Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cinnamon Spice Cookies (Grain-Free)

what you need:
  • ¼ lb butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¾ cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons kefir (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

what you do:
Melt butter and beat with eggs and honey. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Set dough in refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes. Place half of dough on coconut floured surface and roll to about ¼ inch thickness with rolling pin. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes. Place cookies on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cookies cool off. If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate.



This post was shared on Monday Mania and Fat Tuesday.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Grain Free "Vanillekipferl"

Vanillekipferl were my favorite Christmas cookies when I was growing up. The dough for these cookies consists of flour, sugar, butter, and ground hazelnuts (or almonds). The baked cookies are then coated with a mixture of powdered sugar and vanilla flavored sugar. I made these last night and decided to try a grain-free version of them. I doubt they taste anything close to the real thing, but DH said they are good which means a lot. He's pretty picky when it come to grain-free baked goods or meals.

what you need:

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/8 cup of honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/8 cup heavy whipping cream (you can use coconut milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

what you do:
Mix or knead all ingredients until well mixed and a soft dough forms. Place in fridge for 10 to 20 minutes. Form half moon shapes and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.




This link was shared on Monday Mania and Fat Tuesday.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Paleo "Beef Rouladen"

Rouladen are a typical Germany meal and made from beef. The name refers to the actual piece of meat you get from the butcher (typically taken from round roast, tip roast, etc.) and it also refers to the finished meal. In its simplest form it's a thin piece of "rouladen" with some onions or pickles or something, rolled up and sort of cooked like a roast. My mom and grandmother used to fill theirs with bacon, seasoned ground beef, onions, and pickles, so that's how I make mine. Rouladen are often served with potatoes, gravy, and warm red cabbage. The gravy is usually made with flour of course. I am skipping that step since flour is not Paleo and I am making sweet potatoes for DH.

what you need (for 4 Rouladen - I made 10 for 4 people):
  • 4 pieces of round steak roughly 3/16 inch thick
  • mustard
  • 2 medium to large onions
  • 8 (or so) slices of bacon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • tallow, pork fat, palm oil, or coconut oil
  • pickles (homemade or whatever brand you like - I used Bubbies)
  • fresh parsley
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • spices of your choice for ground beef

what you do:
Season ground beef with spices you like. If you are brave you can taste it. Chop pickles and onions. 
Spread some mustard on each "steak" and season with salt and pepper. Place slices of bacon on steaks, divide ground beef evenly between steaks, then add chopped pickles and onions. Roll up each steak as tight as possible, then secure end with a "Rouladen Nadel" or wrap with some sewing yarn.

 


Heat oil of choice in a large pot and brown Rouladen on all sides. Add onions and sautee until translucent. 
Add water so Rouladen are just covered, bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer with the lid on. Simmer for roughly 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove Rouladen from pot, puree onions to make a gravy, and season to taste. Remove Rouladen needles or thread and place Rouladen back into the gravy.

Unfortunately after this I forgot to take pictures, but the finished product looks something like this

This post is part of Sunday School, Monday Mania, and Fat Tuesday.

Monday, November 14, 2011

An Update

It's been roughly 2 weeks since I broke my fast and things are going so so. Overall I tolerate more foods now, like egg yolks, ghee, kefir, and some others, and I can eat sauerkraut brine and other ferments without debilitating die off. However, I also started back on systemic enzymes and started taking a natural anti-fungal/anti-bacterial. So in a way I still have the same or similiar symptoms as I did before the fast, but now it's with taking probees, ferments, and stuff to kill bacteria and fungi. The abdominal distention is as bad as ever, or maybe worse, and I wish I didn't have to eat.


In January I will be seeing Dr. Dahlgren at the Comprehensive Medical Center in Kirkland, WA. This is Dr. Klinghardt's clinic and I am very excited about going. My appointments are on January 10, 11, 12, and 13, so I will be flying in on January 9th. There will be a lot of testing in various forms and visits with Dr. Dahlgren who is a naturopath.

Dr. K and his docs treat Lyme and co-infections with herbs and other natural remedies. They also advise patients to make sure their home is mold free for which they recommend ERMI, and to remove as many EMFs as possible. They address insulin resistance (with niacinamide) and Kryptopyrroluria because addressing those two makes treating Lyme and co-infections easier to according to Dr. K. Next they treat parasites, because most Lyme patients have them and I still suspect that this is the cause of the abdominal distention and constant hunger for me. Last but not least, they treat Lyme bacteria and any co-infections with herbal remedies while simultaneously strengthening the immune system.


Knowing I will be going to see one of Dr. K's doctors gives me hope that things will finally improve. It is also the only thing that is keeping me going right now because I can't say that I am enjoying my life at the moment. I mean, how do you have fun and find joy when every day is filled with pain, fatigue, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, red/burning eyes, constant and I mean CONSTANT hunger, pressure or pain in your belly, and more? If it wasn't for these appointments I am not sure how I would make it through each day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Simple Chicken Heart and Liver Pâté

  • 12 chicken hearts, boiled
  • 2 chicken livers, boiled
  • 1/3 small onion, boiled
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, butter or other fat
  • sage, salt, and pepper to taste

Puree all ingredients then place in refrigerator.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Creamy Curry Soup with Curried Chicken Breast

I decided to make another soup for DH in my new OmniBlend using the leftover veggies from my broth. He liked it so here it goes.

