Thursday, December 27, 2012

Whoops! Where did the time go?

I seem to be making that statement a lot on this blog.  I don't know why I forget to post!  I think when I am feeling good and not whining at you my dear readers I just forget to post the good things.  Okay I'm going to do a synopsis of the past month and catch up!!

The family and I had a great time on Thanksgiving at the dear daughters house.  I made some gluten free cornbread stuffing and goodies that were gluten free.  I found gluten free pie crusts at the Whole Foods store in OKC and although they were a little pricey it was nice to have pie with a crust!  Unfortunately I don't know what happened to the pictures I took on Thanksgiving...rats!

Heather and I had a really good time cruising around the Caribbean and all my worries about my disorders and eating issues were mostly unfounded.  Now I did have some problems with tiring easily and the first day on the boat ended up falling twice and scaring Heather half to death!  Her response was I was only allowed to fall once a day and I was being penalized for going over the limit and couldn't fall anymore on the trip.  Not counting near falls I didn't fall another time!!
Only known variance from my gluten free diet was the Beignets and coffee I had at the Cafe Dumond in the French Quarter in New Orleans!  Very yummy and I didn't seem to have any bad effects from them!  Might have been the small amount of gluten but it was nice to know an occasional slip wouldn't send me into agony!

My hamberger and fries at the Guy Fierey grill on board the Conquest!  It was so yummy I ended up going back there 3 times and ordering it.  
 I was very impressed with the way the dining room staff went out of their way to make sure I didn't feel neglected or underfed on the trip.  After they found out I was gluten and dairy intolerant they went out of their way to prepare the same food everyone else was eating within my dietary restrictions.  I had gluten free bread at dinner and the molten chocolate cake every night at supper.  I didn't feel the lease deprived because how could I eating filet mignon and lobster tails or all sorts of awesome foods! 

More then a few cruise picture can be seen on my Okienurse Paper and Ink Therapy blog if you would like to see them just click the link!  Saves me from having to repost and boring the folks who only want to hear about the health info.

I wish I could say I didn't have any issues with traveling and the trip because I did!  I tire easily and I had a lot of problems with fatigue, mental fog, balance was a big issue.  I came home with quite a few bruises.  It was cool and rainy most the trip and that effected my health a little.  BUT!  I just took it easy stopping frequently to rest and people watch, I read a couple books sitting on deck wrapped up in warm clothes when it was cool and soaking up the sun when it was nice. 

Food alert:

If you have access to a Natural Grocer or a Whole Foods store they both carry this Quinoa pasta.  It is awesome food and I truthfully can't tell the different between it and the wheat flour variety except in price.  This box is about $3.29 vs the $1.89 of wheat pasta!


I made some really awesome banana nut muffins yesterday.  I will include the recipe below.

You will need some of my gluten free baking mix and you can find the recipe here!

Gluten Free Banana Nut Muffins with Crunchy Topping

4 cup gluten free baking mix
1 cup sugar
1 1/2  cup almond milk
4 eggs
4 tsp. vanilla
5 bananas mashed up
1 cup chopped pecans

Crunchy Topping
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c butter
1/4 c pecan bits


Mix all ingredients together in large bowl except those for the crunchy topping.  Mix the crunchy topping ingredients together in a separate bowl.  You may need to use a little more sugar if it doesn't look like lumpy sand.   Line baking tins with cupcake liners and spray lightly with nonstick spray.   Fill each cup about 3/4 full of batter.   Top with about tablespoon of topping.  Bake 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of muffin comes out clean. Makes 36 muffins

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies!

Now if that isn't a mouthful to say I don't know what is but the mouthful you get of this cookie is really awesome when you bite into it.  I found a cookie recipe on Martha Stewart.com for the cookie but of course it wasn't gluten free so I modified it and made it mine.


GF  Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cups pecans
  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put sugars, butter, and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Reduce speed to low. Add oat mixture, and mix until just combined. Mix in pecans and chocolate chips.
  4. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop balls of dough 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.
Modified from a Martha Stewart recipe 

Bet you can't eat just one!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I posted this picture of my Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins on my Face Book page yesterday and had several requests for the recipe.


I made these muffins using the Master Mix I found on Ginger Lemon Girl's blog site when I first started this journey.  I tried another mix but it was so bitter that it made what I used it in also have a bitter taste.  I have read that it is probably a bean flour or sweet sorghum flour that will cause that so I am steering clear of that flour in making my bread goodies unless it is used in small amounts.  Anyway here is a link to that recipe that I posted a couple weeks back. 

I made up what amounted to 10# of my version of this mix after making a small batch up a couple of times using the above mix but then you know how I can't leave anything alone!!!  I changed it up! It is absolutely amazing taste wise and does what I want my mix to do.  If you want the exact mix Carrie used then go the recipe link above....  This is my version:

Vickie's Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix...like Bisquick but better!
Makes about 18 cups of mix

2 cups of Brown Rice Flour
2 cups of White Rice Flour
1 1/2 cups potato flour
1 1/2 cups Tapioca Flour
1 1/2 cups Oat flour
1 1/2 cups pecan flour
1 1/2 cups Sweet Sorgham flour
3 tbsp of Xanthan Gum
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
6 Tbsp of baking powder
2 cups or a small can of dry buttermilk powder
1 cup dry milk powder
1 cup Crisco butter flavored shortening
1/2 c butter

Cream the butter and Crisco together in a very large bowl.   Start adding the flours in one cup at a time till the mix is all mixed up and resembles a speckled/pebbly flour mixture.  A very coarse flour if you will...then add in the remainder of the ingredients.  You can cut the flour into the mix with a pastry cutter but this is so much mix that the mixer worked better for me.  I then took the mix and put 2 cups of mix in Ziplock bags, labeled them, and stored them in my refrigerator.  According to Carrie this has a long shelf life but I didn't want to risk spoilage hence the refrigeration.  Non gluten flours and baking supplies are not cheap so you don't want to risk losing them.

