A trip to the doctors

Posted: October 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

Tuesday October 3, 2017
Sunday was Day 1 of my Whole 30. It’s been going good, ditching sugar is so hard! I have been wanting to do a whole 30 for a while now and what better time than in the fall? If you remember a few years back I lost about 60 lbs and kept it off for a few years. Over the past couple of years the weight has slowly crept back along with a bunch of health issues. 

I have been getting regular headaches, vulvodynia pain, re-occuring yeast infections, my skin was itchy and dry, I’d itch all over if I ate any dairy at all or would break out in dry rashes on my legs and psoriasis or eczema on my hands and feet. My cycle is still fairly regular but much heavier. My stomach always felt bloated and I would have bouts of constipation followed by days where if I ate something – usually dairy related and would spend the day in the bathroom. 

My bones and joints ache quite a lot, all over.

Worst of all my moods were getting worse and worse. I was getting depressed, angry and frustrated really easily. My energy level was non-existent and it was next to impossible to find enough hours in a day to get my exercise in, I just couldn’t find the energy. My hip pain has only gotten worse with the added weight. My leg muscles are sore and extremely stiff. I have a hard time bending at the knee to do just about anything and I’m sure if I fell in the winter on ice, I would struggle like a turtle that flipped on its back to get up. 

My summer, I had a month off work and I was so tired and had no energy that I didn’t feel like doing anything. My daughter was not impressed. We did stuff but nothing too active that’s for sure.

Today I had an appointment with my doctor as a follow up. This time last year I went to see my doctor because I had lower stomach pain, heavier irregular periods and an ultrasound that was really painful. It was weird and I knew something was up. The ultrasound technician found a shadow on my uterus so they sent me for a saline ultrasound so they could see my uterus more clearly. This next ultrasound they saw either a small Polyp or a tiny fibroid. It was around 1cm but small enough they couldn’t tell what it was. 

It’s been a year and I found out that it has grown from 1cm to 1.5 cms. 

Now I have done some research and found out that polyps are caused by estrogen dominance. So my hormones are out of whack. Not suprising at all as I’m pretty certain vulvodynia is caused by a hormone imbalance as well. So, what am I going to do about it? Try to balance my hormones of course. I found this link – https://www.hormonesbalance.com/articles/avoided-hysterectomy-one-womans-story-stress-nutrition-healing-ovarian-cysts

She used nutrition/food to help balance her hormones and get rid of some ovarian cysts and polyps. I am super intrigued by this and I really think that I can do the same thing. So now I’m starting a whole 30, maybe it will turn into a whole 60 or a whole 90. My doctor is super supportive in finding out if nutrition, losing weight and balancing hormones can effectively cure the polyp or fibroid that is hanging out on my uterus. She gave me 6 months to try this out and see, if it’s getting smaller or disappears after 6 months – it’s a success and if it only gets bigger, well then I’ll resort to having it removed if needed but that’s obviously not something I want to do.

 I’ll keep you updated on things that I’m doing to balance my hormones. I might try seeing my naturopath at some point to see what she has to say. In the meantime, it’s time to do some research and see what it is that I can do that will help. I’ll continue for October doing the Whole 30 and update you on my progress again soon.

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Starting over

Posted: September 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

I wrote this last week, just posting now. I’ll have a new update soon.

It’s been a while, again. There’s a number of reason and many excuses why I haven’t been blogging lately or in the past few years but I have to say it’s nice to be back. I have lots to catch you up on and I can’t do it all in one post. 
In the past few years following a pregnancy, stress and weight gain I have come to the decision that it’s once again time to get my health back on track again. 
What this means is that in the past few years (3 or so) I have managed to gain almost all my weight I had lost previously back (50-60 lbs) My hip pain is back, my aches and pains radiate throughout my body. My muscles are tight and I feel like it’s a struggle to do simple things like bending or standing up from a sitting position. My monthly cycle has turned into a huge dread for me, they are a bit shorter but much more pain then ever before and super heavy. This is I’m sure related to my uterine polyp I developed on the top of my uterus. I went for the ultrasound yesterday for a follow up from last year. I didn’t do anything about it last year, it was very small – so small they couldn’t tell if it was a fibroid or a polyp. The ultrasound guy said, yup it’s still there. That’s all he said. So I have no clue if it’s same size or larger. But I do know estrogen is the source of these polyps and I have long thought that my hormones were out of whack. (more on this later)
My energy level is pretty much non existent and gluten, grains, dairy, sugar have all made it back into my diet. (yup, I know) I have headaches, lose my breath sometimes when I’m sleeping and when I have caffeine of any sort (dark chocolate) my chest burns – coffee causes an anxious feeling all over my body. Things aren’t getting better and I need to do something about all this now. 

