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.  
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[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

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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 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...