Monthly Archives: September 2009

Total elimination diet… day 17… Fiala’s progress (a.k.a. The Evil Birthday Cake)

So.  We were supposed to add a new food on Monday.  I did, sort of.  However, the whole thing has been thrown off track because I ate FOUR BITES of my son’s birthday cake on Saturday.  While it was gluten-free and dairy-free, it did have rice flour and a couple other things that Fiala is not supposed to consume.  Ah, for the “simple” days of GFCF living!!

The cake.  It called to me.  It said, “You made me… everyone says I’m tasty!  C’mon!  Have a bite.  One bite.”  I succumbed to the talking cake.  It was going to be one bite.  That turned into two.  Then three, then four.  But, I thought, “Four bites can’t hurt.  I hope.”  Well, it did.  The next day, Sunday, she was very itchy, and by Monday, she was broken out in a head-to-toe rash again.

However, I did go ahead and introduce yams on Monday;  I had nearly 2 yams, and Fiala ate about 1/4 of one.  Her rash was worse on Tuesday, but I don’t know if that was still fallout from the birthday cake, or if her skin was reacting poorly to yam, as well.  Her poop was healthy, which is a REALLY good sign.  But, since her skin looks so poorly again, I decided to stop the yam.  So, after Monday’s foray into the exciting world of food items not-buckwheat-and-lamb, we’re back into Plainville.

It’s very hard to eat so plainly.  I find myself trying to find safe ways to add some color to my diet.  Like right now, I’m drinking Crystal Geyser Very Berry flavor sparkling mineral water.  No sweeteners, only natural flavors in carbonated water.  But, the thoughts nearly consume my mind, “I don’t know about berries.  What if she can’t have berries?  Is there enough natural flavor in it to cause a reaction???”  And, frankly, I don’t know the answer to those questions.

Also, last night, I got some xylitol to use as a sweetener in my morning buckwheat and in Fiala’s all-the-time buckwheat, as she simply WON’T eat it plain.  I have tried a day or two of giving her just lamb, which she eats with gusto, but since she doesn’t have enough carbs in her system, I AM the carbs, and she goes back to waking up every 3 hours ’round the clock to nurse, as if she were a couple of months old.  Sorry, but I can’t hack that.  I need some sleep, and as it is, she still wakes 2x/night, at least.  So, that makes sweetening her buckwheat seem like a good option.  I’m trying to find something that doesn’t have any “real” sugar of any kind, one that isn’t artificial, one that doesn’t have additives that are on her no-no list, etc.  Right now, that’s xylitol.  (The stevia packs I have have rice maltodextrin, and she’s allergic to rice.)

I still don’t know if Fiala can handle sugars or not;  I’m just trying to be as safe and as simple as possible.  But, almost every day, I’m faced with something unavoidable — or nearly unavoidable — that causes me to question if what I’m consuming is hurting her.

BUT AT THE SAME TIME, she seems to be much healthier than she perhaps ever has been, is gaining weight again, and other than the skin-setback, her skin looks fabulous with very little medication.  So… I guess I’m on the right path.  It still seems, though, that I’m mostly stumbling around in the dark.

I find myself wondering what the next step should be, especially as the doctor has not returned my call, when he TOLD me to call him on Monday, which I did leaving a message (with a person), but I haven’t heard back from him.

Part of me wants to do further testing, like ALCAT or something like that, but could we afford it?  I don’t know.  Likely not.  Would it reveal something that the total elimination diet would not?  I don’t know.  It would likely reveal the same or very similar information, but in a faster way.  Anyways, it looks like if you’re under 3, they have to do a smaller testing series (only 50 foods), and from the list, it doesn’t look like we’d gain that much new information;  she’s already avoiding a great many of those foods and/or been tested for them already.

The short version is that I still don’t know what it is we need to find out, so it’s impossible to know the path to get that information.  Give me wisdom, Lord.

I did find a totally dairy-free probiotic at the store last night.  I opened the capsule and tried mixing it with a bit of water, so as to administer it to Fiala in a dosing syringe.  It didn’t mix well, but I figure half the capsule is better than none.

I’m still highly considering the Body Ecology Diet, but because I’m ssslllloooowwwww, I haven’t actually DONE anything about that, other than to check a local store for the book (it wasn’t there).  Wait.  Scratch that.  I just placed the book on hold through the Phoenix Public Library system.  They have five copies, all in use;  I’m 2nd on the hold list.