I made the decision a few weeks ago things need to change now. I have committed to doing a whole 30 with some friends for the month of October and November. Will it last longer than that? Possibly. I’m seeing my doctor about the polyps in October so I’ll figure out the plan for that later. 
My goal for October is to kill my sugar cravings, lose some weight, get rid of all the grains I know I shouldn’t be eating. Eat more veggies, organic and good food, healthy fats. 
Here is what I have done so far:

I have started putting healthy meals in my freezer. I moved my apartment sized freezer from the basement to my kitchen area for easier access.
I have joined a weekly delivery where I get fresh organic fruits and veggies every Friday delivered to my home . Link – Eatingwellottawa.ca 

I will be organizing all my recipes better and start meal planning every week based on the food I get in my weekly box. 

When my energy level increases I will start increasing my activity and going to the gym on a more regular basis.

I am also going to research to find out ways to balance out my hormones to hopefully heal my polyps without having to have any surgery. This might take a while or it could take a really long time but I think it is possible. I have read about another person who was able to clear her ovarian cysts and numerous polyps by balancing her hormones. https://www.hormonesbalance.com/articles/avoided-hysterectomy-one-womans-story-stress-nutrition-healing-ovarian-cysts/

This week I’m getting more food ready for my whole 30 – fermenting, dehydrating and cooking. 
I’m going to continue to drop my carbs to the point where I’m no longer craving them and where I have my meals figured out. Reduce the amount of snack food I have available once I get my food amounts figured out for each meal so that I’m not hungry in a few hours, I’m able to last from breakfast to lunch.

My hardest meal to figure out is breakfast, I struggle because I really don’t want to eat eggs everyday. We’ll see what I can come up with for this, something that is quick and easy for a rushed morning. I’m also going to try and boost my vegetable and fat intake. 
I have a weekly subscription of meal plans that are paleo that I”ll try to use when creating my meal plans. Emeals.com – I usually just go through the list of recipes, the ones I like I email to myself so that I can save them and print them off. I then add them to my recipe binder to try. 
I’ll keep you updated as best as I can. My priority is my health, my food and getting this right so if I slack off on writing it’s because all that along with my normal day-to-day is taking up most of my time and I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write yet. 
Talk to you soon

Wow it’s been a while

Posted: January 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

I know, I know, it’s been far too long since I wrote on here and I really haven’t thought much of writing lately. The past few years have been rough and I really am not in a place where I want to be any longer with my health.

The last time I wrote, I was working at the local newspaper but was laid off from work, at the same time both parents had cancer diagnoses and were going through treatment with in a few months of each other(both have recovered since). This was during the time I was without work. Needless to say I was stressed and this is when the eating and not caring about myself started.

At this point my daughter was almost 2 years old, she will be 5 years this months. I had stuck to Paleo until then. Throughout her 2 years of life, first year was easy because I was home, the 2nd was a struggle but I managed. The past 3 years I have been struggling and slowly gaining weight.

It’s funny how we gain weight, you know you’ve gained but you don’t notice it really. Every once in a while the weight goes up a little bit more. Eventually you have gained back all the weight you have lost in the past, it has taken 3 years but I have managed to gain back all my weight.

I look at myself now and compare myself to old pictures and I don’t see it. I feel like I had more weight on me the last time, I felt bigger the last time. This time I feel like it came back all around my waist and hips. I don’t see it as much in my upper body.

In December I joined back at the gym. I was convinced I was going to get back into a routine of going to the gym and after the holidays I was going to start watching what I’m eating again.

The first week I went 4 times, the 2nd week 4 times – as it got closer and closer to Christmas and the stress started building on all the things I had to do before Christmas, I went less and less to the gym. Clearly me and stress have issues. The 3rd week I went once and the week of Christmas I didn’t go at all. Same with the week leading up to New Years.

New plan, I’m going to aim to go 2 times a week and work out. I can do that right? Start watching what I’m eating and going to the gym. I seem to aim too high, the problem with that is I’m not the same person I was 5 years ago. My life is completely different, i can’t do the same routine I used to do. It’s just not possible I have a 5 year old girl now. I have to pick her up from daycare, she’s in my care most of the time during winter months.

