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Detoxing from my favorite drug, SUGAR.

Today I woke up ready. Last night, I was a little freaked because I ate sooo much sugar yesterday and topped it all off with a fantastic birthday meal (for JD) and pineapple pina colada at Joe’s Crab Shack and a cupcake from Le Cupcake. I’m not going to even divulge what I ate earlier in the day. I shouldn’t be allowed to even say the phrase, “last hurrah”….

In my last post I talked about some of the reasons why we are doing this sugar detox. The biggest reason is to reset our bodies, allow them to heal themselves, and to feed our bodies the food it needs to live a full, energetic, and good life. For us, this is just step one on a long journey. There will be no going back to normal after we are done. 21 DSD is our stepping stone.

This morning my wonderful husband chopped three onions before he went to work. He is amazing. Just so I wouldn’t tear up….for some reason chopping onions makes me have a really bad reaction. I read that the enzymes in the onions release a gas that, when it hits the water in our eyeballs, creates sulfuric acid. I don’t know if that is true, but next time I have to do it, I’m going to try not opening my mouth at all. Many pinterest pins tell me this works. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about the shallot I needed for my asian food, and it affected me so bad I had to go outside, in the snow, to get relief.

Last October we did the Whole30 thing for almost three weeks. But you are supposed to go thirty days. It was really good, but hard. I felt so amazing, and I didn’t feel sick once while doing it. But it was exhausting, and I had a really hard time coming up with meals. I didn’t plan ahead, and that was why we failed. Then we fell into a really large rut that contained very poor food choices. And the holidays. So last night we went to the store and got what we needed for the next two weeks, and today I made it almost all of those meals. I’ll post the how later, but this is what I accomplished today:

Cooked and froze the meat for two lasagnas, 1 pot of chili, beef and broccoli, two taco meals, chicken fajitas, and chicken for snacks/salads. I made 8oz of coconut butter and my own coconut milk for a couple smoothie recipes I can’t wait to try. This, along with the work we did last week of cooking four pork roasts and dividing into four freezer bags, will give us over ten meals, with a lot of extra meat for snacks, salads, and for adding to breakfasts. I did this with a little preparation, but honestly I didn’t do that much. I could have been much more organized and prepared even more. All of the cooking took me 2 hours today, and all day for the pork roasts, which is totally do-able in the same day. I love that we don’t have to buy any meat for at least two weeks. I do need to hit the store again, however, for some fresh produce. I’m going to make a bunch of cauliflower rice and freeze it too, and I forgot to get coconut aminos, which is a crucial ingredient for a lot of our meals.

I weighed myself this morning, and while I am still less than I was one year ago, I put on almost 10 lbs in about 2 1/2 months. Whoops. I’m hoping that this sugar detox helps with weight loss and especially bloating! Hate that puffy feeling! Unfortunately, it is bitter cold outside, and I don’t have warm running gear. I’m not sure if I’ll run in the cold or just find ways to take advantage of warmer days. JD usually works most of the daylight hours, so I have to get up with the sun if I want to get a run in. My attainable goal is to run a 10k this year, and my secret hope is to do a half-marathon, all running. EEK! I did a 3k and a 5k mud run last year, but I also sprained my ankle twice and fell flat on my face at least three times…..now that I have new shoes, maybe that will help…ha.

Two Months.

I have had a lot happen in a short amount of time.  A lot of my entries on this blog have been about eating healthy.  Being healthy.  My journey, and that of my family.  About three months ago…actually over six months ago, JD and I started noticing something was wrong with him.  Fast forward a few months of every test known to man, and we still don’t know what it is.  Eating well, whole, and often seems to help.  Sleeping a full 8 hours a night helps.  Heat makes it a lot worse.  But for the most part, it is unpredictable.  He was really starting to get into running and being more active, and this has been a big setback.  

