Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

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.

 

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I had mentioned last week that I was going to post an update on what I am up to soon.. well here it is. Now what I have been thinking about is probably what a lot of people in the Paleo world are thinking about, how do I learn more?

I love learning about health and Paleo and I would LOVE to have some sort of nutrition background to help me when doing nutrition consultations. (I have done a few for family and friends but not clients, yet) Now the problem I have is that I can’t find any institution anywhere that gives a certificate or diploma course for Paleo. Now it’s slightly understandable since Paleo is a new thing but is Paleo all that new really? It’s evolutionary nutrition, seriously why aren’t there courses on this? I haven’t been able to find much and I’m actually a little shocked that there’s not more out there for people who want to do the exact same thing as I do.

So what’s my plan?

Right now I’d like to create a service for people who are looking for help to get started with Paleo for a small fee. First I’ll tell you what I’d offer then you can suggest how much you think those services would be worth.

This is something that I have done for friends and family members but I thought maybe it can help me raise some money to take some more courses.(More about that in a minute)

PALEO CONSULTANT/MENTOR/BUDDY/PAL

I will work with people for 30 days or longer depending and I’ll teach them about Paleo and how to eat. I created a very detailed FOOD form that I get people to fill it out. It tells me what kind of foods they like, what ways they like certain food cooked, what foods they have never tried but are willing to etc.. when they send it back I write up a meal plan for the month along with recipes of foods they like(since they filled out the form) I work with them during the 30 days to help them get started. Since I have researched Paleo for a few years and I have helped others start eating Paleo I have enough knowledge, resources that I can help people through the very bumpy beginnings of switching to eating a new way..I know how hard it is to change the way you eat and I know how hard it is to go from eating out ALL THE TIME to eating more meals at home and using foods you may not have even heard of before.

The thing is at the beginning, it’s new, people get confused and it really is hard to find all these new recipes and foods you like but I know I can help and I love to help! I have the resources, I know where to look and I have recipes on my computer for thousands and thousands of different meals/recipes that I can share. I can help answer questions you may have. Everyone needs some sort of support system when starting something new.

ONCE I take more schooling I’ll have more knowledge to offer my clients but the thing is right now I can personalize this for each individual person who needs the help all for a low cost and I can work with them, motivate and support them along the way. Kind of like a Paleo Buddy..

Resource page – what I’d like to create(shortly) is a resource page on my blog, these are all the books/blogs/websites/doctors etc Things that might already be on my blog and things I’d like to add. Easy to find, easy to look up.. If you are searching for info it can help guide you- It will list all the books I used so far to learn Paleo as well as ones that are on my TO READ list.

I will update my ABOUT ME page as I take new courses, so I can list that info there.

HEALTHY HAPPY & WISE <— I’m always working on the WISE by learning

I’m always looking to learn more about Nutrition. I haven’t taken it in school and everything I have learned so far are from books, blogs and research papers so I’d love to actually take some courses, preferably online since it would be too difficult to attend school at this point in my life.

What I want – a course that gives me the chance to become a PALEO nutritional consultant or a title that gives me the opportunity to teach others but I want Paleo or traditional foods to be tied into the course. I don’t want to be in school for years, I can’t go anywhere because I have a young family so I’d have to do it online. If I can find a good quality course that takes 1-2 years to complete that gives me everything that I want then I would do it in a heartbeat.. but I haven’t found one.

OPTION A

What I have found.. there’s a University in California, called Hawthorn University.. I have never heard of them but they actually have tons of courses that are based on Weston A Price’s teachings.

NOTE – If you haven’t heard of him Weston A. Price is a doctor, actually a dentist but shifted his interests to nutrition in the early 30’s. At the end of the 30’s he published a book that detailed his travels around the world while studying the diets and nutrition of different cultures. His conclusion from his studies was that a modern Western diet(processed foods, sugar, flour and processed oils) cause nutritional deficiencies that are the cause of many health and dental problems. Dr. Price’s research demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats. The Weston A. Price Foundation was co-founded in 1999 by Sally Fallon and nutritionist Mary G. Enig to disseminate his research. (info found on wikipedia and Weston A Price Foundation website)

Hawthorn University has Masters and Doctorates, none of which I’m qualified to apply for since I didn’t go to University. Plus they are VERY long to complete and VERY expensive. They do however have Certificate courses.