You will notice that the mix doesn't have sugar or substitute in it.  I suppose you could put it in but...I thought for savory baked goods like dumplings or biscuits I wouldn't want the sugar.  I have so far used this mix for making dumplings, biscuits, pancakes, cake donut holes, muffins etc.  Yummy!


Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

2 cups of Vickie's GF Mix
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1+  cup milk (I used almond milk)
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup lemon flavoring or juice
1 tbs poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 360degrees 

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  The mixture may be a super thick and you can add more milk if you like but it is a thick batter.  Spray muffin tin with spray oil.  Divide mix into the 12 muffin tin wells.  Press down lightly with finger  tips.  Spray tops with the spray oil and sprinkle with granulated sugar.   Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center of the muffin.

Okay give it a try.  These are really yummy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Week 4 and the GF lifestyle keeps on!

Week four is over and done and I am doing better then I thought I would be doing at this point in my journey.  I am not saying it has been a super easy four weeks but it has been getting progressively easier with each passing day!  I keep borrowing from my GA background...one day at a time.  If I can make it through today then I will let tomorrow take care of itself.  I focus on just today. 

Some noticeable changes since starting the diet is my increase in stamina.  I am not as tired when I first get out of bed and I don't seem to get so run down and wore out as quick.  The fibro fog brain fuzziness on waking seems to be better too but memory is still in the crapper.  My pain seems better but that is such a subjective issue since I always have good days and bad days!  


I found a yummy pizza from Mazzio's that they make and deliver to the house...yes they do they make a gluten free pizza.  It only comes in one size but it is gluten free in a foil tray to prevent cross contamination in their ovens but it can be topped with whatever GF toppings you want to put on it!  Not bad but a bit pricey at about $11 for a 10" pie.   Another alternative is making your own pizza and crusts.   
                                                                                                       
               
Bob's Red mill has this pizza mix for about $4.50 a package and it makes a pretty good size pie.  Tastes wonderful too but doesn't reheat well.  Soggy/spongey is a term that comes to mind to describe the texture!

I bought some Udi's preformed pizza crust at the health food store and it isn't too bad but once a gain is a little pricey.   Two small single serve size were over $4.  Tasty though and there weren't any left overs!

Another alternative would be to make your own from scratch   I found a recipe on About.com that sounds like it might work and plan on giving it a try.  Here is the link for the recipe.  http://glutenfreecooking.about.com/od/pizzasflatbreadswraps/r/GFPizzaCrust.html

On my crafting blog I showed a recipe card I had made for a swap and thought I should share it here too!  I made these cupcakes and took them to an event and everyone was questioning me as to whether they were gluten free or not.  I told them that they could eat them or not but that I wasn't giving up my secrets!  Towards the end of the event I went to the back and fixed me a cup of coffee and grabbed a cupcake and started eating it.  OMG!  The looks on some of the faces...and these were the same ones that ate two of the darn cupcakes.  You would have thought I had force fed them big juicy worms or something...another just went and got another cupcake.   I think you can read the recipe if you click on it to make it larger.  I used a bag of GF chocolate cake mix from Bob's Red Mill.  I think next cake I make I am going to substitute applesauce for part of the fat in it though.  

One thing I have found about gluten free cooking/baking is that it is fattening!  I don't know whether it is a difference in the nutrition or as I suspect the fact that I am cooking and baking so much more recently! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Week Three....done!


It has been a good week but I think I may have  over done it several days cause today I am really achy all over and a more than generalized listlessness going on.  I just couldn't seem to get out of bed then I just can't seem to get my butt out of whatever chair it is parked in...

How do I define over doing?  Well I usually make a quick run to one store if I have to shop for groceries or whatever and I try not to do more then one store when I get out.  It just takes too much out of me to do that and shopping has become a real pain in the butt...literally!  I do a lot of online shopping now if possible to conserve energy for those things I can't buy in an online way.  Several days last week I was up late because I couldn't sleep and when I did go to bed and didn't sleep well because of external noises.  The City of Norman decided to put in a new water line behind my house and all the heavy equipment with their safety beeping noises went on all week.  The lawn care guys showed up and OMG! how loud can a lawnmower and blower be?  I have been having more light and noise sensitivity this week and I am unsure what is the cause of that!  If you have fibromyalgia and CFS it doesn't take much to throw you into a flare up and I think I am just going to relax this weekend and try again next week doing some things I want to do and pace myself while doing them.  

Found a new to me store in Norman called Natural Grocer's that is like what we used to call a health food store.  It has a full line of everything you would find in a regular grocery except it is 'natural, organic, healthy' for you.   Have you every had a craving for something you can't have?  Well I was that way on Thursday wanting store bought bread so I went to Natural Grocers and they were having a sale on their Udi's bread so I bought a couple loaves of their multigrain and cinnamon raisin bread.  The clerk told me she thinks they are better then regular bread!    I also picked up some frozen pasta dinners like mac and cheese and spaghetti to have for supper this week.  Amy's Kitchen food brand has all sorts of foods for the Gluten Free diet and I think that Natural Grocer's carries them all!  I tried the rice macaroni and cheese that is diary free and it was so thick and creamy...OMG!  I didn't know it was dairy free! 

$7.99 on iTunes
$3.99 on iTunes

Went to supper last night at Coach's with a bunch of friends and Robin turned me on to a couple really cool iPhone app called "Is That Gluten Free?"  and the eating out program called "Is That Gluten Free? Eating Out"  Both Programs have a lot of really useful information about foods I can and can't have.


