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.