This recipe will change your life. Period.

Seriously.

It looks like pudding. It tastes better than pudding. It’s like a thick, creamy custard of amazingness.

paleopudding3

My sister and brother-in-law made this recipe up while working through the 21-day sugar detox with me. My sister made up the original recipe, which was more of a smoothie quality. Her husband Joe decided he wanted something a bit more like a pudding consistency, so he messed around with the ingredients a bit and came up with what’s posted below. When I visited last weekend, Joe whipped it up for us. Twice. In 2 days. We ate all of it. Twice. Over 2 days.

As Joe warned me: Once you make this, you will have an extremely difficult time not making it multiple times a week. This is not (much of) a problem if you adhere to a strict paleo diet and/or are living on a diet like mine, which excludes refined sugars and a whole bunch of other things. It’s full of good fats (coconut milk and nut butter) and if you’re like me, it’s an excellent way to 1.) get in some good calories before a workout 2.) eat a dessert when you’re craving something sweet and 3.) makes an awesome breakfast or snack. It’s so good that I plan on making it this weekend to bring as a dessert for a super bowl party.

paleopudding2

The recipe is super simple. Just combine everything from the ingredients list below and blend blend blend. Joe and my sister have a (dreamy) Vitamix, but I don’t, so I plan on trying to make it work in my food processor. It might not get as creamy as it would in a Vitamix, but I think I can come close.  The goal is to blend it enough that it’s thick when you take it out of the blender, almost like a super thick smoothie. Then, you have to put it in the fridge for a few hours until it settles into a perfect cool custardy treat. Joe served it up in regular glasses (pictured) but I’m going to try to make it in small ramekins. It’s a bit rich (at least, it seems rich to me, but my sweet tooth isn’t so strong anymore). I couldn’t eat an entire glass-full in one sitting: it’s one of those treats you can keep in the fridge and keep taking bites of all day.

You can mess around with the ingredients depending on whether or not you like more cinnamon flavoring or maybe want to try almond or peanut butter. I think the cashew butter gives it a really great consistency without overwhelming all the other flavors: there’s a hint of cashew, but not too much.

 

paleopudding

Change Your Life Paleo Custard

1 can coconut milk
1 cup nut butter (cashew)
2-3 bananas
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 full tbsp cocoa

1. Blend all ingredients until thickened and smooth. 2. Pour into glasses or ramekins and leave in refrigerator for a few hours until thickened. 3. Devour.


my 21 day detox taught me not to do a 21 day detox

I’d really love to start this post with I did a 21 day sugar detox and I killed it but instead I’m going to say that trying to do a detox when your diet is already incredibly limited was a lesson in what not to do when your diet is already incredibly limited.

For starters, my diet is currently already limited to the following list:
*veggies (minus hard to digest veggies like cabbage. and brussels sprouts.)
*fruit
*meat, fish
*nuts
*occasionally: grains like rice and quinoa
*coffee, tea, some liquors (I hate sweet drinks, so I drink all beverages with no sweeteners, even mixed drinks.)

The detox I attempted to do limited my diet to:
*veggies (but no potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets or other naturally sweet  and starchy veggies)
*grapefruit, granny smith apples, not yet ripe bananas, lemons and limes
*meat, fish (but not cured meat)
*nuts

Avoiding refined sugar is not hard for me. Unless I can find a dairy and soy free chocolate bar, there’s almost nothing sweet I can buy that is free of gluten, diary, soy and eggs. I also am not a baker, so making sweets is rare. Trying to cut back on my sweet tooth meant eating less fruit, not eating sweet potatoes,  and not drinking wine. Ok, no problem.

Here’s what 21 days eating this way (above) translated to: not eating until 2 p.m. (or sometimes 4 p.m.) because I didn’t take time to figure out what I could eat on the detox, so instead, I just drank coffee and didn’t eat until the evening when I’d make a massive meal and go to bed with a headache from not eating all day. Really. Dumb.

