7 days: check!

So today is day 7 of my 21 Day Sugar Detox. I must say, it is going remarkably well. I have almost zero cravings for sugar, and do my best not to dwell on the fact that I’m “on a detox”, but rather that I’m just doing this “thing” I mentioned in my last post. Also, not being on Instagram for the last week has definitely helped! Today I had my first piece of fruit too, a green apple. I hadn’t craved fruit until tonight. However, after eating the apple my belly got all itchy, which is a Candida symptom! Still waiting for those results… I have noticed that without fruit, I’ve been eating far FAR more nuts and seeds. Probably too much because I’ve been feeling gassy. My goal this week is to have only 1 serving of nuts a day, no more than a 1/4 cup or handful. It’s such an easy go-to snack, but I need to eat less. Oh, and I found organic Kefir at Whole Foods. It’s good! Tastes like my mom’s homemade greek yogurt, which is ballin’.

I’m ready for the next 14 days.

Also, I’ve decided (no promises though) that if I add on 7 days I will end up doing a whole30. We’ll see…



It’s just a ‘thing’ I’m doing…

My 21dsd starts tomorrow! I’m doing level 2, because I eat greek yogurt for it’s plethora of probiotics and gut healing properties. I’ve never tried Kefir, and I know it’s allowed on level 2… maybe I’ll try and find it for my 3 week journey. Honestly, I’m always horrible at these detox/whole30 things. Confession time: I never complete them. It’s really pathetic, I know. I always self-sabotage my efforts. But I not only want to detox from all sugar, I NEED TO. It is such a crutch for me, and I depend on it emotionally too much. The nostalgia of Paleo treats is too much these days. Yes, they’re Paleo, but cookies are cookies and I need to control myself. Also, I feel so so so much better without fruit. I physically heal- I’m killing off what I’m pretty sure are yeasty beastys in my belly.

My biggest struggle is feeling like I’m deprived. My game plan this time around is to NOT think about my detox. Just live each day eating, studying, and hanging out with friends, but fruit and Paleo approved sugars/treats just don’t happen to make an appearance. If I constantly think about being on a detox, all I’ll want to do is cheat and think about what I can’t eat. As my mom said, “It’s just a ‘thing’ you’re doing for 3 weeks”. And she’s right. It’s not a diet and nothing special- just an altered way of eating for a brief period of time. 

I know this 1st week is going to be insanely hard, because of withdrawals and emotional eating, but I just got to take it day by day and hour by hour. If I have cravings I’ll go to sleep or talk on the phone. Or just leave the house and take a walk. 

I will also do my absolute best not to go on Instagram unless I’m posting something, because I follow a lot of Paleo accounts who post incredibly yummy food, which just makes me drool and creates unneeded feelings of deprivation.

If you have any tips or tricks for the next 21 days, please let me know! Pray for me and healing- physically and emotionally! 

Off the Map

So I know I have been off the map since, oh, this blog basically started. And that is because I couldn’t Whole30 may way to health.

Before you get confused, yes I am still Paleo, but vegetable restrictions, no nuts, and limited fruits my Whole30 would crash and burn every 4 days because my food was becoming so monotonous. I couldn’t do it. I needed to bake. I LOVE BAKING. Also, until about 1 1/2 months ago, I refused to eat any meat except chicken. Yes, I was Paleo for 8 months on chicken and eggs. I was a vegan for about 1 1/2 years, so getting myself to mentally eat red meat was such a challenge. It grossed me out! But I decided I needed to start eating to get my iron levels up, and you know what I  discovered in the process? Steak is amazing. Amazing. Seriously, how did I need eat it for 1 1/2 years?

Which leads me to, what the heck am I eating now?

Basically, after what seems like a billion doctor’s appointments, they still do not know what’s wrong with me. Frustrating, right? It would seem so, but they are actually for closer to figuring out what is wrong with me. And I know the answers will be revealed in God’s timing. I’ve gotten so many tests done. SO MANY. SOOOOO MANY. I really can’t even remember for what, but what I can remember is when it comes to eating my stomach/intestinal issues this is what they have figured out:

1. I am SEVERELY gluten intolerant. I don’t eat gluten anyways (that would be a faileo), but I have diverged and ate real bread once or twice and I felt like death afterwards. That explains things.

