Archive | September, 2010

Week 3 Report

29 Sep

HOW I’M FEELING:

  • Physically: Exhausted. The last few days have been less busy work-wise and I have had the opportunity to go to bed earlier and sleep in. And I am taking full advantage! But, I am questioning why I am sleeping 10-12 hours?! This had gotten me a bit down and I was wondering, WTF(?!) – but yesterday, one of my oh-so-smart clients (who changed her diet in this same way about a year and a half ago, and has had many positive results, including the disappearance of an auto-immune thing) asked me how I was feeling. “Pretty crappy – and I’m kind of bitter about it”. “Oh, don’t worry” she said, “You’re just detoxing, you’ll feel worse for a while and then you’ll feel awesome”! I am looking forward to this promised awesomeness.
  • Emotionally: About the same as last week. Still feeling strong, positive and excited about this whole thing. Having fun trying new recipes etc.

GI SYMPTOMS:

  • So great! ‘Nuff said.

MENSTRUAL STUFF:

  • Not applicable at this time, try me in two weeks.

WEIGHT:

  • Gained a pound this week – I think it was the cashew “cheesecake”. And the chocolate sauce. And the wine.

CONFESSIONS:

  • Ian and I picked up a new bag of GF chips – ‘chipotle and cheddar’ flavour. We were about halfway through the bag when I clued in, “cheddar?!” I checked out the ingredient list and sure enough, it had dairy products. They were really super tasty – so I kept eating….

SUCCESSES:

  • Um, I cleaned out the fridge and went to the gym 3 times. But that’s not what you’re looking for, is it? Really, the whole week was a success as I stuck to this thing – despite the ever-present desire for Chicago Style Pizza.

Poisoned!

27 Sep

So, back in the summer I bought myself a fancy pressure canner. It’s awesome. You see, you need a pressure canner to can low acid foods like veggies because a water bath canner doesn’t get to high enough temperatures to kill off things like, oh, botulism. I really wanted a pressure canner so I could start canning my own beans (kidney, black etc). You see, we eat a lot of those and not only was it expensive, but I also worry about the crap lining the cans and what things I’m ingesting because of it. Especially the cheap cans. And the tomatoes. However, tomatoes have almost enough acid in them that you can simply add a bit of lemon juice and can them in a water bath – no problem! Beans however, are death in a jar unless you do it right. And I’m just not prepared enough to always be soaking my beans in advance of when I think I’ll need them. It’s really nice to open a can and have your legumes ready to go!

Shortly after getting the pressure canner, I took it for a spin and canned myself some lentils. It was pretty easy. Soak them overnight, cook them up, throw them in the jars and pop them in the canner. 75 mins at 11 psi of pressure later and I had six jars of ready to eat lentils. And this past weekend, I thought I’d do up some other stuff – kidney beans, black beans and chickpeas.

I soaked my beans overnight (ok, maybe a day and a half because I got caught at a birth – sprouted beans are healthy too!). Then I popped them in jars, into the canner and…..they didn’t all seal. Anyone who knows anything about canning, knows that if they don’t seal you have to use them up right away, so into the fridge they went. I had three jars leftover, so the next day Ian made a vegetarian chili. And the day after that I made my Speedy Lentil and Bean Casserole. All seemed to be going well, until it was time to eat the casserole, and then something just seemed off.

Now, let me be clear. At this point I knew the beans were getting close – so I took a good hard sniff before using them – they looked and smelled FINE. Whipped up the casserole, threw on some vegan cheese* and into the oven. It was the casserole I know and love. Except when I took a bite, it tasted funny. I thought it was just me, so I ate another few bites. Still funny. Checked in with Ian who said it was fine. [And really, I should  know better, this man eats anything and does occasionally poison himself as a result – but, like my dog, he has a cast iron stomach. I shouldn’t trust him when he says something is ‘fine’]. Started wondering if it was maybe the cheese – just a litte different than what I’m used to. I ate another bite or two but couldn’t shake that funky taste – so I gave it to Ian and he polished it off.