One of the courses I’m most interested in at Hawthorne is the Nutrition consultant. It is a HUGE commitment, they give you 32 weeks to complete it and it’s a lot of money over $4200. I am just not sure I want to commit that much time/money to this at this point now. The other course is Wise Traditions Nutrition Certificate which would be interesting to take but I wouldn’t I wouldn’t get a nutritionist consultant designation.

OPTION B The other route is to take courses to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist that consist of taking a few courses that I don’t care to learn about such as Vegetarian Nutrition. There’s a school that has ONLINE courses(what I was looking for) called Alive Academy, it’s based in Canada which is a bonus. They have a Nutritional Consulting Diploma Course which is 7 courses total. If you complete the course one by one you have a max amount of months to complete each course. If you pay all at once you are given 18 months to complete all the courses but most people complete them all in 12 months. It’s also cheaper than the Hawthorne Option, less time but not giving me more of the traditional nutrition courses like Hawthorn does. $1800 for the courses all at once or almost 2000 if I do them one at a time BUT I will become a Certified Holistic Nutritionist(CHN) when I complete the course and can also apply(write exams) to become a Registered Nutritional Counselor (RNC) and/or Certified Natural Health Practitioner (CNHP)

OPTION C Alive Academy also has a course called Sports & Fitness Nutrition Certificate. It is a total of 3 courses, it’s even cheaper, will take less time than Option B but once I complete these 3 courses I will be a Certified Sports Nutrition Consultant(CSNC) and if I take an extra course on Vegetarian Nutrition(you can see where I have a problem with this) I can apply, write an exam to become a Registered Nutrition Counselor and/or Certified Health Practitioner. This is the quickest and easiest and cheapest route at this point but is still not getting me what I want to learn exactly.. well some of the courses are but the Vegetarian Nutrition isn’t something I want to learn about.

Option D There’s an option with both schools to take courses individually(as far as I can read).. so what I was thinking is I can take the courses I think I need or the courses I want to learn more about and mix and match, a bit from here, a bit from there but this will get me no title designation.. OR I can can do the basic courses from Alive Academy to become Certified sports Nutrition Consultant then either continue on and finish the courses to become a RHN there and/or go to Hawthorn and take courses individually there. The ones I would like to take..(have to look into this to make sure I can take courses individually from the Nutrition Consultant /Wise Traditions courses.)

As much as I would love to do Option A and take the Nutrition Consultant course, right now I don’t see that happening. Option D is actually what I’m leaning towards. It will combine a few courses I don’t want to take with ones I do but the way I see it, I will likely run into clients who are vegetarian and wanting advice so if I take the Vegetarian course I will have a better understanding of this, I can follow it up with the WISE Traditions course from Hawthorn which has a specific course on the Myths and Truths about Vegetarian Diets.

I hate decisions like this! I’m kind of confused on what I should do on which courses to take. I did some research though and Hawthorn University worked with Weston A Price Foundation to create the courses at the school. I found this on the Weston A. Price Foundation Website ( I had to check it out, just to make sure) So that’s a good sign! You can find this at the following link towards the bottom of the article, before comments – http://www.westonaprice.org/health-issues/what-should-i-do-to-be-a-nutritionist

All I know is I will never stop learning, I will never stop teaching.. that is a promise!

Please let me know what you think, what do you think I should do? Do you know of courses that exist that are Paleo that I can take that can help me on my journey? Do you think offering help to people who are struggling with paleo or wanting to start paleo and don’t know where to start is a good idea? How much do you think I should charge for these services if I do? If you have ideas or suggestions I’d love to hear them. Help me make a decision!

Do Med school classes consist of nutrition courses?

This was a question I asked myself when I got home from a doctors visit a few months ago. I became annoyed with my doctor after she told me my daughter and I “need grains for proper nutrition” and “we should be eating them”.Med school classes photo.jpg

She went on to say “it’s unlikely anyone is intolerant to grains such as rice, it’s just not common.” My decision to stop eating grains was not made just for the fun of it, clearly she thinks it was.