Here’s the good and bad of what I learned over the last 21 days:

1. Bad: I already have to plan ahead for every single meal I eat. Trying to limit my diet even more especially when I’m busy translates to: It’s too much work. I’ll eat half an avocado and a latte and call it breakfast/lunch.  This move over a number of days translates to massive headaches. That last for days. It basically moved me from eating Larabars and lattes all day to not eating and drinking coffee all day. Not healthy. Ridiculous.

2. Good: I don’t need to learn to eliminate sugar. I hardly eat it anyway. I used to have a major sweet tooth but I don’t as much any more, so why exactly am I trying to do this…? The detox was about limiting cravings. I already have a biologically built-in inability to digest so much that limits and cravings mean very different things to me now. Learning this about myself was really awesome.

3. Bad: Sure, giving up alcohol if a few weeks is probably healthy. When I crave something sweet, I crave a glass of wine, a bowl of coconut ice-cream, or a rice cake smothered in peanut butter and my mom’s homemade raspberry jam. (She makes a special one with less sugar for me now because she rules.) The only thing I craved on this detox was sweet potatoes and wine. These things are not inherently bad for me. I’m not sure avoiding them did me that much good.

4. Good: Avocados in smoothies are always a good idea. New favorite: 1/2 avocado, 1 banana, coconut/almond milk, 1 big spoonful of peanut or almond butter. Tasty good fats. Also, bacon and parsnips are a perfect combo. Who knew?

5. Bad: It’s day 22 and I ate 2 Larabars  and an almond milk latte and called it breakfast/lunch. Clearly, I did not kick my Larabar habit. I’m not clear if this is a bad thing or just my reality right now.

6. Good: It was awesome to do this diet with my sister, brother-in-law, and friends. I created a private Facebook group for people doing the detox with us and it was so great to share all our recipes and cheer each other on when we wanted to face-plant into a pile of Oreos. (Or, if you’re me, into a glass of wine and a baked sweet potato.) My one thought is that if you are ever going to attempt to change anything in your diet, get a buddy. It’s easier with a buddy. I know this after 5 years of having to eat drastically different from everyone else. Having two siblings who eat like me makes me  feel “normal” when it comes to eating.

7. Super Duper Bad: After 10 months, I decided to try eggs last week. It was a disaster. It deserves its own blog post. I’m currently reading up on the science of egg allergy testing to I can write an informed post on egg allergies. Needless to say, the science is not conclusive.

I think the good out-weighs the bad on the last 21 days. It made me realize that it’s okay to go gentle and remove things from my diet, but only if they really make sense for my well-being. Is a sweet potato and a glass of wine here and there really going to wreck me? No. But I think that given how little sugar (refined and natural) I actually consume, limiting myself more than I already have isn’t really all that worth it, especially if it only causes me more stress. (What the hell am I gonna eat? Answer: Nothing.) I think I’m going to stick to my sweet potatoes. And Pink Lady apples. And ripe bananas. I really really missed ripe bananas.

I committed to this detox to see what it would do for my skin and stomach aches. My skin is no better, but I know enough to realize 21 days is not going to change my skin. Eggs wrecked my stomach. I don’t consider the last 21 days a failure, though. I think of it more as a kick-starter to eating with a “restore” state of mind: gentle foods that heal and give your body some rest. I’m game to keep going with this. Only with ripe bananas.

 

 

 

 

 


winter eating & a recipe

Happy New Year!

It’s been over 4 months since i wrote here last. Time flies! I got lost in my dissertation proposal and didn’t come up for air until it went to committee Saturday, December 21st. I’m about to dive back into months of solid non-stop dissertation writing so I can graduate in 2014 (woohoo!), so I’m starting the new year with a “restore” diet for a few weeks to jump start the semester and rid myself of the massive amounts of sugar and booze I consumed over the holidays. I’m calling it a “restore” way of eating or diet rather than a detox because 1. detox diets are often very short and I intend to eat this way more generally for longer than 21 days 2. this diet is less about “detoxing” and more about feeding my body gentle, nurturing foods that restore energy and balance. Last year, I wrote a lot about sugar-free eating. Over the last 6 months, my functional wellness doctor and acupuncturist (my go-to women for both eastern and western health perspectives on my health) are strongly urging me to get rid of the sugar in order to help deal with my most persistent issues: stomach aches (post too much sugar), consistent skin issues (mainly acne like i’m 13 when i’m 34) and headaches, both caused by hormones, which sugar loves to mess with. I’ve resisted this complete elimination for 6 months because given how limited my diet already is, giving up sugar, even natural sugars, is not appealing.

