Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Celiac a no go!!

Did you know Autoimmune Diseases are the leading cause of death in the US? I hate Autoimmune diseases! I wish it was easy to just figure out what one I have. Doctor and I both know I have an autoimmune disease, but which one? I now can rule out Celiac Disease. Although, I am still allergic to Cane sugar, Dairy, Carrots, Cantaloupe, Peanuts, Oregano all being the worst, then gluten, brewers yeast, cabbage, HFCS, lime, grapefruit as well. So, I still have to eat like I have Celiac. Plus with an Autoimmune disease it's important to eat non-inflammatory foods anyway. Blood work has shown for years that my immune system is very low, recent tests show the same. My Blood pressure is low, immune system low, temperature low, blood sugar low and I have a slew of other symptoms that scream autoimmunity. But, to figure out which one? That is the excruciating part! I almost wish it was Celiac because then at least we would know and we could stop the search and just continue treatment. My impatience is growing and this has got to end soon...years and years of this is just so annoying, as I'm sure thousands of people can relate. I'm also wondering if  because of my weak system is why I have big issues with altitude? Makes me so nervous to go camping again in a couple weeks for girls camp as I got really sick just a couple weeks ago from the altitude.

I am hypothyroid, adrenals still off and don't respond well, immunglobulin low low low, prone to hypoglycemia complications if I don't consistently eat for blood sugar stabilization, all the food allergies, etc, all these things causing a million more symptoms. Isn't the body a crazy complicated thing?

Doctor thinks Hashimotos possibly, fibromyalgia, MTHFR (a gene disorder in which the body is unable to process certain amino acids properly which can also lead to other diseases), asked if I've ever been tested for MS, could also be Addison's disease as I still have every single symptom. Could also be more than one disease.

I had more blood work yet again to test the thyroid more thoroughly, test B-12, folate, MTHFR and some other blood panels that I can't remember.

Taking a million pills again including thyroid, low dose naltrexone (given a lot for autoimmunity and immune system), stuff for adrenals, but mostly all other natural supplements and vitamins, plus B-12 injections. I just hate taking pills and injections. But I know being more consistent with them helps me.

I'm just ready to be better, I'm just ready to start treatment, I'm just ready to have energy and feel like I can exercise stronger again!! I'm beyond over this.

Also, still waiting on Mammogram results, feeling hopeful that it's all good though.

So, now that I got my rant over and got out the negative. The only option I have is to concentrate on the positive! :) Thanks for the stress relief blog world! :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

How MY world looks right now.....

I have been struggling so much the last 2 months because I've had to incorporate gluten in my diet. In order to have an accurate Celiac Disease test I have to have gluten in my diet for 4-6 weeks. I've been gluten free for approx. 2 years so I have to have it in my diet for the accurate test. I need to know for sure if it's Celiac Disease or Non- Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS). If it's not one I know it's the other and either way after this test I'll have to avoid it. If it is Celiac my kids will need to be tested (it's genetic), I may not be absorbing nutrients, my gut could be so damaged and that is maybe why I have leaky gut/other food sensitivities. It's a Disease. So, there are many other complications that go along with it. While incorporating gluten back in, everything else that I have been avoiding comes back in.. dairy,, so many other things. Most of the foods with gluten have those things....most, but not all. But, since I feel pretty crappy anyway. While I can eat gluten, in my mind I'm saying I might as well enjoy the cookies, cakes, breads....all things that I miss. This is my last chance! That's what I'm saying in my mind. No matter how horrible it makes me feel, no matter how fatigue, how my brain won't work, how my body aches all the way down to my bones every. single. day of this journey....for that small second it tastes kind of good. And since I have to....I enjoy that small second of it. After that all hell breaks lose and I'm sick...sick for days. I may seem normal on the outside, but I'm slowly dying inside. I'm a complete bummer to my family and kids right now as I have no energy for anything!