  • 1 pound chicken breast (cut into small chunks)
  • 2 cups leftover, already cooked veggies
  • 1 1/3 cups coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds
  • 1 teaspoon thai curry seasoning (we bought this when we got the Vitamix)
  • 1/2 cube blend it up bouillon (also a Vitamix thing but any bouillon will do)
  • 2-3  tablespoon sesame oil
  • curry powder, salt, pepper to taste

Sautee chicken breast in sesame oil, add curry powder, salt and pepper.


When the chicken is almost done cooking, place the almonds, coconut milk, and spices in the blender.


Heat the vegetables and add to the blender as well.

Process on 90 second setting if you have an OmniBlend, otherwise just process until well blended. Pour soup into bowls and add chicken. If I had had any cilantro left I would have added a few cilantro leaves as well.

*This post was shared on The Healthy Home Economist and Real Food Forager.

Fall Fast Day 16

I have the usual symptoms. Not much has changed. Yesterday my stomach was almost completely flat when I got up and within 30 minutes of having some clear vegetable broth it was distended again. It's so aggravating I want to scream. Tomorrow I am breaking the fast sort of with ghee. Tuesday I will add egg yolks and maybe some kefir.

Friday, October 28, 2011

First Recipe in the OmniBlend - Creamy Vegetable Soup

I was able to get a brand new OmniBlend for $175, no shipping. I just got home today from NC and made some vegetable broth from tomatoes, asparagus, zucchini, broccoli, onions, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro. DH commented on how good it smelled and said he would like a soup from the left over veggies. So here is what I threw together.

  • 2 cups leftover veggies
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2  cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2  cube knorr chicken boullion
  • 7 grinds black peppercorns

Process in OmniBlend on high until well blended and warm. I also cut some chunks of ham into the soup for him. He said it was great.

So far I like the OmniBlend much better than the Vitamix. I need to do a proper review.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Fast Day 13

I slept badly again, waking quite often. Maybe it's because of the roach I found in the kitchen cabinet last night. I hate roaches. I am actually thinking about leaving today.

Because I was feeling rather poorly yesterday, emotionally and physically, I decided to add a bit of tomato juice back in. However, my heart rate was actually worse this morning. It climbed all the way to 177 at which point I had to sit down. I took the beta blocker, got back into bed, and had some tea and water. About half an hour later I got up to give Mojo his pills and it was still just as bad so I took another beta blocker. It's still so high I can't even take him for a walk. Blood sugar was 71. I had some broth with Celtic sea salt and a bit more tomato juice. Between that and the addition beta blocker I hope that I will be functional soon.

My eye lids weren't as swollen this morning but I really can't say that I feel good. Most people feel so much better by day 5 to 6 of fasting but that doesn't seem to happen for me. My tongue is also still greenish-white.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Fast Day 12

I can't believe I am on day 12 already. It has gone by relatively fast. This morning I had the same symptoms as the last two days, but my heart rate shot up all the way into the 170s. Amazing what removing that little bit of juice did to me. My blood sugar was down to 69 as well. I may have to add the juice back in. I also feel sort of numb and out of it today and my mood is gloomy. Of course today I have some work to do. Would have been nice if it had come yesterday when I was feeling clear headed and more like myself.

I decided to head back on Saturday instead of Sunday. I just don't want to drive 12 hours straight and I need to be back on Sunday. I have a chiro appointment on Monday and now that I have work I want to be back.

I am up to 6 drops of ProSymbioflor, 5 drops of L. Reuteri, and 1/2 tsp of Sauerkraut brine now. Although I have eaten practically nothing, I had a bowel movement (on my own) yesterday and today. Hard to believe there's anything left inside me but I am thrilled that my bowels are moving without help. I am guessing it's the SK brine or the combo of the SK brine and other probees. I never thought that I would get excited over a bowel movement OR that I would talk about my bowel movements on a blog!

Yesterday I took Mojo swimming at Radio Island. I may go there again today. The temps is dropping to 61 on Friday so today and tomorrow are the last two days I can take him swimming.

Radio Island


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Fast Day 11

I woke up with a headache, swollen eye lids, puffy face, fatigue, heart rate in the 150s, weak, dizzy, and out of it. Blood sugar was 77. My stomach was just slightly distended below the belly. I had some watered down black tea and half a cup of water with some organic lime juice and sea salt. Roughly 30 minutes later I had the pregnant belly and my back started to hurt. Not only is it incredibly uncomfortable, but it is utterly frustrating that some water with lime juice and sea salt would cause me to be this distended. I am SO incredibly tired of this f-ing abdominal distention and constant,  non-stop, excessive hunger. If I could get rid of those two symptoms alone, my life would be so much easier, less frustrating, and more enjoyable.

I am angry at God, too. I am not asking him to allow me to eat cheesecake or crap without consequences. All I am asking is to be able to eat healthy, nourishing, wholesome food without feeling like utter crap. And I would like to know the friggin' cause of the abdominal distention and excessive hunger. I am not even asking Him anymore to take them away, I just want to know WHY I have these symptoms so I can address them. Not to have control over what is happening in my body is one of the worst things I have had to deal with in my life and I absolutely hate it.