I’m excited about dropping most sugar because the goal is not to loose weight or try to determine what might be a cause of chronic digestive pain (like in the past). The goal this time is to lessen my sweet tooth and sweet cravings by limiting all sugars: refined, natural, carbs, etc. and to see if it helps with headaches and my chronic skin issues.

Lucky me, I’ve enlisted my sister, brother-in-law, and some lovely friends to join me on the 21-day adventure. We are using Diane Sanfilippo’s 21 Day Sugar Detox book because it has a lot of science-based info on sugar’s impact on the body, lots of recipes, and 3 different levels you can work from so you can figure out how hardcore you want to be based on your current diet. (I’m a level 3 because I’m already so restricted in my diet.)

Today we are literally getting dumped on by snow, which I spent some time shoveling. It was like shoveling endless mounds of confectioner sugar. All I could think about was sugar and how I was getting in a solid workout pushing so much of it off our super long driveway. (And regretting that we didn’t hire someone to plow this year.) Lucky us, I had roasted a chicken, so we came inside to yummy smells. I loved this dinner because it combined some of my favorite things: fennel, avocado, lime, mustard and horseradish. Looking forward to the left-overs after more shoveling tomorrow.

I adapted ideas from the book to create this dinner. I created a mustard glaze (p. 114) to use on the whole chicken (although this glaze could be used on any poultry pieces) but added in horseradish and used olive oil instead of coconut oil. The citrus salad ideas came from the grapefruit salad (p. 166) although the only similarities are the grapefruit, avocado pieces and lime juice. This recipe makes plenty for two people plus left-overs.

citruschickensalad

Roasted Chicken with Avocado Citrus Salad
 1. In a small bowl, whisk glaze ingredients together. (See ingredients list below.) Brush all of the glaze over the chicken breasts, wings, and legs. This glaze can be used one a whole chicken or breast or thigh pieces. If you have any spare veggies laying around, through them in the bottom of the roasting pan around the chicken. I used a few carrots that came out with a yummy mustardy flavor. Roast chicken until skin darkens and meat is cooked through. 

2. While chicken is roasting, prep salad. Chop parsley and scallions and place in a small bowl. Add chopped fennel, avocado wedges, and small pieces of grapefruit. Toss everything with lime juice, olive or avocado oil, salt and pepper. Place everything on top of fresh salad greens.

3. When chicken is done, carve and be sure to pour juices at the bottom of the pan on top of chicken pieces. Mix with salad and devour.

 Glaze
2 tbls olive oil
2 tbls spoons mustard (i used horseradish mustard)
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste

Salad
small handful of parsley
3 scallions (more or less if you like salads onion-y)
1 fennel bulb
1/2 avocado
1/2 grapefruit
juice from 1/2 lime (or full lime if you like a lot of citrus)
1 tbls of olive or avocado oil
salt and pepper to taste
mixed salad greens

 

 

 


why IBS is BS, plus fun times with upper endoscopies

In 2010, I had two upper endoscopies and one colonoscopy. Since the colonoscopy procedure is a bit more complex and requires a nasty clean-out-your-system cleanse, I’m saving it for its very own long, detailed, and utterly disgusting post. (I know you can’t wait.)

The medical term for an upper endoscopy is esophagogastroduodenoscopy.
Let’s break that massive word down:
*esophago = esophagus
*gastro = stomach
*duoden = duodenum (the first part of the small intestine)
*scopy = to see (suffix meaning “observation or a visual examination”)

An upper endoscopy is a procedure that enables a gastroenterologist (GI) doctor to visually examine the upper digestive system with a tiny camera on the end of a long, flexible tube. Sounds pretty straight forward. Kinda is.