As for the food my plan is to slowly transition into a more paleo way of eating but not reducing my carbs as much. With the SIBO diet I had done before my carbs were next to zero and that was really hard on my system and I don’t think it was a good thing for me.

Needless to say my health issues have all returned. What amazes me is how strong I used to be when I was working out compared to now. My arms feel like the only strong part of my body right now and that’s from lifting a 5 year old. My legs are week and I have a hard time walking in the snow, my hips are sore often and some days it hurts to walk. If I take time off from work and I don’t walk all the time, when I get back to work, that first week is hard on my hips.

The first time I lost all the weight, I had a meal plan that I followed. It wasn’t paleo but it worked and it really helped me. I found that meal plan on my computer and the book that I was using back then, it was a book written by Wendy Chant. Conquer the fat loss code – The thing I don’t like about the meal plans is the amount of dairy that is in them and also they aren’t all gluten free. So I will have to go through them and revise them to take out some of the dairy and gluten and reduce the amount of egg. I’ll also revise the workout schedule I had made with the routine. I really don’t have the time to work out as much as what was in there at this point. Nor do I have the energy yet – I think I was working out 5 to 6 times a week but at that point I had already been doing it for 1 year and had lost 20 lbs. I have to keep that in mind – If I can do 2-3 times a week of workouts at this point I’ll be happy!

Two weeks into the New Year and I can say that I’m struggling but what has helped me in the past is having a meal plan and sticking to it. So my goal now is to get that meal plan done and start getting things ready for the next few weeks. Stick to the plan Tiana!!!

With my gym membership, I got a daycare membership. The problem with that is that I can only go to the gym with my daughter on certain days at certain times. If I can’t make it at that time, I won’t be able to go to the gym because I have my daughter. BUT I have equipment and zumba I can use at home to work out with AND I have access to a gym at work to make up for the time I can’t make it with Emilie to the gym. It is possible, I just have to get there. And I will but it took 3 years to get to where I am now, so maybe I should stop trying to rush it getting back to how I was before. I have to remember the last time it took me 2 years to lose the weight and get in a good routine. That’s a long time. I’m not going to get there overnight.

Symptoms that have come back, obviously my hips are sore my weight has gained but I also have tense muscles all over my body and my neck. My skin is no longer clear and it gets dry and flaky easily. My stomach isn’t always happy and out of nowhere I run to the washroom but I’m sure that has lots to do with dairy and gluten which both have crept back into my diet. My energy is really low which makes it very hard to get up and moving. I like to have excuses for everything. Like the other day I had my gym bag with me and was heading to the gym, my feet were soaked from the wet melting snow and wet boots. So I didn’t go, really? I could have just went home easily and grabbed another pair of socks but I didn’t. I went home and chopped up some ice. I could have went downstairs and did a workout but I didn’t. The motivation struggle is real. I need to change that. I feel very anxious if I don’t eat sugar, I start to shake obviously low blood sugar which makes me fear I might start heading towards diabetes. Yeast infection is rampant and a constant. I have to take diflucan treatment monthly to manage it. When I went paleo in the past that disappeared slowly. There’s other symptoms but I guess they just aren’t coming to my mind right now. Anyways with that said, we will see where this week goes and hopefully I have more successes this week and less failures.

The real problem is motivation, I have no motivation to go to the gym, none to even get out of bed in the morning and my joy for cooking is completely gone. I just don’t like it and hate having to come up with something to eat all the time. This is really going to test me I can tell you that much!

A little bit of Kefir goes a long way

o-KEFIR-facebook I bought some Kefir grains a week or two ago and I have to say it’s not as easy to make good tasting Kefir as I thought it would be. Not only do you need to pay close attention to the taste but it’s hard to get it from tasting too sour. I have made a few batches so far and I have yet to get a good tasting Kefir that is not too sour and isn’t like water.

I left it out far too long the first couple times, this time I left it out just 12 hours and put it in the fridge to ferment much slower. We will see how it tastes and if it’s creamier. I have a feeling I will have to adjust a few more times to get this right. In the meantime I have been buying a jar of Kefir from my local natural food store.

When I first tried Kefir I was leary, only because I’m aware I have a dairy and casein intolerance and if I drink milk in any way I am running to the bathroom within 6 hours. So the first time I bought Kefir, I bought it at the grocery store in the health food section. It was made with organic milk and it was just plain. I took it with digestive enzymes (Just in Case) and I had no problems. I ate a few containers of it and noticed an increase in energy. The real reason I bought it though was to see if it would help with my stomach pain. I have been getting stomach pain, usually by eating the supplements of probiotics you buy in the fridge section of the health food store. I have never had issues with them before but maybe I just bought a brand I can’t tolerate. So I bought a different brand and the pains came back, even more intense than before.