By the way, not that I’m really “in” on the world of architecture any more (I was a student, long ago…), but when I passed by the nearest/newest library branch, I thought, “That had to be designed by Will Bruder.”  It was.  I thought the same thing with the Henkel/US Headquarters.  Maybe it’s not that I’m all that architecturally observant;  maybe it’s that Bruder’s work is particularly iconic.  ANYways.

Food.

The good news is that I almost like lamb now.  Almost.  And, Karin, I found some New Zealand lamb!  Ate it for lunch today!  I’m still not the connoisseur, so I couldn’t really tell if it was better than the other lamb I’ve had.

~sigh~

This was going to be a short diet update, and some notes about homeschooling successes and not-successes so far this year, plus some notes about me still being sick, and giving my illness to my husband and daughter and visiting father.  Ugh.  But, that’ll have to wait.

Family, martyrdom, yams, and aritificial intelligence

Had a nice evening.  My hubby started crying, just a bit.  He looked over, and my Dad and my older brother were sitting on the floor of the family room, talking.  My Dad had just put down a guitar, after he and my brother had sung a Simon & Garfunkel song together.  Martin and I were in the kitchen, and he said, with his eyes misty, “That’s the way it’s supposed to be:  Fathers and sons who haven’t seen each other in a while should play guitar and sing together, then sit down for a talk.”

I agree.

Tonight, we celebrated my son Wesley’s 8th birthday, and my nephew Marley’s 14th.

I love my brother’s family.

Especially when they’re so complimentary of my cake, without realizing it’s gluten-free.  😀  That’ll make a GFCF baking girl feel good any day.

I made a ton of food, worried it wasn’t enough, and now we have enough in the fridge for a week.  Well, maybe not a week, but it’s nice to have loads of leftovers in the fridge.  I made a big pot of stew on Friday, intending to eat it again on Sunday after church… now we’ll have a choice.  They’ll choose tonight’s shredded beef tacos, for certain, and we’ll probably end up eating the stew on Monday before Ethan’s scrimmage baseball game.

One of the things my brother gave Wesley was some sodium.  Sodium metal.  In kerosene.  Actually, he gave it to Martin for safekeeping, but it’s for Wes.  And the other boys, too.  He directed us to find a large puddle, next time it rains.  🙄  I’m rolling my eyes, but really, every boy should have an uncle who gives him caustic explosives!

By the way… If you ever go to Mexico, you’re likely to find a taco stand on many a corner.  And, at that stand, they’ll have cabbage with which to garnish those tacos, NOT lettuce.  Lately, I’ve been pre-mixing my taco veggies:

  • shredded green cabbage
  • diced tomato
  • diced onion
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • fresh minced jalapeño, if you don’t have any really small children, which, we do.  But, every time I make this, I think, “Needs jalapeño.”

I’ve been feeling like a martyr, making all sorts of scrumptious food that I can’t eat.  I bring Ethan or Martin into the kitchen with the demand, “Taste this!”  I will admit, though, the cake overpowered me.  I ate two bites.  Chocolate chocolate chip cake with strawberry jam filling and vanilla frosting with sprinkles, Wesley’s request.  (Grant declared, “It’s Neopolitan!”)  Monday, I’m going to call Fiala’s allergist, and if I get the go-ahead to introduce new foods, I’m going to start with yams.  I’d actually like some leafy greens of some sort, but Fiala loves yams, and to my knowledge, never had a reaction to them…  So, yams it’ll be.

My Dad’s plane leaves early in the morning;  he’ll likely be gone when I wake up.  It was a good visit — filled with mundane stuff like grocery shopping and baseball practice.  But, it was nice to have him here for a few days, and we’ll miss him when he’s gone.

OH!  He also got word that a presentation that he (and some other guys from his company) made to General Dynamics on Thursday was received extremely enthusiastically, and they intend to write up a contract.  They called my Dad’s invention of some unique artificial intelligence softwaredisruptive technology,” which is, from what I understand, the highest compliment one can give on such a thing.  They’ll be writing some contracts for my Dad’s company…  It’s been five or six years, I think, of him (and a bunch of employees) living/working on investor’s money, and I think everyone is thrilled at the prospect of actual money being made, and potentially lots of it.  🙂

Hmmm….