Months after my kidney stone surgery, I was still having chronic pain of multiple kinds. There was the usual cramping and sharp pains in my intestinal track, the stomach aches that were pretty constant, regardless of what I ate, and a hot burning twisting throb at the bottom of my rib cage. I was having a hard time getting much done. I dropped the one course I was supposed to take and registered for independent study credits just to keep myself enrolled in my Ph.D. program and working towards something. I spent a lot of hours on the couch with a heating pad pressed against my gut.

What was most upsetting was that I really wanted to believe that the pain I had been in before the holidays was all related to kidney stones, despite the fact that my urologist told me it was very unlikely. I still wanted to believe it. I wanted to think that once the stones were gone and the ureteral stent got yanked out, I’d be all good to go.

My doctor put me on medication to deal with the constant pain. I started on hyoscyamine, prescribed for treating stomach and intestinal problems like cramping and irritable bowel syndrome. It’s like a muscle relaxant for your digestive track: it works by decreasing acid production in the stomach and slowing down or relaxing the stomach. When that didn’t help, we tried dicyclomine, also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome and relieve muscle spasms in the gastrointestinal track.

While both of these medications made me a lot more relaxed (to do the hard work of laying on the couch with a heating pad all day), they didn’t touch much of the chronic pain I was having. This is when I started to realize that my doctor really didn’t know what was going on with me. She kept telling me I had irritable bowel syndrome and that the stress of graduate school and living in a house under constant construction was giving me gastrointestinal issues and once I could find ways to relieve the psychological stress, my body would follow suit. Being the dutiful researcher that I am, I started reading as much as I could on irritable bowel syndrome, which is basically the blanket term for digestive-issues-we-don’t-understand.

I finally went to see a GI specialist. I spent a full hour with this specialist, going over every inch of my health history, my family’s history of Crohns disease, what I was and wasn’t eating. Then she told me I had irritable bowel syndrome. I asked her what that meant.

Her exact words: “Honey, when we tell you that you have irritable bowel syndrome, it just means we have no idea what you have. It doesn’t really mean much of anything.”

Awesome.

Here’s a heads-up on that one: In my experience, if you’ve been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, it just means you have bowels that are irritable. Moody bowels. They don’t like stress. They don’t like certain foods (but you aren’t always sure what ones). Technically, IBS is about your large intestine (colon) getting all pissy about the food you’re eating, the booze you’re drinking, and the stress you’re under. But a diagnosis of IBS doesn’t really tell you much more than that. This is what frustrates me about modern medicine: my doctor wanted to put me on medications to try to relax the pain away without determining where the pain was coming from in the first place. If our bodies are tightly connected systems, shouldn’t there be more to find out here? Being told by my doctor that IBS is a “very typical issue for most graduate students” is one thing, but having IBS and intense pain chronically for months at a time to the point of being unable to operate normally seems like something else. Or at least, something more. Sure, IBS is real and it sucks. But being told you have IBS and then being told IBS means we don’t really know what’s going on is not very comforting.

My GI doctor decided I needed both an upper endoscopy and a colonoscopy to see if anything was going on in my insides, but I couldn’t get in for the procedure until July. It was May. I was tired and loosing weight. My GI insisted I start drinking protein drinks. She told me to stay off dairy and anything else that bothered me. (Which was pretty much every thing.)

The first week of June, I had a major bike accident. I broke both of my elbows, broke off two of my front teeth, and suffered a major concussion that had me blacking out once every 24 hours: I would wake up on the floor, C half holding me with a look of panic on his face. I’m skipping the bike accident details for now. I just wanted to include them because I had to go to my upper endoscopy and colonoscopy with broken elbows and lay on the bed in my slings, which I’m sure looked ridiculous.

There’s the skinny on upper endoscopies:
*There’s no real cleanse. You just stop eating and drinking at midnight. In the morning, I wake up thirsty and apprehensive.

