Monday, January 30, 2012

A rough patch in my SCD world.

I have not blogged.  I have so much to say and no time to say it.  I also don't seem to have time to clean my house, but that is another rant.

What am I doing that is taking up all my time?  Well, being a mom first and foremost.  But the reason that I feel like there is no time in my life for anything that I used to do? Well, that would be because I now live in the kitchen. And if that wasn't enough, just when I got into a groove with what I ate, life through me a curve ball.

About a week ago I started to not feel so great.  Some of my old symptoms were creeping back into my life and I couldn't figure out why.  My gastroenterologist had given me info on FODMAP and after looking that over, I thought that maybe I was eating too much fructose.  Apples were a staple in my diet, so I decided to remove them first.  I felt okay for a couple of days, but then the symptoms returned and today was the worst day yet.

In fact, I hit a real low today.  Not only was I feeling sick and completely exhausted, I was mad at the universe.  I was not supposed to be feeling sick anymore!  Why am I doing all of this cooking, all of this modifying of my diet, if it isn't going to do any good?  In fact, I was so frustrated, I almost went out and bought a pack of M&Ms and a diet coke.  But I didn't.

The only thing that kept me from cheating today was that tomorrow is January 31st.  Tomorrow, I will have done the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for one whole month.  And if today I cheat?  I would be pissed at myself. So I didn't cheat.

Instead I am making muffins.  Scrumptious blueberry muffins from the Eat Well, Feel Well cookbook (a cookbook that has so many good recipes that I would still eat the food even if I wasn't on the diet).  I am also regrouping with some research.  It turns out that it isn't all that uncommon to have relapses in the beginning.  As far as I can tell, there is no real rhyme or reason for it.  Some think it could be because people are eating things they aren't supposed to and don't realize it (whether it be through contamination or just not realizing a food is illegal).  I am pretty sure that isn't my case, but I won't rule it out.  I am going to watch my fructose intake and limit my apples, raisins, and honey.  I am not going to eliminate them yet though because emotionally, I don't think I can go another week without an apple (anyone that knows me well knows that apples and cheese is my favorite snack).  

Most importantly, I need to remember that I was feeling better.   Although the bloating hadn't completely gone away, it was gone most of the time.  I have had a lot more energy and I stopped feeling swollen and inflamed.  These results are great steps to my overall health and I need to remind myself that I am in this for the long throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A New Approach To My Health

A friend of mine posted a link to this article, "11 Integrative Medicine Breakthroughs Of 2011" a little while ago on Facebook.  Most of the items seem like common sense to me, but I am glad that they are formally recognizing that yoga helps bad backs and acupuncture is safe for kids.  The article also introduced me to the term CAM.  It stands for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Turns out I have used some forms of CAM for several years.  I managed my depression with acupuncture while trying to get pregnant and the first trimesters with Superman, as well as the days leading up to my induction with Mr. T.  I have done yoga to help my flexibility and increase my core strength when my back was hurting me.  I take an amino acid to avoid getting cold sores when I go to the mountains (but apparently I didn't take enough a couple weeks ago because I ended up with 2 after our tubing trip).  I used a chiropractor for my lower back pain during the pregnancy and then Mr. T received craniosacral treatments shortly after he was born.

It wasn't until recently that I decided to take it a step further.  As most of you know, I am on a journey to feel better.  It started just as weight gain, but as I continued to try and figure out what was going on, my therapist recommended "Intuitive Eating".  As I began to pay more attention to how I felt before, during, and after eating, I began to realize that I was feeling pretty crummy.  Actually, more than crummy. I was downright sick and had no idea. 

The logical thing to do would be to my primary care physician.  When I decided that I didn't want to do that because of my lack of help in the past from her, I knew I needed to change primary care physicians (and am in the process of doing that but am not having much luck).  I also knew that maybe I needed to look at alternative medicine for the I began researching naturopathy, found a naturopath (ND), and met with her.  (I did end up at my old primary care physician's office so that I could get lab work paid for through my insurance.  The nurse practioner gave me a flier on how to lose weight and circled the walk at least 10,000 steps a day after I had just finished telling her that I walk between 11,500-13,000 steps a day on average.) 

All I can say is that for the first time in a really long time, I have felt truly heard when I talked about my medical issues.  I wasn't looked down upon, I wasn't ridiculed for thinking that something else might be going on despite the lack of evidence at the time, I was listened to because I am the expert of me.  What a concept!

So I have been working with my Naturopath for just over two months and have not only learned why I feel like crud, but how to fix it....for good. I have been complaining to my "regular" doctors for years and been told nothing is wrong with me or that I just need to take x pill for 10 days and then I would be better.  It infuriates me that mainstream practitioners are so quick to blow patients off just because their lab results are within the normal range.

Now if I could just find a regular physician that works well with naturopaths, I would be golden.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

SCD Diet: One week down!

(Day 7 of 182)

I am doing pretty well!  I do not feel like I normally do on a diet where everything I "shouldn't have" is what I am craving.  Instead I am craving things like nuts, raw energy balls, and havarti cheese (it is so creamy!).  Last night, despite my thought that I wouldn't be able to have pizza for 6 months, I had SCD pizza.  I used almond flour, eggs, olive oil, and salt....and it was delicious!!  I have had fun trying out different sausages (from the butchers at Whole Foods and New Seasons) and have decided that I really don't like all the non-Italian sausages and that I like the sausages from Whole Foods better.

Overall I am feeling pretty good too.  I have more energy and my mood has been pretty good.  I have had to adjust my coffee intake because the increased amount of caffeine (compared to soda) was causing my anxiety to act up.  I am experiencing some bacterial die-off symptoms during the middle of the day (and one day it was morning through mid-afternoon -not a great day).  Thankfully it isn't terribly bad though and I feel like maybe I am over the hump because yesterday was the best day yet.

Also on a plus side, I am down 3 pounds for the week.  I have no idea if that is the result of the thyroid meds or the diet though and really, there is no way to know.  Frankly, I don't really care what is causing me to lose weight, I am just glad that I am.  (*My current goal is to feel better, not to lose weight. I am not counting calories or watching my fat intake because that would just be too hard while learning a new diet.)

The challenges I have faced primarily revolve around finding time to prepare the foods I am going to eat.  Superman does a great job playing on his own when I am feeding Mr. T or putting him to sleep, so the times that I am not doing that he really needs to have my attention and nap times haven't been going well lately.   I have tried to include him in the making of the food which I think will be key going forward.  Today is going to be a small challenge.  We are having Superman's 2nd birthday party and there will be cupcakes.  I love cupcakes.  My plan is to avoid touching them all together.  That way I don't have to resist the urge to lick my fingers.  Speaking of licking...I am becoming more and more aware of how many little bites/licks/nibbles I took from Superman's food before.  I keep catching myself about to eat some "illegal" food!!  I guess the good news is that I am catching myself.

So there you have it.  Not too shabby for the first week!