The Is That Gluten Free program has the foods organized several different ways, by category, brand, and an ingredients section that lists ingredients on packages of prepared products so that if you aren't sure what it is you can look it up.   The Is that Gluten Freen Eating Out guide has the foods divided up by restaurant and tells you what you can have and can't have on the menu.  If the food contains a gluten item ie hamburger then it tells you how to order it without the gluten component.  I think I am going to find this a really helpful took in my gluten free journey.

Okay I am off to fix some lunch.  Made myself hungry writing this.  More later!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Just finishing week 2 of the new eating regime!

Well Sunday heralded the end of week two of the no gluten, no dairy except cheese and butter, no sweeteners and limited sugar, limited caffeine and I am still alive to tell the tale!

I think I am seeing enough of a difference that I can call it a change due to diet modification.  I have frequent headaches but haven't had one since last Wednesday...that's almost a week without one!  One of the biggest things is the bugs crawling on me sensation I have had since 2007 is definitely diminished and I am not having the numbness in my toes like I have had for a long time.  I seem to have increased stamina and I am able to do a little more then I have done in months.  I still have trouble getting out of bed but I never was an easy riser at any stage in my life.

I went to the local health food store the other day and bought several different gluten free foods for variety and have really enjoyed the foods that I am preparing with it.  Want a peek?
Here is breakfast from Sunday morning...
 Ham, eggs, gluten free pancakes with maple syrup! 
I bought a little doughnut hole maker and used an all purpose baking mix to make these yummy balls. 
Went out to eat supper with a friend the other night and thought WOW I don't know what I can or can't drink so I asked the waiter if they had any gluten free beers...yes they do make them...and he came back with this.  Too scary for description.  Tastes like a crisp tart apple cider with a kick...guzzled the first one then read the label on the second...5% alcohol.  I can truthfully say it is a favorite drink right now!  :-)
 I bought several different flours to play around with at the Whole Foods store Friday.  I didn't even know that there was Rice flour, or fava bean flour but now I do!  I am going to mix up my own baking mix tomorrow that is similar to Bisquick mix but a whole lot cheaper then buying gluten free baking mixes.
This recipe is from the Ginger Lemon Girl, Gluten Free and Guilt Free site.  
  -->
[IMG_1895.jpg]Gluten Free All Purpose/ Master Baking Mix
(like Bisquick)

Entire mix makes roughly 30 servings (1/4 cup of mixture)
2 WW points per serving

 
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 1/2 cups certified gluten free oat flour - or - millet flour
1 1/2 cups tapioca flour
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. salt.
3 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups powdered milk (I bought dry buttermilk)
1/2 cup shortening (I used a butter flavored one)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all flours, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and powdered milk. Make sure to whisk for several minutes to fully incorporate all ingredients evenly. Cut shortening into small squares and cut into flour mixture (like you would for pastry) with a fork or potato ricer until shortening has been fully incorporated throughout the entire mixture. It will look like very tiny peas or specks of shortening throughout the mix. It should look similar to the picture below. When your mix is well combined, place it in a seal-tight plastic or glass container and keep in a cool dry place. I keep this in my cabinet with my gluten free baking supplies. It will be ready anytime you need to use it!! This mix has a very long shelf-life, but we usually have to make it about once a month because we use it so often!
http://gingerlemongirl.blogspot.com/2008/02/successful-gluten-free-master-baking.html

and the recipe for the doughnut holes

  -->
Gluten Free Mini Donut Hole Muffins
14 servings (4 mini muffins per serving)
3 WW points per serving

2 1/4 cups Gluten Free Master Baking Mix (see recipe above)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 egg whites
1 1/4 cups skim milk (or water since there is powdered milk in the master mix)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder (if desired)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 24 mini-muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl combine gluten free baking mix, sugar, and cinnamon. In a small bowl combine egg whites, milk, and vanilla flavoring. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour egg white/milk mixture in. Stir until fully incorporated. Batter will be somewhat thin, almost like a pancake batter. Fill mini-muffin tins 2/3 full. You should have enough batter to fill and bake 48 muffins. Bake at 375 degrees around 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a donut hole comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. In a gallon sized plastic bag mix powdered sugar and cocoa powder together. Place 8-10 muffins at a time inside the bag and shake to completely cover donut holes. Allow to cool completely and then place in an airtight container. You can also freeze these wonderful donut holes in individual plastic bags and take out a serving at a time. Enjoy!!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Brownies

Looks yummy!  It is/was.  I made gluten free brownies last night and being a bad girl I slathered a whole lot of chocolate fudge frosting on them and threw a handful of chopped nuts on top.  Now since I was breaking the limiting sugar rule I figured I had better leave the ice cream off but wouldn't that have been just the yummiest addition!!

Going gluten free has been a change but I am having fun with it (as you can see) and it isn't as bad as I had feared it would be.  The mix I bought was from Betty Crocker and they carry it at Walmart in the baking aisle.  Looks like this:  Now don't freak out when you see it cause it isn't cheap...it cost about $4.50 a box for the mix but so worth the price!  Especially when you are trying to stay GF and are contemplating eating a whole bag of powdered sugar doughnuts!
The frosting is dark chocolate fudge from Duncan Hines.  
OMG!  awesome. I don't even want to think about calories right now.  Check it out!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Yummy food!

Yes!  I am here to tell you that good and yummy food can be had Gluten Free! 

I went shopping at Homeland the other night and picked up a few staples in a Gluten Free diet.  I personally can't live without breads so I bought these!
They had an entire section devoted to Gluten Free flours and mixes.  Here are a few I bought!

