healingjournies

gluten-free healing ala GAPS, paleo and nourishing traditions


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The Conclusion: A Farewell Post

So… I decided I should bring this little blog to a close.

I learned a lot through this whole process and my life is much better for it and I have some answers which are amazingly helpful so I want to finish this off. One part specifically almost feels like GOSPEL to me, it is so huge and has made me so much better that I kind of want to tell the world.

Part 1:

Soo… these crazy red itchy painful lesions on my scalp and groin are actually NOT fungal infections, like I was told on two separate occasions in the doctors office! The story is that I had to have a preliminary appointment with a GP to be referred to see a dermatologist. I went the first time, she took one glance and was like “oh honey, that’s fungal.” and prescribed me an antifungal cream. I was kind of relieved and disappointed but thought at least I don’t need to see a dermatologist now and passed on that appointment. So I got the cream and used it until they would no longer refill it at the pharmacy. At that point I talked to the naturopath again. Once she realized the antifungal had not made any difference over several months she commented that it was probably a wrong diagnosis.

Soo… I tried to make another appointment with the dermatologist. BUT since I had not done it right after the first appointment with the GP, I had to go back again for another appointment just to get a new referral! Crazy! At that appointment, the next lady was like “Oh honey, that’s fungal. ….but if you want to see the dermatologist, you can…” Yes, I do.

Finally I see the dermatologist. I told him how the others were so SURE it was fungal but nothing was helping so I was confused. He asked if they did the super easy, final answer diagnosis in 10 minutes scrape test. Nope, they hadn’t. So he did it on every little patch of skin that has issues and…. not one bit was fungal!

Hooray! And also CRAZY. That I had been trying to treat that for over six months just based on some ladies who didn’t take the time to confirm anything or listen to me, for that matter.

 

So the actual diagnosis is: Psoriasis. I also get serious outbreaks of eczema and at that time I also had several of those. 

In the process of trying to treat the “fungus” naturally, I eliminated dairy. Within 3 days my eczema cleared up!! And I didn’t know if that was a fluke or how big a deal it was, so I went back to dairy. Then again I had some, and more eczema. Which I can remember having since my sophomore year of high school. (Which is to say 15 years.) Then I went off, and in 3-4 days, no eczema. Back and forth like this. Eczema isn’t a big deal…. it’s more annoying than anything. But I began to realize that if my immune system was so busy dealing with the dairy every day, it was too worn down to take care of the chronic staph infection, increasing allergies, and getting sick so often and severely in the last year and a half. On another note taking away dairy did not make the psoriasis go away.

So GOSPEL part 2:

Five years ago, I remember discovering I had seasonal allergies for the first time, kind of on accident. I just thought I had a terrible cold that I couldn’t get over for 2 months. I had always teased people in my head when they’d sneeze and then look warily at me and sigh “Allergies.” So I felt like I was getting the judgement I deserved in developing them myself.

Right from the first year they were pretty serious, but every year since, they have gotten worse and worse. The second year I developed a two week long severe sinus infection, not to mention the surrounding months of regular allergies. All this leading up to last spring where I spent days in bed, which meant Nathan had to take several days off from work to take care of the kids. And that was on allergy meds. I’d also use a neti-pot, do pressure points to drain sinuses, hot washcloths, humidifiers, etc… and I still couldn’t sleep at night and I’d be in such a miserable fog in the day.

So I was dreading this spring. But guess what?! Since the season began I only took meds ONE DAY!!! It is such a shock, such a night and day difference, such a feeling of HEALING I can’t believe it. I have been mostly off dairy now for several months. I also started taking a quercetin + bromelain supplement the last month which is supposed to help regulate allergic response in your body. And for real: heavy reactions only ONE day, at the very beginning of high pollen season. I still sneeze a bit and have minor congestion, but I am fine! I am not much of a salesman, but this is one thing where I feel like it helps so much I want to tell ALL THE PEOPLE in the world who deal with allergies to consider going off dairy, at least before and during allergy season. 

It’s so significant to me that every day this spring I have found myself reflecting on how different I feel and how thankful I am. Dairy is honestly easy to give up when I know how bad it makes me feel.

Meanwhile we’ve discovered it’s Ezra’s deal too. I keep hoping it’s not and a couple times these last couple weeks he’s had something and only confirmed that it is. Last week I let him have a yogurt at breakfast. He then spent the morning laying on the floor, complaining of his stomach hurting. Then he had some diarrhea, felt better, and got up and had a good rest of his day. But to see this energetic boy out for a couple hours, laying still on the floor, it’s easy to see it’s not worth it. He’s actually come to know it too. He knows macaroni and cheese and yogurt hurt his stomach. 

