Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Paleo Leap

For three weeks, I am on a diet for those with autoimmune disease.  This diet, The Paleo Leap, will help me to determine which foods are causing my symptoms and making my life miserable.  After three weeks, I will slowly add back in the foods that I love, such as eggs and tomatoes.  I will have a negative reaction if it is a no no.
You can find information about eating Paleo at  This however, does not include the instructions for the diet I am on.
I cannot eat:
nightshades, which includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, chilis and all peppers.
nuts and seeds

Yes, it is a lot of work, but so worth the effort.  Since you are limited by what you can eat, you need to make the best of what you can.  The diet recommends the Breakfast Scramble for breakfast each morning.  Well, when I think of scramble, I think of eggs with all kinds of good things added.
You cook some ground meat, beef, pork, veal, lamb, turkey or chicken with vegetables and spices.
We have learned to really love these scrambles.

I keep a good supply of chopped carrots, onions and celery as well as bamboo shoots and water chestnuts in plastic containers that we get at Cash and Carry.

I start by sauteing the veges in olive oil until tender.  My basic three are onions, carrots, and celery.  Then I  brown the meat.  The recipe calls for 3 ounces of meat per serving.
Then, I add mushrooms and greens.  As many as I want.
I have found that Italian Seasoning makes this a very flavorful dish.  Today I also used celery seed

This dish included spinach and arugula.

Served up with some fresh fruit, who could ask for a tastier start to their day?  There are usually leftovers, which I will store in the plastic deli containers, are make a soup from.
My husband is supporting me all the way on this endeavor, following the diet along with me and even taking the supplements that my ND has prescribed.  So far, 10 days into the diet, we have each lost 7 pounds.

On the Road Again

We recently hit the road again with a trip to Oregon.
It's been a family tradition for DH's family to celebrate Christmas at Thanksgiving each year.
His Mom passed away in February, and the family did not want to travel to Brookings again this year.
Since everyone else lives in Redmond, Or., that is where the celebration took place.
We had to schedule our trip before the mountain passes got dicey, and we were on the run from the ice and snow the entire trip.
This is Mt. Hood in all her glory.  Crossing the pass was quite exciting since the wind was really blowing.  Branches were hitting the car and there were downed trees along the way.
In Welches, we stopped at the Whistlestop Pub for lunch.  They were fixing their gas fireplace, and someone was felling a tree out near the parking lot.  The manager came over to apologize for the noise and confusion, and once she saw Terry wearing his Navy hat, it being Veterans Day, she asked if she could give us a discount on our lunch.  Uh, yes, of course!!

It really was gratifying to be with Terry as so many people approached and thanked him for serving, or just smiled and waved at him.  We really do live in a good country full of Patriots.

The best part about traveling off-season, and during the week, is there is no traffic.  Here is the long open road.
We spent the first night in Redmond, Or. with Terry's sister.  We had dinner with her kids and grandkids, and had our gift exchange.

This is the sign that Terry's niece, Megan, made for us.  She has started her own business making wooden crafts.  Taylor Mango.
The next morning, we awoke to 10 degrees and the threat of snow.  We high tailed it out of there and headed south to Brookings.
Brookings is on the coast of Oregon, just 5 miles from California, and quite mild.  There, we visited with Terry's step dad and picked up the items Terry's Mom had left him.
A trip to Brookings would not be complete without my collecting a big bag of red beach rocks for my yard.  I have been collecting these for over a year, and will eventually surround my studio with them.
So, the weather turned stormy, and there were threats of ice storms and snow in Portland that night, so we had to hit the road again.  Further north in Redmond, they had 18 inches of snow, so we were very glad we had left when we did.
We drove through the redwoods on our way back north, and stopped for a hike at the Rogue Gorge.
This is a magical place, and the beginning of the mighty Rogue River.

We made it through Portland before the snow hit, and were so happy to be home.  We had been gone for 66 hours, and were in the car for 23 of those.  It was a good time, but not one I want to repeat soon.  Next spring we will go to Brookings again and join Terry's sister as we help their step dad get his yard in shape and do some maintenance on the home.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Incredible Journey

Quite honestly, this is a rant.  I am furious.
I think I have suffered from low thyroid for 24 years.
Unfortunately, your traditional doctor doesn't look at the numbers the same way that a Naturopathic doctor does.  I don't want to go through my long history of symptoms, but they are numerous.  When I go to see my doctor, there is a sign that says she can only address one complaint at a time.
This year, I finally had insurance, thanks to Obamacare, and I started going every 2 weeks.  The worst symptom, which came on in March, is edema throughout my body.   My abdomen looked like that of a pregnant woman in her 8th month.  The pressure on my lungs and ribs was extreme, making breathing difficult.  It was very uncomfortable and even painful.  Finally, a trip to the ER resulted eventually in a diagnosis of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  This is an autoimmune disease which results when you are not property treated for low thyroid.  If left untreated, it can result in death due to the edema putting pressure on the heart and lungs.  I am convinced this is what my mother died of.  I thought of her constantly as I watched my own decline.