*At the office, I sat in the waiting room with a bunch of tired looking people who are either waiting to also have tubes pushed down their throats or have just suffered the world’s worst colonoscopy cleanse and look like they would rather lick a toilet than go through it again. (That might be extreme, but seriously: it’s hard.) Some of these people are in their 50s and 60s are probably getting routine check-ins. Some of them are probably there for scary things like colon cancer. This makes me anxious.

*When the nurse calls me back, I stand in a freezing cold room while she takes my vitals, trying not to cringe when she touches my broken arms (which are not casted). I have C help me change into a super flimsy gown and sit in the freezing cold while she cheerfully asks me what feels like a million questions about what I did and did not eat or drink in the last 24 hours. She puts an IV in. She lets me put my sling back on my left arm, which is more broken than my right, where the IV is.

*I’m led into a hallway full of curtains. Behind these curtains are hospital beds, some empty, some with sleeping people who have just come out of procedures. I lay on one of the beds, holding my half slung arms against me, and wait, listening to people burping and passing gas and nurses softly saying “yup, that’s okay, it’s all air that has to come out, just relax.” Here’s what they don’t tell you about these procedures: When you’re done, you literally lay on a bed in a room full of other people laying on beds, half unconscious and so relaxed that air is coming out of their bodies and you realize that you are also one of those people, doing that. Procedures like endoscopies often require doctors to put gentle air pressure into you esophagus to inflate your digestive tract so the endoscope can move freely and the folds of your digestive tract are more easily examined. This explains the room full of people and all the air moving around.

*The room where the procedures take place is full of machines and screens and equipment. There’s lots of beeping and air compression noises. The nurse tells me that I will be awake for the procedure, but I won’t know I’m awake because of the sedative. I will talk to them, but I won’t remember most of it. An assistant asks me to open my mouth so she can spray anesthetic to numb my throat in preparation for inserting the long flexible tube. She also puts a plastic mouth guard in my mouth to hold it open. I don’t remember being asked to swallow the scope as it went down my throat. I don’t even remember it being inserted. There was nothing painful about it.

*When I came to, I was not in the room full of farting burping people. I was laying on my side and there was a large black tube in front of my nose. At the end of the tube was my other GI doctor, and he was moving the tube around. I panicked. I started to cry. There’s a figging massive black tube down my throat and I’m not supposed to be awake for this part. I felt myself let out the world’s largest belch. It felt like it echoed through the black tube. I could hear lots of talking. Someone rubbed my arm and said “It’s okay sweetie, just let that air out, that’s supposed to happen…”

*When I woke up again, I was in the room full of farting burping people. My throat felt a little sore. I felt like I was on a million muscle relaxants.

*C came in with a nurse. When you are put half-under for upper endoscopies, you are required to have someone with you. They don’t have to stay, but you can’t drive yourself home because of the effects of the drugs post procedure, so someone has to be there when it’s all over to take you home. I don’t remember much else from that day except that the drugs must have really hit me hard: when I got home, I went straight to bed and slept for 3 hours.

*Not everyone is put under a sedative for the procedure. Some of my family members told me they were fully awake when they had their endoscopies. A friend of mine just had one done and she went straight from the doctors to eat a big lunch at a cafe and then went home and took a nap. I’m not sure why they sedated me so much, but it’s also possible that given how sensitive I am to drugs, my body just passed right out from it.

*Results: They found damage, but not the sort they fully expected. At the base of my esophagus, there was deterioration from acid reflux. This explained some of the burning pain I was experiencing at the base of my rib cage. They told me it was so low in my esophagus that I probably didn’t realize that some of the pain I’d been having was related to acid reflux. That’s all they found.

*I was told I could change my diet to help with the burning sensation from the reflux, or I could just take medications and eat whatever I wanted. I was sent home from my endoscopy with a prescription for the cleanse powder I’m convinced is manufactured in hell.

*I had a sight sore throat for a day. The stomach pain continued.