The pain was a sharp pain under my left ribs and I wasn’t really realizing it was the probiotics but I thought it could be something I was eating. So I stopped all supplements and cut back on sugar, the pain got better but didn’t go away. The 3rd or 4th time it happened I was starting to put the connection together but naturally I was worried, so I went to the ER. They tested my blood to make sure there’s nothing wacky going on with my spleen, since my spleen is in that area. I was prepared for bad news, so I was a little shocked when the doctor came back and said I was fine. The ER doctor new my GP well and said that I should go see her and she would make sure to help narrow things down for me. So I went to see her and she sent me to get an ultrasound to make sure it isn’t my spleen or pancreas. 3-4 weeks later, I called and they said it was fine. Relieved but still confused on what was causing it I did an experiment. I ate probiotics again, the pain though it never really went away, it was more of a dull ache came back immediately and it was painful. So it was probiotics!

Oh crap!

That’s what I said when I realized it was my probiotics. Honestly I have been on a mission for a long time to get my health back to normal and I know 100% with all certainty that eating probiotics and replenishing the good bacteria in my gut is part of the issue and part of the cure. How the heck can I do this without taking probiotic supplements?

Fermented foods?

Probiotics and I have had issues for a while now. I realized this when I bought a scoby to make Kombucha. In order to make Kombucha you need to add your scoby to sugar water made with tea. The bacteria eats the sugar while it ferments. I gave it a try and noticed it bothered me a bit, I had sore joints. This was before I found out I had a sugar and tea intolerance. Go figure it bothered me, ok so what else can I try? I tried the supplements again after that and they bothered me and while I have absolutely no clue why they did and even more so I moved on to my next experiment. Water Kefir but again water Kefir is made from sugar water and honestly I hated the taste. It again caused joint pain, even more so than the Kombucha. Maybe if I tried it with coconut water instead it would help but I gave up a little too quick because my grains just didn’t seem to get healthy at all even after numerous batches. I think they weren’t healthy because we have well water here and while it usually is good for Kefir grains we also put a bit of bleach in it and maybe some of that was left over and killed some of the grains. Either way I moved on to Kefir and this is when I tried the store bought stuff.

It didn’t bother me, surprisingly. I had been avoiding it because of my dairy intolerance and it is the one thing that doesn’t seem to bother me. Go figure! The longer I ate it, the better my stomach was feeling. I had more energy and I was a little suprised so I started to consider making my own to offset the cost of buying it. So far as you read earlier that hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped so I keep buying some so I can continue eating it while I experiment with the grains and getting it to taste good.

My stomach pain has disappeared almost entirely. I’m a little suprised and am hoping that I don’t start reacting to the casein or milk at all and have actually taken the Kefir without the digestive enzymes and it seems to be fine. I’ll continue and hope that things turn around and it helps out in other areas as well. But I also want to try and introduce other fermented foods into my diet so my next experiment will be fermented vegetables. Starting with cabbage.

My cabbage the first round I tried was WAY too salty. I put in too much salt so next batch I will see if I can find a better guide in terms of how much salt to use. Once I get a good cabbage juice I will use that to ferment other vegetables such as cucumbers, garlic and who knows what else! I’m hopeful that the addition of other fermented foods will help continue healing my stomach. Now if only I could get the rest of my diet figured out! I’ve decided that I don’t have enough time as I want to get cooking done on the weekends so I need a little help. I’m looking into getting a house keeper to come in and help with keeping the house in better shape so I can concentrate more on getting meals cooked and get the rest of my house organized. But that’s a whole other story right now.  In the meantime I’ll keep experimenting!

 

Wow, it sure has been a while since I updated this site. I think that has partially something to do with the fact that I don’t seem to have all that much free time these days. My daughter will be three this winter and most of my time is spent with either her or in the kitchen cooking and then of course cleaning up my mess.

My daughter was having problems with foods and she was getting what looked like candida infections often, she also had a urinary tract infection that I felt horrible watching her be in so much pain, so she went on antibiotics to help. The infection cleared up quickly after taking the medication but this is the 2nd time she’s had a UTI(both during potty training time and likely is the cause of the UTI) and honestly I hate putting her on that medication as I know what it can do to her system. Since the first UTI and first round on antibiotics it seemed like her intolerances were a bit worse but after the 2nd round of antibiotics her candida infection just wouldn’t clear up. I was trying to make sure she wasn’t eating much sugar and I had her taking a probiotic and D-Mannose to make sure she didn’t get another UTI but the candida seemed to still be there and I can tell she was uncomfortable.