There, that's my rant and blow up for the day!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Fast Day 10

Not much to report really. Still have some die off from the probees (and fasting of course) but it's tolerable. Today I increased the ProSymbioflor and l. reuteri slightly. My tongue still looks greenish-white. It's gross but scraping it does nothing. Definitely detoxing.

Today was a "free" day and I spent it walking Mojo, reading books, checking emails, sitting outside, and watching TV. I am pretty fried right now and doubt I will do much of anything else the rest of the night.

I really want some coffee but have decided to leave it out completely....including coffee enemas. If it's true that one can react to coffee if one is intolerant to gluten then I don't want to risk it. But I miss it. Also, today while I was walking Mojo one of the store owners came out to pet him. He asked if I want to look around his store but I said I could not leave Mojo tied up outside. He said to bring him in. Then he said he has free wine tasting. Boy was that tempting but I declined.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fall Fast Day 9

Yesterday I took a small amount of 2 different probiotics and about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp sauerkraut brine. I am definitely feeling it today but it's not near as bad as it was before I started the fast. That amount of SK brine and probees would have made for a horrible day the next day. Today, my right eye lid was very swollen when I got up, I feel totally out of it (not really cognitive) and numb, I don't even feel like reading, and I sort of feel like just staying in bed all day. I should probably do an enema but I have absolutely no desire. Instead, I will probably sit in my little sauna this afternoon.

Annette, the woman hosting this retreat, is planning another outing today. Yesterday we went to an island with wild ponies and a ton of shells. It was such a nice day. Today we are driving to another beach, some national park, to walk, sit in the sun, and do some Yoga. She said there is an area where Mojo can go swimming.




Dead jellyfish.

 Enjoying the sun.



Mojo has really been enjoying the ocean. He runs in after his tennis ball and just wants to keep going. It's nice to see him having fun because I am not sure how he is feeling right now. When I watch him play and swim I think he is ok, but overall he seems more mellow than he normally is. He also still has diarrhea which concerns me. I worry about him.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall Fast Day 7

I meant to blog every day but as so often that hasn't happened. Today is day 7 and yesterday I finally got to my destination - Beaufort, NC. It is such a pretty little town and I already took Mojo swimming yesterday. I hope to find an even better place for him to swim today and I need to get him a tennis ball.

As for me, I am detoxing like crazy. My tongue is greenish-white, I am fatigued, my heart rate was 184 this morning when I got up, my body is still and achy, and I have pain going down the back of my legs. I don't think I have felt this bad during any of my past fasts so I am not sure what is going on.

On the agenda today....the woman hosting the fasting retreat is taking us on a walking tour of Beaufort this morning. Later today she will be teaching a Yoga class on a houseboat but considering how stiff my body feels I am not sure I feel up to it. I am taking Mojo on the walk with me. Otherwise I need to run to the store and get a few things for the kitchen and for Mojo.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Fast Day 2

I started my fast yesterday. I had a tiny bit of coffee in the AM (less than 1/4 cup) and otherwise just water, tea, clear veggie broth, and some fat (VCO, beef fat). Overall I felt pretty good, no headache, no increased fatigue, etc. and I got a lot done. I washed and vacuumed my car, did some laundry, cleaned up around the house, and overall stayed busy.

This morning I woke up with a wicked headache, my heart rate was close to 170, and I feel puffy and swollen all over. All of this could be die off/detox for me. I have a very dry mouth but I am not thirsty and water, which I normally like and drink all day, is not appealing to me at all. My tongue, which usually has a slight whitish color to it, is a greenish-white now. After just one day - wow!

Wednesday I will be heading to North Carolina with my boy Mojo to finish my fast there. Not looking forward to the drive but am looking forward to being away from home. I was very tempted to eat yesterday starting around 4 PM. That's usually when it gets tough and it lasts throughout the evening. Fasting somewhere else is easier for some reason.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Salmon Patties

  • 1 can wild caught salmon (6 ounces)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets, steamed
  • salt, pepper, paprika, rosemary to taste (and/or other spices/herbs)

Mix all ingredients then puree. Fry in skillet in some tallow or pork fat.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 86

Day 86 of intro and I am still on stage 2. Can't say that I am feeling any better. If anything, I feel worse then when I started. I wake up wishing the day was over already. So I decided to do another fast. It won't heal me, but I know it will get me to a better place. At least I should be able to tolerate more foods after the fast and also more probiotics and ferments.

I was going to do it at home, but fasting at home has been really hard for me here lately mostly because I am so friggin' hungry ALL the time. (That is part of the reason I wish the day was over already - so I don't have to right this constant hunger.) So I decided on a place in North Carolina for a fasting retreat. I don't plan on drinking the green smoothies. The woman who runs the retreat also makes clear veggie broth and will make some for me every day for "lunch" and "dinner". The retreat takes place at the Beaufort Harber Suites in Beaufort, NC. The hotel is about a block from the beach.

I am so looking forward to going. The die off will be hard and I will probably feel weak during the fast like I usually do, but I know I will feel so much better when I am done. I am not sure yet about what to do after the fast, but most likely I will go see Dr.. Bernui in Hendersonville, TN. He comes highly recommended.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Smoked Brisket with Quick and Easy Green Beans

7-8         lbs        Brisket

Rub brisket with Espresso Dry Rub. Place in baking dish of some sort. Smoke for 8-10 hours. Remove from smoker, wrap in aluminum foil and smoke another 2 hours. Serve with green beans.

