathing suits, people of all shapes and sizes—happy. Not seeming to care.
"Some were even playing frisbee!" she laughed.

I nodded my head. She's right.
I'm middle-aged. I'm not looking for a date. I'm not entering a swimsuit contest any time ever. Lefty tells me I'm beautiful.

Maybe this all comes down to:
I'm RIDICULOUS! You all know that. Some of you even tell me (Lefty, Queenie, Lefty + Queenie ganging up on me at the same time.)

I can't say that I've suddenly just accepted my body the way it is and that I'm not going to add a core workout to my routine now and then.
But I'm working on accepting my body in its current state. Because honestly, in real-world standards, it's not so bad.

I did this experiment because I thought I was having digestive issues (and I do, but not severely) but really, honestly, I wanted my belly to not pop out so much when I eat.
But why?
To what end?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Day 29: When Nightshade Falls

Oy. I have a lot to report, but I'll separate it into different entries. You're welcome.

First, I drank more alcohol last week, however, the most I ever had in one sitting was 2 glasses of wine. But I'm stopping again so I can perform true tests on my re-inroduction phase. The biggies are coming: dairy & sugar. I'm going to re-introduce dairy in this order
1. goat milk (yogurt) Goat's milk is supposed to be the most digestible milk
2. raw cow milk
3. pasteurized cow's milk
(thank you, Jenn for this idea of testing raw vs, pasteurized)

So far I've reintroduced brown rice, barley, whole wheat couscous and yes, even a couple (ok, FOUR) slices of cheese-less, tomato-less pizza. Soooooo goooood!!! Full disclosure, his "pizza" (I think it was technically a flat bread since it didn't have sauce or mozzarella) had some goat cheese on it. But I was fine the next day. Still, need to do a more scientific test. It'll happen tomorrow. So stay tuned for that awesomeness.

Now, a word about nightshades and friendship.

Lefty, my personal chef (among other things) was out of town this weekend. So Queenie invited me and the kids for dinner - I had made her a batch of those awesome brownies, so how could she not invite me to stay?
Queenie is on a Paleo diet right now so we're eating very similar foods.
She modified her rib recipe to not include any sugar and she did warn me there were tomatoes in the sauce. I, in my weakened state of this diet, threw caution to the wind and ate a LOT of ribs. They were SO GOOD.
Only I woke up the next day not feeling ok in the plumbing department. Things were all warm and....bad. I had my smoothie and quinoa for breakfast as usual and went to work. Mid-way through the day after having to powder my nose more frequently than usual, I sent Queenie a text.

It went something like exactly like this (typos and all):

DUDE!!!! I'm not eating peppers!!!!

So if you're ever eating at Queenie's house, know this:
1. It will be really good
2. Take GOOD chocolate for the hostess
3. Ask for an ingredient list if you're on a restricted diet.

 I've always known I've had a sensitivity to peppers, but never gave them up. Now....I think I will. Maybe? Unless anyone knows of an antidote? Anyone? Cuz those ribs - and most ribs - are delicious and I don't know if I can live without them. In fact, we're hosting a round-robin rib cookoff coming up soon, and I don't want to miss out!!

That all being said, I think I'm going to have to test nightshades too. Was it the peppers like I suspect that gave me the GI distress that is continuing into TODAY? Was it the tomatoes? Was it both? Would the same thing happen with potatoes?

UGH. Honestly, I just want to eat whatever sounds good and not have to worry about it. In the meantime, I have to use the ladies' room.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Day 26 - Finding the Off switch

Wow - it's been almost an entire week. Only because I have a freelance gig and by the time I get home, the only thing I have the energy to write are snarky comments on my friend's Facebook timelines. But it's not like I don't have good news to report!

This week I re-introduced wheat into my diet. I have had barley several times with no weird reactions at all. This is important for someone who  thinks she has non-Celiac gluten intolerance. So on Tues. night, Lefty cooked up some whole wheat couscous as a side dish to our dinner.
No reaction!
No GI oddness at all. No brain fog. I had some on my salad Wednesday and Thursday for lunch. No reaction at all.
So it seems I'm ok with wheat.
AND gluten.
So the mystery continues....what causes these symptoms?
Hope to find out in the coming week.

But the most important thing I've learned this week is that I have an OFF switch when it comes to drinking alcohol.

I know, I know. I'm not supposed to drink yet. But I have. (We all remember LAST Thursday!)
If you read my Mother's Day post, you know I had a couple beers and a couple glasses of wine on Mother's Day. (This was not all in one sitting.)
Typically, I would've continued drinking red wine that night instead of stopping at 2 glasses. But I stopped.

Monday & Tuesday, I stuck with water at dinner time, while Lefty had his usual glass of wine with dinner (I've noticed he's drinking less!!)

Wednesday night, it was 80 degrees and sunny and we went to Lytle Beach for a dinner picnic.

This is Lytle Beach.

 I packed a big bottle of water for myself, but broke down and bought a bottle of rosé on the way to the beach. It was SUCH a rosé night!
I drank 2 small cups of wine, when normally, Lefty and I would've polished off that bottle like it was water.
It tasted good, but it was still kind of burning in my throat and went to my head too fast. And I didn't want to be buzzed.
Yes, you heard it - I didn't want to  be buzzed!!

So I stopped. And when I got home I had some tea and got into bed and was able to read a book because I hadn't had too much to drink. When before, instead of tea, I probably definitely would've had a glass of red wine.
I woke up on Thursday without a care in the world. (Well, that's bullshit, I have two kids!! And I'm NOT a morning person. But I didn't feel like I'd been drinking the night before).

And THEN, last night was the SIFF opening gala. Before the movie, I chose to have one gin martini. I sipped VERY slowly and it was sooo good. But I NEVER rarely order a second martini, usually I would've ordered a glass of wine.  Which I was considering. But it was time to go to the movie. The movie was horrible and we stopped in at the after-party for one drink before heading to the boat. I had 2 cups of water. And 1/2 a cup of red wine. I didn't even finish it. And there's no way I would've had another because I was:
1. tired
2. driving home
3. not interested.

SERIOUSLY! I was NOT interested in drinking.

Now, those of you who know me would probably describe me as, "a drinker." I know I would. My only OFF switch in the past has been Lefty telling me to stop or me feeling too drunk to continue. In short, I was always a little concerned I was becoming my dad (alcoholic).
But during this diet of not drinking, I've lost my interest in getting drunk. Wine will sounds good to me from time to time, but when I have it, I don't want to have a shit ton of it.
And I'm SO HAPPY!! I'm THIS happy!!!

I feel like I've been released from something! I feel in control! I don't have hangovers!
It's awesome.
Be proud of me. Cuz I am.

While I'm continuing to break the rules little by little on this diet (dairy and sugar last night!), I am almost at the end and am eager to find out how I react to nightshades, dairy and sugar when tested correctly. Those come next week - so stay tuned!
But all in all, I think this alcohol lesson was the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT thing I'll end up taking  away from the elimination project. That and my killer smoothies.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Day 20: Mother's Day debauchery

Sunday. Day 20. Was an extraordinary day!
I slept until 9:00 and Lefty brought me breakfast in bed:
green tea
The Smoothie
bowl of strawberries & pineapple
flowers (not edible)

I lounged around and then we went clamming! It was sunny and hovered around 70 on the Farenheit scale - a perfect day at Oak Bay.
Happy Clammer

I drank a matcha and almond milk chilled "latte" on the way there and dug up a couple servings worth of manilla and native clams. Lefty cooked them on site with some Italian pork sausage, kelp, lemon, beer (alcohol cooks off) and thyme. SO GOOD.