*Part 2: Colonoscopy and surviving the worse cleanse of my life thus far.


my body, my research

Over the last few months, I’ve been receiving emails and comments on past posts about what sort of testing I went through in 2010 and if the chronic pain I had that year was related to having kidney stones. I’ve been putting off that story because it was an extremely busy semester and now that it’s over, I’m in the thick of writing of my dissertation proposal. Not surprisingly, my dissertation topic is related to science, health and how we learn about the seen and unseen (invisible) things that go on inside of our bodies. (Dissertation nutshell: How do urban girls learn about bisphenol A (BPA) in their bodies while making a science documentary on that topic? Even just typing that makes me giddy about my research.)

An important part of my dissertation proposal has been writing about myself as a researcher. In the academic world, we call this a researcher positionally statement. I’ve been drafting and redrafting mine for a solid 8 months. I sort of know what I want to say, but conceptualizing how I understand my own health journey and experiences with my body while in graduate school (researching how girls come to understand their own bodies and the role that scientific knowledge plays in their understandings of themselves and their environment) has really shaped how I approach my work as a researcher: it’s important to me to really grapple with my own journey, because it has shaped my understanding(s) of how other people come to accept or reject “scientific” explanations of what actually happens inside of our bodies.

When I look back at the last 5 years, I realize just how much my physical, mental and emotional health impacted my experiences in graduate school. I write about it because it helps me understand myself and my research. It feels like a new step to be conceptualizing that journey now in a dissertation proposal for a new audience (an academic one), but one that has watched me struggle through the last 5 years to get healthy and stay healthy enough to complete my Ph.D. Learning to take care of myself has been one of the hardest lessons I have ever been forced to learn. I’ve come to understand it as a continuous process of unfolding: every day/week, I look back and see  moments where I chose to put my health and well-being first, even when it made me feel horrible that I didn’t meet a deadline, missed a meeting, didn’t get enough done. Slowing down takes practice. Feeding yourself takes practice. I’m still in the process of figuring out what it means to really feed myself every day–literally: feed myself food that keeps me going and doesn’t make me sick 24 hours later. When I fail to feed myself literally, it impacts every other aspect of my life. This is why I’m so motivated to stay with my limited diet: I want to graduate in May 2014. I’m determined to stay as healthy as I can, recognizing that some times that’s beyond my control, but often, it’s a matter of choosing what works for my body, recognizing that everything I put in impacts multiple aspects of my life.

The academic writing teacher in me (I taught academic writing in higher education for 7 years) has been thinking about how interesting it might be to continue writing about my digestive journey (of 2010/hell year) here on my blog as a way to help me understand how that journey has impacted my dissertation research. Writing for different audiences can really push someone to articulate experiences in new ways. I’m curious about how writing about my digestive journey here might help me write the researcher positionally statement of my dissertation proposal this summer, keeping in mind that some of my academic life bleeds into my online life and reads this blog.

I left off my 2010 story right before my bike accident, where I was literally unable to feed myself and forced to have my saintly husband and mother take me to the bathroom because I broke both my elbows. O, and getting my first endoscopy and colonoscopy while in casts. Avoid the next few digestive journey posts if you aren’t okay with reading about what it feels like to clean out your entire body for a colonoscopy: it’s fascinatingly sick.

 

 


venison & honey

*super relieved to say that last week’s doctor’s appointment went excellent. the test results showed that i’m low in protein and vitamin D (who isn’t?) but for the first time ever, my vitamin B levels are (almost) acceptable. the only additional thing i have to drop: eggs. turns out my body hates egg whites. so, no more eggs. i get to try to reintroduce them in september. this brings my enemy list to: gluten, dairy (except goat products), soy and eggs.

*this puts a major damper on my plans to break last year’s record (5) and eat 6 cupcakes from Ellie’s on my birthday next week. i’ve decided that in place of 6 cupcakes, i will dial down the sugar free-for-all and try only eating a little bit of coconut ice cream.

