Saturday, November 28, 2015

The "No Sugarcoating" Podcast

Ok guys, I wanted to share with you a really exciting new podcast I found. (There are only two episodes so far, so it won’t be difficult for you to catch up). The two hosts are both Calgarian Holistic Nutritionists (yay!). They go over so many different topics and share their own results with being on different “diet” plans.  Just yesterday I wrote about my own“fat day” experiences, and what these two have discussed so far is relevant to that post.

The interesting information I mentioned sharing with you was this: The hosts Leslie (of Healthful Pursuit) and Amber (of Amber Approved) talk about a crazy phenomenon called “cerebral” allergies. This is when you eat food that you are “allergic” to but it makes you feel good and can result in your own food sensitivity becoming your food addiction.  You are basically getting high off the food that you are allergic to. (Listen to the podcast if you want more information – it’s great). But it got me thinking about my own serious ADDICTION to peanut butter. It loves me, and I love it. Those who know me will know that breakfast almost ALWAYS consists of toast and peanut butter – even if it starts with a green smoothie. This has been the case for YEARS. Oddly enough though, peanuts show up as a MAJOR issue for me on my food sensitivity test, along with dairy (big time – especially whey), bananas, pineapple and eggs. In fact, my poor ol’ peanuts are the absolute highest score of all the sensitivities. WTF? And my most favorite smoothie from Simple Green Smoothies? Why that would be the Begginers Luck – which includes banana and pineapple. Waaaaaaaaaaa!

After I did the test though, I basically did what I have always done….just went back to normal eating. (What was the purpose of spending that $300 you may ask? Hmmm....information)? Oh that’s interesting I think. Now where’s my toast and PB and coffee with cream (LOL)? J I could never part with THAT! They basically said that if you cannot envision a period of time without your trigger “food”, then there’s likely a strong emotional component to it, or it’s a cerebral allergy. What the heck is mine then? Maybe a bit of both since I am obviously sensitive to it. Dammit.

Anyway, I wanted to share this podcast with you all since I think most all women can benefit. I think we all share similar stories of trying various diet plans and feeling defeated. The messages I love most though, and the “take-home” for me is this:

-Give yourself permission to enjoy life. Don’t be soooo rigid on a plan that you can’t do this.
-The eating style that serves you now may change as your body or lifestyle changes. Be flexible enough to realize that what serves you now may not serve you forver. Just be committed to your body and you will figure it out.

So go listen to the two episodes. Let me know when you do!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fat Days

This used to happen every few months…feeling fat and in need of some emotional healing that for some reason I believe will be found in food. This leads to my version of ‘binging’ which is thankfully not that serious. There was a time in my life that the binge was more substantial and ended with making myself puke, but since I hate puking, that time in my life didn’t last too long. Anyway, the other day this binge started innocently enough as some pickles, a sliver of the crappy pizza in the fridge, couple of crackers and tuna on top, couple of pieces of beef jerky, couple of olives…nothing like a binge you’d see on a TLC show, but still. And it went on for the rest of the day basically.

On these “fat” days (as I am eating away) part of my thinking is that I really need to start some sort of diet or program. It’s like I temporarily forget all the unsuccessful attempts in the past, and totally disregard my own “diets don’t work” manifesto. (I have basically concluded that the poor mental state I exist in when dieting far outweighs any of the good that can be experienced by following a diet plan. I hate feeling restricted). But in these moments, it basically feels like a little Martian has overtaken my brain, as I frantically and relentlessly scour the internet and online book stores, blogs and such, researching diets plans and deciding which one is the “diet de jour”.

I start meal planning and even looking at my calendar trying to figure out how I can get out of a future engagement which will either challenge my willpower or put me in a situation where I will chose poorly. It eventually leads to a some sort of purchase (supplements, diet plan, book, etc) and then OF COURSE a trip to the grocery store in which I will likely purchase items that are deemed as “GOOD” for the plan. The “icing on the cake” (if you will) during this temporary loss of my brain is that since I will be starting a new diet soon, I can handle a few extra morsels or treats before I get going, allowing this binge to fester on.