 This raisin bread is beautiful and tasted really awesome the first day but the second day it was so dry and hard that I had trouble even cutting it.  It crumbled so badly I think I will make some french toast for breakfast tomorrow and maybe even a bread pudding...YUM!

Today I fixed a big pot of butter beans with ham and a big pan of cornbread.  The recipe I used has sorgham flour in it but reading around the GF blogs it could have been made with just corn meal and corn flour and turned out great also. 
2# butter beans and a 1# of ham pieces

corn bread when I took it out of the oven.



Here is my adapted corn bread recipe:

Loaded Cornbread

1 c cornmeal
1 c sorgham flour
4 teas baking powder
1/2 teas salt
1 can of corn
1 1/2 c of Almond milk
2 large eggs
4 tbl vegetable shortening
You can add in peppers, cheese grated, and other spices if you would like to!  

 Preheat oven to 400f
Melt shortening in baking pan you will be using.  Mix all dry ingredients together in bowl.  Beat eggs with whisk and mix together with almond milk.  Combine wet and dry ingredients.  Add corn and stir well.  Add half of melted shortening then dump mix in the pan and put in over for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean!

My supper plate with beans over some cornbread and onions.  Then I just had to have a slice with butter.  It is really good!  





This is really fun trying different foods.  Like I said it is healthier according to a lot of folks and I am going to keep trying to live this diet for a few more weeks to see if it makes me feel better.

Back tomorrow with new ideas! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Week ONE!

WOW what an interesting week it has been!

I don't know if it is my hormones or the bitch coming out in me but I can say I am definitely feeling different this week.  I am not as tolerant of people or "things" this week.  I noticed I don't want to be around people cause I am having to watch what I am saying.  This started about the 3rd day of the diet.  It has leveled off a bit now at the 7th day but I am still feeling a little irritable.  I told myself it is probably cause I have a poor me attitude right now wondering why I have to give up all these good things in life then I give myself a good talking to and I  settle down a bit!

I went to WalMart and Homeland grocery shopping the other night for things I would need on my new diet lifestyle changes.  It is slim to none on the gluten free/yeast free at WalMart but got a whole lot better at Homeland where I found a variety of flours and mixes from rel=”nofollow” Bob's Red Mill!  You  can purchase the products on line but you have to buy huge...7-10# of the product rather then the 1# packages I saw at Homeland.  If I end up staying on the diet changes I make I will purchase them that way for sure! I bought sorghum flour, a mix for cookies, a mix for bread, a mix for cinnamon raisin bread, and a mix that is like Bisquick.  Bisquick actually has a gluten free mix but 1# is $5 and I am cheap!

It was easy to stay away from the sugars and sweetener products but found myself unhappy at all the products that have to have flour in them.  Not just bread and noodles but my favorite candies! Watch out for the mixes isle for salad dressings, sauces, and chili!  Guess I will be making them myself now!  I also noticed almost all the prepared salad dressings, barbecue sauces, and just sauces in general have gluten in them.   UGH!!!

Dairy was easier to deal with.  I bought some almond milk and chocolate almond milk in the dairy refrigerator section at both stores.  I also found some Pumpkin Spice coffee creamer that is nondairy but has sweetener in it.  No more then what I would use it I thought I would treat myself to a bottle.  Only used it once this week so...worth the treat!  I bought some feta cheese, some hard cheddar, and some blue cheese to use in salads and a sauce. 

So how has the week gone?

Well everyone knows that Heather got me started on Zeal about a month ago and I can tell you that I can tell a big difference in stamina drinking that each day.  By big I mean I can go to WalMart and Homeland in one trip and not feel beat to crap when I get home or I can do a couple loads of laundry and still feel like cooking supper.  That is a big improvement for me!   Zeal is a sold by individual distributors and you can't buy it in the store so if you want to try it for a month click on Heather's name and she can get you set up! 

Can't  really tell if there is any difference going on yet with the diet changes but I am hoping that this next week there will be something to report.  I am not hungry or craving any foods but I haven't been real happy with the breads I have made cause they are so heavy and crumbly.  I plan on trying to make them with my mixer next time rather then the bread machine and seeing how they turn out.  I have done pretty well with the food restrictions I have set for myself!
  1. Unless Gluten has been sneaked in to something I ate I have been gluten free this whole time. A+++++
  2. Sugars and sweeteners...I would have to give myself a B+ but still broke down and ate some dark chocolate candies and a Starbucks Cool Lime Refresher drink!  BUT I haven't put any sweeteners or sugar in drinks or cereal at all.
  3. Dairy is an A also with just the cheese and butter and no cravings for anything different.  
  4. No additives like MSG to foods.  
  5. Limited caffeine to 2 cups per day with only a day or two gusting up to 3 cups.
  6. Nightshades...tomatoes and peppers a couple days and that is it! 
 So all in all it has been a good and productive week for me health wise.  Overall I am eating good and working towards feeling good too!

Dietary Changes going on!

UPDATE!!!  I wrote this last week but didn't post for some reason so it has already been a week since I started the program!  Check my next post for how week one has gone!

About two weeks ago I read a post from a Fibro group called FibroTV.   FibroTV is a weekly podcast Show designed to bring the Fibromyalgia community and those with Chronic health issues together in a POSITIVE way. It is a place to educate family, friends, the public about fibromyalgia and chronic illnesses! (borrowed from their site!)  I have been following their Facebook site for a long time and didn't realize that they actually had a podcast...guess I didn't see or wasn't observant enough to see that!!... and now I follow the podcast too!  Jen Reynolds is the owner/operator and she also has Fibro and knows what we are all going through.  Check out her blog...http://fibrotv.com

Anyway a couple weeks ago I read this post about diet and how it could be playing a bigger influence on my health then what I give it credit for.  I know the only positive tests that have come back showing deficits are the low calcium, low potassium, low Vit D etc.  SO I looked up and listened a bit harder to what these people are saying.