One of her favourite foods was yogurt and I knew she had dairy intolerance but she has always been able to eat the yogurt in the past with no issues but since that 2nd round of antibiotics, her daily inhalation of yogurt has turned into more of an intolerance than what I was expecting. One day I ran out of yogurt and instead of getting more I thought, she can wait a few days. Well in those few days, her candida symptoms vanished. Hmmm coincidence? Wasn’t sure but I bought more that week and within a few days the symptoms returned. I was confused, she’s been eating yogurt for over a year and all of a sudden she has problems with it? It can’t be, so I again stopped feeding her the yogurt, her symptoms again cleared up within a day.

Hard to explain to a 3-year-old that she can no longer eat her yogurt because it has caused her problems. I have given her one here and there and while it causes a bit of problem it’s not as bad as when I was giving it to her everyday.

I have always had a problem with Candida(sugar is always my problem) and I hate that she has to deal with it too but I have recently been giving probiotics a more serious thought. I use to take them every single day and had no issues with this but recently every time I take a probiotic, within 2 days my stomach is in pain (left side around my ribs have sharp pains). Actually to the point where I ended up in emergency thinking my spleen or pancreas was causing it. I wasn’t sure what was causing it (tests revealed those are both fine) I would stop taking everything(supplements) and the pain would get better. I’ve experienced this intense pain 3 times now and have come to the conclusion that the probiotic pills I was taking are the problem, I changed to different ones, still causing problems. The pills are expensive and I really don’t want to keep testing different brands till I find one I can tolerate.

After doing some reading I have realized that people who have SIBO have issues with probiotics. I’m not 100% sure I have SIBO but if I do, do I have to get my SIBO under control before I can start to tolerate probiotics again? Is there probiotics I can take that won’t bother me? I don’t want to not take probiotics, I really think that some are better for me than others but which ones?

I’m testing out fermented foods right now and while I thought that I would have issues with dairy KEFIR, it doesn’t seem to bother me so long as I take a digestive enzyme when I drink some KEFIR. Maybe the store bought isn’t as strong as making my own, maybe it is and there’s just no lactose in it because it’s being fermented. I know I have a lactose intolerance and possibly even CASEIN. The other day I had Kefir and didn’t take a digestive enzyme, it didn’t seem to bother me. Do you think that it’s possible that having KEFIR is helping cure my lactose/dairy intolerance? I have taken the KEFIR everyday for the past week and it seems to be tolerable to me, not like the probiotics I was taking.

I have also tried water kefir and it seems to cause quite a bit off issues with inflammation(sore joints all over my body), but I also have a sugar intolerance and you have to put a bit of sugar in it for it to ferment properly. Maybe I have to let it ferment longer on the 2nd ferment so there’s less sugar? Maybe I just don’t have enough grains yet to get it fermenting properly because the water still tastes sweet. I’ve never tried water Kefir before so I have no idea how sweet it’s suppose to taste. I’m experimenting with longer 2nd ferments and trying to get my grains healthier looking so they ferment better. I’m going to give it a few days for my symptoms to clear up and let new ferments brew and we’ll see how it goes. I might have to stop with the water kefir for now and stick to the dairy kefir, we’ll see. – Side note sugar usually caused my inflammation in the joints so I can tell I’m having too much sugar.

Another thing I am going to try is fermenting vegetables, this will introduce a whole new set of probiotics into my system and maybe it will help me enjoy vegetables a little more than I do now. I have always had a craving for tart foods, I love the taste of dairy kefir with a little ferment strawberry in it. I actually craved vinegar when I was a child, maybe this is because I needed more fermented foods, I always never understood that craving. I like sour tart foods so it stands to reason that fermented vegetables might please my palate more than the raw or cooked variation? I have no clue, but I’m going to give it a try.

Today I’m going to head out and buy an organic green cabbage. Apparently this is the best vegetable to start with when starting wild fermentations. It will be used to create a brine to start fermenting other vegetables, once it’s done fermenting I can store it in the fridge and use that with each new ferment. You can use whey or starter cultures from a kit but to me this seems unnatural. Rather than having the vegetables natural bacteria fermenting properly you’re fermenting whey bacteria which is completely different, I also heard that when you ferment vegetables with the whey cultures that the vegetables aren’t as crisp and get slimy.