But I understand this pattern of mine now and when these “fat” days do occur (even though I still think the same thoughts about needing to diet or start a new plan) I don’t act on them as often – the urge isn’t as strong. That’s mostly because I know what usually happens….within a day or two or a week, I go back to the same general eating patterns, which I should point out aren’t bad – they just aren’t super strict.  

Sometimes, what’s good about a diet plan, is that all the overwhelming choices regarding what to eat are taken away. The plan tells you what to eat. It tells you what food is good and what is bad. But perhaps more confusing is which diet plan to follow. I mean who knows what plan is right for you? They all are equally convincing. SHOULD I try paleo or go to the other extreme as a vegan?? What about just gluten free or maybe dairy free? Maybe I should just do no grains after lunch. Hmmm that dukan diet sounds interesting. But no, I couldn’t give up red wine. I definitely need a plan that includes red wine. Ooooh, I should do that meal delivery service. Yeah, pay an arm and a leg to eat and still have to make a meal for my family. Right…not so good. What about intermittent fasting….On and On and On….

Here’s the crazy thing though. Every. Single. Time. Before starting a plan, I imagine it’s going to be different. THIS diet is going to be the ONE. The other day on my last “fat day”, I was thinking about starting this Keto diet I have heard about. I even paid $50 USD to buy an e-book about it. You can add that to my personal contribution to the weight loss industry. If you haven’t read my post about the sheer amount of money I have donated to it, here it is. 

That's it for today friends. It's a professional day for M so we are going to get that chest x-ray out of the way! 

Have a great Friday! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Small World & Mini Me

My most favourite grade school teacher was my first grade teacher, Mrs. Van De Pol. She was so sweet, kind, caring, and I loved learning with her. There was just something extra special about her. I thought about her often during the rest of my school years. Fast forward twenty-plus years later, I was at my in-law's house (very early in our marriage) when I spotted my grade one teacher's face in a photo collage that my in-law's had in their kitchen. I mentioned to them that this person looked so much like my grade one teacher, Mrs. Van De Pol! Imagine my surprise when I was told not only that WAS her, but she lived NEXT DOOR to them! Talk about small world!!!

Since that day of discovery, I have been able to see her and talk to her more than a few times! She's still the same beautiful person I remembered years ago. When I did see her for the first time as an adult, she had a funny story for me. She said that I was very shy and that one of the clearest memories she had, was of me 'walking around the class' with a notepad in hand, asking questions and writing them down. (I guess I thought I might need the answers later on). So yesterday while my daughter was picking out which timbit's she wanted, she whipped out her little notebook and started writing down the names of some of the donuts. It struck me right away that this must have been what my teacher would have seen. I was able to grab my phone and capture the sweet moment of this adorable mini-me taking her own notes... 

(You never know when you'll need to recall the names of your favourite timbit's)! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November Challenge....

Hi everyone! It’s been a while!

Similar to the last update, I have continued to easily be off of FB and am still very much enjoying the break. I haven’t been using the Organic Burst products at all though, sadly. One day I put some wheatgrass into my smoothie and I could taste it so I didn’t do it again. I might put this completely on the back burner for another month or until January, and I think a better tactic would be to not try them all at once! They are actually sold in "bundles": Energy, Weight Loss, Perfect Skin, SuperGreens, and Fitness. I might be better off trying a bundle at a time, as there are only 3 supplements to take IN each bundle. I still have been doing my smoothies though. LOVE that. Oh, and I started my lovely progesterone cream and it’s almost been a week so far. I’ll give it some more time before I comment on that. It would also probably be smart not to start both at once so that I can feel the effects separately, and know which one is responsible for changes in energy, mood, etc. 

You all know too that I was awaiting a phone call back from the Children’s and the doctor did let me know last Friday that after a weekly meeting where cases were discussed amongst Rheumy doctors, that she did talk about M with other colleagues including the one who has expertise with the TMJ. They actually recommend the drugs instead of the injection. This kind of threw me off since in my mind I had kind of come around to the fact that the joint injection was going to be the best idea. She explained that more research on injecting the joint needed to be done, and there was some concern about the joint’s growth and development as children age. Because it’s such an important and visibly obvious joint, they think that drugs are best. Ugh.