Throw some bacon in a pot and fry on low until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside. Add green beans to pot, cover with water, place lid on pot, bring to boil, then reduce to simmer. Let them simmer until water is evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon when serving.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Coconut Chicken Muffins

  • 4 ounces zucchini, peeled
  • 3 ounces onion
  • 1 green onion
  • 5 ounces chicken breast, cooked
  • 2  eggs
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 10 grinds black pepper corns
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
  • a few sprinkles each rosemary, basil, paprika, and garlic powder

I used grilled chicken breast that we had marinated in our Latin Kisses marinate, but any cooked chicken would work. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Steam or boil veggies until slightly soft. Mix all ingredients in food processor until well blended.
Grease muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups. Divide batter evenly into 9 muffin cups.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Enjoy!



Posting this on Real Food Forager today.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Another Onion-Cilantro Dressing

  • 3 ounces yellow onion (approx. 1/4 large onion)
  • 1 ounce jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
  • 1.5 ounces red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 3-4 grinds peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • water, optional

Place all ingredients in Magic Bullet, Food Processor, or something like it and run until you have a dressing like consistency. Done!

Sautéed Green Beans with Onions and Bacon

  • 500 grams french green beans, fresh, trimmed (approximately 4.5 cups)
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, choppped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp basil leaves, dried
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sautée bacon in a skillet until crispy. Remove bacon pieces leaving grease in the skillet. Sautée onions and garlic in bacon grease until translucent. Add green beans, green onion, and spices and sautée until green beans have desired consistency (we like ours crunchy). Place in serving dish and sprinkle bacon pieces on top. Serves 4 to 6 people.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Spicy Onion-Tomato-Cilantro Salad Dressing (or Dip)

  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1 medium roma tomato
  • 3-4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 sprinkle celtic sea salt or other high quality salt
  • 3-4 grinds peppercorns
  • a few fresh cilantro leaves
  • water (optional)

Place all ingredients in food processor or something like it and puree until all ingredients are liquified. Add water (or more oil) if dressing is too thin.

Onion-Cilantro Salad Dressing (or Dip)

I made another Low Carb BBQ Chicken Pizza for DH today. Last time I made it he wasn't here and I chopped up the onions by hand. Today, he decided to chop them in the Magic Bullet but it turned into pureed onions. So he decided to make a salad dressing out of it. We did not measure anything so these are guestimates.

  • 1/2 large onion
  • 2-3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • sprinkle Celtic sea salt
  • 3-4 grinds black peppercorns
  • a few fresh cilantro ceaves
  • optional water

Place all ingredients in food processor or something like it and puree until all ingredients are liquified. Add water (or more oil) if dressing is too thin.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Low Carb BBQ Chicken Pizza with French Fried Onions

what you need:

Line cookie sheet or other baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Place tortillas on lined cookie sheet and spread desired amount of BBQ sauce on tortilla. Sprinkle chopped onions on top of BBQ Sauce.
Add shredded mozzarella cheese on top of onions.
Add cubed chicken and cheddar cheese. Bake in toaster oven (regular oven works, too) on 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle cilantro leaves and french fried onions on pizza then bake another 2 to 5 minutes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Loss

In 1995 my dad got a dog named Kristy. She was a Shephard mix of some sort that he found at a shelter south of Dallas, TX where he was staying at his motor home. I had just gotten my black lab Dakota a few months prior and we went to visit them. Kristy must have been around 2 years old then and Kota was just a pup. It was fall and I remember they were playing in the leaves.

Last night Kristy went to sleep and didn't wake up. Mom knew it was coming but when it happens it's still a shock and it's hard. I know what it feels like to lose a dog because Dakota went missing while Bob and I were on our honeymoon. I still miss him. My mom has a routine with Kristy as most people do and it will be very hard for her. In addition, Kristy was mom's only companion and now she is all by herself. She was also the only thing we had left of Dad.

I didn't have a strong connection to Kristy but I did love her and I too had a routine when I was there. Ordinarily mom's friends Brigitte and Heinz would come pick up Kristy at mom's house in the morning while mom was at work. They would take her for a walk, then take Kristy to their house where she would hang out until mom came home from work and got her. When I went to visit mom I would take over the morning walks with Kristy, so it will be a change for me as well next time I visit mom.

What Kristy's death did for me is bring up overall feelings of loss that I probably haven't allowed myself to feel in a while. Loss of my dad. Loss of my grandparents. Loss of Dakota. Loss of my ability to have children. Loss of my health. Loss of my "in shape" body. Loss of a career I could have had if it wasn't for these health issues. Loss of friendships. Loss of the person I used to be before I got sick. Loss of our house in Austin. Loss of so many people and things. I know this will pass, but right now life seems overwhelmingly sad and unbearable. Most days I wake up wondering how I am going to make it through the day. So I was sitting outside in the sun thinking about all this crying my heart out. It's just going to be one of those days I suppose.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Low Carb Sunflowerseed Cookies

DH went back to eating low carb. He sticks to Paleo meals quite often, but also some regular low carb foods. Since I love to cook, and I want him to succeed in eating LC, I am always looking for new things to make for him. I either come up with my own recipes, or I find Paleo friendly recipes that I modify for him. The recipe I am about to post was adapted from this one: Paleo Mag Online Sunflowerseed Cookies

DH does not like raisins or honey, plus I wanted to reduce the carbs a bit. So I substituted sugar-free chocolate for the raisins, I reduced the honey by half and added 3 packets of Splenda. I added the egg/yolk to replace the honey. I know, not THE healthiest thing to eat, but for an occasional treat I think it's ok. Better than a high carb diet anyway.
what you need:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sunflowerseed flour
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 3 packets Splenda
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2  bar Russel Stover Sugar Free Dark Chocolate

Beat egg and egg yolk in a bowl. Crush chocolate bar into chunks of desired size. Add all remaining ingredients to eggs. Mix well and drop onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until edges turn golden brown.





