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Archive for April, 2010

Two Months Gluten Free

April 25th, 2010

I woke up this morning a little stiff due to some withdrawal symptoms from coming down even further on my dose of Lyrica. I still was able to spend the morning happily creating my breakfasts for the next two weeks. I managed to eat my breakfast before noon this time, with enough left overs to have yummy gluten-free breakfast sandwiches for a while. Sure I miss the convenience of going through the McDonald’s drive-through but I really value my improved health.

I’m still having some health issues, but I have seen dramatic results in just two months. Besides losing 10 pounds, my blood pressure has decreased, a rash I’ve had since I was 13 has almost completely disappeared and my c-section incision has finely healed (after three years). Why my c-section scar always hurt, but now isn’t irritated at all boggles my mind. I’m glad it doesn’t itch anymore and isn’t pink. Any ideas out there why going gluten-free has helped this?

My hubby let me splurge on a new set of Wolf-Gang Puck Stainless Steel Cookware. I absolutely love the set and really enjoyed my breakfast celebration this morning. Going gluten-free takes some getting use to, but I think the end result has made it completely worth it.

I still seem to be having some reactions, but my doctor thinks that I am reacting to chemicals. I’m currently researching Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Fibromyalgia. Over the next month, I will be trying out some green cleaners, like Seventh Generation. I bought some dish soap of theirs this weekend and I love it. I came across a give-away on GF Lifestyle for some more of their products. The deadline for entry is April 26th.

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Stop and Smell the Gluten?

April 21st, 2010

Well I had an appointment with my General Physician yesterday to discuss some allergies and my progress with my new diet. I felt really weak over the weekend, like I just didn’t have the strength to do anything. This is different from the sluggish chronic fatigue feeling I had when I was eating gluten-full foods. I took a gluten-free Iron supplement on Sunday and Monday, resulting in increased energy but constipation. So I dropped the Iron on Tuesday. I discussed possible anemia with my Doc and he said he would run some blood tests.

I did okay yesterday, but felt faint around 4 PM today. This was about fifteen minutes after I went through the shampoo and soap aisle at the local pharmacy, smelling all the wonderful products. I was trying to find a natural soap and some shampoo that was gluten free. The doctor suggested I might have a chemical sensitivity. My skin has been so itchy and dry over the past few years. It has gotten better since I’ve begun to eat organic foods that are gluten-free, but I thought the process might speed up if I found some cleansers that were more sensitive on my skin.

The regular pharmacy didn’t have much to choose from that was low in chemicals, plus gluten-free. I smelled everything, including some Aveeno products, which are a big no-no…I just couldn’t resist picking up the beautiful packages and double checking the ingredients. I decided on some Burt’s Bees Bar Soap, and went to stand in line. That was the point I started feeling faint. I started thinking that maybe I should have taken an Iron supplement today, since I skipped yesterday. When I was pregnant with Corbin (3 Years Ago) I was anemic and my doctor had me take Iron every other day.

After paying I went out to sit in my car, I started coughing and my stomach started cramping up horribly. Tonight I’m having stomach cramps and back pain from smelling soaps? I can’t possibly be that sensitive. Maybe I have a major case of denial, or maybe it is all in my head. I did eat some kettle chips about an hour before shopping without washing my hands first, but normally if it is a problem food I react within a few minutes. My family is threatening to put me in a bubble. Seriously, how am I suppose to cope with this? I just want to feel better. Is that too much to ask?

The doctor said to keep a food journal and note my reactions. Then I need to eliminate foods that are questionable, then add them back in and see how I react. He said allergy testing isn’t really accurate, that it is just good for double checking to see if you really need to avoid something that you don’t want give up forever. My husband said that I could have paid him the $15 copay….he has been telling me to keep a food/health journal for a long time. I think putting me in a bubble may be the way to go.

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Feeling Crumby

April 17th, 2010

Ever since Easter I haven’t been feeling my best, which is a bummer because I was starting to feel so good. I got the stomach flu before Easter, which was viral because my husband was sick 24 hours after me. I think my recovery was especially slow, because I was glutined around the same time.

When I started feeling back to normal, I went to my first holiday dinner gluten free. It was hard not to eat my mom’s homemade rolls, but she went above and beyond to accommodate my new diet. I overindulged in gluten free sweets, with some candy that may be gluten free but has additives that have possibly caused my fibro to flare.

On the way back from West Virginia we stopped at Wendy’s, which is a gluten free friendly fast food chain where I got the casear salad sans croutons. Everything was going great until 15 minutes after eating my salad my throat started to swell up and I started coughing trying to get my breath. The salad dressing was gluten-free but listed anchovies on the ingredients….maybe another food sensitivity? My allergist tested for this a year ago and I had no reactions at all for my skin test! If it wasn’t the anchovies, what was it?

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here in central Indiana, and I have been doing my best to enjoy it, but I am in quite a lot of pain again. Nature is blooming and my nose is dripping, but I don’t have allergies! The funny thing is taking an antihistamine seems to help with what seem to be allergic reactions I am having, but it makes my fibro pain worse. WHY? I’ve been so sick this school year, that I have used up all my sick time and can not get in to see the allergist until school is out for the summer.

Besides the allergies, I am growing more and more concerned about cross contamination exposure to gluten. In Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s book The G-Free Diet, she says that one small crumb of bread can make a gluten-sensitive individual sick for days. I’m surprised by this, but maybe it is true. My husband’s toast crumbs travel and I make my salad on the same counter. When I am packing up my salad for lunch in the morning what if a crumb lands on it? Is this why I am feeling sick?

Hasselbeck also talks about how she is always washing her hands after preparing food for her family that is not gfree. Today my son had a regular hot dog, cheetos, and a cookie for lunch (not his typical food). I had to touch the hot dog bun to throw it away, cut up his hot dog, and help him get his cookie out of a baggie. Then I snacked on a Larabar. Did I make myself sick?

So my goal for this week is to designate a gluten-free counter in my kitchen and keep it spotless! I wash my hands frequently, but sometimes I don’t think about washing my hands again after preparing my son’s food. There is so much to learn with this new way of living, but hopefully it will be worth it.

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Beware of Cooking Sprays

April 16th, 2010

So yeah, I made these yummy brownie chocolate chip cookie bars that are supposed to be gluten-free, but my gut is telling me there is something wrong. What gives?

As I curled up in bed last night with Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s book, The G-Free Diet, I may have come across a partial answer. She spends a great amount of time talking about cross contamination in the kitchen, but she also mentions cooking spray with grain alcohol’s as a possible source of gluten. Did I contaminate my seemingly gfree cookies? I know when I ate a little bite of one tonight I started to swell up like a puffer fish. I’m taking some benydryl and calling it a night.

More research is obviously needed, but more than likely in the future I will probably just end up coating my baking dishes with butter or oil and skip the cooking spray.

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