Quick background of why I went gluten/grain free

In 2007 I went to my doctors with a whole host of problems, stomach pain, joint pain, headaches.. She diagnosed me with Irritable Bowel Sydrome told me to eat more fibre and sent me off to see a rheumatologist for my pain.

I took her advice seriously and loaded up on whole grains.. this resulted in symptoms that only worsened. Confused and in pain, I looked up the cause of IBS and found that food intolerances might be the cause. Something my doctor never told me…

It took a few years to pin point which foods did and didn’t cause my problems. Once I discovered it was in fact food intolerances, my pains went away(all of them), I lost faith in my doctor but I gave her the benefit of the doubt, maybe she just didn’t know this so I figured if I told her how I was eating, she would be proud of me and say I’m doing good for finding the root cause of my problem. Imagine my amazement when my doctor informed me that I should be eating these foods, I NEED them for energy and proper nutrition.. I couldn’t believe a doctor would say these things to me. I was shocked, I was saddened, I was confused.

What do Medical Schools teach our doctors?

I searched the course curriculums of several Canadian medical schools. I couldn’t find any obvious courses in nutrition for a general practitioner. I clearly must be wrong, I’m not reading the course information properly, I’m not looking at the right information.

Sure they learn biochemistry and the basics of how food is processed in the body but I kept looking for proof that doctors, the people we go to for health advice, the people who tell us what we should and shouldn’t be eating, what we should be feeding our children learn about nutrition! Afterall, isn’t the most common health problem obesity and weight related illnesses?

IN DENIAL – I MUST BE WRONG!!

I didn’t research much more than this, at that point I didn’t have time but this is something I’ve had in the back of my mind for a few months now. Waiting for the opportunity to speak with someone, a doctor friend or someone that I meet eventually that’s been to medical school. I was positive I must be wrong!

THEN I came across a blog post the other day by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, actually it’s a post on his blog by a medical student who has been job shadowing Dr. Freedhoof.

Dr. Yoni Freedhoof is a family doctor here in Ottawa, he is also an Assistant Prof. at the University of Ottawa, and founder of the Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Institute, he also has a very popular health/nutrition blog.

READ Medical Student, Jill Trinacty’s Blog Post here!!

A student of medicine, who wanted to learn about obesity and nutrition, had to take it UPON HERSELF to go above and beyond and learn something that should have been taught to her in year 1 of Medical school! I don’t know about you but I think this is AWFUL!!!

I commend people like Jill Trinacty who realize the importance of learning about nutrition and the role it plays in obesity and her future patients health. It should be mandatory for all students, for all doctors, to learn the basics of nutrition. We go to them for advice, assuming they know the answer. They should know the right answers.

You can read a few articles on this topic HERE or HERE.

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Tiana MacLeod


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Paleo meals made easy.jpgQuick and Easy Paleo meals

Since I started eating differently, that meant I had to do things differently. I had to shop differently, I had to cook differently, prepare meals differently. Not everyone has the time or energy to put into meal planning. I honestly don’t know where I find the time somedays!

For those of you who are busy, who are struggling each week to get things planned in order to get food for grocery shopping, finding recipes that would suit your family. Look no further!

Spend more time with your family, while someone else does the dirty work…

While searching through the internet while planning my meals I came across a great website eMealsthat does all this stuff for you! Seriously!

eMeals.com is a very basic and simple idea, I’m really surprised there’s not more companies like this one out there!

paleo meals made easy.jpg

Gluten Free, Clean eating, Paleo, Low Carb, Natural/organic, Vegetarian.. no problem! Pick your plan based on the way you eat and the size of your family. You can also choose which

grocery store you shop at!

Each week eMeals will send you your meal plan with 7 simple family-friendly recipes that include both a side dish and entree. You’ll also get a detailed grocery list that is organized by section and coordinated with weekly sales at each store!

MY GOSH!! They make it so simple, what a brilliant idea! They help you save money too.. gotta love that!

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Tiana MacLeod

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Kickstart.jpg

Kickstart, a health drink?

Seriously? Who comes up with this stuff? I’m baffled why someone thought this was a good idea? Why don’t you start just giving your kids a redbull with breakfast?