So, I found an incredible Naturopathic doctor who specializes in Thyroid.  She has me on a plan and says there will be a 6-8 week recovery.  She said she was sorry, that seems like a long time, and I said, are you kidding?  After 4 years of trying to get a doctor to listen to me, this seems like a Christmas present!

I was talking to another woman one day who had a similar story.  It took her about 4 years to get a doctor to prescribe thyroid meds.  She had waited two months for an appointment with an endocrinologist.  During her appointment, while she was describing her symptoms, he says to her:
"You know, I am really busy.  You are lucky to be here"
She was shocked.  And, she walked out.
This is what happens to so many of us.
So, enough of that.

Here is a picture of all of the supplements I am taking.  I have low adrenal function, my hormones are all messed up and I cannot control my body temperature, and my mineral and vitamin levels are extremely low.  Oh, yeah, I'm also losing my hair.

One of the things that goes wrong with an autoimmune disease is the inability to absorb nutrients in the digestive tract.  This makes a gluten free diet very important.  Through testing, I also found out I am sensitive to dairy and some fruits.  (pineapple and bananas).
On Sunday, I started the Paleo Leap Diet.  I only have to do this for three weeks, and can then start adding back in foods that are normally allowed to see what my reactions are.

The foods that I cannot consume for three weeks are:
Nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and any spices from peppers)
Nuts and seeds

You might say, what can you eat?  Well, a friend taught me to concentrate on what I CAN eat.  Make a list, and you will be amazed.

Last night I made crab cakes with no crumb filler, no egg, no mayonnaise, and no panko crumbs for coating.  They were delicious!!
I think next time I will make a sauce with some orange juice.
Of course, I have become quite a good cook the past year, and working with gluten and dairy free, I've had a bit of an indoctrination.

I will be blogging about my healing and my cooking for awhile.  More and more people are coming to realize the impact of gluten on their bodies, and I will be sharing recipes that have been successful for me.  So far, I can't seem to make a decent pie crust.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Oh Canada!!

 Welcome to Super Natural British Columbia.  What an appropriate brand for this land!
I lived just 5 miles from Canada when I was on the farm, but only visited BC twice.  This vacation was to Nanoose Bay on the East Coast of Vancouver Island.
The shot above is taken from the ferry as we leave Horseshoe Bay, heading for Nanaimo.  I was spellbound by the beauty.
 We stayed at Pacific Shores, which has two buildings owned by the Time Share conpany I have ownership in.  We were located on the second floor, down at the very end of the resort, and the peace and quiet was complete.
 Here is Terry standing in the living room.  It didn't take us long to move the chairs so they faced out the window, where we would sit and watch the changing tide.
 Above is the view from our window.  You can see the reflection of my Cougars windbreaker.  Craig Creek empties out into the bay here, so we could watch the changing tides and the coming and goings of the wildlife.
This is the beach around the point from our unit.  The geology was intriguing, much of the rock is granite covered by lava.  Oysters grow everywhere.
 The first day we walked through the adjoining Provicial Park.  We wound up on the opposite side of the creek from out condo.
There is our building on the end.  Couldn't have a better location.
We drove into Qualicum Beach for lunch, and ate at the Shady Rest Pub right on the water. 
Canadians like gravy on their french fries, so of course we had to try that.  Here in Seattle, everyone gets tartar sauce for their fries.  The gravy was good, sometimes.  It all depends on how good the gravy was.
After lunch, we went back to the resort and walked the beach.
There are miles and miles of public beaches on Vancouver Island.  Any development, such as condos or hotels, are clustered in towns.  There are no McMansions built on the waterfront.  I wish Seattle had had that vision years ago.  Public beaches are hard to find and always crowded.
However, this is definitely vacation land.  It's now off season, and many of the businesses close for the winter.

It was a wonderful time for me, but I still don't have a treatment plan for the Hashimoto's disease.  10 days ago I had 7 tubes of blood drawn and am waiting for those results.  Once my doctor reviews those, and I hope it is tomorrow, I will go on medications and supplements.  I have gained and lost 20 pounds this year, and I know I have at least 20 pounds of edema on me now.  It is extremely uncomfortable, and painful.  At least taking sellenium and Iodine has helped my energy levels, and I was able to walk and hike several miles each day.
I will be posting more pictures of my trip, and some stories, too, in the upcoming week.
Stay tuned for more Natural Beauty.  Vancouver Island, not me.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Maiden Voyage of the Minnow or Adventures on the High Seas