Thursday, August 18, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 49

Two days ago I started taking teasel - an herb that kills Lyme bacteria. I was going to start with 1 drop but 2 drops came out. Yesterday I was going to take another 2 drops but 3 came out. Today I feel like utter crap. I am more fatigued and worn out than I normally am, I feel dizzy and get black spots in front of my eyes every time I stand up, I have this overwhelming desire to stay in bed all day, my eyes are more red/burning than usual, and I feel like I can't go on like this. The daily abdominal distention and constant, never-ending, insatiable hunger alone are wearing me out. I guess the die off I am getting is somewhat tolerable, but that's because I don't have any work right now. If I get more projects next week I am going to have to stop taking the teasel because I also cannot concentrate right now or wrap my mind around simple things, let alone complex programming.

This of course presents a huge problem. I am not going to get anywhere by taking probees (which I still can't tolerate) and herbs against Lyme and babesia (a co-infection I have) on weekends only. Actually, I am wondering if that would make things worse. So my plan is to do another fast. I was going to fast every spring and fall anyhow since I am a total believer in the benefits of fasting for healing and maintaining health. However, this time I am considering a 10-day water fast at TrueNorth Health Center in California rather than a water/broth/juice/tea fast at Malteser Klinik von Weckbecker in Germany where I have gone before. I have read that you can accomplish the same with a 10-day water fast as a 30-day juice fast and my goal is to feel better fast. I have no desire to continue feeling like this every single day for years to come. I would rather feel even worse for 10 days and then be at a much better starting point. At least that's my theory right now.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

This gives me hope...

Lyme Success Stories

...and it made me cry. I am SO worn out on every level possible. I used to get up, have some coffee, go work out (running, weight lifting, Yoga, Pilates, more...), go work a full day, come home, cook dinner, and possibly go out with friends. Now cooking a meal seems like a chore. Filling the dogs' water bowel seems like too much some days. I miss the person I used to be and I am not happy with who I have become. Other than not knowing all these years what is truly causing my symptoms, not being able to do anything about them has been the hardest part. It seems that all my efforts to regain my health have been in vain. It is EXHAUSTING to try so hard to feel better yet feel like shit most days.

I used to be so focused and was able to concentrate and do my work no matter what was going on around me. It is something prior bosses commented on. Now I feel like I am trapped in a black box inside my head and all rational thought, focus, intelligence, and joy is outside that box, visible, but unreachable. It is the most horrible feeling when you try to explain something, put something into words, and you feel those words are within reach yet you cannot reach them. That is the best way I can describe it right now. Maybe one day, when I am past all this, I will be able to verbalize it better.

GAPS Intro #7: Day 38

I feel like crap. Two days ago I added in some fermented cod liver oil. I started with 1 ml on Friday and yesterday I had 1/4 tsp. I woke up with a wicked headache yesterday that never went away. Today I woke up again with a headache and also a backache and overall I fee like death. Since I may have to go back to work tomorrow I guess I won't be taking it today.

I am so tired of waking up feeling like crap every single day. The Lyme test results should be in by the end of next week - I hope. I want to start treating it but I wonder if I will even tolerate any kind of treatment. If the die off is this strong simply from fermented cod liver oil, how am I going to feel taking targeted herbs and homeopathics for Lyme's disease?

Trying not to be scared...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 35

Reading about Lyme disease, eating zero carb, doing the best I can to make it through each day with minimum symptoms which in itself is utterly draining.

Friday, July 29, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 29

I wish I had kept up with posting daily but I got tired of repeating the same thing over and over. I am on stage 2 now in that I am eating egg yolks on and off, but I think I am reacting to them. I also started taking Nystatin about a week ago but only a tiny amount - less than 1/16th of tsp. Two days ago I increased it to 1/8th of a teaspoon and I am paying for it. Increased headache, fluid retention, fatigue, anxiety (about my job and health mostly), and feeling down on myself.

I am so tired of living this way. The thought of spending one more day inside this body fighting negativity, fighting constant hunger, feeling discomfort or pain from abdominal distention, feeling fatigued and achy, having trouble concentrating, and all the other crap that happens on a daily basis seems unbearable.

I did find out that I most likely have Lyme's disease. I asked Dr. Cowan to order a CD57 blood test and mine came back as 20. Dr. Kalb, my local doctor, says that means there is a chronic bacterial infection but not necessarily Lyme. Some websites say a low value on the CD57 indicates chronic Lyme. So Dr. Kalb is running a Lyme panel and co-infections panel with Igenex. Supposedly the Western blot is the most accurate test for Lyme (although it can present a false negative as well) and apparently Igenex is the best lab to use. I had blood drawn on Tuesday and it will take 5 to 6 weeks to get the results.