 Foods for Fibromyalgia by Dr. Diedra Rawlings a board certified Naturopathic physician and Holistic Nutritionist and some of the stuff I read and heard there sent me searching other sites.  I know that she is trying to sell you something but read on and ignore the buying messages cause there is truth in what she is saying.  I remember it from my nutrition courses in college

Fibromyalgia and Diet from WebMd puts a little bit of a slow down on the diet and Fibro craze going on but allows that there is a lot of good data with anecdotal evidence presented! 
 
Eat Well to Help Fibromyalgia, Kara Wahlgren. This site shows food slides and gives reasons why they say not to eat this or that.

Prevention.com even jumps in with some good ideas to help control pain issues 

This Time This Space has an awesome article that says we need to take care to eat well to provide our body with the nutrients it need to repair and sustain.  They tell you that you need to beware a lot of foods trigger the inflammatory process and you need to document and track to find what causes your issues.   In almost all the articles above they list what you need to avoid so I will borrow this from This Time This Space:


1. Aspartame (NutraSweet) I would add any artificial sweetner
2.  Food additives including MSG (monosodium glutamate) and nitrates 
3.  Sugar, fructose, and simple carbohydrates.
4.  Caffeine including coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate 
5.  Yeast and gluten. 
6.  Dairy products 
7.  Nightshade Plants 

Well after looking over this list I decided that I would start with a couple and see if they made any difference in my life doing without them.  Wouldn't hurt and would just mean spending a couple dollars on different foods this week.

I spent $$$ on a gastroenterologist and Upper GI and a Colonoscopy not to mention biopsy and blood work cause the Dr. thought I had ceiliac syndrome and all the tests came back negative back in August.  So the first thing that I was going to cut out was Gluten.  WOW did you  know almost every food I love has gluten in some form in it....This might be harder then I thought.

Sugar and Sweetners is the second on my list to get rid of.  I bought a big jar of honey to use cause all I have read says allergies are almost non existent to honey!  I also bought a jar of Stevia to try but didn't really like it before but we will see when the sugar and sweetner is gone and I need sweet.

Dairy is another one that I have had problems with in the past so it came in third on the list.  I decided though after some research that I was going to leave hard cheese and butter in cause they are 'changed' by their processing. 
  
Not giving up my coffee...but I will cut back a bit!

I already know I can's do MSG and already try and stay away from processed meats due to the nitrates/nitrites, BHA, BHT etc.

And finally it came down to the Nightshades.  I love and have never had a problem with tomatoes so I am going to keep those in my diet.  I am going to try the others for a period of 2-4 weeks and if I don't see a difference I will cut them out too!  Dietary changes take a while to show changes in your body so it might take a while longer too but...Giving it a try!  

I will keep you informed as I travel this road and let you know what I am going through and what changes have come about!
  
 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Darn it! I over did it again!!

Seems to be a song I am singing the past couple months.  I got to feeling good and then over did it now I am on that roller coaster ride back to stability!  I seem to forget that I have multiple disorders that will knock me flat on my butt and leave me beat and bleeding in the dust as they roll on giggling a merry tune!  I forget that I have to temper what I am doing with rest and recovery in order to go on to the next project instead I jump in both feet and hands and when I finally come up for air I am way too far in to be able to recover easily. 

I think it all started back in August when I felt really good and didn't realize I was really stressed with having to have some more tests done and my reaction was to do more to try and forget the stress.  I over ate, over played, over worked and just plain over did!  I signed up for A LOT of challenges on the various art blogs I belong to thinking since I felt good and all I might as well take on a few more. 

Does anyone get headaches and increased achiness just before the man comes to collect the toll?  I had several days of headaches that I laid off to just being allergies and took some sinus medication to alleviate that symptom's... but it didn't work.   To add insult to injury the medication made me want to sleep more so the more I was in bed the more I began to hurt!!!!  Grrrrr....get where I am going?  I am my own worse friend!

I have a BSN...whats that?  A Bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing.  I decided a long time a go to become a nurse then started setting myself up to be a super nurse.  I have about 160 hours total college course work....doesn't mean I am smarter then anyone just that I persevere a lot longer then some people do.  I was a highly educated and skilled nurse in Critical Care, ER, and ICU.  I could do an open heart or neuro recovery almost in my sleep.  I knew how to get things done so I became a night shift house supervisor covering a 314 bed hospital.  I was good, not bragging, and people told me about it.  When I got sick with these disorders I became a basket case. I knew a lot of stuff but I didn't know anything about what I was up against in my own body. 