*last week, i tried 2 new things: venison & honey goat cheese.
*oddly enough, despite growing up in the country, i never ate venison; my family is not a hunting family. a friend of mine hunts and gave me venison steaks and some venison sausage that he made. they’ve been sitting in my freezer for at least 5 months. i’ll admit the only reason i wanted to eat any of it was because some one i knew actually killed the deer.
*it was surprisingly good. i overcooked it:

venison

*second try was more pink and much better:

venisonpink

*another friend of mine found honey goat cheese that is (gasp!) animal rennet-free! now i can add this lovely Canadian cheese-making company to my list of goat cheeses made with vegetable rennet. note: my list had only 1, so it wasn’t much of a list.

goatcheese

*it was my first time eating goat cheese since christmas. i remember now why everyone loves it. after my salad, i just sat there eating it out of the package with a spoon.

honeygoatcheese

*i’m still technically on the elimination/restore diet. i’m supposed to slowly add things back in every week or so. i can’t think of a single thing i miss eating right now, so that’s good news.


count-down

*in exactly 7 days i will get the full test results of all 9 vials of my blood work.

*the old me would have decided that i have exactly 7 days to eat every possible thing that i got tested for so that i can eat it just one more time before i’m told i can never have it again. i did this with gluten years ago: in the 3 weeks leading up to getting my test results i ate a lot of bread. i remember sitting with one of my bffs an hour before i was supposed to get my results in and saying “this might be my last real amazing sandwich for the rest of my life.” an hour later, no more gluten.

*the new me has decided that it’s not worth the pain. i tried to add in corn two weeks ago and it went very very badly. i paid for that mistake for 5 days. after recovering from that, i tried nuts because i thought i missed them. turns out i don’t miss them enough to be that bloated. (i also didn’t eat soaked nuts, which might have helped.) last weekend i went for some eggs. i had a stomach ache for hours.

*now, i realize that after 9 weeks, adding foods back in isn’t necessarily going to be easy. i was a bit surprised by the stomach aches with eggs and nuts. not so much with corn. i’m still hoping that my blood work will come back saying there’s nothing else going on and my reactions to corn, nuts, and eggs are just a natural part of adding foods back in to my diet that i haven’t eaten in 2 months.

*i hope corn is not an issue, although the only real corn i eat is the occasional tortilla chips. i love corn on the cob but in NY state the season is pretty short for fresh corn, so i won’t complain about it. nuts are another story. i like almond milk, although this elimination diet has made me LOVE coconut  milk. i’d be sad to give up  nuts for life. giving up eggs would just suck, especially because they are a huge source of protein for me and i like to avoid too much meat. god forbid i have to go corn, nuts and egg free. good. lord. that would be crazy.

*i am extremely happy to say that the last 9 weeks have been the best 9 weeks of my digestive life: i’ve never had more energy and felt better. so, i must be doing something right.

*one new food i found that i love: go raw super cookies. despite being called cookies, they are not sweet. a handful of these are an awesome snack.

goraw

goraw2

 

*i just bought the lemon ones. so good.


i’ll grill anything

*i’m sure a million people have done this before, but i had never heard of grilling kale.
*so, this week i decided that if i could grill it, it was going to be grilled.

kale2

*i’m kinda addicted to grilling veggies with olive or avocado oil right now.
*the last 2 weeks top choices: kale. mushrooms with fennel and lemon.
*i need to do more research: the idea of grilling on aluminum foil fills me with i’m-letting-more-aluminum-into-my-body dread.
*i’m very open to suggestions on this. grill baskets: thumbs down. you loose the oil. everything dries out.

kale1

*kale grilled: amazing. tastes like kale chips, only instead of the oven, you get to grill all of it.

kale3

*yet another way to get addicted to veggies.