I admitted to my dad, who — happily for us — is visiting for the weekend, that this may be a case of, “If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.”  I am aware that when anyone I talk with has symptoms that fit the (very broad) range of those directly or indirectly related to celiac disease, one of my first thought is, “Maybe s/he has celiac disease!”

That said, he DOES have a first-degree relative with it, and he DOES have an intensely itchy rash over a large portion of his body that has NOT responded to just about every standard (and not-so-standard) eczema-type medication… and he has had it for months on end, with no relief.

I explained to him that, as CD is autosomal dominant, and it came from his side of the family, he very, very likely has the gene even if he doesn’t have symptoms,… but, since he currently has symptoms that could possibly be celiac-related, that it would be worth it, in my opinion, to mention a family history of celiac disease to his dermatologist when he gets back to Texas, and that it might be a good idea to biopsy his rash for celiac disease.

That would be pretty crazy if he turned out to have CD.  I wouldn’t be all that surprised, actually — not from this rash in particular;  from other dietary-related discussions we’ve had in the past (like, he went through a stage where he ONLY ate steak, and nothing else, for breakfast, because that was the only thing that didn’t make him feel draggy… Now, he only eats oatmeal for breakfast… and he’s been on a ton of different health-related diets, though he’s pretty settled, these last few years, on Eat Right for Your Type).  He’s mentioned a number of things over the years that sounded celiac-ish to me, but he never had a reason to really take me seriously whenever I suggested he look into it.

Not that I’m diagnosing him… but we Googled some pics of dermatitis herpetiformis, and while there is a really broad range of appearances of DH, at least a couple pics looked just like what’s going on with him…

I’ll be very interested (of course) to find out.

Wild goose/lambchase (plus a little rant about Wal-Mart and the slow demise of a local, family-owned grocery)

I shop at a great variety of grocery stores to find all of the ingredients to accommodate all of our various weird diets, plus to find the sales to keep our family from going into debt from all the food we eat!  One of my regular stores is a local, family-owned chain called Bashas’.

I found out last week that “my” store is closing on October 10.

I have been aware that the entire chain is struggling, the advent of which can easily be traced back to the opening of the first Wal-Mart Supercenter.

I don’t like Wal-Mart.  I only very rarely shop there — maybe two to four times a year.  I find the employees uniformly surly and spectacularly unhelpful, and the stores themselves generally in grungy chaos.  I like personable, knowledgeable, easy-to-find employees who actually give a hoot, and in my experience, Wal-Mart just doesn’t employ that variety of folk, except maybe as greeters.

Plus, just knowing that they’re taking business away from family-owned companies….  I mean, I’m all for capitalism, but Wal-Mart is so giant that it has an almost-monopoly going, and for all their talk about American-made this and that, it doesn’t seem like all that many items in their stores are actually made in America.  Wal-Mart has done more to take the small town out of small-town-America than any other entity, IMO.

The only thing that I like about Wal-Mart is that it has a great variety of items, probably 2-3x that of Target, where I usually shop for “essentials.”  So, if I can’t find what I need at Target (most recently, an inexpensive glass salad bowl), I can usually find it at Wal-Mart.

So.  My Bashas’.  Not only was it the first non-specialty grocery store to regularly stock gluten-free items — YEARS ago —  it’s where I buy my lamb.  It’s the ONLY grocery store that has reasonably-priced fresh lamb.  So now, instead of driving about 5 miles to the nearest location, I’ll have to drive 12 to the next-nearest (which, I confirmed, is not yet closing).

Last night, after kinship (roughly like a Bible study;  it meets weekly in someone’s home), I went to get some groceries… lamb (of course), plus the ingredients to make that buckwheat tabouli that I posted about a couple of days ago, in celebration of my Dad coming to stay with us for the weekend.  I thought, “I’ll try Safeway.  I never shop at Safeway.  Maybe THEY have lamb.”  Um, no.  No lamb.  Maybe they have some at the butcher counter, but it was too late;  it was closed.  I also spent an inordinate amount of time wandering around the unfamiliar aisles, trying to find the few items I needed, which made me frustrated.

I stopped at “my” Bashas’ to get the lamb.  Um, no.  Instead of closing at 11 p.m., which was their normal time to shut down, the new pre-store-closing-down hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

So, I went to Fry’s.  Fry’s did indeed, have some lamb — either ground lamb, on “sale” for $6.99 a pound, or boneless leg roasts from AUSTRALIA, 3-4 lbs each, also for $6.99 a pound.  Um, no.  That’s too expensive, PLUS though I’m sure Australia raises some good sheep, why does my local grocery have to get its lamb from halfway around the globe???  I don’t understand that.  I don’t want to pay for, what?  13,000 miles of fuel costs in my meat?  Something like that?  That’s dumb.  And wasteful.