 Yesterday, we took our little boat out for the first time.  We bought it last year at a garage sale, but it's taken DH all this time to get the motor running, get a trailer, license it and put the tabs on.  You can see, it is only 9 feet long, so I started calling it the Minnow.
 We launched it by Boeing Field at the south end of Lake Washington.  With the motor running full out, we might go 8mph.  First we trolled for cutthroat.  I was enjoying myself so much.  It was a warm day, though a bit overcast.  The scenery was spectacular.
 The company was the best.
 When we got to our destination, we changed to fishing for perch.  Terry calls this my Barbie Doll rod.  I caught the first fish.
And the second. 
He caught one.
And I caught two more.
 This is the VMAC, or The Seahawks Training Facility.  We had heard this was a good spot for perch.
 My first catch.  All the fish were thrown back.  We didn't get any of size.  And, the wind kept blowing us off our hole.  We decided to head back and troll for cutthroat on the way.  Well, the lake had gotten quite choppy and we started taking on water.  I had to skooch back almost into Terry's lap to keep the water from coming over the bow.  Pretty soon, Terry informed me the water was up to his ankles.  I was too busy hanging on to notice.
 At this point, we ran out of gas.  Sigh.  Fortunately, Terry had brought along the electric trolling motor, which he hooked up.  We made it to the launch site going about 3mph.
I was soaked from head to feet.
It was a delightful day.  I had so much fun.  But, we had to face reality and admit that the Minnow is not enough boat for us.  We need something bigger.  (One with room for a porta potty would be good)
A bigger gas can would help, but there is not much room for one.
Oh, well.  At least now I know I love the adventure of fishing.  I don't care if I catch anything.  It was just too much fun.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Finally, an Answer

Sorry, I've been gone again, sick again.  It culminated with another trip to the ER, which I am not going to tell you about.  However, this was the third in three years.  I think I have spent close to $45,000 out of pocket in these three years, trying to get an answer to what is wrong with me.  Glory Be, I got a great doc in the ER who said "I think this could be Thyroid related".  I've been taking a low dose of thyroid med for three years, but have never felt better for it.  So, this episode prompted my doctor to run a full panel of thyroid related tests, and sure enough, I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  It's more than low thyroid.  My body has developed antibodies that are attacking the thyroid and killing it.  The thyroid is essential to all the body's systems, and I have been deteriorating for years.  I got so tired of the rolled eyes and the band aids.
So, I put a word out on Facebook asking for support, and a friend from Nooksack wrote and recommended a Naturalistic Doctor who specializes in thyroids.  Wow, I met with her for an entire hour!  I will start on Selenium and Iodine as soon as my supplements arrive in the mail.  I am being tested for food sensitivities, a test that is much more in depth than the testing the allergist did two years ago.  The doctor works like a detective and has requested all of my past blood tests and medication records.  Once she has all of that together, she will have a plan for me.  The best part of our conversation was when she said "You should not have to feel like this, Linda.  I will help you."
So now, my patience is wearing thin.  I want to be better NOW.  But, I have to wait for all of the tests to come in, and then the plan.  I'm pretty sure a Gluten Free diet will be part of it, so there's a new journey.
I just hope I have my plan before I leave for vacation the end of this month.  We will be spending a week at Pacific Shores on Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.  So looking forward to it.  I
am hoping the Sellenium will help my energy levels.  The doctor said I will feel profoundly better after starting that.  I plan to do a lot of hiking.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Do The Puyallup

 Thursday was a chaotic day, and our plans for spending part of it at the Puyallup Fair went a bit haywire.

First of all Terry got a chance to go fishing, and what man would turn that down?
Secondly, but not less important, the electrician came out and wired my studio!!!  Bliss.  I can hardly wait to get my shelves and counter built.  I'm not going to put drywall in, I'm going to cover the walls with quilts and burlap.  Lots of work ahead for me there.

Then, traffic was horrible getting to the fair, but that is to be expected.  We barely had time to grab something to eat before getting to the concert, where we saw Grassroots, the Buckinghams and Herman's Hermits.

Peter Noone is quite the entertainer.  He is so funny!  And his voice is the same as it was "20 years ago" as he puts it.  Hmmmm, more like 40 plus.  He says his mum is Elton John and his
Dad is Mick Jagger.  He did a wonderful impersonation of Mick, but the best one was when he sang Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash.  Right on.  Then of course, he performed all of the songs Herman's Hermits did.  Everyone sang along.  I was amazed that I remembered the words to every song.  Tells you how we sang them all over and over and over again in our youth.
I woke up Friday morning singing "woke up this mornin' feeling fine, felt something special on my mind, , , , ,"

Last year, someone had the brilliant idea of changing the name of the Puyallup Fair to The Washington State Fair.  I don't know why.  Could it be that Puyallup is too hard to pronounce? 
Let me give you a lesson.  Using your phonics skills, sound this out:
I miss the commercials.  The fair runs for three weeks every September, and these ads have been with me my entire life.  You no longer hear them, and it is sad.
Go to this Youtube video to see the add.  You can tell how long it's been used.

                                                                            The Puyallup