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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Meal Plan! (gluten-free, dairy-free, anti-candida)

Okay, can’t lie: pretty proud of myself for making this! Sometimes I just have major meal-plan brain freeze. It’s a lot of work! Hopefully this will make it easy to eat this week. Honestly, this is food we all really like! But if it’s not planned out, we definitely reach for grains and dairy. Which wouldn’t be so wrong, but I was able to meet with a naturopath dr last week, and she laid it out: I have a yeast infection that won’t go away and my kids and I possibly have some food allergies. I was really scared, but now that I’ve laid it all out I think I can do it.

Here’s to a nutritious week!

recipes can be found here:

CF Dutch Babies
Smoky bacon chili
Pumpkin Muffins 
Roasted veggie frittata
Indian spiced zucchini fritters
Coconut chicken
Italian Meatballs
roasted broccoli/bacon
Gaps, DF pizza
Whipped coconut cream w berries
Coconut milk smoothies
Coconut cereal

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Meal Plan 9.24.12 + Pictures! And The 3 Amigos!

This is a picture of our menu plan this week.20120924-105547.jpgUm, if you can’t tell, this week’s menu plan isn’t quite up to par with one of my first weekly menu plans. Ha!  I ended up with a free moment at a nearby grocery story, but without my planning in place yet, and the last of our cash for this week’s budget. So I got some stuff and hoped it would work out. And if you don’t count the fact that my kids will probably want me to give them some food on Friday and the weekend, it probably should! It’s such a lame menu plan that I won’t bother posting it.

Buttt….. one thing I am still attempting to do for our whole fam is “nourish vs cleanse.” Continue reading


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The honeymoon is over. But married life is good: An update.

Okay I might be reaching a little for that analogy. But right now, I think our whole family is feeling like the gluten-free honeymoon is over.

Here’s the breakdown:

Subject 1: Sophia fully understands what’s going on. We actually have talked about it now, unlike before. And in social situations she’s disappointed she can’t have what everyone else is having. Today in class, it finally hit her, when cheeze-its were on the (literal and proverbial) table: “well if this makes ezra and maybe mama sick, they definitely shouldn’t have it. but why can’t i??” She has handled everything really well despite the disappointment sometimes.

Ezra is in his own little world and can’t conceptualize the whys. To him it’s any other yes or no decision by his parents. All in all he’s pretty happy and I have seen improvement in him. It’s just not as marked, as wildly obvious, as I would have hoped.

Which leads me to the next subjects in our story: me and nathan. We both got really frustrated this week and only somehow managed to talk each other down at one point or another from jumping of the ledge of gluten-free living. By this point, it’s only like 9 more days (i have no idea how many days are in september. you and i might think that writing about it on a blog would be enough motivation for me to look it up, but we would apparently be wrong.) until our little experiment is over.

Oh my goodness. Interruption to this broadcast!!! This is live people. I just asked Nathan how he was feeling re: no gluten for the blog. Totally expecting like a “only 10 more days to go. i’ll probably make it.” (he always knows how many days are in a month.) But here was his exact response: “I feel healthier right now than I have in a long time.”

Wow. That was clearly a big shock for me. It’s like the title- Like the new exciting part has waned, and that is disappointing. But overall I think we’re all just taking away such health and improvement in general. Like honeymoon/marriage. Get it?

Okay over and out. Blessings, peace and life to you!


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Already working?

Okay I don’t know if this possible, and it certainly wasn’t expected, but I think we’re already experiencing some effects of being gluten free on our third day.

E is already having less diapers and related problems and eating better. Meanwhile N and I have had headaches all day? And it hasn’t been for lack of coffee. What else could it be? Is this normal?

I didn’t expect it because this has been a seriously slow, easy transition into gluten free living over the last three days. Easy as in we were eating healthier before we started this. I don’t the point is to cut out one small thing and excess on others. Anyway, I didn’t expect there to be die off or other symptoms so soon the way we’ve been eating. Maybe the gluten was that tough on us? And on n too?

Now the question is: I’ve found out more about this candida business and my ultimate goal here is health. Should I (just I) head down that road, cutting out some other things as well? How could I handle the detox from coffee though?! And chocolate?! It’s so sad!!

It weighing between two valid approaches: the one at a time vs the all or nothing.

Um maybe I’ll sleep on that considering I have some dark chocolate I’d like to eat? :)

Over and out.


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Day 1

It was pretty much a success! Even though we are on our little vaca and didn’t have access to a kitchen and whole foods, we did eat completely gluten free! Although I had this sinking thought after we had gone out of our way and payed more for less pizza that was gluten free: “what if it’s actually a DAIRY allergy?!” Haha- d’oh.

I was a little worried about the hotel breakfast, but they had boiled eggs, plenty of fruit, yogurt and granola (oops!). E actually has an appt in a couple days and if they do any testing he is actually supposed to have gluten in his system. So I don’t know if I’m doing him a service or not at this point. I just knew we had to do something to get healthy.

As I have read about GAPS specifically, but gluten-allergy as well, I have been struck by how many parents have written about aggressive children reportedly getting a lot more control over their little bodies after eliminating the offending food. (like this blog post) E is a pretty great kid but he has been on a hitting rampage for the last several weeks. I respond every time with a time out, or consequence, or time in. Once I even slapped his hand to show him how it felt, wondering if he just had that disconnect two year olds do. (people this is not what we do in our fam! i’m just saying it’s that extreme, like he does.not.respond to anything and just keeps hitting away…) So as an added question I’m wondering if we’ll see any change in this as well? I know it can be a common two year old thing too, so it’s not my main motivation but I’m wondering??

Anyway on another note, we’re staying in a place we lived our first year of marriage and it’s super fun! All the memories… Also it’s much nicer, with things like fire pits, hammocks, and little streams. Also I don’t have to clean the bathrooms this time! :)