The next question is how to treat it. Dr. Kalb treats aggressively with abx, herbs, and probiotics but he is concerned that I will not be able to tolerate abx due to my sensitive stomach. He said in that case we can do IV abx or go the homeopathic route. In the meantime I watched a video of a Lyme talk given by Dr. Rau from Switzerland and he said if you take abx it will cause the Lyme bacteria to form cysts and that's not a good thing.

I also asked the ostheopath in Germany what he recommends and he said to take the homeopathic remedies Aurum Arsenicosum 30C, Notakehl D5, and Fortakehl D5. Apparently the latter two are homeopathic antibiotics but don't kill good gut flora. Mom is getting all three for me and is sending them next week. Her pharmacy had to order the Aurum Arsenicosum from Austria.

I also scheduled a phone appointment with Dr. Cowan today at 4 PM (about 30 minutes) to see what his recommendation is.

Monday, July 11, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 11

Eleven days of intro and I have not noticed any changes for the better what so ever. I stopped the Berb/GSE supplement as well as the Symbioflor probees from Germany. I started feeling so awful I couldn't think or function. I am also giving up on boiled meat. It hasn't done a thing for me.

Friday I went to see a doctor in OH. His dad, a retired doctor, was also there. They think my lymph system is not working properly causing toxins to build up in my body. In addition, they feel my adrenals and thyroid are shot. Ya think!?

Anyway, they put me on two liquid herbal extracts (one for the lymph/detox and one for adrenals/thyroid), liquid ionic minerals, and probees. I am supposed to start the latter in 2 weeks. They have a lower CFU count than mine so maybe those will work for me.

Yesterday I actually had a relatively good day. I wasn't so down/depressed or as angry as I normally am, the distended belly wasn't so bad in the morning, and I had fairly good energy (spent 2 hours mowing and edging the yard in 90-something degree weather). This morning I woke up and that horrible anger is back. I told Pepper (dog) "back" when I went to open the door and as usual she didn't listen. I was so angry I wanted to SCREAM at her and probably would have if DH hadn't still been sleeping. I hate this kind of anger.

I am also depressed, frustrated, tired of feeling this way, tired of waking up with a headache, tired of not knowing what is causing the friggin' abdominal distention, and just feel like crying today.

Not exactly a happy post - what can I say!?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 7

I had a full blown gallbladder attack yesterday and it wasn't pleasant. I took Tylenol which made the pain more bearable but did nothing for the headache I got after lunch. The GB pain is mostly gone now but I still have a wicked headache, upper backache, and lower backache. I don't know why.

Haven't eaten much yet since that can bring on another GB attack. So far I have had two bites of boiled pork tenderloin, clear pork broth, and some "cinnamon gelatin" (pork gelatin mixed with water and cinnamon). If I do ok on that I may eat some more pork tonight for dinner.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 6

I get tired of listing the same symptoms every day - nothing is changing which is frustrating. Die off is supposed to subside after a few days to a week, then you increase probees or ferments, you get a bit more die off and it subsides again. This is not happening for me which makes me question WTH is going on.

Food today: Boiled tenderloin (boring!), pork bone broth, pork meat broth, pork fat.

A little negative today? I sure am! Maybe it's the bugs "talking" or maybe it's just that I am tired of "living" this way.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 5

Symptoms this morning: Same as every morning but today not as bad except for my heart rate. It went up to 160 again but that's standing still. Walking around the kitchen it was *only* 125. Headache and everything else is reduced.

Not much to say. Yesterday was rough. I had that nasty headache all day long but it's gone today. I am back to my usual headache that will probably go away in a bit. In addition I was insanely hungry and craving sweets. I guess taking one Primal Defense Ultra was just too much. I did continue with the Symbioflor probees yesterday so those seem to be ok - I started with one drop each and then took two drops each yesterday. In addition, I skipped the Berb/GSE supp yesterday and took 1/16th tsp of Nystatin instead. I will continue to rotate them every four or five days.

So the good thing is that I am feeling MUCH better today. Yesterday I didn't even feel like myself and all I wanted to do was sit and watch TV and be left alone. Today I feel more like myself and I feel capable of using my brain. The bad thing is that I was tolerating a much higher dose of probees (25 billion versus 5 billion) in April before the blood donation.

Today I am finally starting my job. Still excited and anxious. Once I know the system and I am in a groove I will be ok. I never did like starting at a new company because learning the system/database, check-out/check-in procedures, where everything is, etc. is cumbersome and you are dependent on other people to get things done at first.

Monday, July 4, 2011

GAPs Intro #7: Day 4

Symptoms this morning: Nasty headache (different than my usual headache), right eye lid only barely swollen, very angry, out of it, heart rate went up to 160s!, fluid retention in my entire body, dizzy, trouble standing, very distended, hungry, stuffy nose, white coated tongue, dry mouth.

Considering that I have been taking the Berberine/GSE supp for 5 days, plus I took 2 drops each of the Symbioflor probees and 1 Primal Defense Ultra yesterday, I really don't feel all that bad. It could have been much worse. However, the fluid retention tells me that I might be detoxing a bit too fast. The increase in heart rate from the previous days could also be an indication of too much die off. Since I am starting my new job tomorrow I will skip the Primal Defense Ultra tonight.