He bought me a bag of plantain chips which are going to be a new staple in my diet. We hung around and skipped rocks and relaxed for a couple hours then headed back to the island.
When we got to Poulsbo, Lefty wanted to stop at the Slippery Pig Brewery. I'd heard of this place and really wanted to see it, so we went. This place is so. cool.

We walked up and right away, I said, "I'm having a beer." And Lefty said, "REALLY?" And I said, "Yes. I want a beer."
How can you not on a day like this in a place like this???

So we tasted a couple and I settled in with a flavored kölsch. It was a good, sunny-day beer. And I liked it. And I didn't feel guilty!

So I had a second beer. The Dandelion Bitter. I liked it a lot. I felt sleepy, but I didn't feel sick. Or bloated. We got home and I took a relaxing bubble bath to soothe the backache I developed while digging for clams. I sipped an iced green  tea while in the tub, then drank a couple tall glasses of water after the bath.
As I sat in bed Facebooking, Lefty brought me a small glass of Cristom (a really great Pinot Noir). He said, "If you're going to break the rules, break them with something good."
While I actually wasn't in the mood for wine, I did sip on it between sips of water. I SIPPED it. SLOWLY. And I was ok with that.
Lefty made me a dinner of lamb and barley with ramps and asparagus. I had another small glass of wine, but could feel I was reaching my limit on that. I had a little bit of my brownie (see yesterday's post) with it then had a couple more glasses of water before bed.
Yes. I had a nice food baby going on. But like I said yesterday....I think I just overeat at night!

I woke up today, Monday, day 21, feeling a little more tired than usual, but feeling good!
While not scientific at all (I am the WORST subject ever), I think I'm figuring out some things - especially with the alcohol. For instance: Don't drink too much. (wow. newsflash!)
And don't drink every night. I won't. Don't really want to at this point. And that's a great feeling!!

Even though I've fallen off the diet AGAIN in just a few days, I'm back on and will introduce wheat on Tue. or Wed. to see what happens. Then sugar (not in the form of alcohol).
Then the real alcohol test. With no other cheats in my diet. With no bloating symptoms BEFORE i have the alcohol. To see what happens. ONE glass of GOOD wine with dinner.

The end of 3 weeks! It was a great day! I wouldn't re-do ANY of it!!!

Lefty & I ignoring the kids at Slippery Pig Brewery, wearing fedoras and sunglasses.

Day 19: She's BAAAACK!

Even though Saturday morning didn't start out as pleasantly as I wanted, the day turned out to be great! I went to my son's lacrosse game and it surprisingly did not rain, my daughter found a friend there at the park and I was free to just be the loud mom on the sidelines embarrassing her son. Throughout the day I felt really great! When I felt hungry, we came home and I had some chicken and veggies for lunch, along with The Smoothie. I just lounged around with the kids and made plans for dinner.
Lefty wanted pizza and that sounded good to me too.
So...I made Bob's Red Mill GF pizza crust (eggless option) and topped it with homemade pesto (nut-free and dairy-free), mushrooms, olives & onions and paired with a green salad. It tasted pretty yummy. And while I'm not convinced this GF crust fits entirely on the diet, it didn't feel like a total cheat either. I mean, nothing in the ingredients is on my "do not eat" list.
For dessert I made these "brownies." Oh. My. GAWD. SOOO good! Thanks to Erin for turning me on to this website, which is full of recipes I want to try!

I didn't make the topping, but they're just delish without it! Even Lefty likes them!

It being a great day with some good eating on my part, I was a bit surprised about this!

Saturday morning:

Saturday night!:


That some serious food baby going on right there. Now, there is yeast in the pizza crust I ate. Could THAT be the culprit? I had ZERO gluten, ZERO nightshades, ZERO alcohol, ZERO dairy and ZERO refined sugar!
Maybe, just maybe...I simply overeat at dinnertime?

Oh well, I went to bed happy. Perhaps that's all that matters.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Day 18 continued- STILL grumpy

I (barely) made it through my hangover day yesterday. I NEVER felt better throughout the day - even after acupuncture and lots of water and B12. I just felt awful-physically. I fell asleep at 8:30 then woke up and ate a steak and rice and broccoli at 10:00 hoping it would make me feel better. And it didn't.
I didn't sleep well and woke up this morning - Saturday - still not feeling like I was over it.
I feel WAY better than yesterday, but have a slightly foggy, overall bad feeling in my body.
Alcohol is converted to sugar by the liver and my body is not liking all this sugar, clearly.
My acupuncturist told me to wait a week to start re-introduction of foods, but I'll just wait until I feel better - the bloating goes away and the gross feeling in my organs and head clear up, before I introduce corn and oats. And then wheat. And then duck eggs. And then sugar. And then - one glass of GOOD wine with dinner. Maybe.

This science experiment I'm conducting on my body is so enlightening. I know I need more complex carbs than I was getting from fruit and quinoa. I know that the gluten in barley doesn't give me intolerance systems.
I know that too much alcohol (and sugar?) wreak havoc on my body.

But my big question is WHY haven't I ever felt good on this diet? Lefty told me last night as I sat sad and tired on the couch watching TV, "I want my wife back. My fun, happy wife. Not my grumpy wife."
Even Nina, who's doing a one-month cleanse said something. "I feel GREAT!" she said. "I'm euphoric! I don't know why you haven't felt that."

What am I doing wrong? I'm not in a calorie deficit, but I am hungry all the time.
Granted, I haven't exercised AT ALL since I injured my back on April 7, so that could be a big part of it. I get no endorphins. I can't even do yoga!

I feel like I want to speed this whole thing up and get it over with to find the answer.
A BIG part of me wants to throw it all out and go back to eating GF muesli and maybe an egg and decaf for breakfast, eating whatever I want for lunch (I don't even remember what I used to eat for lunch!) and dinners that included more ingredients - like tomatoes, potatoes, and chocolate for dessert and yes, a glass of red wine.

But I've come this far and don't want to give up completely. But I do. But I don't. Lord help me.

So a slog on.

Sorry for the downer of a post. But it really reflects how I'm feeling right now, and if you know me, you know I don't put on a veneer for anyone.

So hopefully happy, snarky Heidi will be back soon.

I am looking forward to going clamming for mother's day tomorrow. THAT always makes me happy! Unless we get no clams. Then - grump.

Day 18 meals:
Breakfast: The Smoothie
2 cups green tea
Quinoa cereal with apples, coconut, walnuts & cinnamon

Barley salad, water

Snack: walnuts & pumpkin seeds
Smoothie with green matcha tea, almond milk, 1/2 banana & chia seed(yum!)

Snack: almonds, walnuts & pumpkin seeds

Dinner: steak, brown rice & broccoli

Water: shit-ton

Friday, May 9, 2014

Day 18: Bless me father, for I have sinned.