I know WHAT ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS FOR?  Well it is to show you that I get on the Internet and I start searching cause I know I can find anything and everything I need to know out there on the web.  I didn't need a doctor (or all the damn specialists that own me now) to tell me what was the matter with me.   My doctor tried to send his office nurse in to tell me about my diagnosis before he would come in the room.  I heard him try to give her $100 to give me the diagnosis of FIBROMYALGIA and when she came in the room I was all ready to give her the what for because she had succumbed to the narky doc....but she never once mentioned the disorder (except to say her sister had some weird disorder) and I didn't either.  When my doctor came in to talk to me and he prefaced the conversation with ....I know you aren't going to like this but... I  figured I really wasn't going to like it at all.  Here is my latest lists of disorders:

I have some kind of Auto Immune but they can't figure out what!  Yet!  Doesn't that kill ya!
Chronic Fatigue
Fibromyalgia, Fibrofog
PEM
Orthostatic hypotension
Neural issues like pain, bugs crawling on me, twitching, and itching.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Gerd
IBS
Hypothyroid
WPW
Osteoarthritis
dry eyes and mouth
difficulty swallowing
Difficulty sleeping and the big D

DEPRESSION... it is caused by the disorders not the disorders being caused by it. 

there's  others but you get the idea.  That just about covered all the signs and symptoms of the complaints that I had printed out in a list for him. BUT was it what I really had going on.  I have learned the past two years that I treat symptoms and not worry about the disorders anymore.  They won't go away and the best I can do it just work with them and my body to live comfortably.  Doesn't mean I am not in hopes that there will be a cure found just means I am learning to cope with that I have been given.

What do I take with all this going on...as little as I can get by with putting in my mouth.  I have started taking a really good multiple vitamin every day.  It seems to help as much as any other drug in my repertoire but here is the list:

Savella
Ripinerole
Levothyroxine
Estrace
Omperozole
Colestipole
Zyrtec
Ibuprofen
Hydrocodone as needed

That's a short list.  I know some people that take a ton more drugs then I do but I refuse to take anymore.  It is kind of like if you give me something new what will you be taking me off???
All doctors have a different treatment regime and people have different reactions to the medications they are prescribed so don't take my list in and get the same drugs cause you know they will help you!  This is the Internet and everyone has a different treatment for essentially same disorders!

I didn't mean to take off on this tangent when I started this post it was just to point out that I and You need to listen to our bodies and heed the warning signs of overdoing.  A headache, increased muscle aches and pains, bugs crawling all over me, inability to sleep well, stressing over everything is a sign that something isn't going well in this body of mine.   I need to take more time and learn to listen better to keep my world in balance.

Get on line and float through some of the Fibro and CFS/ME blogs or the official pages of the various disorders and diseases we are blessed with.  Gain knowledge cause that is what is going to help you better then any of the stuff going on. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

another day

Its another day and not much has changed in my world.  Chuck told me my post on my Okienurse Paper and Ink page was sad and he was sorry I felt so bad.  Now that makes me sad cause I didn't intend to whine and make people sorry they visited my blog!

I wish I knew what was going on and I have been in this funk for over 6 weeks and it doesn't seem to be letting up.  Now don't get me wrong I have good days and I have bad days but it seems like the bad days are far more frequent recently.  I guess it is time to give in and call the doctor and go in for a check up.  It has been almost a year and a half since I went in for a visit but I don't feel like pouring good money after bad when they can't seem to find a damn thing wrong with me except the CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia and the associated disorders! 

That is one of the main concerns of this disorder.  All the money going out searching for a cause, a reason for the pain and not feeling good.  I would imagine since 2008 I have literally spent thousands of dollars each year trying to find out what is going on in my body.  So far I know about as much as I did in 2008!!  This year so far I am over $8000 and I have only been to a gastroenterologist for GI issues.  We first thought I might have Celiac Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder caused by wheat...not an allergy but an actual autoimmune issue.  I had blood work, a upper and lower scope done and biopsies taken at the time.  Thank the powers that be that I have really good Blue Cross an Blue Shield insurance or I would definitely be up the creek financially! 

I have been doing a lot of reading on some new tests and diagnostic tools that are coming out but I am not jumping on the bandwagon for anything just yet after the debacle of the XMRV virus faux pax of last year.  I hope something is found in my lifetime that will help me and others but I don't have a lot of faith in the medical community right now...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

a flare up in the works?

I am trying to decide what is going on with my body...  I hurt all over more then anywhere else but that isn't new.  I can't think clearly...also not new.  I have extremely blurred vision, a headache, I have a phantom neural sensations like skin crawling, itching etc.  I don't have a rash, haven't  changed meds so it isn't a allergic reaction.  To make sure I took some Zyrtec and when that didn't work some Benedryl. 

I went to bed at midnight last night and slept till 11am but I am tired, bone weary tired.  I do good sitting at the computer or on the sofa watching TV.   My legs ache and spasm and my feet cramping up at night is driving me nuts and waking me up!   I have so much I need to get done but...  I can't prod myself into doing anything.  I am either hot or cold.  As I am sitting here typing I feel like I am outside in the sun!  Such a sweaty and icky feeling!  I am not running a fever! 

Any idea what this could be?  I know sounds like Fibro or CFS...probably is but I haven't over done anything, I am taking my medications like I am suppose to but it isn't working...  If i don't show a difference by Tuesday I am definitely calling the doctor.  Something isn't right in my world!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dysautonomia...huh!

Just read an interesting article that was linked from Fibro 360 Community on Facebook, called Dysautonomia in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by Adrienne Dellwo.  Ms Dellwo has first hand knowledge of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM) and writes about them at About.com.  Ms Dellwo recommends an article on subject called Dysautonomia, A family of misunderstood disorders By , About.com Guide Updated November 13, 2011.  Both articles are quick and easy reading.

The autonomic nervous system is supposed to keep things running on an even keel in your body.  It controls your breathing, heart rate, temperature, balance etc...things that just happen in your body without you having to think about it.  When you have dysautonomia you body is not working how it should be and problems occur.  Here are some of the symptoms they listed:
  • Aches and pains
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Blurred vision
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Dizziness, sometimes with fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure (especially upon standing)
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Poor exercise tolerance
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
I'll add a few more from personal experience
  • nausea
  • temperature control
  • trouble sleeping

With my FM and CFS I have had all the symptoms at one time or another and it was only in the past 2-3 years that I have had them for long periods of time with worsening problems with the aches and pains, blurred vision, depression, dizziness, fatigue, trouble sleeping, numbness and tingling, rapid heart rate, bruising, and temperature regulation.  Some days I do great and have very few problems but on the other days...well it is just better I go to bed and stay there cause I don't do well with anything including interpersonal relationships with family and friends.