Wild Fermentation is actually quite basic. I am going to ferment the cabbage by creating a sort of cabbage juice which is literally pureed cabbage, water and salt. That juice are used in future ferments to create fermented pickles, carrots, sauerkraut, kimchi etc. I’m not a huge fan of cabbage but I don’t mind sauerkraut that much, so I’ll give it a shot. I have no clue how fermented carrots or other fruits/vegetable would taste like but who knows, maybe I’ll like it. I just hope it doesn’t bother me like the probiotic pills do. I really think it’s important for me to get my gut healthy again and eating fermented foods is the best way to do this. I just need to be careful with how I go about it as my stomach is very touchy these days.

Another thing I really need to do is cut out sugar more. Very hard to do around Halloween let me tell you, those stupid candies are everywhere! I also came to the conclusion that I need to avoid gluten the best I can. It’s really not worth eating at all. I suspected that the gluten was causing my stomach pains because I was having a bit too much of it lately. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. I talked to my doctor to see if I could get a biopsy done to rule out celiac. I did the blood test years ago but then I don’t think I was eating enough gluten to tell, there’s also 50 different (proteins?) that can be markers when tested for celiac but the blood test only tests for 2 of them so it’s possible I still have it. The biopsy was my next option, I really hated the idea and didn’t realize that I needed to still be eating gluten to take the test. The doctor told me I needed to be eating it everyday for the next few months before the test, I looked at her like she was crazy. Day 1 – I tried eating it and felt awful, I called the office the next day and told them to forget it, I don’t want to take the test. I’ll just avoid gluten. So I may never know if I have celiac.

Why would I want to know? When you have celiac you have to be careful, even the littlest bit of gluten will cause damage. This means keeping it away from your food, cross contamination from things like utensils, cooking pans or even toasting gluten-free toast in a toaster can cause a reaction. I rarely ever eat out in a restaurant so I take it as a treat and eat what I want. I don’t want to be taking the chance if I am celiac of causing damage but now I’m not as careful because as far as I know I don’t have it, I have gluten intolerance and it just isn’t the same. You don’t feel great when you eat it but you don’t get the damage like you would if you were celiac. Just something that would be good to know.

For people who don’t have gluten intolerances or Celiac it really truly is hard for them to understand just how difficult it is to stay away from the stuff, it literally is everywhere you look. It is incredibly hard to buy something because it is hidden in ingredients and because labelling doesn’t always say whether it’s gluten-free or not I’m basically confined to making my own foods. When all my foods are cooked by scratch I know what is in my food, I feel better, I digest foods better, I don’t get sick as often and honestly it tastes better. BUT it is sooooo incredibly time-consuming. I don’t get to relax on the weekends, I spend most of my time cooking and prepping foods for the week ahead. It’s not just myself that eats this way, so does my daughter. The food is so much healthier for her.

When she started daycare at a new school this summer, her old daycare the caregiver would prepare her foods for her and freeze them like I do. I would also bring foods sometimes that I had extra of and she would feed her those. It was great, Emilie was eating healthy and I didn’t always have to make her meals during the week for snacks and lunch. We switched her to a new school for a few reasons – first of all it’s a French school and I think it’s important that she learn the language. The class has more kids than the small daycare which only had 2 other children and it was a bit cheaper.

Now that she is at the new school, they have catered meals (lunch and snacks) and while they do their best to accommodate Emilie’s intolerances they don’t do much in terms of nutrition. I was finding that she wasn’t eating barely any vegetables and every meal they gave her gluten-free breads/snacks, none of it was without some sort of gluten free bread. What’s so hard in cooking vegetables, some meat and giving her a piece of fruit? Anyways within the first week at her new school I found that she was having temper tantrums more often, this is also when she was getting more candida infections and the UTI ,so I was trying to figure out what it was she was eating that could be causing it. Some nights she would complain of sore stomach and would be in lots of pain. I had no idea what the problem was because while they did sometimes give me a menu for the week, they couldn’t tell me what exactly the ingredients were with each meal. The meal plans were in French also which made it difficult to translate for me, I know some French but not enough to understand each meal. Her temper tantrums I assumed were because she was learning it from other kids, but they had increased to 2-3 tantrums per day. She’d have one in the morning, getting her ready for school, one on the way to school in the car and bringing her into the school, sometimes one when I picked her up and sometimes one again when I put her to bed. That turned into lots of sore arms, tired mommy and tons of bruises for me and her, she’d kick so much she’d hurt herself in the process.