I write this on the painful, regretful morning of Day 19, Friday. Let's recap yesterday.
All was well. I had my smoothies, my healthy lunch, my snacks. And then - it was Bainbridge Island's Ladies Night Out sponsored by the downtown association.
And I was going. I was meeting a group of girls for sushi and then we'd shop and end up at a mexican restaurant for prizes at the end of the night.
(I could end here as you probably know where this is headed. But, for shits and giggles....)
I've got this.
Even Olive - my 6-year-old knew that I had this.
In the car driving through Winslow she said, "You'll come down here and shop with your friends. And have WINE. Except for you. You'll have water."
:That's right," I said, laughing.

How wrong we both were.

I decided while I was walking to sushi that I was going to have a glass of wine. I knew I was falling off the diet, but it was girls' night out and I was only going to have one glass with my girlfriends.
And I did. I had one glass at sushi. And it tasted like a sugar bomb. So I sipped my comforting, familiar tea and water.
I stayed within the diet eating fish and rice and veggies.
And then I asked for gluten-free sot sauce.
Also NOT on the diet. (I wasn't supposed to introduce soy until next week.)
We left without me ordering more wine and started walking around to the shops. The first stop served champagne. Why the hell not? I've ruined the diet tonight anyway! I sipped it very slowly, that cup of bubbling sugar.
This wasn't a slippery slope. This was a damn cliff that I just stepped off.
Even though I did fine the next couple hours, we got to the mexican restaurant and I ordered a glass of white wine.
It tasted like syrup.
But I drank it anyway. I drank it anyway!!!
And I ordered chips (not on the diet until this weekend) and guacamole (on the diet).
And then a glass of red wine. Not as sweet. Also obviously - NOT on the diet.
At one point I accidentally dipped my chip in salsa - tomatoes are NOT on the diet, so I lay the chip on the table and said, "Oh, no."
"what?" my friends said.
"I can't have tomatoes. And for some reason, I'm going to be strict about that one," I said as I sipped my wine. They all laughed. Because, really. I was the epitome of ridiculous.
The wine had gone straight to my head. Did not pass Go. Did not collect $200.
I was loud. I over-shared. I lost my train of thought. More than once. And I was having fun.
When I got home I was bloated, but who the hell knows why? The multitude of chips and guac? The soy sauce? The sugar in the alcohol? This was no test, this was just - badness.

And I'm paying for it this morning. Hail Marys and Our Fathers won't make it better.

I woke up feeling unrested with a horrible headache,  a bad attitude and a big dose of regret. Now
I can't do my wheat test today because my body is still metabolizing the alcohol. (Get this shit out of me, please! It's horrible!)

As bad as I have felt on this diet - and I mostly have felt bad - I haven't felt as bad as I do today. Brain fog. Tired. Headache. Bitchy (YELLING at my kids this morning because they were singing too loudly).Yes, I had soy and corn last night, but this isn't rocket surgery. I feel horrible because of the alcohol.
And it really wasn't worth it. Not. At. All. I'm seriously considering cutting it out of my diet forever. And no, this isn't the typical hangover promise of, "I'm never drinking again!" This is more, "I hate the fact that my insides feel like they're burning and I'm in a daze and just want to sleep, so maybe I shouldn't drink ever again" feeling. Is that the same thing? I don't think so. But then again, I'm not thinking so well this morning.

ANYway, now I have to detox for another day or two before I can get on track with the food testing.
I tested alcohol last night and found out it is some strong, evil shit.
And alcohol tested me last night and found out what it already knew - I am weak.

So here I sit, sipping my green tea and my banana smoothie, confessing. Lefty kissed me good bye and said, "You smell like tea and broken promises." Thanks, dear. That makes me feel SO much better.

WHY? Tell me Annie.

Day 17 - Gluten Tag!

Turns out I'm gut with gluten!
On Wednesday - Day 17 - I introduced barley into my diet. After feeling back to my (almost) normal self with the brown rice, I wanted to try barley to see if I reacted to the gluten. So I made a salad of barley, herbs, asparagus and a dijon vinaigrette. YUM. I had 3 servings throughout the day and had NO gluten reactions! No brain fog! No ridiculous bloat!  And the next day, poop was normal. So it seems I'm ok with gluten.
So next up...test the wheat. Even though my doctor told me to avoid wheat, I kind of have to know what causes what I thought was a gluten reaction in the past. I think Friday will be wheat day.

overall, I'm feeling better than I was with the addition of brown rice, but I still have to make sure I always eat on time or else I get light headed and irritable. I'm glad I'm in the "testing" phase, reintroducing food back into my diet!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Day 17 - Oh my god - I'm FINE!

It's Day 17 and as you may know if you've been reading that we've modified a bit and I'm in the re-introduction stage. So I'm still feeling a bit deprived. I re-introduced brown rice on Monday, having 3 servings that day and WOW! What a difference a grain makes! It's what my body needed and I'm feeling the way I did in week one - deprived but not all-out bat shit crazy. So that's a plus for EVERYONE involved. (Ask my friend Nina - she saw it first hand, but she was antagonizing me!)
I admit that I almost took a nose dive off the diet - adding brown rice was nearly a slippery slope into, "Fuck this shit - I'm eating and drinking whatever the hell I want!"But I thought of Erin, who's doing 100 days of NO SUGAR! and Nina who's on a 30-day cleanse. So it's like I have my own little informal support group that I'm making myself accountable to. Plus, I'm super competitive and if they can do it, then surely I can too!
So everything is ok here. But I have to clear somethings up for some people.
Apparently, Lefty's co-workers keep asking him in concerned voices if I'm ok. People seem to think I'm very sick. So to clarify:

1. Oh my God - I'm FINE!! Mostly. Kind of. Relatively. Sure, I have 2 bulging discs in my back and 14 years of chronic back pain, but I'm upright, walking around so I'm mostly JUST FINE. I don't need a brace or surgery or a cane. Of course, I'd rather be GREAT! riding my bike, training for a couple centuries this summer but I can't ride my bike for another couple of weeks. And that makes me SO. PROFOUNDLY SAD. So I'm sad. But I'm FINE! I'll be riding again in June.

2. I'm only doing this diet because I have digestive issues. And when people say, "digestive issues" they typically mean they don't poop very often or very well. So I'm trying to find out if it's food that's causing this. I've had some epic poops on this diet, I can't say I'm "regular." At my yearly physical yesterday, my primary care doctor - another AWESOME woman named Sarah Rice (who's glad I'm also seeing Dr. Pujari) said she thinks my belly bloats and I don't poop due to my colon with lots of twists and turns (I've heard this called TORTUOUS colon*!), so things just move really slow.

*Aside - I found out about my tortuous colon 5 years ago when I had a colonoscopy. The doctor told me, "You have the colon of a 65-year-old." HE SAID THAT. And when I gasped in disbelief, he said, "Well, you're no spring chicken." I was 41!!! He said my colon was flabby and lacked tone. I asked if there were colon exercises I could do to tone it back up and he said, "no. But a high fiber diet would help." And he note he sent my doctor gave the diagnosis of, "Aging colon syndrome." My doctor laughed and said she'd never seen that before in her life. I think she even rolled her eyes.
Recently, Dr. Pujari told me that there ARE things I can add to my diet - like chia seed - that will give my colon tone. So there, Dr. No-bedside-manner!