2. I am intolerant to spinach, tomatoes, and black pepper. Whaaaat? I eat those foods everyday and have never experienced any issues. Just to humor my mom, and I suppose myself, I am going to stop eating my salad that consists of 3 cups of spinach, and switch over to romaine lettuce for a little while.

3. All of the foods I have been avoiding that aren’t low FODMAP are approved for me! Especially, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, and onions. Honestly, I am pretty sure I am sensitive to those foods. So, still not eating them.

4. I personally discovered that I am sensitive to bananas. I never liked them much anyways but they are so versatile in baking! Have I mentioned I love baking?

Which leads me to once again, what am I eating now?

I recently went on the 21 Day Sugar Detox level 3 for 2 weeks, and I felt amazing! No fruit=happy belly. Seriously, has this been my problem all along? Fruit sugar? And the occasional honey and maple syrup in my baked goodies? I have had very little stomach aches and pains and less bloating and gas (sorry for the TMI). I’ve been doing a lot of research on my own, and my symptoms and symptom relief are typically indicative of Candida. I have even more  symptoms that fit this possible diagnosis, such as INTENSE cravings for sugar. Like, hardcore. Throughout doctor visits I was always asked if I craved salt to maybe narrow down diagnosis for certain diseases. I said no- I always want sweets. Well, according to some websites, yeast bacteria feed off sugar and so your body craves it. You then eat it, and the bacteria grows; it’s a vicious cycle. Which is why my 21 Day Sugar Detox ended after 14 days. I WANTED SUGAR. And no, not chocolate or candy. FRUIT. I caved in, but I feel so much better without it.

So, I am back on the 21 Day Sugar Detox and I am allowing myself 1 green apple a day, not only is it allowed, but it keeps me somewhat sane. I am being tested for Candida by my doctor, so hopefully they figure out what is going on, among other things. But until then, I’ll keep on keeping on knowing that God has a far larger plan for my life than I could ever ask or imagine.

Day 7 Complete!

I submitted my blog post too soon yesterday. Precisely 3 hours after I finished my dinner, I got a horrible stomachache that was so achy my shoulders started to cramp up. I was playing Rummikub with mom, but I wanted to be in fetal position for the pain, so I sunk down into my chair and chose tiles with my big toe. Classy. But hey- I still won all 3 games against her.

Today I slept in and woke up at 8:00 am, so I actually slept about 9 hours which was nice. I didn’t have to nap today- not that I would have had time anyways. I went downstairs, took 2 VSL#3 pills, and then hung around in our living room. I started to get hungry, so I knew I needed to put carrots in the oven to bake into carrot fries. I prepared carrot sticks with olive oil and salt and put them on a baking sheet. While I waited for them to bake, I refreshed my memory a little on what I read in the book Intuitive Eating and also checked all of my social media. My mom then asked me when I was going running. That’s when I realized I totally forgot I was going to do that today. It’s sad when you haven’t exercised in so long that you actually forget to exercise. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll feel okay enough to at least try and run for about 20-30 minutes.

At about 9:30 am my carrot fries finished baking, so I quickly scrambled up my egg whites and heated up my ground turkey meat. The carrot fries were… okay. I normally love them, but I think I was missing my zucchini noodles, and some of the carrots I used may have been bad, because a few fries tasted funky. I even had to spit one out.

My mom and dad were meeting with an architect today, so I headed up to my room and busied myself by watching Locked Up Abroad on Netflix. My roommates are going to log on and wonder who the heck was watching that. Afterwards, I headed out to a doctor’s appointment. I wasn’t hungry enough to eat before I left, but I made sure to pack myself something. In a tupperware I put spinach, swiss chard and bok choy mix, 1 chicken breast, 1 cup of frozen blueberries and salt and pepper. I also packed balsamic vinegar to add later, and half a chicken breast and a 1/4 of dried strawberries for a snack later.