 

 


i think i can i think i can i think i can i think i can

i’m trying really hard to stay on the elimination diet. it’s getting easier. i’m getting used to eating the same things over and over again. i’m bored. but i’m trying to stay motivated. i’m happy it’s grilling season. and that C bought me a sodastream for my birthday last year. when i’m bored, i’m drinking a lot of soda water with lemon or adding drops of these amazing bitters i bought in seattle last year:

bitters

i’ve gotten into the habit of sautéing an entire bunch of kale and a full fennel bulb for lunch or dinner most days of the week. add spicy mustard or lemon and it’s perfect.

fennelkale

yesterday i went to the grocery store and filled my shopping basket with kale, fennel and apples. then i went and stood at the coconut milk ice cream for a solid 5 minutes. i read the back of all of the so delicious sugar-free pints of ice cream. i got scared by the ingredients i didn’t recognize and decided it wasn’t worth the risk of a stomach ache, especially because i have been pain free for exactly 29 days. this is amazing. i settled for an iced mint green tea chai coconut milk latte instead. i drank it and tried to imagine that it was as good as coconut milk ice cream.

i’m currently roasting an entire butternut squash, beets, broccoli and sweet potatoes in batches (because our oven is so tiny) because i need to stop living off of rice cakes, apples, kale and fennel.

veggies

mustard is happy that i’ve been grilling salmon a lot more lately:

kittyfish

in San Francisco, i was sad to miss out on my favorite things, like: french fries with aioli:

fries

amazing donuts, although i will admit i felt like i could taste them because they smelled so amazing:

donuts

i loved seeing the latte art other people got to enjoy:

bluebottle

twice i cheated and ate bacon. it was worth it.

bacon

once, i couldn’t find anything to eat while out walking through little italy, so i ate an entire shrimp cocktail all by myself for lunch:

shrimp

i also discovered that i love honey and cinnamon on grapefruit and i miss eating figs. i also miss eating honey.

fruit

overall, i did pretty good though. i cheated on: honey, bacon, booze, a few chips, and i ate an entire pint of coconut milk chocolate peanut butter ice cream in 24 hours. i can’t believe i didn’t get sick.

i did, however, get a massive head cold on the 5th day and am still struggling to get rid of the congestion.
i have exactly 5 and 1/2 weeks left of this diet before i get to start adding things back in for real. now that i’m home, the temptation to cheat isn’t very strong. i’m struggling to get enough protein most days. i miss peanut butter and eggs. i’m adding those back in first.

in other news, my sister has been doing the same diet (has already adding some things back in because she breast-feds her two kids) and has lost almost all of her pregnancy weight. last i checked, my brother-in-law had lost 18 pounds doing the diet with my sister and i. nutty!

also, my birthday is july 5: you better believe i will be eating at least 3 cupcakes that day.

 


San Fran gluten & dairy free!

*been in San Francisco for 7 days and have had so much good food: here are my favorites

*Bio on O’Farrell St in the financial district: a tiny little space with a large selection of gluten-free and vegan options like jalapeño tuna stuffed avocado halves and these amazing banana pudding bread muffins made with hemp milk. I loved them so much that I bought 5 so I could eat one every morning for breakfast.

photo 2

photo 3

*Bio also made these amazing strawberry purees and vegan chocolate covered fruits, like these banana fudgey things that were unbelievably amazing.
*Can’t stop using the word amazing.

photo 1-2

photo 2-1

*The Plant Cafe makes amazing fruit smoothies with coconut milk, which I forgot to take pictures of.
*Blowfish is a fun sushi bar that made me a special roll and tailored everything we ordered so that I could taste almost all of it without fear of getting gluten-ated. Our server Suzie was super helpful. She also had rad tattoos and neon pink streaked hair, which made me love her more. I had raw oysters and the most tasty dish of marinated mushrooms I have ever had in my life.

photo 5-1 photo 3-1 photo 4

*Fish, on the coast in Sausalito, blew my mind. I had trout over greens and C had some stellar salmon tacos that I wish I had ordered myself.

photo 2-2

*Finally, we are drinking the best coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee. This morning I had a New Orleans iced coffee with coconut milk.
*So pretty.

photo 5-2

*I’m here with my old bestie, Holly, who moved to Seattle a few years back and some other amazing friends!
*Finding it easy to eat gluten, dairy and soy free, although I’m cheating on the elimination diet with booze, coffee, and potato chips. Totally worth it tho! Back to the grind on Monday. Till then, we need more cocktails!

photo 4-1