So… I stopped in at Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart “Neighborhood Market,” which is just the grocery part of a Wal-Mart.  No lamb there, either, which frankly, didn’t surprise me.

So, I came home with no lamb.  I do have the remains of a small roast that I cooked night before last, and that will feed Fiala and me through tonight, so it’s not like we’ll starve.  But, I was hoping to not do any grocery shopping while my Dad is here.  Oh, well.

Just doing a little balancing…

Just to note:  I don’t think it’s particularly amazing or strong or inspiring or whatever that I’ve embarked on a fairly extreme dietary intervention with my daughter, Fiala.  In fact, such responses have really thrown me for a loop;  I was not prepared for them at all, and in general, I don’t know how to handle compliments well.  When people start saying nice things about me, I typically will bring to mind all the things that I do poorly in order to balance it all out and not get a big head.

And, since y’all can’t see inside my head… and because I tend to dislike blogs that depict the life of the blogger as a perfect, magical place of rainbows and unicorns…  I just thought I would do a little confession to balance out all the compliments that have come my way.

I confess that, soaking in my washing machine all yesterday — first in washing soda, then in bleach — was a load of cloth diapers that I hadn’t washed for TWO WEEKSTwo weeks.  And, yes, that’s as nasty as it sounds, even though I had rinsed all the poopy ones.  I had gotten a pack of disposables for our trip up to my parents’ cabin over Labor Day weekend, and ended up using them… then buying another pack… plus I got behind on laundry in general… and super-busy with schooling the kids… and trying to get other things back in order… plus dealing with Fiala’s food issues… etc… etc…  All that led to about 30 dirty diapers, sitting in two lidded pails, unwashed.

Yuck.

Now that you know that not all is admirable about me, I can go back to the regularly-scheduled blog and feel oddly better.

Gluten deteriorates in high temps???

So.  I had heard rumors of the “fact” that gluten can be modified so greatly when exposed to high temperatures that it renders it harmless to those with celiac disease.  I was highly skeptical.  Still, I didn’t really know for certain one way or another.

Then, a guy on my local celiac Yahoo group, Chef David Hall, did the research for me.  Well, for himself, and then shared it with the group.  I asked him, and he gave me permission to print the response of the chemist he consulted to find out the scoop.  I found it very interesting.  (All the more so, as it confirmed my suspicions. 😉 )

David wrote:

I found and contacted a Chief Scientist at API Purifications LLC, in the Greater St. Louis Area, and posed the question to him with the cursory temperature range given to me by someone at the meeting, which was about 600 F to 1200 F. Below is his reply. I am withholding his contact information, as I do not have permission to distribute it.

His reply:
“First of all, nothing I write here should be construed as medical advice. I am not a medical expert. If you require medical advice, you’ll need to contact a physician.

I can provide a chemically sound response to your inquiry, and that is what I will attempt here.

The information you have received from other sources appears to be sound. If you wish to chemically change gluten to such an extent that it no longer behaves as gluten in biological systems, you will have to do more than heat the molecule to temperatures usually used in cooking. What you need is severe oxidation or pyrolysis (heat-induced destruction of the molecule). However, such severe conditions are likely to cause the formation of carcinogenic compounds in whatever material you are cooking, and that of course would be a severe health problem. Therefore, from this chemist’s point of view, in any case, chemical or thermal destruction of gluten is not feasible, and should not be attempted.

It is possible that in the cooking process you will denature the protein. However, denaturing the protein is not sufficient, because to say the protein is denatured is simply to say that the tertiary structure of the protein has changed. The primary structure–the “chemical formula” if you will–has not changed in the process. What you need to do is to chemically or thermally destroy the primary structure. What that means in essence is that you must chemically change the molecule. Usually this would be accomplished through oxidation or pyrolysis. If for some reason you were interested in doing this, you would want to heat the material to at least 350 C (650 F) for 30 minutes, and you would need to have some way of proving that every part of the material (and especially any interior parts) had been exposed to that temperature for the entire length of time. Also, you would need to ensure that air flow around the material was unimpeded. But all of this is quite an academic exercise, since as I said above, you would never wish to serve anything like this to another person, or even to an animal.