I arrived at the doctor’s office about 15 minutes early, and even though I wasn’t hungry, I ate; I’ve learned from past experience that doctor’s are hardly ever on time. My appointment was at 2:00 pm, but who knows when I’d actually be seen. I was right. I wasn’t seen until about 2:50 pm and the appointment lasted maybe 15 minutes tops. I’m definitely glad I ate before or I would have been ravenous. I finally left the doctor’s office around 3:30 or so. I then had to go grocery shopping and while shopping I snacked on that half a chicken breast.  I finally arrived home at 5:40 pm.

I then prepped my zucchini noodles for my breakfasts and helped my mom make dinner. I wasn’t hungry, but we were having zucchini noodles with dinner. Who can refuse that? I certainly didn’t, so I had tons of lemon and basil zucchini noodles and 3 chicken tenderloins around 6:30 pm. I then did the dishes, walked my dog, started my laundry, and settled down to watch Mystery Diagnosis on TV when my parents arrived home from a golf cart ride and told me were watching Anna Kerinina. I’d never even heard of it, but it came out about a year ago and it has Kiera Knightley and Jude Law in it. The cinematography and set was amazing, but it was slightly hard to follow at times. I probably would’t watch it again, but some of my favorite actors from Downton Abbey were in it! I can not wait for the next season to come out!

While watching it I started craving superfood trail mix. It’s made my Navitas Naturals and has goji berries, mulberries, and golden berries in it. Add in some raw cocoa nibs and you are set to go. Oh well, I’ll get over it.

Now, there is this crazy awesome storm here and I’m about to fall asleep.

I’m Walkin’ on Sunshine

woah! And don’t it feel good?

I’ve been using songs to describe my past 2 days, but that’s what music is- the soundtrack for our lives. It’s true though, today was great! The best I’ve been in awhile! Sure, I had minor issues, but that sure beats being doubled over in the fetal position from stomach pain.

I woke up at 6:30 am (ugh, why?) and laid in bed for a little while to nurse my typical morning stomachache. It seems that I can’t sleep more than 7 and a half hours these days. I think I just have a lot on mind. Luckily, I got to speak to my best friend, Hillary, on the phone last night for a long time. Best friends are well, the best. Shocker. When I finally got up, I went downstairs to have my 2 VSL#3 pills and then messed around for a little while, before I decided to make myself some breakfast.  At about 7:50 am I had my egg whites, ground turkey, and the last of my zucchini noodles. I’m so sad about it too! What vegetable am I going to have for breakfast now? Carrot fries? Bell peppers?

As I was eating breakfast, I started thinking to myself: hypothetically, if I had children, what would I feed them for breakfast? Seriously, on a Paleo diet I feel like most breakfasts are eggs or meat with some vegetables and fruit. When I grew up I either had cereal or nothing for breakfast. But Paleo doesn’t have cereal. Sure, there are homemade granolas, but kids will eat through that pretty fast. When I have kids, am I going to have to make them a hot breakfast everyday? Maybe I’ll make a breakfast hash or casserole that can last a couple of days and just be reheated, or homemade breads and bars to grab and bring on the bus… these are things I think about. Odd, I know.

Then at 9:00 am I started getting hungry again. I think my appetite is finally coming back, and I read once that if you have too much of a calorie deficit on one day, your body will make up for it on other days. So I had a kiwi. Mmm, I hadn’t had one of those in awhile.

My mom and I then went on a golf cart ride and looked at houses being built. I remarked to her how well I felt yesterday and how well I was feeling today- so much of my bloat has gone away and today is only day 6! I’m sure the fact that I’ve been eating less has helped, but I’m sure the diet and probiotics are helping too. Once we returned home, I took a nap, because once again, I had a restless sleep last night. I napped for an hour, woke up at 12:10 pm and promptly ate lunch at 12:25 pm. Honestly, I wasn’t hungry and even had a stomachache from post nap, but I felt a little weak and I was looking forward to last nights leftovers. I was going to save them for dinner, but they were too delicious to wait for! I heated up the last of that Paleomg.com summer squash meatball casserole. I forgot how spicy it was!