Since meeting with the Naturopath, we did find and buy the VSL#3 probiotic that she recomemmded. We have also cut out dairy, citrus, and nightshade vegetables. M has been soooo good about all this and I have felt so bad telling her that she can’t have the pizza I have preordered for her at school on pizza Friday’s and that she can’t have a lot of the halloweeen candy she was so excited to eat.

I mentioned that we might try some alternative methods to treat the arthritis, (namely some acupuncture treatments and possibly some dextrose injections into the TMJ site) but because my husband and I differ on our opinions about this; because there is a bit of a time sensitivity; and because it's a joint that's very important (aren't they all really?) and quite VISIBLE, I think we will try the drugs. It’s so hard not knowing if the decision you are making is the right one…I am sure everything will be fine, I just don’t like the idea of my little girl being on all this medication. In my mind, we are using a bit of both worlds (naturopathic and conventional medicine) to get rid of this arthritis. We will do another MRI in about 6 months after treatment with the new drug begins, and hopefully it will be completely gone; and then the clock starts to begin the countdown of getting M off everything.

Before M starts the biologics, a chest x-ray and TB testing have to be done. Now that we have made the decision to go this route, I need to get on arranging that. Isn’t it just easier to ignore things for a while? Only you can’t do that for very long….

Today is our 9th wedding anniversary. We are going to The Lakehouse for dinner tonight. Can't wait!

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blind Taste Testing: MILK

Yesterday I had an appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) regarding my daughter's arthritis. I wanted to get a complete picture of treatment options before any decisions were made. It was quite helpful and I felt really great about it...but here's the thing...when deciding on what what to do, it can be tricky if one parent feels differently about a treatment option than the other. I think it's fair to say that I am more open to some of the naturopathic options, where my husband isn't as much. I believe we have come to somewhat of a middle ground on this though. 

When my daughter was first diagnosed with JIA almost two years ago, we took her to a naturopath and at that time did some food sensitivity testing. However, we didn't adhere much to the plan that the ND had set forth. Instead, we basically did what was recommended by the hospital, and the drugs and joint injections seemed to work well for her. It felt like the right thing to do at the time and I still believe that it was the right thing to do. They wanted to "hit" the arthritis so to avoid further damage and I am glad we did. However, now that most of it is under control, I am more interested in learning about the causes of it and working on that, rather than simply treating the symptoms: the inflammation. 

One thing we are going to do is adjust her diet (based upon the findings of the food sensitivity test); change the probiotics she takes; include some alternative therapies that I will talk more about as we go along; and schedule the joint injection. I am hoping that the injection can take place in about 3 months, giving us some time to allow the naturopathic route to work, while at the same time, not leaving the injection too long if nothing is changing. 

The dietary changes include an elimination of dairy and citrus fruit. These two categories show up as issues for my daughter, so we're opting to get rid of them for the time being. When we attempted to remove items from her diet back in 2014 (dairy and citrus as well as gluten and nightshade vegetables) I tried almost every 'non-dairy' milk there was out there, only to have it poo-poo'd by my picky little eater. It's one thing to start eliminating foods from a non-picky eater, but something else to attempt this with a picky one! Part of the reason for not maintaining the diet plan before was the sheer overwhelm of what to feed the kid!

Anyway, almost two years more mature, my daughter was more understanding of the reasons we are going to do this, and therefore slightly more willing. To make this more fun, I decided to do a blind tasting of a few types of non-dairy milks. Here are a few pics of this little "experiment"....

 The Lineup
 Experiment in Action
Part Two of the Experiment:
Guessing which milk belonged to which dish
 Final Matches
In the Running: Cashew, Coconut, Soy, Rice, Almond

And the winner was.....Almond Milk (sweetened) with Soy as a close second. I think will stick to almond milk (Silk brand I am told is the best) as soy has too many hormones (a wise person just told me).

So that's that. For now.

Tips for Managing Stress & Anxiety (plus a smoothie recipe!)

Read my latest blog post on You Ate: And my smoothie recipe!