Fast forward to the next day and my suspicions were confirmed – something was so not right with those beans. Ugh! My poor, poor guts……I don’t think the problem was with the canning process itself. I think rather, the problem stemmed from the length of time the beans had been ‘in waiting’. Note to self: Only can when you’re off call and use the unsealed ones that day or not at all.

Oh and not surprisingly, when I checked in with Ian about how he was feeling, he told me he was ‘fine’.

*Please stay tuned for a future post on the awesomest vegan cheese ever.

Cravings….

24 Sep

Craving a stuffed (deep dish) pepperoni pizza from here.

Or a spinach and feta omelette. Or a cheeseburger.

*sigh*

Week 2 Report

20 Sep

Reflecting back over the two weeks I’ve been doing this, I felt it would be helpful if I started doing a weekly report. So, every Monday I will focus on writing about the same categories of things – you know, to see if things are improving, deteriorating, or staying the same. I posted these ‘categories’ in a previous post but if there’s something that’s missing, something you’d love to know about, please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate!

HOW I’M FEELING:

  • Physically: I’ve been feeling pretty good so far. I can’t say I’ve noticed a ton of extra energy or anything like that but maybe I don’t feel quite so run down? It’s been hard to say ’cause it’s been a busy couple of weeks at work – lots of babies, lots of visits, lots of late nights. Working 12+hour days is going to make anyone tired! On second thought, maybe I am doing well because I’m working these long days and not feeling totally dead by the end of the day.
  • Emotionally: I am so super thankful at how well this transition has gone. I am not missing one little thing. I am feeling very positive about the whole thing. Also very hopeful that I will see a decrease in symptoms from thyroid stuff, endo stuff, bowel stuff and other stuff. Is this still the novelty of the thing? I don’t know….but I sort of feel like I did when I quit smoking. It was just so easy and I never looked back. Even a short time later, it felt like I had never been a smoker in my life. This GFV thing is sort of feeling the same way….kind of like it’s just always been this way….

GI SYMPTOMS:

  • Well, there was some stuff going on related to my period, but it was certainly not as severe as it has been in the past. Over the last couple of days, things have actually been quite good. Not 100%, but better than it has been in a while.

MENSTRUAL STUFF:

  • My period was essentially the same, just less. But, it had only been a short time that I had been eating differently. I’m keen to see what happens next time around.

WEIGHT:

  • Down 3 pounds since starting. Not bad!

CONFESSIONS:

  • I have knowingly and repeatedly eaten non-vegan chocolate. Partly because it’s in the house and I don’t want it sitting here for 3 months and then throwing it out. Partly because it’s just so damn tasty and I can’t help myself. It’s good dark chocolate though, so it’s good for me – right?

SUCCESSES:

  • This past week I watched my husband and friends eat some very tasty looking/smelling homemade apple pie. I was tempted to eat just the apple filling, but most of that stuff also has flour in it too. So I stuck to my non-dairy peach ‘ice cream’ made in the vitamix – and maybe some chocolate!
  • At an early morning birth yesterday I turned down some seemingly fantastic coffee. But I did have a glass of champagne with the family once babe was out! 🙂

Lucky Number 13

18 Sep

Day 13 over here and still going strong. I have to say that I am starting to notice little glimpses of feeling better here and there. Nothing specific really, just an overall sense of wellness and, apart from the previously mentioned expected monthly issues, my guts are feeling good too!

Last night we made this FANTASTIC potato and pea curry from my gluten free vegan cookbook. It had onions, garlic, potatoes, peas, cashews, and a whole whack of spices. It was super fast and super easy. And it cleared our cupboard of potatoes and our freezer of this bag of frozen peas that have been there since who knows when. So big points all around! I would love to share the recipe, but I’m sure that’s an infringement of some sort. So, you’ll either have to go buy the book or be a real-life friend so I can just lend you the book! 🙂

But this morning, oh this morning – I created a smoothie like no other. It is truly heaven in a glass. It was inspired by several other recipes I have found, but it was all my own creation. So with great pleasure, I present:

THE GREEN-A COLADA

  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple
  • 1/2 an Orange
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp Flax Oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp Flax seed (another plus for the vitamix – no pre-grinding my flax seeds)
  • 1 scoop Vega Smoothie Infusion
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1-2 cups of Fresh Kale leaves – removed from the stem
  • I also add some Vitamin D drops (2000IU) and a liquid multi-vitamin supp from my ND

Throw it all in the vitamix and blend it up – it tastes just like a Pina Colada! And the kale give it a lovely mint green colour while also packing it full of kale-y nutritional goodness….pure liquid bliss.