It was a cloudy day here, so I couldn’t go to the pool, so I stayed in my pajamas and watched movies and googled recipes. I started to get hungry at about 2:30 pm, so I had half a red grapefruit. I read that on a low FODMAPs diet that you shouldn’t combine fruits with other foods so I am trying to eat my fruit as snacks (except for berries- those taste good on my summer salad). I then sat down to watch A Beautiful Mind. I’ve seen the movie before, but it had been awhile. My gosh, what a wonderful story. The acting is incredible! I highly recommend it! Halfway through watching it I become so hungry my stomach hurt. It was only 4:50 pm, but bellies don’t know time. I had a chicken breast mixed with vegetables: parsnips, carrots, zucchini, and tomatoes, as well as broth all heated up in a… you guessed it! A bowl.

I’m not sure if because my stomach was hurting when I ate my dinner (I assumed the stomach ache was from hunger) or what is was, but as soon as I finished eating I became gassy. Probably TMI, but oh well.

Besides all of that, it was a good day and I’m going to try and go for a run tomorrow, that is, if I don’t wake up hungry. Once I eat, game over. I can no longer exercise. Now, I’m going to spend the rest of my night by playing Rummikub with my mom, painting my nails, and writing letters to my grandmother and Compassion International child, Biencalove.

We’re Gonna Have a Good Day…

… and ain’t nobody gonna cry today.

That’s how I feel about my day today. I had basically zero abdominal issues. My good day started at 7:45 am. I woke up but decided to lay in bed (oh, the dog days of summer) and read Life of Pi, because I was so close to the end of the story. I stayed in bed until 9:25 am to finish the book and then I realized I was hungry but before I could eat, I wanted to take 2 VSL#3 probiotic pills. Then at 10:00 am I had my egg whites, turkey meat, and zucchini noodles. I’m telling you, it’s yummy and never gets old.

Life of Pi by the way is an amazing story and I absolutely loved it. It is definitely one of my favorite books now, my favorite being To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. After I finished the novel, my dad asked me which story I believed that the character, Pi Patel, told: did I believe he actually lived 277 days with a Bengal tiger or was it more simplistic, that he made the whole thing up?

I don’t want to give away the ending away to those who haven’t read it, but my answer is this (as quoted by Pi from the book): “‘You can’t prove which story is true and which is not. You must take my word for it… in both stories the ship sinks, my entire family dies, and I suffer… so tell me, since it makes no factual difference to you and you can’t prove the question either way, which story do you prefer? Which is the better story, the story with animals or the story without animals?'”

After breakfast, my mom and I headed to the pool to soak up some rays. A lot of my bloat has disappeared over night, but had also stayed away after eating breakfast. I was worried after a few of my cheats yesterday that I’d be sick today or extremely bloated, but that was not the case- that was a feel good moment! I laid in the hot sun, waded in the pool, and fiddled on my phone for about 3 hours, when I realized my body was frying. I had already burned yesterday, but now I was burning my sunburn! I decided to leave around 2:15 pm. I rode my bike back to my house, showered, and sat down to enjoy lunch and some TV.

My lunch at 2:40 pm or so was a big salad made up of spinach, swiss chard, and bok choy, 6 cut up strawberries, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 chicken breast, balsamic vinegar, and then salt and pepper to taste. I loved it. I call it my summer salad, and I typically have it everyday unless my mom needs me to eat up some leftovers. I flicked through the TV channels, mostly going back and forth between Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and NY ER. I love ER shows. I was still hungry so I had about 1/2 cup of freeze dried strawberries. I was craving those @urbanposer vanilla-strawberry coconut macaroons I posted about in my blog yesterday, but they are definitely not low FODMAPs or whole30 friendly. I was craving them because I had them yesterday. From experience though I know to destroy by neglect, so if I don’t give in, eventually those cravings will go away.

About an hour later I was exhausted from very restless nights the past few days, so I laid down for a nap. I set my alarm for an hour, and then I conked out and was dead to the world. I reluctantly woke up to my alarm and felt lethargic for a good 30 minutes with a slight stomach ache. I drank lots of water and watched some Friends and more Harry Potter, but this time the Order of the Phoenix, with my mom.