Because of medical bills, we moved to a new city, in with his parents.  This has been a huge struggle.  I mean, who wants to do that?  At almost 30, with two kids….it’s just not where you think you will be when you are 17 and looking ahead at all the possibilities before you.  I still see possibilities.  I see myself doing a lot of things.  But JD is working an hour away, so that’s an extra 10 hours a week driving, and working extra some times.  We have no time.  And all the time in the world.

Through this, we have gotten off track with eating well.  We are starting to figure it out again, but it is hard.  How is it that everything i was learning and thought I knew has left my mind?  I feel like I have to re-learn.  I go to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s and I just stare at all of the awesome healthy choices before me, then leave empty handed.  So that is where I am, and why I have not been posting.  A little bit ashamed, a little bit annoyed at myself, but mostly kind of broken.

A Well-Rounded…but Different Diet

You might be wondering why none of our recipes or grocery lists contain nuts. Basically, we have dedicated ourselves to making our home an allergen-free environment. One of my closest and dearest friends, Shannon, has a little boy with SEVERE food allergies. His name is Asher. He is allergic to dairy, soy, wheat, legumes, tree nuts, eggs, dogs, cats, and who knows what else! He is anaphylactic to peanuts, most tree nuts, and eggs. We started off making our home nut-free because that was pretty easy. We wanted a place where he could come and play; he is C’s best friend and they are about the same age. But we had a difficult time changing, especially with informing our friends and family of the hows and whys, and we still had eggs around. It really wasn’t that safe.

As our journey began to include eating differently, and as we came across food problems with E, we decided to go all out. Going on the whole food eating plan has eliminated eggs from our diet. By not eating the foods we usually put eggs in, we don’t have to worry about having them. We didn’t eat eggs by themselves much, but we baked and made soups with eggs a lot. We moved into a new house and decided before we moved that there would be no nuts and no eggs in that house. And now that we barely eat meat, eggs are a non-issue.

Beans are a legume, and so are peas and green beans, which we do eat in our house. They are actually very common in many things we make. Asher isn’t too allergic to black beans, which is mostly what we eat. The lighter the bean, the higher his allergic response, so we try to keep great northern beans to a minimum. We use them sometimes in soups, but that is it. So our house isn’t completely allergen-free, but Shannon and Asher do not have to worry about him going into anaphylactic shock from anything in our home. We are especially careful about what is brought in. We have told our close friends and family to keep outside food away, which wasn’t a big issue anyway. Because E has his issues with dairy and soy, we understand even more (though I’m sure not completely) what they go through. It is important to have people in your life that understand and are supportive. Plus, C love Asher and being able to have him in our home while eating more healthy is only a positive.

Even when we had decided to make our new home safe for Asher, we still were eating lots of boxed things. Most of which were contaminated with nuts. We are so glad that we aren’t eating that stuff anymore anyway for our own health, but it is a great by-product of our choice that our place is totally nut-free. It’s important to know that most things, even if they don’t contain nuts, are contaminated by the facility they are packaged or manufactured in.

So now you know why we don’t eat nuts. We don’t think nuts are bad for most people, but we do think people should be more aware of where they eat nuts, and the consequences of careless eating in public places. Nuts can be very nutritious and a good source of protein and good fats, but for us, it is not worth the risk.

To read more about Shannon and Asher’s story, find great vegan and nut-free recipes, and connect with other food-allergy families, go to http://thisanaphylacticlife.blogspot.com. And visit the FAAN website for more info on food allergies and their prevalence in our nation.