I think the reason my right eye lid is not so swollen today is because I increased the SR potassium two days ago. The blood test from last Monday indicated that my potassium level is still low normal and sodium was actually BElow normal. So I increased from 20 meq SR potassium a day to 40 meq a day.

The smoked beef ribs yesterday tasted amazing but I am going back to boiled meat today. Last night I started a pot of beef bone broth mostly from the rib bones, plus a few other beef bones, and I threw in a pack of grass-fed cube steaks. I will most likely eat those today plus broth and extra tallow. I am still very hungry every day, no matter how much I eat and it's getting harder and harder to deal with. As much as I want to eat dinner only, due to the abdominal distention, it will be really tough to make it all day feeling that hungry. On the other hand, it's not like eating helps!

I am feeling particularly negative this morning which is probably another sign I need to back off of probees today. Yesterday I was looking forward to our vacation in November and feeling confident that I would be much improved by then. Today everything seems hopeless and I just want this day to be over. Actually, I wish I could go to sleep and wake up when I am healthy. That's not a good place to be. Amazing what little critters in my gut dying can do to my brain.

Update 10:15 AM:
Definitely feeling worse today. Not only does the headache feel different, but it hasn't gone away. I think the headache I normally get might be from low cortisol and/or low thyroid so taking HC in the morning helps. The headache I have today seems to be from die off. I ate something to see if it would help but it hasn't and I am even more swollen now - all over. Note to self: One Primal Defense Ultra is WAY too much right now!

Update 9:00 PM:
Lunch and dinner was beef bone broth (made from the smoked beef rib bones - YUM), boiled chicken gizzards, boiled cube steak, extra tallow, and my *dessert* made of water, pork gelatin, and tons of cinnamon. I also had some Applegate Farms roast beef - not really intro-ish but it's better than diving into a bowl full of nuts. I was very hungry all day and had cravings for sweets.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 3

Symptoms this morning: Same as yesterday but my heart rate went up to 142 versus to the 130s. Resting heart rate is very low which is typical for POTS. The other symptoms don't seem as severe as yesterday. I took 12 grams of liposomal Vitamin C, 1 capsule bentonite clay, and 1 capsule diatomaceous earth yesterday. Maybe all that helped to reduce the die off a bit. I also noticed and forgot to mention that the white part of my eyes looks red and "cloudy" and my eyes look small. That's the total opposite of my normally sparkly, white, big eyes. Praying that all this will improve soon!

My package from mom arrived yesterday so now I have the Symbioflor Probees as well as Primal Defense Ultra. I think I will start with the Symbioflor Probees today. Dr. Natasha said to start with one drop of the first one, build up to 25, add the next and do the same, etc. That means I would run out of the first one before all the others and there would be unequal amounts in the bottles which I don't like. Probably an OCD thing or something so I am going to start with 1 drop each today. If that goes well I will add 1/2 or 1 Primal Defense Ultra tomorrow. I was also thinking about rotating the Berberine and GSE Supplement with Nystatin every four days. I figure it can't hurt plus the Berb/GSE supp has anti-bacterials in it as well and I don't want to kill off more good guys. I might even get another anti-fungal like Caprylic Acid and rotate all three every four days.

It's only been two days and I am already tired of boiled meat. I don't know what it is, but it just tastes so different. I love meat, poultry, fish, etc. and for the most part only put salt on my food - no other spices - but frying meat in a cast iron skillet or baking it just gives it a much better flavor. So today DH is smoking beef ribs from Laurel Creek Meats and I am going to partake. At least it's GAPS legal food, the ribs have a nice layer of fat, and I made my own dry rub.

Update 9:20 AM:
Much like yesterday I feel more human, cognitive, and alert, but not good by any means. I am going to sit in the sun in a little while to soak up some Vitamin D and get a good sweat going. It's already 83 degrees with 78% humidity but the thermometer on the porch where I will be sitting, with the sun directly shining onto it, says 101.5 degrees. It won't be pleasant. After that I think I will soak in a semi-cold detox bath.

Update 4:00 PM:
Lunch was boiled chicken gizzards and Applegate Organics smoked pork bratwurst sauteed in tallow and a bowl of beef bone broth. That was so much better than just boiled meat. Around 3 PM I had a bowl of beef meat broth. I don't feel great but it could be worse. I started to get very tired and fatigued mid-afternoon but I think it's because I didn't go to sleep until 10:30 last night and woke up at 4:50 this morning. That's just not enough sleep for me these days.

Update 5:45 PM:
I am so distended I am in physical pain. I may have to start skipping lunch as well and eat dinner only. There is no way I can sit at a desk and work every day with this much discomfort.

Update 9:00 PM:
The distention got even worse after dinner and I had horrible fluid retention again. I hate living this way. In addition to the Symbioflor probees I took 1 Primal Defense Ultra.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 2

Symptoms this morning: Headache, upper backache, increased (from yesterday) anger, heart rate up to 130, dizzy, weak, distended abdomen, puffy face, right eye lid very swollen, not fully cognitive, stuffy nose, and stiff body.