Along with all this I also got back the results to my food sensitivity test. So, it just confirms to me some things I've known for a while and also confirms why I'm feeling so horrible during these last 2 months of including all these things back into my diet. I literally can't get out of bed. I want to exercise and I just can't even imagine my body working like that, it's so hard. I can't sleep at night, I can't breathe well, I can't think clearly at all, it takes me so long to think of regular words that I'm trying to say, brain fog anyone?! My stomache hurts, my head hurts, my whole body hurts, I'm retaining water, my whole body feels swollen, I'm depressed. I don't want to eat anymore, but I do for the accurate test, I don't have energy for anything.

Along with all that I have to have a mammogram/ultrasound because of a lump found by me and comfirmed by my doctor. I've just been keeping this all in and I guess today I just had to write it all out because I'm so exhausted and tired of the stress, tired of not feeling well. Writing it all out helps in some way, to relieve alot of what's been going on in my mind. I'm hoping this isn't anything big, I'm hoping it's all good. That its not as bad as it could be, that everything will be ok. It just adds to the stress pile of something else going on with my crazy body right now.

The Results of the Food Sensitivity blood test:

Severe reactions
*Cane Sugar- in everything and other sugars and foods that are derived from cane sugar. This makes complete sense to me as I know how my body has never processed sugar well, even as a kid. That's why I've been avoiding it, it makes me feel completely sick. Not a good thing to be consuming anyway. Now I know there are other things I have to be aware of. Sugar is in everything!
*Carrots- wonder why I've been getting sick worse after snacking on baby carrots. I've avoided them the last couple months because of that reaction. I'm beginning to know my body pretty well. Awesome having this confirmation.
*Cantaloupe- I had no idea. I haven't had cantaloupe in a long time.
*Casein (dairy protein)- another one that doesn't surprise me. Severe severe reactions to dairy. Glad to have it confirmed.

Moderate reactions
*Peanuts- good thing I've been avoiding them.
*Oregano- I had no idea, it's hard to narrow down this type of thing

Mild reactions
*Whey (dairy protein)- so it's not just the casein which makes up 80% of dairy products, it's also the whey. No wonder. Makes complete sense in the ways I have struggled with dairy my whole life.
*Gluten- very interesting. Sugar is in a lot of gluten products, yeast is in a lot of gluten products. Is it a combination of the yeast, the sugar and the gluten or is it because I have Celiac Disease. It will be good to finally know. Either way, I have to avoid it.
*Brewers Yeast- Anything fermented like soy, in a lot of breads, anything with vinegar, in a lot of b-vitamins, probiotics, etc.
*Fructose/High Fructose Corn Syrup- another thing that's in everything and really not a good thing to be eating anyway. Luckily I already have been avoiding it (besides these last 2 crazy months)
*Grapefruit- I had no idea....I don't eat it everyday, but I love it!
*Cabbage- I could care less..haha, but it is good to know as it's usually mixed in other greens.
*Lime- :( I love's a sad, sad, day.

I feel soooo thankful to know alot of these things. It's been a hard hard road trying to figure out on my own. Although, it's awesome to have a lot of them confirmed to me and that I was doing the right thing for my body. It also confirms to me why I've been feeling that much worse the last 2 months because I've been having a combination of all these things that are doing so much harm to my body. And I still have 5 more days of damaging myself for this stupid but important Celiac test! It's a struggle for sure. It literally make me not want to eat anything becuse I feel soooo crappy already and every bite I take I'm just adding fuel to the fire. I'm doing it, knowing very well what it's doing to me. But, also knowing how bad I want an accurate test for just 1 more answer in the fight of my life. wonder my body has been so stressed out and my adrenal glands have been put through the ringer. Hopefully this is just one last step in finally knowing how I can start to feel better! Because I'm soooo ready for that!! I'm in a whirlwind right now and I just want my life back!
So many people struggle in so many different ways so I feel bad complaining about mine. But, it really is a struggle that numbs me so much. I cry, I'm depressed, I don't feel well, I can't just get up and do the things I want to do so bad! I'm allowed to be mad and stressed and cry. And I'm allowed to get it all out there so others know they are not alone in their struggles. Because I know the support and the examples of others who also struggle have surely helped me too.