Feelings

I was driving down O Street.  My car has been having some issues, so it’s hard for me to get started, but once I get going I’m ok.  Each stoplight kept turning red right when I got to it.  I’d have to get going all slow and cars were passing me on both sides.  I felt such a parallel to my life right now.  Every time things get going, and things seem to be looking up, I have to start all over again.  And the faster or higher I get, the lower and harder I fall.  It takes longer each time to get going again.  I feel so beaten down.  E’s health issues have affected every aspect of our lives.  I can’t work much because he needs so much attention.  C doesn’t get as much attention, and really E doesn’t get as much as he would if he was healthy either.  Most of our time is spent getting feedings ready, and he sleeps a lot of the time in between.  We don’t get much sleep, and when we do get a good amount (5-6 hours), it’s broken into at least two chunks.  It’s starting to really wear me down.  Maybe I’m just having a bad day.  Our finances are horrendous.  We thought we were really making progress, even in to April.  That first hospital stay was the start of a downhill mudslide. Between expensive formula, then more expensive formula, then using higher concentrations and thus going through the most expensive formula even faster….and expensive medicines….and huge bills from his stays and treatments, labs and tests and many many visits to the pediatrician…I’m starting to feel pretty beaten down.  Maybe this is just something we all go through at some point.  I know things will look up sometime soon.  

This is how I feel today.  My emotions are all over the place, but they are trapped beneath the surface…as if it is cold out and I’m a lake, and even when there’s a break in the ice, the top freezes over so quickly nothing can get out.

I have other feelings.  I feel so afraid that there’s something lurking behind E’s health issues.  That we are only treating symptoms of some monster that has yet to rear its ugly head.  I am afraid that C will feel neglected, or that she will prefer others to me because I’m not there for her like I have been in the past.  I’m afraid of every cough or sneeze or worse, stomach bug that we cross b/c that will be enough to throw E over the edge.  I’m afraid that JD will have to miss more work, when he really can’t miss work, and I’m afraid that if he ever gets sick even for a couple days, that I can’t do things on my own.  I’m afraid for this week, that I can’t handle everything on my plate, and won’t be able to even take care of both kids at once by myself.  I’m afraid of losing myself.

But I am grateful too.  I am so thankful for our family.  JD’s family have supported us beyond measure, both physically and emotionally.  They have given so much of their time and love for our grandkids, and they love doing it and never make us feel like we owe them or like they are doing us a favor.  They shower us with grace and love and I will never be able to show them how grateful I am.  My mom and CS have been amazing as well.  Mom went clear to Omaha with me, and then came back and stayed with me.  CS and JC have both helped around the house so much, clearing gutters, trimming trees, mowing, fixing things…and LC has given me so much motivation and emotional support.  Not to mention being very flexible with work.  Everyone has been wonderful…asking how we are doing.  And I know how much worse it could be.  I’ve done so much research…I’ve seen families going through things sooooooo much more intense and terrifying.  I’m grateful that we are able to be home, and that E is happy and relatively healthy and growing.

Most of all I am humbled by my heavenly Father.  I feel safe, despite my fears, tears, and anguish.  I know He is holding my family in His hands…and that He has a plan for us.  My children are His, and I am so grateful for the gift of them.  I know He will always provide for us, and that He will give us peace and somehow carry us through this mess.

The View From Up Here

I’m sitting here, on a bench in a hospital room in Omaha, looking out at the city and wondering why time never stays the same.  Time is supposed to be a constant, always moving at the same pace.  Why does it fly?  Why does it stop?  How can it do those things, and yet still be moving at the same old rate it always does at the same time?

Cars fly by constantly on Dodge Street, so I know there are people out there living their lives.  Someone hit the pause button in my life.  All the things I thought I would be doing, they aren’t getting done.  The important thing is that progress is being made, despite the halt of time in my universe.  I look out at the bushy, broccoli-like tops of the trees that fill the horizon, and think…they must know how I feel.

Turmoil

Today it is windy.  I am sitting in my chair by the window, watching the wind throw the branches around.  It reminds me of how nothing stays the same.  Even when I am not moving, the wind is moving through me.  My life has been in a constant state of upheaval recently.  Thank goodness I am planted where I am…but all the branches in my life are being thrown around, sometimes quite violently.  I am looking forward to sunnier days.  Where the sun causes growth and happiness and stillness and I can peacefully look up at the blue sky and take a nice deep breath.  I am a tree, reaching toward the heavens. Slowly growing each day closer to the one who created me.  I may be bowed by the wind, but I am strong enough to keep growing.