But all that being said, I'm not in pain. I don't have to give myself enemas. And my belly always goes back in once I poop, so all-in-all I'm just FINE.

3. The epilepsy is FINE. I don't pass out. I don't twitch. I'm able to drive. And I don't have to take those horrible anti-epileptic drugs. I live a completely normal life - better than most people with epilepsy. Better than a lot of people without epilepsy! The only thing I cannot ever do is scuba dive - and no loss there because the thought of being weighted down in the ocean with just a tank of air on your back being stalked by clown fish and great white sharks terrifies me. So, whew.
Only other thing I never do is swim alone or take a bath when I'm the only one in the house. But other than that, it barely affects my life. So it's FINE.

4. I don't have depression.

5. My arthritic knee is FINE. I'm old. I was a runner for 30 years. THIRTY YEARS OF RUNING! Of course I have arthritis. And it's not even in my entire knee. I'm old. It's normal. I can ride my bike for hundreds of miles. So really, it's FINE.

6. My incurable shitty ankle. It's shitty. And incurable. (see above: runner for 30 years. People: don't run. I know I know. I loved it too! And I miss it a LOT. But it's SO BAD for your joints!).
To understand more about my ankle, watch this brilliant explanation by Louis C.K.:

7. I have seasonal allergies. SO WHAT?

8. I'm neurotic. Yeah, so? You are too. And that's FINE. If your'e not neurotic, that's it's own special kind of neurotic. In fact, I think it's worse.

In sum, I'm not sick. I'm not diseased. I'm not on the verge of anything except a really good poop this morning.



Monday, May 5, 2014

Stop the madness! (Just add glucose)

It's 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning and I am feeling deprived. I'm feeling hungry and more important, I'm feeling depressed. Like the way I felt when I had postpartum depression. I'm talking to the doc on the phone today about the seizures I mentioned in my last post, and we'll talk about this depression too.  Clearly, I shouldn't mess to much with the delicate balance I clearly have in my brain chemistry. We'll see what the doc says. I'm thinking I may need to add more carbs back into my diet.

1:00 p.m.
Spoke with the most wonderful Dr. Pujari a couple hours ago, who took time out of her vacation to call me this morning. She agreed that I'm not getting enough complex carbohydrates, so today I'm adding brown rice into my diet. And if I still don't feel better after that, she told me to forget the diet and go back to the way I was eating before. As she put it, the western medicine side of her does NOT want me depressed, even if it might be a "normal" symptom of detox in homeopathic medicine (she plays for both teams). We had a great conversation and she said it was good that I found out what kind of carbs my body and brain need since this info will help me my entire life. Short bursts from fruit aren't enough and too slow of a release of glucose from quinoa isn't working for me either is what she's thinking.
I'm still going to do "testing" where I'll add brown rice to my diet today (just had a serving) and while I'd normally wait 3 days to see how I feel, I'm going to keep it in my diet from now on. And then I'll add barley in a couple of days and then corn. But never adding in wheat since that's the "harshest" (my word) on the brain. She said if I'm feeling better adding in the grains, I can go ahead and keep testing by adding foods in slowly. Or I can say, fuck it" (my words again) and just start eating my normal diet.

For now, I'm concentrating on getting the glucose back to my poor, epileptic depressed brain. Hopefully, my sense of humor will return so you can once again enjoy reading this blog.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Seize her!

This is what I was going to write about  before my hangry episode on Friday. And this will explain the abundance of Ativan I seem to have.

I have a very mild form of epilepsy where I have what are technically seizures but not the kind you see on TV where the person falls to the floor and thrashes all over and foams at the mouth. Those people are either possessed or have been poisoned. Mine are WAY less dramatic. So much so that you would never know that the seizure is happening - but I do cuz it's all just in my head.
And by in my head I don't mean I'm imagining it. They're categorized as "simple partial" seizures and mine manifest in what's called a "psychic seizure," where I see all your deep dark secrets and can tell the future.
Not that cool, unfortunately.
All that happens is that I have a really strong feeling of déja vu, but not like a regular déja vu. Instead, I get a weird feeling in my stomach and it moves up to my head and my heart starts to race and it's more like a dream starts to play in my head and it feels like it's about to start coming true and it's really weird and hard o explain. I know this sounds really benign and it mostly is because I keep talking or doing whatever I'm doing and nothing on my body twitches or foams. But it's kind of a horrible feeling because these are also known as "auras" which, in people who have grand mal seizures, are the precursor to the big seizure where they pass out and twitch.
 Thankfully, my auras only last about 20-30 seconds. And I function normally all the way through them.
The doctors say this is all due to scar tissue on my brain from the brain surgery I had when I was 27. But I think it's more likely that I was abducted by aliens and they planted a chip in my head and are doing experiments on my right now. (Doctors, schmoctors!)
(Don't freak out about the brain surgery, I'm fine. It wasn't cancer or anything.)

ANYWAY, one of the things my doctor is testing OUTSIDE of this diet is my progesterone because I usually have the seizures during menses, which is  a common seizure trigger, this imbalance of progesterone and estrogen. If I have a big imbalance, we might be able to treat the seizures with progesterone cream or herbs instead of the Ativan and clonazepam I take now. That would be AWESOME because clearly, these medicines aren't working since I still have the auras.

But THIS month, during this elimination diet, I had more seizures than I have ever had in one month since they began 6 years ago. So I emailed the doc and she said it might be due to the detoxing or to the lack of refined sugar, but if I have any more we'll have to stop the diet. So,
Did I just say that?
We'll talk on the phone on Monday to check in.
I've found that my mood/blood sugar/brain chemistry (all that) is pretty sensitive and precarious right now. Besides the seizures, I've had a couple episodes of real depression when I haven't had enough food in my system and I'm thinking I need to reintroduce something - I don't know what - more carbs? to keep me in balance.
But I'll take belly bloat over seizures and depression any day.
I'm in kind of one of those funks right now and almonds are not getting me out of it.
So, sorry for the kind of lame, rambling blog post. It happens to the best of us.

Friday, May 2, 2014

HANGRY and SAD and HORRIBLE!!!!! (NSFW or kids)

So, it's been a bad day. It was my fault. I got sucked into fucking Facebook this morning and didn't get moving until about 10:30 which meant I was behind ALL FUCKING day.
What didn't help is that I did not plan my food, which I have found is paramount to success and key to not having your blood sugar crash which leads to yelling at fucking EVERYONE, even the mixer.

It's my son's 11th birthday today. Started out great. Then all of a sudden I realized I had to go to the grocery store in order to make his fucking Adventure Time cake that I had not planned at all and I had to go to the toy store. And why am I so fucking hungry suddenly? Oh, because it's ONE fucking o'clock and I haven't even had a glass of water since breakfast 3 hours ago!!!!! And now I only have one fucking hour before I have to pick up my daughter from school at 2:00.