My advice would be to use gluten-free products. There are many such products available, and all manner of food can be prepared gluten-free. There are many good gluten-free cookbooks, and as you are a chef, you will have a much better idea than I of where to find these.

If you do receive medical advice indicating some less severe conditions suffice to render the material suitable for gluten-sensitive patients, as a chemist I would certainly be wary of this advice. Gluten is quite a robust little protein, not an ordinary feeble protein, and it does quite well under harsh conditions. It’s a tough nut to crack, and very definitely a difficult material to degrade chemically or thermally.”

So.  I think that’s a pretty definitive answer.  Now, like me, you know.  😀

Progress and plans (and a recipe)… and… a FAD DIET????

NOTE:  This post probably has TMI on poop for most of you, so consider yourself forewarned.

Recently, I read about how Amazon ships stuff with extra, box-in-box packaging.  I thought, “That’s never happened to me!”  Well, guess what?  I ordered a 12 pack of 1 lb packages of Eden Organics…  BUCKWHEAT (of course), and sure enough, on the Eden box is a sticker marked “Ready to Ship.  Fulfilled by Amazon.com”.  And that box, along with some puffy air-bag packing material, sat inside of a much larger Amazon box.  That’s just stupid, IMO.

Anyways.  Buckwheat.  Yes, we’re still at it.  And, Fiala seems to be doing much better since we took sugar out of everything, which was on Saturday (more on that, below).  It’s amazing how much difference a few days make.  I did cave slightly, as I’m now putting stevia extract in her buckwheat.  When it was totally plain, she would simply spit it out.  I’m a tad concerned, because the stevia is in a packet (from Trader Joe’s), and it’s mixed with rice maltodextrin.  Maltodextrin is a sugar, and she’s allergic to rice.  However, it appears that her actually EATING is preferable to the minuscule amount of rice maltodextrin she’s getting  (1 – 1.5g per day).  I put cinnamon in her buckwheat, too.  So, technically, she’s getting four ingredients… well, five:  buckwheat, lamb, cinnamon, stevia, rice maltodextrin.  And salt, but that doesn’t really count.

I almost always eat my buckwheat plain and salted, or I boil up a broth with all my old marrow-filled lamb bones, and make a “soup” out of salted broth and buckwheat.  I still think it’s good, but I look with longing at other recipes… like the one that came on the packages of Eden Organics Buckwheat:

Buckwheat Tabouli

2 cups cooked buckwheat, cooled and fluffed
1 cucumber, chopped
2 small tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
2 cups fresh parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients.  Chill at least one hour.  Serve on romaine leaves.

That sounds fabulous.  Gluten-free and dairy-free, too!  I’m making it, when I can.  🙂

Fiala had a total diarrhea blowout on Saturday morning.  But, I, ummm… had a lemon-berry slush from Sonic on Friday, so it’s my own fault.  Still, that had Martin and I wondering on Saturday morning if it was a) the CORN in the corn syrup, with which the drink is surely sweetened, b) the SUGAR in the corn syrup, c) less possibly, the red dye with which the strawberries are surely colored.  We think it might be the sugar.  Which, I hope not.  Sugar malabsorption issues are difficult to navigate, very complex, and… well, just hard.  To be safe, I stopped putting brown sugar in her buckwheat, which I had been doing.

Just in case, though, I’ve already sent out e-mails to both the local celiac group and the local food allergy group that I’m a part of, asking for tips on a pediatric g.i. doc who is in FAVOR of breastfeeding, because I just don’t want to fight that fight.  I’ve gotten seven responses, four along the lines of, “Formula isn’t that bad,” one saying, “Good luck!  I will ask some of my midwife friends,” and two saying, “Here’s my ped g.i.  S/He supported me fully in my wish to breastfeed at least a year, through all my baby’s allergies.”  So, I have two good names to go on.

I’m sick, by the way, but recovering.  I’m so much better than yesterday.  It’s “just” a cold, but the kind that knocks you out — headache, muscle ache, congestion, sore throat…  Yuck.  I woke up yesterday and had NO energy.  None.  I was having a hard time sitting up, even.  That could be because I went to bed early the night before and did not eat dinner.  I was so sick and so exhausted that I nursed Fiala, ATE A BANANA as there was no buckwheat made and I knew I needed SOMETHING, gave the kids a few instructions, and went back to bed.  That was at about 7:00 a.m.  Ethan brought Fiala in for a nap at 9:00, and we both continued to sleep until 10:00.  When we emerged, I felt still sick, but with some energy.  Everyone was still in their jammies, and no one had done any school work, but THEIR CHORES WERE DONE, and Ethan even went one step further and put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher.  Give that child a medal.