Read the articles and follow the links to get some valuable information.

Friday, August 24, 2012

WOW! Time flies....

I know I promised to post more frequently but I have been busy and the summer seems to have just slipped by on greased treads!   I first want to say I am doing well and there hasn't been much change in my physical overall well being and I am keeping on keeping on!  Make sense?  Nah...

I went storm chasing this year with Chuck and was really concerned about how I was going to handle it but turns out that it all went well.  I didn't push myself too much and I spoke up when I had an issue.  If you would like to read about the trip I posted daily on my Okienurse Paper and Ink Therapy blog.  To read the first post go here then you can read more if you wish.  I attempted some short 'hiking' around some of the trails to see the sights in Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Tetons National Park and managed to walk a mile or two with no untoward effects and enjoyed doing it.  Just took it slow and easy and did my thing.  I ended up having to take more pain medication at night and during the longer car rides but it was a small price to pay for all the fun days that we had.

This is a picture of me at the lower falls in Yellowstone Park.  I really loved it there and we spent 2 days just wondering around seeing the sights and still didn't get to see everything.  I think if you spent a week there it still wouldn't be long enough!

I have been listening a lot to webinars and various self help programs recently.  I think that has been helping me a lot in managing my physical and psychological issues.  I went to the doctor last month due to some gastrointestinal issues like nausea, didn't want to eat and diarrhea!  I had a upper and lower scope done and was told by the doctor that everything looks good there except for a polyp and he gave me some medication for the stomach problems that seems to be helping.  I wonder why it is those of us blessed with fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, and associated disorders have all these problems that never are seen on any tests that are done...makes me wonder why we are so special! 

Well thats it for today and I promise to try and keep up better over the coming months.  I know with the coming of fall and winter we will all be inside more trying to keep the mobility and pain issues under control.  This summer has been nice but I have just about as much problems handling the heat now as I do the cold. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

more on PEM

If you remember a couple of posts back I wrote about PEM, post exertional malaise and how it effects my life.  Not a pretty story I can tell you and I think that without the help of my family it would get even uglier cause they don't allow me to get depressed and stay that way when this hits me.  My daughter loves to tell me that I KNOW BETTER!!  (that means I should listen to my body and not over do!) but it isn't at all easy some days to listen to your body and stop when you should. 

I know I don't rest well, don't eat well, and don't exercise like I should and that adds to the whole problem but...  I could take the drugs they give me to help me sleep but I feel like crap for several days after a 'restful' nights sleep, I literally forget to eat and when I get hungry I end up eating all the wrong foods cause I need to eat right now!  The exercise issue is a two edged sword...if I don't do some I hurt, if I over do I hurt and it is hard to draw the line. 

As Jennifer Spotila JD wrote in her article for Research 1st "PEM associated with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) dominates the patient’s experience of the illness, but PEM is generally considered a self-reported symptom because there is no clinical test to easily measure its occurrence and severity."  In the article it goes on to say that PEM may be a clinical indicator to differentiate it from other disorders ie MS, Lupus, other autoimmune. 

Dr. Marvin Meadows is researching PEM also and there Research1st wrote and article and there is a video that can be a little technical but understandable explaining how he thinks.  The article Brain Fog in CFS: What's Going On? provides information about how reduced blood flow due to blood pooling in the legs and abdomen cause insufficiency to the brain causing the fog.  Check out the You Tube video Going With The Flow -- Blood Flow, That Is.  

Today on Research 1st I read an article about Dr. Cook doing research on how linkages in people with the disorders and how exercise causes PEM.  Exercise, Fatigue, Genes and Brain Function: Identifying the Linkages in People with CFS

Lots or research going on out there so there is hope for the future in handling this disorder.  I remember when people with MS and Lupus and... (get the idea) went through the same crap we are with no one understanding and thinking they were faking too.  Difference was they had visible markers showing their disorder.   Support research into CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia and other disorders because even if I don't look sick I am!
 

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4, 2012

It has been over a week since I posted and I thought I would write a brief post and update you.

I decided this week was the get back in the groove week!  I have been out of the groove for the last month due to various events and life changes that have been going on around my house.  Literally and figuratively!  I guess I should explain that!

I am getting some renovation done on my house and I am getting up every morning about 9 am and going to bed around 12-1 am.  I am trying not to get stressed at the stuff going on but sometimes it is hard not to and to allow myself to be pulled down.  Having CFS/ME and Fibro has taught me a valuable lesson...its not worth getting stressed over things you can't control but....I am still a control freak at heart.  It has taken multiple reminders and wake ups to make me realize that I am living on a very tight rope that if I deviate too much I end up having to recover and climb back up to get on with life.  I spent 4 days straight in and out of bed after teaching that class last month cause it was so stressful.  I then went to a class that had me up every morning at 06:45 cause I had to be there at 09:00 and it was an hours drive away.  It was not a stressful class and I had a blast going to it but...it knocked me out of sync and I spent all last week trying to get back on track.  I am still not there.  I have to limit everything I do and plan ahead before I do anything.  I have to be willing to accept the consequences if I don't stick to my limits.  Luckily I have a very understanding husband who can cook for himself and family that assists me as best they can.