So I go to the store. Great. Did I pick up a snack of nuts? No. Only SMART people do that! I went to try to find bendy Finn & Jake dolls for the birthday cake on this damn island, of which there are NONE. So I pick up my daughter and rush home but drop off my son's guitar first at his jam session and then rush home to bake the cake so I can go back and watch him jam.

But the fucking cake is FLAT and UNDERCOOKED even though I've made this FUCKING cake a BAZILLION times in the last 10 years!! I don't know what I did wrong because I still hadn't eaten a damn thing.

Lefty calls from his mountain bike ride and asks if I need anything from the store and I say no but he's suddenly chatty so I just have to say "bye" and hang up.

Because now I'm looking for this tiny tub of cream that the dermatologist gave me yesterday to put on the fucking bright red IMPETIGO I have on my upper lip that I developed after burning the SHIT out of my skin with anti-cancer cream that I'd put on an actinic keratosis. (look it up - it's pre-cancer. And i was supposed to burn it off with the cream). And I can't find the cream ANYWHERE and I'm SCREAMING!!!! So I dump the contents of my purse out on the table and holy shit I need to clean out my purse and it's not there. So I go to the car to see if it's there and it's not. So I text Nina to see if it fell out in her driveway when I dropped off the guitar but it's not. So I look in my empty purse again just to be sure and I go look in the car 3 more times and I look under the car.
This is important because it's not a prescription, it was a sample that the doctor handed me and I'm supposed to put it on my bright red infectious face EVERY HOUR. And I can't and I want this damn reed burning itchy spot to GO AWAY!!

And now it's 4:15.

So I call the dermatologist and the only person there is the helpless girl answering phones. My doctor and staff are gone. When she tries to calm me down by letting me know I can probably get another sample tomorrow but tomorrow is Saturday and I live on a FUCKING ISLAND so a trip to Seattle ain't gonna happen.
 "Are there ANY doctors there?" I ask. No. they're all gone because it's so late in the day." It's 4 fucking 30! Are they all taking a 4:20 break or something? She's totally helpless and really can't do anything so I hang up and want to just CRY. I have to wrap my son's birthday presents but I suddenly can't function because I'm fixated on this medicine. I seriously can. not. function. All I can do is run from room to room like a crazy person looking for cream that isn' here.

So Lefty comes home and wraps the presents for me and doesn't say anything while I freak out stomping around the house yelling about what a mess everything is and that my cake is ruined and that I missed the jam session and WHERE THE FUCK IS THAT MEDICINE?????

Suddenly, a moment of clarity sets in and I call my regular doctor and tell her med asst. the situation and they call in a prescription. I calm down. Sort of.

Lefty goes to shower and I realize I have to eat before I kill the cat. I grab an avocado, cut it in half, squeeze lemon on it (no limes at our house today) and salt it and spoon the whole fucking avocado in my mouth in about T-45 seconds. In the meantime, I had been snacking on cut apples from yesterday - I reckon I had about 2 apples. And then I take 1/2 a banana and almond butter and mash it together and shove it in my pie hole in 3 bites. And now it's time to go to pizza (or salad for me). So I literally shove a handful of walnuts in my mouth and almost can't chew as I get in the car.

I'm still bitchy and angry and none of your jokes are funny right now, honey so take the hint and LEAVE ME ALONE BECAUSE I'M LOSING IT INSIDE!!!!

I bring along a water bottle and drink almost all 20 ounces by the time we get there and I think I might manage somewhat of a smile. We pull up to Treehouse and I announce,
"I'm having pizza and wine." And :Lefty says, "WHAT?"
I say, "No. But I want to."

i had a giant salad and water and an Ativan* and things got better half way through the salad. But I was SO CLOSE to falling off the wagon tonight, it was bad. I honestly thought that maybe lying on the bed in a ball crying sounded like a really good way to get through the night. But I didn't.
I have to say I'm proud of myself for not.
And I'm lucky to have a husband like Lefty. I never really lose my shit that big and he just sat there and let me freak out. Smart man. Smart man.

Lefty picked up my prescription (and a bottle of wine for him.!!!) on the way home while the kids and I sat in the car singing along to Fucking frozen songs. I put that shit (the ointment, not the wine) on my face STAT. And all was mosstly well.

I got home, walked right into the kitchen and made my kid's birthday cake out of a fucking box. I do NOT use cake mix. EVER. It's a low, but today, I 'll take it. The kids won't give a shit. And I won't be tempted to eat it. It's a win-win in the end.

It was a bad day. Let's hope tomorrow is better. 7 11-year-old boys will be sleeping in my house tomorrow night. And I'm NOT DRINKING!!

Now I'm going to whip up a frozen banana with almond butter and sprinkle that shit with cocoa powder and eat it in bed. With another Ativan.
And maybe not even brush my teeth.

Tomorrow I'll write about what i intended to write about today. It's WAY more interesting. It also explains why I have so many benzos sitting around.


*AKA Mother's Little Helper

Edit: Today's meals

Breakfast: Berry smoothie with almond milk, hemp seed protein powder & chia seed
 Quinoa ceral with coconut and cinnamon

Lunch: light and air (see

4:15 Snack: Found a couple of apple slices sitting around - ate about 10 of them while I looked for the cream/baked the cake

5:15: whole avocado with lemon juice & salt

5:25  !/2 mashed banana with almond butter

5:30 handful of walnuts

5:30-6:00 20 oz. water

6:15 "Cobb" salad - romaine, avocado, walnuts, chicken, green apples with oil & vinegar and salt. 3 pints of water

9:00 Dessert: frozen banana "ice cream" with almond butter and cocoa powder. Water

Day 10 Dumpling Deprivation

Today was a hectic day of an appointment in Seattle, followed by errands, then running home and scarfing down a kale+apple+walnut+hemp seed salad then grabbing my son to take him to Seattle (3rd ferry crossing of the day) for a pre-birthday dinner at his favorite restaurant: Din Tai Fung.

This, my friends, was deprivation.

Lefty and my son ate about a bazillion* of these
*just an estimation

And they had bbq spare ribs and sticky sweet bus. And Lefty drank beer. RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!
I had sautéed cabbage with ginger and sautéed garlic green beans. Water and tea. The tea I had was really good. It felt special. Like a treat! But not really.
Nothing compares to these dumplings. And the mean waiters kept putting the bamboo baskets filled with steaming gluten-soy-sugar-filled dumplings right in front of me! Do not go to this place if you cannot eat dumplings. Or soy. It's TORTURE. Unless you're into torture, then run, don't walk to your torture chamber in Bellevue Square.

My son looked at me, dumpling precariously held in his chop sticks and said,
"WHY are you doing this diet?"
And I said, "I don't know. I want to cry, so be nice." Or something. My blood sugar was low, so my memory is fuzzy.
But this dinner wasn't about me - it was about him. He lives for dumplings and was over the moon to be there. So yay for him. I sat across from them, my plates of vegetables licked clean, sipping water and smiling at them - both so happily shoving dumplings in their big, stupid dumpling holes. eating a lovely, delicious, special dinner.

Shockingly, I was still hungry after "dinner" so as soon as we got home (at 10:45 because we missed the 9:00 ferry by THIRTY SECONDS) I mashed up a banana and mixed it with some almond butter, ate it at the kitchen counter then went to bed.