I decided I was going to have to do something about the food – not because of the tantrums just because of the sore stomach and problems with going to the washroom, rashes on her bum, gosh poor kid. It was all signs to me that something she was eating was bothering her.

It’s been about a month or a bit longer since I have provided her meals and snacks to the school. Within a few days her tantrums went down to none, she would maybe have one a week but they weren’t nearly as bad as before. She rarely kicked and screamed and dropped to the floor, having to pick up a 35 lb kid like a sack of potatoes(kicking potatoes) and walk her into the school. Not anymore, she is back to her normal fun-loving self. She’s still defiant and loves to use the word no quite often but I have rarely had to put her in time out since. Her rashes are gone, her infection now that the dairy has been taken away and she’s eating less sugar/gluten free breads are gone.

Why didn’t I do this sooner? I had no clue the tantrums were related to the food, and I really didn’t have the time to commit to cooking even more food. I realized I had to shift my priorities a bit and commit that time to preparing her food and it is very worth it but to all my friends and family, I’m sorry I just don’t have time for much else these days. it’s exhausting and I don’t know how I’ll ever manage if I have another child but I’m sure I will. It’s her health and seeing her healthy and happy, it’s worth it. Plus I really just don’t like the kicking and bruises :)

To those who come and visit me, my house is a bit messier than before and my laundry and dishes aren’t always done and put away. While it annoys me that I can’t do everything I also realize, she has food in her tummy, she has clean clothes to wear and while I’d love to clean up the mess, it really is going to be messy again in 10 minutes so really does it matter all that much, the floors are swept less often, the bathroom isn’t cleaned as often but for now I’m ok with it. It won’t be forever and when Emilie gets older I will teach her to cook, I will teach her to do her own laundry and help clean the house, she will have her chores to do and this time in my life while it’s hectic, it’s not always going to be like this. I’m doing something that isn’t easy but it is also teaching my daughter just how important health is, it is something that you can’t take for granted.

When I was growing up I just assumed that it didn’t really matter what went in, I am paying for that now. I realize now how wrong I was. What good is it in learning hard lessons in life like that one, if you can’t share your mistakes with your children. The food that goes into your stomach, does matter, the quality matters. It’s important to know what you are eating, to know how to make your own meals, to eat real food. If anything in my life that I teach my daughter this is one of the incredibly important ones because to me, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.

I tried the SIBO diet with Paleo Dietitian Aglaee Jacobs and while it did work I found the longer I was on it the worse I looked, I mean I didn’t look healthy so I think I was missing some key nutrients.. probably because of the lack of mix in veggies and probably not enough iron, two things I find hard to get enough of. I have found another book that I’m reading right now and once I’m done I will try out. It’s called the Paleo approach written by Sarah Ballantyne. Reverse autoimmnue disease and heal your body.

I have long suspected that a variety of my health problems are all related to autoimmune disease for example gluten intolerance – though I suspect celiac disease, vulvodynia/vestibulodynia, low blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) and a few deficiencies such as low iron. Irritable bowel (IBS) I was diagnosed with which I think is actually a few intolerances all wrapped into one. I have managed my IBS by staying away from most grains and dairy.

When I eat gluten I get pimples and welts under my skin, on my head(head gets itchy) and I get head aches(usually the following day). My gums start to swell and get red and bleed, sugar also causes me a few of these problems as well as bladder/urinary tract/yeast infections. Both sugar and gluten cause my vulvodynia to worsen. I also have a variety of other foods that I eat and cause me to feel bloated including dairy(lactose and casein flares my IBS) bananas and potatoes(both white and sweet) cause bloating.

This to me sounds like my immune system is fighting off things it shouldn’t be fighting off, it’s thinking that these foods are intruders, bad things that my immune system attacks when it enters my body. I have suspected SIBO and though it seems much better since my SIBO diet I tried a year ago. I did hemocode intolerance test through rexall pharmacy after doing the SIBO diet (should have done it before). The SIBO diet really limited the foods I could eat and also the nutrience I was getting. I found it hard to figure out what I should introduce back into my diet. I had no clue where to start and got frustrated and just went back to the way I was eating before rather than trying to continue.  I am actually still reading Aglaee’s book – Digestive Health with real food but I wanted to go a bit further than this and try to learn more about the effect of nutrition and auto immune disease. I think all my problems are linked to this. Since through my research it all seems to link to this conclusion.