Next up:
Celiac Test

I guess we will see where I have to go from there.....the results could take me a million different directions. So, I wait, still....not so patiently!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My health journal update

{I like to record my progress for my own journaling so I can keep track}

They say it will take 1 month for every year it took you to get sick to get better. Well, then it still might be a while for me. I definitely have had a lot more good days then bad days lately though. Still the bad days are bad, very fatigue, headaches, blurry vision. I've been able to completely control my hypoglycemia which is awesome. I use to have severe symptoms everyday and not anymore. I do feel more energy than I use to...most days anyway. But, when I start seeing that light at the end of the tunnel I almost immediately get excited to just get back to normal and it just doesn't happen, so then I get a little disappointed. I still have to be very strict in my eating. No eggs, no dairy, no oats, no corn, no gluten, no soy, no peanuts, no rice....{I have been able to have small amounts of white rice which tastes super yummy}, I love brown rice but very hard to digest, no sugar...small amounts of pure maple syrup or honey, {coconut sugar makes me sick}. I can tolerate small amount of beef and pork. I mostly still eat turkey or chicken. I can tolerate small amounts of beans but I don't eat them much at all, although it would be another good protein source since I don't have many options. But, they don't make me feel the greatest so I just stay away for the most part. I really miss eggs a lot, it's very hard to bake gluten free breads and other recipes without them. Plus it's such a great protein and I'm trying to be able to get more protein in my diet because it helps me so much. But, darn eggs make me sooooo sick, nauseous, fatigue, headache...they are the one food that makes me mostly nauseous more than anything else. I'm not on a ton of pills or creams anymore....yay! I just take fish oil, probiotics and repairvit for the healing of my gut. I definitely need to be more consistent, somehow I started slacking off.

I've begun working out again, after a long 9 month break because my body literally couldn't do it.  I started out slowly just doing simple movements, going at my own pace, taking it somewhat easy. I could definitely feel overtime how the energy came a little more and more. I have since started a good lifting regimine and feeling great. After 3 weeks working out 4 days a week plus 3 nights teaching fitness class a week I can see how I might need to not push so body is really tired at this point. Today I'm completely drained. Life stresses are also hard to deal with. Too many stresses on my body with food, exercise, stresses of life and my adrenals get over worked and eventually break down again little by little. It's been a tough week so I can feel it completely crashing my body. I got so excited to exercise and be back to where I was, but I may need to take it a little easier for a bit longer. :( Not what I want to do. Exercising again feels so good to me. I love it! It makes my mood feel good and my body feel strong, until it comes crashing down when too much is put on it.

The most frustrating part of it all is diet. Diet will make or break me. One small taste of anything that I shouldn't have and it's a wrecking ball. I have slacked a little lately having rice chips or flavored rice cakes. But, I know the other ingredients in them are making me sick. I can feel it. I've also had a few kind bars. Not bad bars but the brown rice syrup and other sweeteners in them make me sick. So disappointing, I just need a little something once in a while but even the "not so bad snacks" is bad for me!

Last night I had the worst stomach pain in my right side. It lasted for about 2 hours. Stabbing pain and it hurt to even breath. The pain would sometimes run all the way up to my collar bone on the right side. Crazy pain! Soon I found a comfortable position just lying flat on my back and it went away. Not sure what that was. I've actually had that a couple times before but didn't seem to last that long and I didn't eat anything bad that day. Not sure what it means....gall bladder maybe??

Friday, December 19, 2014

Natural Sugar Alternatives

Refined processed sugar is Bad! It is hard on your body, it's hard on the body to process and break down. Any type of sugar will spike the insulin and set the brain waves going crazy. Keeping your blood sugar stabilized all day is an important part of keeping a healthy body. Most people are constantly spiking the blood sugar and it's going up an down all day.
You definitely want to stay away from white sugar, brown sugar, turbinado sugars and also chemically processed types of additives and sugars like High Fructose Corn Syrup....yikes! Bad, bad, bad...and it's in A LOT of packaged foods. Also Saccharin (Sweet n low), Aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet), Sucralose (Splenda) are very bad fake forms of sugar. They only do harmful things to the body. Read food labels and do not consume anything that has this in it!