Dumpling House - we get a re-do in June!!! I may leave with a bloated belly and headache, but at this point, I kind of don't care.

Today's food intake:
Breakfast  - blackberry/blueberry/strawberry/almond milk smoothie with chia seed & hemp seed protein powder.  Quinoa cereal with coconut and cinnamon.

Snack: walnuts and almonds

Lunch: kale/apple/walnut/hemp seed salad with lemon juice & olive oil

Snack: The Smoothie (this time with cocoa powder sprinkled in!

Dinner & dessert: (see above)

Water intake: shit ton

Green tea: 3-4 cups

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 9 - 1/2 way through the deprivation stage!

I'm 1/2-way through the 2nd week of 3 weeks of deprivation. I am beginning to feel deprived, but thanks to Lefty (formerly known as "Butch"), dinner is still a wonderful culinary experience.

Things that have changed:
1. I no longer consume or crave alcohol or refined sugar. These are GOOD things! Once in a while, I'll think, "wow, a glass of wine would be nice right now." But I don't pour it and the feeling passes.

2. I eat probably 2x as many fruits and vegetables as I did before this started

3. I sleep really well

4.  I drink 3x as much water as I used to

5. My cycle went back to "normal" this month after being all over the place for the last couple of years

6. Better poops

7. I no longer drink coffee at all

8. I don't eat ANY processed foods

Things that have NOT changed:

1. Food baby/belly bloat!!!  Come ON, belly! Is it the berry smoothies? All the fruit? Or maybe I just need a good core workout that doesn't hurt my back?

2. Back pain, knee pain and ankle pain have not seemed to improve despite the fact I'm on an anti-inflammatory diet. To be fair, I found out last week that I have 2 bulging discs in my back after  throwing my 43-lb. daughter in the air 10 times in a row while in a pool over spring break.  (I was almost immobile for a week).

3. still have seasonal allergies

4. Low energy - but I think I'm still detoxing ?

So I'm thinking it's still too soon to tell, which is why this is a 3-week deprivation with a one-month re-introduction/testing of foods. Still have a week and a half to go on the "bland" diet. Maybe by week three I'll feel great, if not terribly bored of eating this food.

Which reminds me, things I like about this new diet:

1. morning smoothies
2. The Smoothie
3. Bananas and almond butter for dessert
4. no hangovers (or at least that 2-glasses-of-wine brain fuzz the next morning)

Things I miss:
1. Tomatos
2. potatoes
3. wine (sometimes)
4. dark chocolate after dinner
5. thai food
6. pizza night (GF, of course, but still)
7. Gluten - which I've been off for a while, but I still miss it!
8. Cheese

I'm not listing the last couple days of meals, because they're all pretty much the same. I did get the go-ahead to have fish 2x/week, so last night Lefty (formerly known as Butch) made a delicious dinner of halibut and green beans. Which would've paired nicely with a glass of Sauv Blanc...sigh.

Speaking of which, the next couple days in Seattle are supposed to be in the low 80s - in MAY! This is rosé-on-the-patio-drinking weather! i'm going to have to make some cucumber water and some sugar-free rosemary lemonade to try to fill that gap...and remind myself that the rosé will still be there in July, when summer REALLY starts here.
I hope I have enough energy and the green light from my PT to go for a bike ride tomorrow!

p.s. I almost took a picture of my belly last night because it was SO BLOATED, but it was too repulsive AND it turns out it was just the unpleasant monthly arrival of Aunt Flow who was responsible. So you're welcome for sparing you that.

p.p.s. I will share yesterday's lunch with you. I've been adding more quinoa to my diet to try to help with my lack of energy, so I made a salad of red lettuce, quinoa, celery, walnuts and roasted broccoli, leeks & carrots topped with olive oil and red wine vinegar. YUM!!!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Confessions of a skinny girl: i'm SORRY!!!

OK. I know I'm skinny. And I'm SORRY!!! I was blessed with good genetics, a high metabolism and love of athletics. I've been skinny my whole life. Even when I was pregnant I was skinny. I have never only dieted to lose weight, like, once. I'm SORRY!! And here's the catch: I'm terrified of getting fat. My  mom was REALLY skinny until she had 4 kids and then spent the rest of her sedentary life dieting to no avail until she got old and then gave in, sitting around playing bridge and drinking martinis. She never got obese, but she did get fat. And when she was diagnosed with cancer, she told me about her friends who'd lost weight when they  had cancer. She really said that. And I yelled, "This is not a weight loss plan!!!" A couple months before she died I saw her in just her underwear and she said with a smile, "I haven't been this thin since high school!"Really.
But I have to give her a bit of a break -  when she was my age, it was the pre-Jane Fonda work-out tapes era and decades before cross fit gyms. The only exercise women got in the '70s involved chasing children and doing housework sprinkled with a couple trips to the Y where they stood with those beige bands wrapped around them shaking their asses.

(this is not my mom)

The fear of the skinny girl is being the skinny girl who then became fat. You know, like when Bender describes it to Claire in The Breakfast Club.

 "She used to be so skinny!" They'll say. "She really let herself go." They whisper. Or even worse, the snickers!! (yum, snickers. Wait no, not that kind).

See, when you're skinny, other women say to you, "You're so skinny!" But not in a friendly way. The tone is usually accusing like you're skinny just to piss them off. And that there's no way I'm allowed to have body issues.

Well, clearly, I have body issues. And I'm allowed! Sure, a psychologist might disagree with me here, and I know I probably shouldn't have body issues, but I do things my own way, m'kay? I'm SORRY!

This is why I obsess about my damn belly. I'm sure there are women who would kill to have my belly. I'm SORRY! But do you want a belly that sticks out further than your boobs? I didn't think so. But that's what I have. Boobs are 2 things I was not blessed with.  And if my belly didn't bloat beyond my bra size, I probably wouldn't be so concerned about it at all as much. But it sticks out beyond the boobs! That's not ok. And I'm not getting a boob job. I wouldn't know what to do with boobs. I'd probably hurt myself. And I like people looking into my eyes when they talk to me.

All that being said, I am not doing this regimen to lose weight. I know I don't need to lose weight. I'm SORRY! But I have a host of issues beyond body image, one of them my belly, that I'm trying to figure out with the diet.

I hope that this clears the air about my belly and why I was posting pictures of it. I don't expect anyone to understand or to care, and am not looking for sympathy. But just so you don't think I'm crazy or on the verge of anorexia, that's my story. I blame the Title Nine catalog for part of it. The other part is just pure neuroses.

Title Nine girl with 6-pack abs being cute jumping over waves.
Me with flabby belly and a padded bikini top (so that my belly doesn't go beyond the boobs) being extra sexy, eating meat on a stick.
p.s. I'm sucking in my belly here a little.

photo credit: Nina Heck Cousins

p.p.s. I'm not really sorry for anything. Except the picture of me eating meat on a stick. I HATE this picture!!! I like it from the padded bikini top up because I think that's totally sexy. From the bikini top to the top of my bikini bottoms, vomit.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day 5. No wine, no ponies.

