day #14: smoked salmon salad

*been getting really bored with this elimination diet and it’s only day #14. i’ve been trying to find some new recipes to spruce up my otherwise boring days of roasted veggies, chicken, crispy rice with coconut milk, and fruit.


*i was trying to find a smoked salmon i could eat, but i haven’t been able to find one that doesn’t contain sugar. finally landed on one at Trader Joe’s that didn’t have any. score!

*today’s lunch recipe is rockin’–ingredients list below.


Smoked Salmon Salad
*smoked salmon pieces, torn/cut
*half a fennel bulb, chopped
*half a cucumber, chopped
*half a granny apple, chopped
*1 tbls fresh dill, chopped
*half an avocado or use 2 tbls of avocado oil
*1/3 lemon, squeezed on top
*salt and pepper

combine all of the above ingredients and toss with a couple of handfuls of salad greens and spinach



that’ll be 9 vials of blood, please

this morning i went to get the blood work done that my functional wellness doctor had ordered for me two weeks ago. while i was sitting in the waiting room, one of the medical techs went into the front office and had a very long and loud conversion about my paperwork: my doctor had ordered so much blood testing that the techs were concerned they were going to mess it up trying to keep all the vials straight.

there were 3 other people in the waiting room, so i pretended the loud conversation they were having was not about me.

unlike most of the labs i’ve been to, this lab does not close doors. while sitting in the waiting room, i heard the entire conversation between the two techs and the patient before me. (hey there hipaa laws.) granted, they weren’t talking in much detail, but i still found it a bit odd.

when the tech called me back (the same one having the loud conversation about my medical forms), she was friendly and chatty and asked me to sit down while they triple checked my paper work. she told me that because of all the tests my doctor had ordered, they were concerned the chances for any sort of error on their part would require me to come back and do the process all over again. i appreciated this triple check, which involved three techs, including the receptionist (who is also a med tech), going through every inch of my form and laying out the vials in perfect order. they had to go to a storage room to get additional vials because of what i was being tested for. the entire process had three steps: one tech drew my blood, one tech tipped the vials (not exactly sure what this is about but i’m sure my nurse friends can fill me in), and one tech labeled every vial as it was handed to her. in order. one of the vials had to be wrapped in tin foil because the blood could not be exposed to light. not sure what that was testing for.

9 vials of blood later, and i was finished.


then we had a funny conversation about how many vials they just filled and how i wanted to take a picture of them for my blog, which none of them had ever experienced before. no surprise there: who actually takes pictures of their blood before it’s shipped to the lab? this girl.

soon, i’ll find out if i have any additional food intolerances/allergies (such as nuts, eggs, legumes, etc), if my thyroid is normal, and how many vitamin deficiencies i have. (my guess is that vitamin B will show up again as seriously lacking.)

who knew having blood drawn could be so entertaining?



restore diet: take 2!

It’s back: the restore diet. Aka: the comprehensive elimination diet. Aka: eat nothing but veggies, fruits, rice, chicken, turkey, fish, coconut milk, olive oil, and tea diet.

Turns out my last bout of gluten contamination over 3 weeks ago wasn’t contamination. It lasted for about 2 and a half weeks and was some of the most intense pain I’ve experienced in my life. I actually mistook the pain for a kidney stone last Sunday when I was laying in bed, realizing I couldn’t stand up straight and everything felt like it did the month leading up to my last kidney stone surgery. Thankfully, the intense pain subsided after 48 hours, but I spent the better part of a solid week laying in bed with a heating pad on my abdomen and sleeping 14 hours a night, plus naps. I’m amazed I slept that much. If you see me and I look tired, it’s because I am.

So, I met with my functional wellness doctor  last Tuesday and I have a host of blood work ahead of me to test for additional food sensitivities and intolerances. The good news is I’m in less pain now and I didn’t have to have surgery again. Yippee! I do have to go back on the restore diet I was on 2 years ago (read all about that here) for 6-9 weeks (minimum) and start drinking powders labeled “medical food” and completely avoid my favorite things (like coffee, booze, almond milk, eggs, and honey). But I’m on day 3 and feeling positive. Although my first time back at the gym this morning was brutal. (Haven’t been in 3 weeks.)

Other awesome restore diet things:

*I get to drink smoothies with unsweetened coconut milk, which is always yummy. I’m using this supplement to boost my protein, since I can’t have my main protein sources (nuts, eggs) and have to start eating chicken, fish, and turkey again. I’d highly recommend it. It’s vegan and it’s yummy.

*Turns out coconut milk on rice crispy cereal and in tea lattes is quite tasty. Matcha in banana coconut smoothies is also awesome.


*My amazing sister and her husband are being ultra supportive and doing the restore diet with me for at least 6 weeks. We all plan on loosing our love-handles in the process and constantly text each other pictures of the recipes we make up to get through the massive amount of veggies we eat all day. This level of support is amazing.

*My mother called to tell me she went grocery shopping and is currently cooking me a bunch of things off the restore diet list and driving it all out to me tomorrow. Seriously: I have an amazing family.

*Again, I can’t express enough how happy I am that I’m not: in the hospital and/or getting another endoscopy and/or colonoscopy. I’ll take the restore diet over any of those things.

*I also have a possible new diagnosis: leaky gut. I’ve had numerous doctors and natural health practitioners suggest this to me in the last year but I haven’t done much research on the science behind it. My doctor explained it to me on Tuesday and I’m still in the process of learning what it actually means for my body. (You can read a general synopsis here and here.) It would make sense, given my chronic digestive issues, food sensitivities/intolerances, and the chronic pain I’ve been having, which my doctors think is caused by inflammation in my digestive track. So, I’m feeling hopeful that doing the restore diet for a while will help me reset things and begin to build me back up in time to enjoy the summer months.

*I leave for a week in San Francisco in 14 days and I’m slightly worried that traveling on the restore diet is going to be frustrating for the first 5 days when I’m in a hotel and don’t have access to a kitchen.  I need to find a place that will make me smoothies with coconut milk in the Union Square area. Suggestions for any places that make smoothies and a mean salad would be awesome!