Yesterday PepsiCo announced they will be releasing on Feb 25th, a new breakfast drink called Mountain Dew Kickstart.

It has less caffeine than your average energy drink –  92mg in a 16 ounce can. To compare that’s MORE caffeine then in a small Tim Hortons Coffee, which was 80mg, while a medium has 100mg.

What is worse is that Kickstart only contains 5 percent real fruit juice but with only 80 calories I can see how naive parents can convince themselves that this would be a good drink for their kids. Mmmm artificial sweeteners, yummy!

It’s bad enough that people think that drinking a can of soda for breakfast is a good idea but now Kickstart is trying to make it acceptable to have a canned soda for breakfast. This is wrong in so many ways. I’m not impressed!

We will start seeing even more stories like this one, or this one in the news, before you know it! Something needs to be done to keep these kind of products off store shelves and out of kids hands.

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Is bacon good for you.jpg

Tiana MacLeod
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KombuchaKombucha brewing – Easier than I thought

I’ve been meaning to post this for a couple of days.. I checked on my Kombucha that was brewing the other day and it seems to be ready. It brewed for 22 days and I got a huge scoby out of it.. so now I have 2. I’m thinking of starting two batches instead of just one. One 1 gallon batch just won’t last very long. I like the thought that I’m actually eating some fermented food now and being kind to my gut, helping it heal. But having to wait 3 weeks just to drink the stuff, it’s very long when you drink a small glass a day. I give it a week and I’ll have none left. So I guess I’ll have to go look for another 1 gallon glass container to use. I have no idea where to find one here in Ottawa, any suggestions?

Store bought/home brew no comparison!

I have to say though this Kombucha I brewed doesn’t even compare to the stuff I bought in the store for $26 a bottle. The stuff in the store was very strong and was awful compared to this stuff. It tastes a million times better when you brew it yourself. It actually kind of tastes a bit like champagne and I’m sure if you double ferment to get some bubbles going, it would be similar, though I haven’t had champagne in years so hard to really compare. :)

In the photo, the jar on the right is what I put in my fridge to drink (some more went into another jar). The jar on the left is both scoby’s sitting around waiting for me to brew another batch. I’ll start brewing again in the next few days.

I’m happy my Kombucha turned out, I was a little worried because the temperature in my house is far from consistent and the batch was downstairs, which can go from very warm to cold in a few hours. (wood furnace).

It will be interesting to see how the next batch tastes as I’ll be using a combination of black tea and green tea. I’m actually not sure what tea I used when I made my first batch since it came with my kit.

Maybe after I get use to brewing this stuff I might start double fermenting to get some fizz in my drink. We will see!

Have you tried making Kombucha before? Share you stories in the comments, success, failures, what have you learned? If you like today’s post, please click share!

Is bacon good for you.jpg

Tiana MacLeod
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The first week back to work I was doing great with working out and eating well, then last Sunday bam woke up feeling like I was getting a cold.. By the end of the day I was sick with the flu. I have to say it’s the weirdest cold/flu I’ve ever had. I’ve never had both at the same time and usually when I get sick I’m over it fairly quickly (a couple of days) the flu was gone within a day but the cold lasted another couple of days. I was off work for 2 days and I am still a week later feeling it a bit. I’m not 100%, more like 80%.

I mustered up the energy to go to the gym today. I didn’t have enough energy to do lots of weights but enough to get cardio in, so that’s what I did cardio for about 40 minutes then went to work.

1 week isn’t going to do much, it threw me off my routine for a little bit but I don’t think going to the gym while you are sick is good for anyone. I needed to rest my body and heal and now I’m getting better everyday. I’ll try my best at the gym this week but I’m not going to overdo it.

Tomorrow will be a day to celebrate, it was a year ago at 3:29am tomorrow morning that I had my little girl… with celebration of course comes cake and all the fun stuff with birthday parties. So we’ll see how I do by the end of the week but I have to say, so far, so good.

Hopefully no more flu/colds for a while and I can get back to the routine again of getting to the gym and getting some exercise in me! Wish me luck !

Happy Birthday to my little girl!!!! The best gift I’ve ever received and the most amazing little girl ever! There’s no way I could have ever imagined how much love I would have for that little girl but she has my heart and always will.
xo

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