Sugar has no nutritional value...and it's addicting. The more you have the more you want! Your body is saying "I'm not getting anything from this food....I need something...give me more!" And so you have more, more, more. It requires more effort to digest and breakdown because it lacks vitamins, minerals and fiber. The body depletes it's owns stores of minerals and enzymes to absorb it properly, causing deficiencies. Studies have shown that sugar is more addicting than drugs. It's scary stuff!!

My body has always had a hard time processing sugar from a young age. My Halloween candy would sit in my room for months. I knew what it would do to me and it was not appealing. But, as we have any amounts of sugar our bodies begin to crave it, no matter how horrible you might feel. Pretty soon it becomes very addicting and it's hard to give up. I have hypoglycemia issues and digestion issues, sugar does bad things to me. After months of no sugar I am now able to have some Natural forms of sugar but only in very small amounts. If I bake healthy treats I can only have 1, maybe takes a lot of self control and can be very difficult becaue that 1st taste of sugar is very hard to control not going for a second taste.

Natural Alternatives to sugar that are unrefined and unprocessed:

Raw Honey- also has some antioxidants and health benenfits. Raw, unproccessed, unfiltered honey is best. Buy it local if possible. It's full of vitamins and minearls.

Pure Maple syrup or maple sugar- maple syrup and granulated maple sugar are made from the sap that comes from maple trees. The granulated form works great as a cup for cup replacement for white sugar and the flavor won't over power a recipe.

Coconut palm sugar- made from the sap of the coconut tree. The taste is similar to brown sugar with a hint of molasses. Sometimes just called coconut sugar or palm sugar. Palm sugar is made from the sap of various palm trees. Use this in recipes that you want to give a warm brown sugar flavor. coconut sugar does not add as much moisture as white sugar; so you may need to add a little extra liquid to balance your recipes for baked goods.

Use these natural forms of sugar in baking, added to smoothies, etc.

Stevia and Xylitol are ok, but not the greatist, still more processed than more natural forms. Use more sparingly than the other natural forms.

Even natural forms of sugar should be used in moderation. Any form of sugar will still spike your insulin and any sugar isn't good in large amounts and like I said...the more you have the more your body will crave it over and over and over!!  The best thing would be to not have any added sugars at all if you cannot control yourself. But, processed, refined sugars especially should not be used EVER! The less sugar you have Fruit and food will start to become sweeter, your taste buds will change and your body will thank you!! Giving up sugar alone will do amazing things for your health. Added sugars (among many other harmful things) are in most processed and packaged your labels and start eating more whole food sources....Just eat real food! :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Simple and Creative Christmas Gift ideas {FREE printable tags}

Friends, Neighbors, Teachers, Coaches, Grandma's, Grandpa's, visiting teachers....there are so many gifts to give for the Holidays. Giving feels so great! But, sometimes coming up with simple and cute ideas that don't break the bank can be difficult.  Here is a round up of some of my ideas that we will be giving this year......

Tin or fun Holiday container filled with Hershey's hugs and kisses. Use tissue paper or crinkle paper as a filler then add a variety of the Hershey's. 

Fill a cute holiday bag with kisses and chapstick or lip gloss!! Fun friend gift idea! Use the same Hugs and Kisses tag from above or say "Merry Kiss-mas!" :)

or for Boys you could fill a Christmas treat bag with any type of treat and say, "Thanks for being a SWEET Friend" (or teacher, etc) HERE is some printable ideas. 

Nuts!!! These are Holiday Cocoa Amonds. It would be great to make homemade candied nuts too. 
The tag says "We are NUT'S about you!" {printable tag in link}
 You could even say "Merry Christmas from your NUTTY Neighbors!" :)

Christmas Towel/Oven Mit- 
The tag reads:
"This kitchen towel is given with love and with the hope you will do good works of goodness with it as the Savior did so many years ago. May the absorbing spirit of the season blot our problems, soak up sorrows, wipe away difficulties, and may your holidays be shining and bright!"