I missed 2 weeks of my GA group because of not feeling up to going and missed Weight Watchers because I couldn't stand the thought of the energy I was going to have to put out to leave the house.
I don't think people, extended family and friends, understand what these disorders can do to a person.  I can give an example but it still doesn't fully explain what we, people with fibro and CFS/ME go through on a day to day basis.  

Think of a hard day at work in the yard, or on a hike, or even just shopping.  Think about how your legs, back, feet, head, all your body feels at the end of the day.   Back in the old days I knew that a couple ibuprofen and a nap would correct most of it, that I would be sore a day or two but then back to normal.  First off I doubt I could do 2-3 hours in the yard, on a hike, or shopping.  Hell, I have to schedule times I go to WalMart, Sam's, and Target on different days cause I won't make it to two much less to all three without collapsing.  It only took once for a salesperson going to get me a cart at WalMart for me to not do that again.  It is a standing argument with Heather and I when we go shopping that I should ride the cart.  I don't want to get used to doing that so it is a joke now that she will go get the cart should I need it or we can do a switch off where I will ride it for a while and she can ride it for a while.

I always ache like I have a bad flu and that gets worse if I overdo and stretch the limits.  I have had ultrasounds, MRI, CT, PET scans done but nothing major showed up.  A little arthritis but nothing that should affect me like I am affected.  I can make a bed, fix dinner, maybe do a little crafting or back wash the pool and I have done a hard days work for me.  I get down sometimes cause 5 years ago I was a go  getter type A person.  I worked 48 hours a week on night shift, had a big garden, mowed my own yard, did all my own house work and wasn't a whiner like I feel like I am now. 

Want to know more about CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia?  Check out these links:


FibroCenter   http://fibrocenter.com/
U.S. National Library of Medicine  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001463/
Medline Plus http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/fibromyalgia.html
National Fibromyalgia Association  http://www.fmaware.org/
Fibromyalgia Community  http://www.fibromyalgia.com/
CFS/ME group service  http://www.cfs-news.org/
Support group for ME/FM/CFS/MCS  http://www.tnq-support-group.net/
Research 1st  http://www.research1st.com/

These are some of the more reliable sources I have found and there are a lot more out there to peruse.  Be careful though that you don't get sucked in by some snake oil seller cause there isn't a cure for FM/CFS/ME.  Once you have it you have it for life with some days being better then others and some days are worse.   I have a quality life and enjoy every minute of it but I have to remember my limits and not stray far.  It is a challenge figuring out what you can do and what you can't and that is the biggest hurdle to get over.  I went through a horrible depression for about a year and a half cause I felt like I was a worthless human being cause I couldn't do everything I used to do.  I would make a remark about being tired and everyone would roll their eyes which only exacerbated the issues.  Thinking back I have probably had this problem/disorder since 1992 when I was diagnosed with lymes disease.  They say it doesn't necessarily cause the disorder but might contribute to the downward spiral. 

Anyway didn't mean to preach or whine just trying to let you know where I am at today.  Contemplative and trying to get back on track!  Hope you have a great week.  hugs.....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Post Exertional Malaise

I spent Saturday teaching a class at Whole Lotta Scrap in Norman.  The students were making a complicated chipboard book and I was really stressing over the class and looking back I wish I had just gone ahead and cut everything for them so I wouldn't have had to stress that everyone got their cuts correctly done!

We had scheduled the class to coincide with the crop that night so everyone would have adequate time to work on the book and that I would be available to all for questions and assistance.  The book was not a book for first timers to attempt but out of 8 students 4 were first timers which added to my stress.  I was on my feet most of the 11 hours and I  have been in misery ever since.  I knew that stress and exercise were not my friends with the CFS/ME and FM but I also felt so much stronger then I have in a long time and I figured I would handle it.  NOT!  I have been in and out of bed the past 3 days and nothing seems to alleviate the back and leg pains except laying down.  My neck, hips, back, and ribs are a hot bed...literally warm to the touch and tender.  I have taken Lortab to help with my arthritic pain and ibuprofen to help with the other but it is still a trial.

I got up a few minutes ago to read emails and get something to drink and ran across this post by Research 1st regarding Post Exertianal Malaise (PEM) and it defines for me what is going on in my body.  If you get a chance check it out...Post-Exertional Malaise: Perception and Reality. or if that link doesn't work plug this into your brower...

http://www.research1st.com/2012/05/22/pem-perception-and-reality/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Research1st+%28Research1st%29&utm_content=Google+Reader




Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Weight Watchers Weighin 4-16-2012


Yesterday was weigh-in day at Weight Watchers. The lecture was about produce power and adding color to my meal plans. Judy (the leader) showed us examples of food dishes that looked really bland and unappetizing, ie: baked potato with a steak, nothing on either or a piece of toast and a scrambled egg. The group addressed the issue of what could make the food tastier and have more eye appeal. I am a visual person and even though I would eat the food as is if it was dressed up a bit it would not only look better in my opinion it would taste better. I put red and yellow peppers and onions on my steak, salsa on my potato. Doctoring up the eggs and toast was easy too...everyone eats salsa on everything around here...;-)

I was pleased with the lecture and the interaction with the others in the group. One man has lost 71# over the past year and he was so exuberant sharing his tips that got him into what he calls the "winner circle." Oh yeah! I got rid of -2.8# last week by just watching what I ate and following the plan. Not a single hungry day but did have a couple days where chocolate was calling to me to come hither! I had some leftover Cadbury Easter candies (hard shell chocolate eggs) and I ate a couple and was fine afterwards.

They say it takes 21 days to detoxify your body and get rid of old habits and build new...do you believe that? Maybe the detoxification but my brain will always cling to the old ways so I am taking this one day at a time. This week wasn't so bad so I am looking forward to the next week knowing that the more I do it the easier it will become.