So, the banana.  Fiala was very gassy the rest of the day — well from early afternoon until about 9:30 at night — the kind where she would alternate curling up in a ball to stretching herself out, crying in pain, and doing things like waking early from naptime because of gassiness.  It didn’t, however, give her diarrhea.  Her poop still seems healthy.

And, she tested negative to banana, both prick and patch.  Hm.  I, however, had observed similar symptoms in her when she ate bananas, so negative or positive, no bananas for Miss Fi, who is 11 months old today, by the way.  And, no bananas for me.

That banana tasted SO GOOD, though.  Mmmmm….. 😀

I noticed yesterday that Fiala’s hands looked very well.  Her main places of eczema are her face and behind her knees.  However, she also has eczema on her whole legs and her fingers, too.  I’m sure the finger issue is exacerbated by the fact that she puts them in her mouth all the time.  However, I never medicate her fingers;  I just don’t want any medicine going into her mouth.  So, to me, the fact that her hands are healing means MORE to me than that her face or behind her knees (behind one knee, at least — the other is still quite problematic) are healing, because in the other areas, I’ve been using medication.  Know what I mean?  So, that is very encouraging.

I recently had an e-mail exchange with a reader who was trying to offer me some tips for the diet of both Fiala and myself…  I must say, with all the e-mail I get….  well, I kind of hold them at arm’s length at first.  Some people have written with malice, some with judgment, some with genuine kind helpfulness, and it takes me a bit to sort out the motives of the sender.  Sorry, those who have written.  It just does.  Still, this reader sent me a link to a website of a special diet, and at first, I was thinking, “OK, is this the lady who WROTE the book, and is she trying to get some free promotion??  This website is full of ‘Buy my book for only $24.95!!  Buy our very expensive supplements!!!'”  And, that just rubs me the wrong way.

Also, one of the things the diet espouses is fermented vegetables.  Now, I’m not saying that fermenting things is bad, but some of the claims made by the pro-fermenting gang are just outrageous, and downright false.  Add to that, I had just read this really interesting article that, while it is talking about regular, wheat/gluten bread, specifically addressed the exact same problems I had had with the pro-fermenters.  And, now, I’m reading a website, the link forwarded by a stranger of unknown motives, that says, “Ferment your veggies!”  Ugh.

But… I read a little deeper.  And… it sounds like it may really work for our family.  You can BET that I’m not buying a $45-for-10 oz-nutritional-mix.  Nor am I buying a 2.2 lb package of their special sugar substitute for $40.  No way.  NO WAY.  NO blippety blippin’ way.  I’m probably not even going to buy the book;  I found it at my library (though they’re all checked out and I need to put a copy on hold).  And, I’m not likely to do any colonics, as suggested (ew 😮 ).  But, the diet centers around:

  • four gluten free grains (buckwheat, quinoa, millet, and amaranth — all of which are already in my pantry!)
  • lots of veggies including some that are fermented/cultured
  • “lean meats” — not sure which ones;  I’ll have to get the book
  • not very much fruit, and VERY little sugar
  • particular, healthy fats, like flax seed oil and coconut oil
  • it’s low-dairy
  • AND, it’s does not suggest that you replace “lost” sugars with artificial sweeteners, like aspartame or even Splenda, like South Beach does, which always bothered me.  (It does support naturally derived sweeteners, like stevia.)

Other than the fruit thing and sugar thing, um, we’re already doing most of that.

The idea is to eat things that are easy to digest, and that restore intestinal flora, which will lead to, among other things, a stronger immune system.  Although I don’t think Fiala, I, or anyone in my family (except maybe my husband) has candida overgrowth, I was already on the lookout for something I could provide my family with, that could boost our immune systems overall.  We just get sick too often.  Even if it’s “only” 2-3x/year, multiply that by seven, and there’s an awful lot of sickness circulating around here.

The book/diet is also big on specific food combinations.  I’d have to learn about that, as that would be entirely new to me.

It’s funny, because a couple of months ago, it may have seemed too extreme of a change, but compared to where I’m at now, the Body Ecology diet seems like FREEDOM.