I believe it all started with an infection in 2004 – tuberculosis. Following 9 months of very strong medication. While taking the medication I started having problems – urinary tract infection/yeast infection. I was taking medication to help with the infections every couple months while I was also taking the medication for tuberculosis. Now I wish I hadn’t.

Since then I had to stop taking birth control pills which seemed to worsen my vulvodynia almost immediately when I start taking them. (it took 2 years and numerous doctors to get the vulvodynia diagnosis) I believe not only did i screw up my hormones from years of using the pill I also screwed up my immune system while fighting tuberculosis and taking round after round of medication to get rid of what I thought was infections but likely was SIBO and intolerances to food I had developed.

I’m still figuring all this stuff out almost 10 years later, I went gluten free, then paleo. When I was pregnant I found it incredibly difficult to stick to the paleo diet. My stomach turned at the thought of meat and veggies, I couldn’t stomach most paleo foods, coconut oil/milk, nuts and seeds and since then I have been struggling to get back into eating more paleo, getting away from sugar and gluten that seems to creep back into my diet now and then.

I’m one of those people who when stressed eats and this past year has been the most stressful year ever, things are now getting back on track and I’m looking to get my health back on track as well. It’s a struggle and anyone who is going through the same thing or something similar would agree, it’s not even the least bit easy. I’m taking it day by day, learning and trying to find the energy to make a plan to get my health back to what it was before my pregnancy. A few notes I’d like to mention:

– While getting the IBS diagnonis, my doctors told me my symptoms were all in my head – until the IBS diagnosis

– While getting the vulvodynia diagnosis, my doctors told me it was all in my head. It also took 5 years to get this diagnonsis – which up until the diagnosis I was getting regular prescriptions for yeast/UTI/bladder infections

All my symptoms – so far – for all my health problems aside from low blood platelet levels I have managed to improve from changing to the paleo and sibo diet. I am heading back in this direction and am hoping that the autoimmune protocol will help me as well with the low blood platelet/easy bruising and shins that look like I have been kicked a million times. My gums bleed easily and my shins just never seem to heal. I get a bruise and it still looks like my bruise is there years later. Oddly enough if I get a cut, needle or anything that draws blood I don’t bleed for very long, barely at all. When I had my appendix taken out – which I think is related to my gluten intolerance/celiac – I was told they had a hard time diagnosing my appendicitis because of my low white blood cell count, typically if you have appendicitis you have high white blood cell count because your body is fighting off the infection, you also usually have a fever, which I didn’t. Though I rarely get sick and when I do it doesn’t last very long…so the low white blood cell count seems weird as well as low blood platelets. (something I need to research further)

Wish me luck, I’ll keep you all posted.

 

So I got a email the other day, someone was reading my healthier happier wiser posts about SIBO and was wondering how I was doing with it.

This past year has been difficult, I lost my job last year in the fall and when that happened, my weight and eating habits started getting worse. Up until then the SIBO was actually much better, not completely gone but I was feeling better.

I’m a stress eater, so when I am stressed I just eat and eat and I started eating foods I shouldn’t have been eating. I started my own Production Company – Wow Media Productions and since then things are slowly getting better but I ended up gaining another 20 lbs in the meantime and am back to where I was this time last year with SIBO bothering me.

Did the SIBO diet work? Yes, it did but it was difficult and the problem I had was when I got to a month on the SIBO diet, I was bored and it was time for me to start re-introducing foods back in. I was stuck and I didn’t know where to go, so I just started eating foods, still healthy foods but they could have easily been foods that bothered me. I had no clue which ones to start with. I was lost and didn’t know what to do.

Since then I ended up taking a test(REXALL HEMOCODE TEST) to find out what I was intolerant to and the plan was in the summer time to go back on the SIBO diet and when I got to the part where I started introducing foods back in, I knew where to start! Then I lost my job and other stressful things happened in my life and the plan took a back seat.

Now that things are getting better and the weather is getting warmer, I hope to start again but right now I have a few projects to wrap up and then I can concentrate on this again. Hopefully with a better plan and a book by Aglaee Jacobs on the subject matter(Digestive Health with Real Food), I will be better prepared this time around. I did good last time, but this time I need to do better!

Thanks everyone who wrote me and asked about how I was doing. If you have questions, please feel free to send me a message or add a comment! I do check the comments but I don’t write posts on here (as you can see) very often so I just tend to forget to write people back. For that I’m sorry.

I’ll let you know how things go once I start back on the diet.

Take care

Tiana