 A few months ago, my girlfriends & I signed up for "Wine & Ponies" at a school auction. My girlfriends and I did it last year too and it was really fun and we all got really drunk on nice wine and ate great food while watching horses jump over stuff. I was going to go just to hang out with my friends, but because I was so tired from the detoxing, I just couldn't rally for what would be "Water and Ponies" and carrots (for me, not the horses). I know at least one of my friends was disappointed that I didn't go, and although I know I can be fun and funny without alcohol, i'm no fun when I'm tired and just want to go to sleep.
So what did I do instead?
I went to Treehouse with Butch and my daughter! Treehouse has the BEST pizza and really good wines by the glass. I walked in and was engulfed in the warm smells of pizza dough, cheese and italian spices. I turned to Butch and said, "It smells SO good in here." And cried a little inside. And then I looked around and saw everyone enjoying their pizzas, beers and wine and I ended up killing everyone in the restaurant. It was a bloodbath! And then I ate all their pizza and drank all their wine! A SWAT team descended upon me and killed me, but at least I died full of pizza and wine and was happy. Butch and my daughter were sad that this happened and my daughter will probably need a lifetime of therapy, but they understood. And Butch was just a tad relieved that  he could cook anything he wanted from now on.

(None of that really happened, but the way. Everyone is alive, including me.)

We were shown to our table and I ordered the cobb salad hold the tomatoes and blue cheese dressing and no- I'm fine with just water, thanks.
Butch ordered an Old Mill (my favorite), a beer and then a glass of wine, and then stopped at Walt's on the way home so Butch could get a bottle of red wine. (He's saving our good red wine for when I start drinking again, on June 1. THAT is love, people).

We got home and my daughter and Butch had ice cream And for some reason I was the one who had to dish it out to them! That is love on MY part, nut not on Butch's part. That was just mean.

I should've gone to hang out with my girlfriends. I'm sure they're all like, "Told you so!"  OK, you're right, bitches! Next time, ok??

Tomorrow is the last day of week one! So that's kinda cool.

Today's Meals
Breakfast: Mixed berry smoothie with chia seed, hemp & seed protein powder
organic pork sausage with greens
sencha tea

Snack: apples with homemade almond butter, water

lunch: ground beef with leftover's from Friday night's dinner (veggies and pesto), water

Snack: The Smoothie

Dinner: Salad with chicken, avocado, green apples and oil & vinegar, water

dessert: mashed bananas with almond butter, water

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Day 4 - Hunger-Pangless in Seattle

Worst pun of the movie title ever.

But day 4 was great! I went to Seattle for a couple of appointments and planned ahead, bringing along a cooler filled with The Smoothie, a salad with strawberries and chicken for lunch, 1/2 an apple and a bag of my mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts & pumpkin seeds) and bottle of water to keep me nourished all day. And it worked. I wanted for nothing. Not even coffee.

I made my own dinner because Butch went out after work - probably to escape his frustration of my dietary restrictions - leaving me in charge of the kids, their dinner (easy) and packing up my son for his first backpacking trip ever. So I didn't get around to STARTING dinner until 9:30. I made this:
and it was SO GOOD. I added sautéed chicken for more protein/substance but I honestly think it would've been better without it. And I omitted the sun-dried tomatoes from the pesto. It was still delicious and I'll make it again!
I suprisingly didn't have a craving for alcohol. It being a sunny Friday, normally I'd sip a martini or a couple glasses of white wine followed by red wine when the sun went down. Obviously, I am not alcoholic. WHEW. (This is not a joke. My dad is and 99.9% of his family are/were alcoholic, so this is a real concern for me. I do NOT want my kids to have to go through what my siblings & I are dealing with concerning my dad.)

I didn't have room for dessert since I ate so late and had consumed about 1/2 pound of nuts throughout the day.
I gotta keep that in check.
Sparing you of  belly pictures today! I think by now you get the idea. If anything changes, I'll be sure to let you know.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Day 3. I just want some coffee.

Today at about 3:00 I got a huge craving for coffee. Even as a decaf drinker, I love coffee. I love the taste of it, especially dry processed coffees from Africa, I love the smell of it and I love it as an after-meal digestif. It's not something that any tea can replace. And of course, living in the coffee mecca of the United States, I drive and walk past really good coffee shops several times a day. Ah well. Just the day's lament.

This morning:
I don't know why I wake up SO tired and needing at least another hour of sleep when I'm not even drinking alcohol! I guess maybe it's because I need more sleep. Or I have cancer.* (Wow, I should really be a doctor).

*Note: I'm absolutely terrified of getting cancer. So much so that whenever something is wrong with my body, my first thought is, "I finally got cancer." (not finally as in, "Wow! I finally got to have sex with Jake Gyllenhall!). It's like I'm expecting it so I go immediately to the worst diagnosis possible when I feel a lump in my arm or I haven't pooped for days. My husband (let's call him Butch to protect his identity) thinks I'm a hypochondriac, but I just think it's better to be prepared for the worst so that when you find out that the lump is just a skin tag you can say, "whew. At least I don't have cancer!"

When I got up I took this picture of my belly, because I hate myself. It's just like yesterday's morning picture, I think. This belly is ok. With just a bit of toning, this belly would rock. But I have the rest of the day ahead and trust me, it will bloat.

For breakfast I had green tea and then made a wonderful breakfast of a mixed berry smoothie, quinoa cereal with apples, & organic pork sausage with sautéed greens. Hopefully this will help stave off the ravenous hunger I had yesterday around 11:00. It's 10:18 now, so we're on track already.
Here's my breakfast. Turn your head to the right and remember that I am not a food photographer. It was actually quite good. Except the "cereal" which is a lot like cream of wheat only it's cream of quinoa and flavorless. That's why I add salt and a shit-ton of apple.

Lunch was out with my friend Morgan at the Pub. I had an all-organic salad with chicken and and oil & vinegar and water to drink. Good thing he was paying because that's a TOTAL waste of a a trip to the Pub. But not for him - he got fish and chips which I didn't even look at once because I think I might have cried. He didn't even get a beer (thanks, Morgan!), he got an Arnold Palmer, which I don't really like, but I was still totally jealous because it wasn't water.

I made my awesome banana/almond butter smoothie mid-afternoon and it was awesome, so from now on it's just called "The Awesome Smoothie," or siply. "THE Smoothie."

Butch made a yummy dinner of steak topped with a pesto of parsley, capers, rosemary & anchovies and a side of broccoli. It was super yum and I made a dessert of - wait for it - mashed bananas and almond butter that I ate with a spoon. I am a GENIUS when it comes to bananas and almond butter, so you're welome for that.

No belly photo before bed. I fell asleep on the couch around 10:30 then had to clean the kitchen and went to bed because, did I mention I get really tired now that I don't booze it up in the evenings?
But trust me, my food baby made her appearance, just like yesterday. So if you're really wondering what it looked like, look at yesterday's before-bed photo. But a advise against it. It's ugly.

It was a good day. No screaming hunger pangs. Only felt deprived of coffee for about a minute.
3 down, 18 to go. 18! That's all! That sounds do-able.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day 2. Hungry and tired. And bloated. Don't forget bloated.