What Soccer coach wouldn't love a box of Whoppers? :) The tag says:
"You're a Whopper of a Coach!"
Printable tag HERE

I love soft Socks and Lotion! Especially Perfectly Posh lotion ;)

Wrap up in a Holiday bag, add a cute tag or saying. Easy Peasy! :)

You could do a combination or socks, lotion, nail polish...etc. So fun for girls of all ages. :)

HERE you will find cute idea tags "For your MISTLETOES" or "Wishing you warm and cozy mistletoes all winter long" and other simple gift ideas!


I hope you enjoy my ideas and have a fun season of giving! I hope we can give all year long!

Have a very Merry Christmas!!
Remember the reason for the season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Pie {Gluten free & Dairy free}

Chocolate Crust directions:

1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
2 TBS coconut oil or unsalted butter
1 egg or egg replacement 
(EnerG egg replacer or mix 1 TBS chia seeds or ground chia seeds with 3 TBS water, let sit for about 5 minutes until it gels up, flaxseed and water works ok too) 

2 TBS milk of your choice (I use unsweeted almond or coconut milk)
1/2 cup dark chocolate (I use "enjoy life" dark chocolate chips- nut free, soy free, gluten free, dairy free)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 9 inch pie pan or tart dish. Mix almond flour and cocoa in a bowl. Add the coconut oil/butter and work it into the mixture with a fork until there are no more clumps. Add the egg (or egg replacement prepared) and mix everything together well. Then press this mixture evenly onto the bottom only of the pan. Pierce all over with a fork and Bake on a cookie sheet for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a rack.

While it is cooling, slowly melt the chocolate and 2 TBS milk in a sauce pan on the stove. Stir constantly until creamy and smooth. Then, spread melted chocolate over the prepared crust across the bottom. Put into the freezer for 10-15 minutes while preparing the filling.

For the Filling:

1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
2/3-3/4 cup coconut sugar or maple sugar (more or less depending on the sweetness you prefer)
2 tsp pumpkin spice
2 TBS arrowroot, tapioca flour or gluten free cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup canned coconut milk (Native Forest brand is what I use)

*3/4-1 cup dark chocolate chips ("Enjoy Life" brand) to make the drizzle for the top. 

Measure and mix (by hand or standard mixer) the filling ingredients: Pumpkin, coconut sugar, pumpkin spice, arrowroot, baking soda, sea salt and coconut milk. Mix well and then pour over the top of the chocolate bottomed crust, smooth and bake for 50 minutes on cookie sheet. (325 degrees). Allow to cool. 

*If you'd like the drizzle on top- Slowly melt the chocolate and 2-5 TBS almond or coconut milk, stirring constantly until melted and thin enough to drizzle all over. 

Refrigerate pie atleast 1 hour before serving. 

So yummy! 

Hot Chocolate Pudding Pie {Gluten Free/Dairy Free}

Sorry, I didn't make it look that pretty but it really is delicious!!! :)

For the sweet coconut crust:
(or try Pillsbury copy cat Gluten free regular pie crust)

3/4 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 TBS honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine almond flour, salt, coconut. In another bowl combine coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry and thourougly stir together. I actually usually just add all ingredients into a food processor or blender. (my husband doesn't love coconut and blending it all together ensures there are no chunky pieces of coconut. :))
Once mixed, press the dough into a 9 1/2 inch pie pan on the bottom and sides and bake for 7-12 minutes until golden. Set aside and let cool.

For the filling:

1 16 oz can full fat coconut milk (I like the Native Forest Brand, BPA free and organic, I can find it at my local Smiths/kroger. It's at most health food stores and also amazon)
3 tsp Gelatin (Great Lakes Gelatin, use the red label for gelling things, green label for smoothies)
1/4 cup hot water
3 TBS Cocoa powder
6 TBS raw honey or pure maple syrup
2 TBS vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

In a small sauce pan, heat the coconut milk until warm, about 3 minutes. Turn off the stove but keep pan on warm burner. 
In a small bowl dissolve the gelatin in the hot water, whisk until dissolved. 
Add in the gelatin mixture to the coconut milk and whisk together. Add in the remaining ingredients and whisk until fully combined. 

Pour filling into prepared pie crust and chill in fridge overnight or at least for a few hours. 

Yummy Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined sugar free pudding pie!! 


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