Soooo…. anyway. I would be cranky that we spent a month without gluten, but in the end I’m not. If I hadn’t tried it, I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough to try taking out dairy for a bit. We have learned so much and are literally a healthier, happier family for this process.

Lastly… I also read that dairy can be auto-immune-response-inducing (which psoriasis is, in nature). But I haven’t seen that improve at all. The only thing that has helped is a coal-tar treatment which I just learned last night is a carcinogen?! So I don’t know where I’m at with any of that. 

But I’m thankful that I’m at least giving my body a fighting chance now vs before. 

Sooooooo…… anyway. That’s the end of this blog! Thanks for joining me along the way!

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Less on the bandwagon than I thought

…Nope, I can’t do it. The candida diet is so extreme! It’s for a good medical reason. But I found it so intensely restrictive that if I would simply eat one wrong thing, then I’d go nuts (har har) and eat tons of wrong things and basically  I was eating more carbs and sugar than when I wasn’t actively trying to follow this diet.

For instance my eczema was on it’s happy way to settling down. Then on Saturday I went to a party and had to, ahem, oblige my host so I ate cheesecake  and lots of other snacks and treats (homemade Azerbaijani baklava! worth it!) and now the eczema is back and flaring in new spots.

Meanwhile, yesterday, after I officially declared that I was free from the bonds of these crazy restrictions, I ate better than I had the whole rest of the time! Eggs, a delish salad with lots of spinach, chicken meatballs and an amazing (if i do say so myself!) dressing, macadamia nuts… So it’s kind of a full circle. Before all of this I had finally come to a place in my life that I was actually eating healthy because I wanted to and it felt better. I still think it’s better to try to treat disease with nutrition, but I’ve learned I don’t handle it all that well and have to be careful not to be extreme in doing so.

For Ezra, I’ve realized the real importance is being off gluten and dairy for the most part. That’s how his little stomach seems to do best. The naturopath really encouraged me that kids can often outgrow food allergies or heal their little systems and grow to handle things better if you take some time off fromt hem.

So between me and Ezra we’re going to stick to our house being gluten and dairy free for a while and see how we go. But enough of this boring chatter…

Want to try my amazing dressing?

Coconut Honey Mustard Dressing
(serves 2)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp lime juice
pinch of salt

I served it over a bed of greens, chicken (with cranberry and jalepeno) meatballs, red bell peppers, and red and green onion. It was so tasty. Variation: It was actually so tasty it was lunch again today, but we were out of honey. I had some apricot preserves on hand and subbed that in for the honey and Nathie liked it even better today. So. There you go, players. Best salad dressing evaa!

*sharing at allergy free wednesday and real food wednesday


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Super delicious breakfast cereal (grain/dairy free)

20121022-082808.jpgHere is the way to have a satisfying, delish, nutritious breakfast cereal option even when grains and dairy are not in the equation.

Coconut Cereal

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1-2 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp stevia
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup coconut milk

Just mix up the first four ingredients, top with walnuts and add coconut milk! Also great with bananas or berries!

I first read about this idea on a paleo website, but I think the flax-cinnamon-stevia combo is what makes it cereal like. Maybe if you toasted the coconut it would be like granola? It’s what I was referring to in my menu plan as coconut cereal, but I feel like there could be a better name out there. Ideas, anyone? Happy Monday!

*Sharing at: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2012/10/real-food-wednesday-10172012.html


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Pumpkin Spice Latte (Dairy free, sugar free)

*PS: Update! This also is successfully made with one cup of brewed coffee in place of the pumpkin coffee espresso! Still delish!

Well. One of the scariest things to me going into an anti-candida diet is worrying that i will feel deprived. That doesn’t go well for me at all, and I tend to revert to old eating-disorder tendencies. No bueno. So even though I haven’t started this yet, I’m already looking for things that will leave me feeling psychologically stable while limiting foods I’m used to.

And I invented one today!

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First, thank you Dr Mercola for the article about the benefits of coffee! My favorite part, and new information to me, is about coffee lowering glucose levels in blood and increasing beneficial bacteria in your gut! Hooray!

So anyway, quick recipe:

-1 cup coconut milk
-2 shots (?) pumpkin espresso
-shake of pumpkin pie seasoning
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 packet stevia

Heat the coconut milk and blend in pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and stevia while your espresso is brewing. Then pour in espresso and give a quick stir! Voila!

The cup was so satisfying and such a treat. Maybe I can do this anti-candida thing? Here’s hoping!