I heart my Vitamix…and more

16 Sep

Since getting my Vitamix three days ago I have used it at least twice a day – and it really is all it’s cracked up to be. I have made some very tasty (and healthy) smoothies for breakfast (lunch and dinner). And we have also tried out the soup feature which is AWESOME. The first night I got it I threw in some broth, tomatoes, avocado, half a lime, some garlic, cilantro, black beans and corn. Fired it up and 6 minutes later we had steamy hot avocado and black bean soup. So tasty and even a little bit healthy!

We tried soup again the next night, but we didn’t have all the ingredients we needed so it didn’t turn out so well – but let me be clear: this was OUR fault, not the fault of dear old VM. Instead, I had a smoothie for dinner! My friend Nat was trying to tell me that I can’t just live on a liquid diet, but I don’t see why not. She probably thinks that ’cause she hasn’t used VM for herself or tasted the love that it pours forth!

In other news, how am I feeling?

All in all, I’m feeling well. The last few days have been a bit funky because I got my period and that usually wreaks no end of havoc on my system. All symptoms were present and accounted for, but not as severe as they have been in the past. I’m still feeling a bit bloated but things are on the upswing.

Energy wise, I’m feeling alright – though it’s tough to say exactly because I’ve been busy busy busy. Lots of babies and the requisite assessments and visits that go with them.

To date, no known cheats – though there was one incident where the corn chips I was eating actually did contain some wheat (I guess that’ll teach me to read labels before I stuff something in my mouth).

What am I missing? Nothing. Seriously and truly, this has been pretty easy so far. For that I’m thankful.

Appointments: I had the follow up to get my MRI results last week which were (unfortunately) everything I expected and more. I’m not keen to go into too much detail just yet but the shitty news is certainly giving me great inspiration to keep at this diet and do it well. Other than that, no decisions are being made just yet – I am just in the process of information gathering. This week I saw my naturopath, my family doc and an endocrinologist. In a couple of weeks I see a gyne specialist. Then back to my GP and potentially off to another specialist for a second opinion as needed.

Can I just say though, you know I’m with the right family doc when she says to me “I think surgery is a bit drastic, maybe lets just stick to these dietary changes to reduce all this inflammation and see if your body can’t heal itself”.

I heart her too.

A Successful Week

14 Sep

It’s been just over a week and nary a morsel of gluten nor animal product has passed my lips. Yay me! Only 12 more weeks to go.

Oh, and I celebrated my first week by ordering a VITAMIX – it arrived this morning and I am already in love love love! I was up at a birth all night, so when the knock on the door woke me up, my first thought was “go away, I’m sleeping”. I was just about to drift back to sleep when the vitamix-obsessed part of my brain yelled “it’s here – go get it”! So, out of bed I flew, jammies, sleep mask and all, and ran to the door – poor delivery guy! I happily signed for the order and took it back to bed with me – we snuggled for awhile, getting to know each other for a little bit and then I put him to work – and he made me the most wonderful, velvety green smoothie ever….*contented sigh* I’m sure there will be many happy moments between us.

The rest of the week was fine – had one brief temptation on Saturday night. We had tried to have a neighbourhood BBQ (to which only 4 of the 10 confirmed guests showed up) – I had bean burgers and Karina’s awesome dairy free potato salad. Later we went to a friend’s house to play a game and drink some wine – and then he pulled out the candied salmon….mean trick! Even the wine wouldn’t let me fall off the wagon though, and I not-so happily watched the others enjoy their tasty treat.

That’s ok though, ’cause now I have a vitamix!!