Day 2.
Breakfast: 1 cup sencha tea, mixed berry smoothie with hemp seed powder & chia seed
Lunch: giant salad of kale and lettuce, apples, carrots & walnuts with lemon juice & olive oil
I'm STILL hungry!
I just made some almond butter and am going to make a banana and almond butter smoothie. YUM.

Oh my god - this smoothie is SO GOOD.Rice milk+homemade almond butter+one banana. SO GOOD!!!! I'm going to have to plan all my meals around having 2 of these smoothies a day or I'm going to gain weight on this elimination diet!! I kinda love myself right now for making this deliciousness in a 12-oz glass.

Wow! Things are working already! I had the most epic poop this afternoon!

Snack: Almonds, wwalnuts & pumpkin seeds. Sencha tea.

Around 4:00 I got REALLY tired and hungry. Must remember to bring snacks with me when I'm out running errands. Because I'm kind of like a toddler now.

Dinner: roasted chicken breasts and veggies (carrots, fennel, brussels sprouts), water Thanks husband! You really ARE the best husband  and the best cook.

Not drinking wine makes me tired. Honestly, I'm ready for bed by about 9:00, but that's dinnertime, so I power through until past 11:00. Cuz I'm really smart.

Today wasn't so bad except for when I got so hungry while running errands. I didn't eat enough for breakfast and fell short on my water intake. My mood is pretty good and I don't miss wine at all. In fact, walking past the wine in the grocery today I thought to myself, "That stuff burns going down." I know. ME. I thought that. Weird. I did kinda want some after the kids pissed me off by misbehaving and then whining. (Whine begets wine, I've found.) But it passed and I got a pint of water and a book instead.

Tomorrow, Day 3, I'm looking forward to another amazing smoothie!!!!!!! (I made Mark buy a second bunch of bananas at the store tonight because I foresee a lot of these in my future).
I took pix today but will post tomorrow. I'm too tired now.

Here's what happens to my belly throughout the day:

                                  First thing in the morning. No problem! I would happily wear a bikini.

1:30 pm. Starting to pop out a bit.

Right before bed at 11:45 pm. I look 3 months pregnant!! And this is without gluten, any grains or sugar. Honestly, WTF?

Day 1 down, 20 to go.

Well, that was easy. And I'm not just saying that. I didn't feel deprived. Maybe I'm doing this wrong.

Day One's meals:
Breakfast: Blueberry, marionberry, mango, rice milk smoothie with Chia seed and hemp seed protein powder. Quinoa cereal with chopped apples. 1 cup sencha tea.

Lunch: I missed lunch, so ate the snack I took on the ferry which was about 2 cups of raw almonds, one cup of walnuts and 1 cup pumpkin seeds. This was VERY filling, so missing lunch wasn't a problem. (This is a calorie BOMB, but this isn't about calories so who cares....right?)

Snack before dinner: 1/2 cup almonds and pumpkin seeds

Lavender water (I infused dried lavender flowers in my water - yum!)

Dinner: one large steak seasoned with tarragon, asparagus, quinoa

Dessert: one pink lady apple

Water consumed throughout day: at least 40 oz. Possibly more. I didn't count.

Supplements: Elderberry syrup,  arabinogalactin, curcumin, multi-vit, D, B6, probiotic, fish oil, elderberry syrup.

 I am very surprised that I did not miss the wine at all. I felt a craving while driving home around 6:30. It was this kind of warm feeling that went through my body that whispered, "time for wine!" Honestly, it whispered and I felt it. But I acknowledged it and it passed.

I wasn't hungry all day and never craved anything. Except chocolate after dinner. Oh, how I love my after-dinner 80% dark chocolate. But had an apple instead and that seemed to satisfy my craving for sweets.
I was really tired by 11:00 and fell right to sleep and slept hard.

The downsides of  Day 1:

The bloat. The BLOAT! It happened throughout the day as if I were eating loaves of bread. (Horrible pictures to be posted soon.) The bloat AND finding out that paprika is a nightshade. That was upsetting to both me and Mark. Especially Mark because he had to re-think dinner, but he had a couple of hours to do that so don't feel too bad for him. He can make a gourmet meal out of road kill and our drawer of 200 spices.

OK, I downloaded yesterday's pictures and they all look the same so I think I need to work on the getting the right angle and keeping a consistent distance from the camera. Consider yourselves spared. You're welcome.

Now, let's get Day 2 started.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Let's get this lamest party ever started!

This morning begins the long 3-week journey into self-deprivation. While this may sound like a spiritual exercise that I am taking of my own volition, but that's only half 1/16 true. It's simply an elimination diet that Dr. Astrid Pujari (Google her) has recommended for me to figure out: the bloating, the digestive "issues" (lack of regular poops), my frequent upper respiratory infections (URIs), back pain, ankle pain, allergies, epilepsy and low energy.
I mostly started yesterday, but cheated by having some eggs at lunch.
Here is what I am allowed to eat and drink for the next three weeks:
1. organic fruits & vegetables (except oranges - I don't know why this is, but I never eat oranges anyway so I'm not complaining)
2. Organic chicken & turkey and grass-fed beef (NOT grilled)
3. Green tea
4. water - NOT carbonated. Yes, really.
5. seeds
6. raw almonds
7. raw walnuts
8. quinoa & amaranth

What is NOT allowed for the next 3 weeks:
1. caffeine
2. non-organic foods
3. ALCOHOL!!!!!
4. sugar
5. eggs
6. dairy
7. gluten
8. soy
9. nightshades (TOMATOES, POTATOES, PEPPERS & eggplant) -notice how I didn't capitalize eggplant
9. peanuts or other nuts not mentioned in previous list
10. carbonation (need to find out if whipits are ok)
11. All grains (except the ones mentioned in  the "ok" list)
12. coffee
At the end of 3 weeks, I start re-introducing foods - the LAST thing I reintroduce is alcohol.

I already don't eat gluten or a lot of dairy, so those aren't a big deal. But no wine? You'd think that would be my biggest challenge. Au contraire, mes frères. The biggest challenge is going to be dinnertime with my husband. He's an AMAZING cook and while he likes a good cooking challenge from time to time (like when he was going to make omelets for dinner last week but I used all the eggs that morning...he swore and banged around the kitchen for 15 minutes while I hid in the laundry room playing dumb), this is not something he signed up for.

I'm thinking I should attempt to make this less about what I can't have and more about what I can. Quinoa cereal for breakfast! Whee!! Possibly a non-bloated abdomen! HOO-fucking-RAY! Regular poops! (YES! (Except only time I get to finish New Yorker articles is on the toilet). No more colds that knock me on my ass for a week at a time? Sign me up!

To track my progress, I'll be posting 3 pictures per day along with my daily food intake and my musings of the day. Pictures will be of my abdomen in the morning when I wake up (forgot today, so you'll only get to enjoy 2 pictures), in the mid-day after I've had a couple meals and before bed.
WARNING: It won't be pretty.
I'm going into this with a scientific mind, eager to find out what changes will happen over the next 3 weeks and what will happen when I start re-introducing foods into my diet 3 weeks from now. And eager to find out what happens to my mindset - will I be angry, irritable? Or will I become kinder and more mellow?
This is food as medicine, people. Ready, set, go!