So, obviously, I’m not on it yet.  But, I do plan to get the book, and I think it would be pretty easy to start incorporating the veggies and other things specific to the diet as the things that I slowly add into the diet of Fiala and me.

NO PRESSURE, but if I supply them with three e-mail addresses of people who are potentially interested, I can get a free cookbook.  Again, no pressure.  But, if you’d be willing to help me get a free cookbook, e-mail me.  And, if I get an excess of e-mail addresses (as I only need three), with permission of their owners, I will pass them on to the next person on the list, so you can get a cookbook, too.  (The website says that they will send you an e-mail asking you to opt in to receive e-mails from them;  it does not automatically add you to their list.)

And, MANY THANKS to reader cottagesweet, whose motives appear pure and kind, and now I feel sorry for doubting you.  I look forward to success with the Body Ecology diet, and if that’s the case, even MORE thanks will be due to you.  😀

White-crowned sparrows!

Migration time in the desert… it’s a great time to see birds!!

According to my trusty Sibley guide, White-crowned sparrows aren’t supposed to be in the Phoenix area until winter.  Today is the first day of autumn…  maybe someone told the two white-crowned sparrows that were hopping along my fence outside the window.  🙂

Pic from Wikipedia.

The total elimination diet update

Buckwheat? Good.  It’s really good.  I’m not tired of it.  Buckwheat groats, that is.  NOT roasted/kasha.  I guess they eat a lot of that in Russia, and I must have NO Russian blood in me, because that stuff is NASTY.  But, raw buckwheat that you then cook is tasty.  I’ve made “soup” out of it with lamb broth and salt…  Yum.  Very satisfying.  Most of our day is spent, though, eating a sort of breakfast cereal — I’m thinking about posting a recipe — with buckwheat, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Yes, brown sugar and cinnamon are additional ingredients, but Fiala won’t eat it any other way, and by golly, she needs to eat.

Millet? I’m 95% certain Fiala was having a problem w/ it, too — not digesting it well, being extra-itchy on the days after she ate it.  So, that’s out.

Lamb? I am BLESSING GOD that I have been able to find some inexpensive lamb at a local grocery.  I was certain I’d be stuck paying $5-8/lb for it.  I paid $1.79/lb for some breast of lamb, and now we’re on some arm steaks I got for $2.99/lb.  Very reasonable.  Fiala LOVES it.  Loves it.  I typically give her three tiny bites at a time to feed herself, and she picks up one after the other – left, right, left – and pops them all in her mouth.  Now, when she sits down for a meal and there’s no lamb, she looks at me like, “Where’s the lamb?”  However, I’m not loving it.  I’m still queasy each time I eat it, which is typically a little with every meal.  I still don’t like the idea that it’s a baby animal (or at least, a very young adult) — I get flashbacks of Mountain Born, and me bringing the kids to feed carrots to a mini-flock of sheep that live nearby us.  😦  Plus, I don’t think I had ever eaten lamb in my life, before Monday.  It’s just an unfamiliar taste with which I’d rather not be familiar.  I’m trying to have a good attitude about it, though.

In other news, even though I feel like I’m eating a lot, I’m dropping weight.  Martin said, “Hey, it’s like the first stage of South Beach!  I bet you’ll lose ten pounds!”  If I did that, I’d be down to the weight I was when I got married!!  Whoa.  I think that would be cool.  Maybe it’ll become the new fad diet:  organic buckwheat and lamb.

Fiala’s digestion has definitely improved.  Her skin… not greatly.  I think it might be too early to tell the effects of the diet on her skin.  We’ll see.  I’m still a wee bit worried that maybe even the buckwheat isn’t the best for her, but we both need carbs!  And, as virtually all fruits and grains are already known no-nos for her… what else could we do???

We were/are paying $2.99/lb for organic buckwheat at Whole Foods, but I found a case on Amazon of 12/1 lb packages and it works out to $2.28/lb, including shipping (for which I paid a whopping 99 cents).  That’s cool.

So, good progress, I think.  Part of me wishes it was BETTER progress, but I think this is good for now.

My sincere thanks to everyone for their prayers, tips, and encouragement.

My current favorite Diamondback

Ugh!  My post on this topic on Clay Zavada, got EATEN by WordPress.  Even the saved drafts were totally blank.  And now, it won’t let me unpublish it.  But, I don’t want to delete it entirely because now my friend Kathy commented…  Bummer.  Gotta figure something out.

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