I was hungry, so I decided to make dinner. It was ah-mazing! Yeah, I just typed that. I got the recipe from Paleomg.com, another one of my favorite Paleo bloggers. The recipe was for her summer squash meatball casserole. I didn’t use the onions or garlic it called for because those are not low FODMAPs, and it was a little watery from the zucchini, but other than that it is now one of my favorites. It’s like a spicy twist on spaghetti and meatballs. My mom and I each had 2 helpings, while my dad only had 1, so luckily there is enough leftover for dinner for me tomorrow! Yay!

I then went for a golf cart ride with my mom, and will probably spend the rest of my night reading or watching a movie. My stomach feels pretty awesome, which makes me feel pretty awesome! I’m not sure if it’s the low FODMAPs diet plus the probiotics, but something seems to be working. Ill admit it’s a little hard at times because this 30 day challenge is very restrictive, but I just have to remind myself that after the 30 days, I’ll be able to loosen up a little. My best friend, Hillary, is doing her version of a whole30 with me, and when I get back to my apartment we’ll be able to cook together. It’s always easier to do something like this with another person for support and accountability.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end of this. I hope you found it entertaining.

Day 4 complete but off the beaten path…

I’ll be honest: I cheated today. Not that I wasn’t Paleo all day, but I just wasn’t 100% low FODMAP friendly to myself. I’ll start from the beginning of my day.

After a rough, stomach ache filled night I awoke hungry at about 7:40 am, so I immediately went downstairs to make myself breakfast. And guess what it was? The same thing as usual: egg whites, ground turkey, and zucchini noodles. Exciting variety, huh?

I then went on a golf cart ride with my mom to creep around in a house being built to get ideas for future floor plans and building quality. Sounds odd, but I love discussing that stuff with her. When we returned, I retired to the couch where I continued reading Life of Pi. What a fantastic and enthralling book. It is so simple to read and I’ve loved it so far. I’ve seen the movie, and the producers and directors did a great job of straying very little from the story line. I was curious what others thought about it, so I flipped to the first few pages to read the reviews. My favorite is from the Wall Street Journal (Editor’s Pick) and they are quoted saying, “Think: comic strip ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ with an overt religious theme.” That review stuck out to me because since I was about 11, I can remember reading every Calvin and Hobbes comic strip there is. My family and I absolutely adore the characters and their antics. We even own the collector’s edition of the books- that’s how much we love them! I still have about a third of the novel left, but I definitely recommend it!

At about 11:00 am I was hungry, so I had that crockpot chicken and veggies again, but this time it was on a plate. It tasted just as good, but not quite as exciting to eat if it had been in a bowl. I headed to the pool where I tanned and read for about 3 hours. I stayed until 2:30 pm, but my stomach was starting to growl and I was feeling fried. I returned home and had a big bowl of pineapple. It was delicious! What a wonderful fruit! But then, it started to not sit well in my stomach. It was almost too sweet to handle. I tried drinking lots of water and laid down to rest my stomach, while I caught up on an episode of Pretty Little Liars, but it didn’t help. I thought maybe protein would help the acidity and sugar rush I was feeling, so I had half a breast of chicken. I returned to the couch and all of the sudden I had a hankering for chocolate. It wouldn’t go away. So, in my weakness I had dark chocolate, even though not low FODMAP and definitely not whole30. It made me gassy, so chocolate is out of the game for awhile now!

Unfortunately, once I “cheat”, I seem to just keep going. So, I had 2 handfuls of almonds and raisins, as well as a few @urbanposer vanilla-strawberry coconut macaroons.  I now have diarrhea and gurgling intestines. That won’t happen again. I decided to round off my night, at about 6:30 pm, with the last of that crockpot chicken and veggies and lots of water, and 2 VSL#3 probiotic pills.

The Paleo low FODMAPs lifestyle is a serious business, and if I want healing I need to take it seriously, even in my weakness. Anyone know why I was craving sweet foods and chocolate today? My body obviously can’t tolerate them, so they are foods to strictly avoid even post-low FODMAP/Paleo challenge. I honestly think it was because I was craving fats, but avocados and coconut products are also to be avoided. Any ideas for other fats to snack on?

At least I only had a slight stomach ache today, so score one for me! Now, I just need to remind myself that just because I feel better, that doesn’t mean I’m healed. I have got to stick to it, and my 30 day challenge resolve has been renewed.