Yesterday I didn't think the Berberine supplement was doing much and that I might be able to increase to a whole capsule today, but I am definitely feeling worse. My head and back hurt more, I had to lean on the kitchen counter this morning because I felt I couldn't stand without holding onto something, I am so angry I want to scream, and right now I want to lie in bed all day and do nothing. I know this will change once the hydrocortisone kicks in, but this is not pleasant. It is mind boggling to me that I still have so much die off after all this time on GAPS, ZC, and Paleo prior to GAPS and ZC. I feel like crying right now.

Update 9 AM:
I feel more human but not good. Since I was rendering beef fat from a heart I am boiling for lunch I ate the leftover crunchy pieces. I am also thinking about taking some Vitamin C to help with detox but it gives me such horrible dry mouth. Still feel like staying in bed all day. Every little thing seems too much right now.

Update 9 PM:
The headache and backache eventually went away but I had really bad fluid retention starting mid-morning. As I was eating throughout the day it kept getting worse. I also felt fairly fatigued and brain-foggy. I ate boiled beef heart, tongue, and liver for lunch and dinner, as well as extra tallow and some bacon fat, and had 2 bowls of beef bone broth, a bowl of beef meat broth, and a bowl of chicken meat broth. I took one whole capsule of the Berberine/GSE supplement.

Friday, July 1, 2011

GAPS Intro #7: Day 1

Symptoms this morning: Headache, upper backache, anger, heart rate up to 120s, dizzy, weak, distended abdomen, puffy face, right eye lid slightly swollen, not fully cognitive, and stiff body.

The headache and backache seemed worse this morning when I first got up (around 5 AM) but seem to be going away now. I went back on the Berberine and GSE Supplement yesterday starting with half of a capsule. Hopefully the die off won't be too bad and I can start increasing the dose. Mom got the Pro-SymbioflorSymbioflor-1, and Symbioflor-2 for me and mailed them Tuesday. I hope to get them early next week and will start with Pro-Symbioflor first. Maybe with all of this I will then be able to start adding other probiotics and ferments again. I do believe that re-balancing my gut flora is going to be key to healing.

My current theory is that whatever is going on in my gut is causing my RT3 to go too high when I go back to T4/T3 medication like Armour or Naturethroid. Taking Cytomel helps reverse this but causes tachycardia because it is too much of a strain due to the autonomic dysfunction (POTS) which could quite possibly be connected to the gut dysbiosis as well. If I fix my gut I will be able to go back on T4/T3 medication which will resolve the POTS issues. The reason the gut issues have not resolved on GAPS is because whatever is overgrowing in my gut has morphed and learned to live on whatever I am eating - even meat and fat. Therefore adding the supplement mentioned above will knock down the level of candida or whatever it is, the Symbioflor products will strengthen my immune system, and that combined with GAPS intro will eventually allow me to add other probees and ferments. I hope I am right about this because I am still a little bit hopeful that I will have a normal stomach, better digestion, and more energy by the time we go on vacation in November.

Not sure yet what I am eating today. It depends on what we are doing today and whether DH is going to see his dad or not, but I am thinking boiled salmon, fish broth with Great Lakes Gelatin, and lots of pork fat or tallow.

Update:

I had fish broth, gelatin, boiled salmon, and lard for lunch and dinner. Started getting a slightly stuffy nose mid-afternoon and now (8 PMish) I feel like I am getting a slight ear ache. This is a typical die off symptom for me. Headache and backache eventually went away. Abdominal distention is awful now that I have eaten two meals.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Starting GAPS Intro

Either tomorrow or Monday, most likely tomorrow, I am going back on GAPS Intro. How is that different from what I am doing now? I will go back to eating boiled meats although I might allow myself something grilled this weekend. I will cut out most of my supplements - true GAPS intro says to cut out all of them, but there are some that really help so I am keeping them in. The ones I am going to continue taking/using are HCl, digestive enzymes with ox bile, Liver Life by Bioray, magnesium oil spray at night, and homemade liposomal Vitamin C (to help with detox). I plan on adding cod liver oil and Vitamin D3 drops one at a time after a few days. I will try to add ferments or probiotics slowly. Those are really the only differences since I am only on stage 2 and Dr. Natasha recommended I stay at that stage until the abdominal distention is gone.

In the GAPS book it says that the diet will reduce symptoms quickly and initiate the healing process in the digestive system. So far that hasn't happened for me and I don't know why. I am not going to give up but admit that this is getting harder and harder to deal with. Most days now I am fighting depression not due to a chemical imbalance or gut issues, but because I feel like I can't deal with this much longer. Hopefully I will see "some" healing this time around.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Espresso Dry Rub

what you need:

2 tablespoons ground espresso or extra dark roast coffee
1 tablespoons basil
1 tablespoons rosemary
1 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoons  celtic sea salt
1 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoons  ground black pepper
1 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoons garlic powder

Mix all ingredients and rub on meat.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chicken Bone Broth

A lot of people have questions about how to make bone broth. Thought I would show and write about how I make mine. This is just an example and no broth is ever the same. Sometimes I use a chicken carcass from a previously baked chicken, or bones from chicken thighs that I previously baked, or I use a fresh whole chicken. I always try to add some chicken feet since it helps to add gelatin which is nourishing for the gut and good for the body in general.

For this particular batch I am using raw chicken thighs, raw chicken gizzards, and chicken feet. The reason for the chicken thighs and gizzards is that I ran out of whole chickens and won't get anymore until next July 4th weekend and I just received my order of chicken thighs and gizzards from Good Earth Farms. The items arrived frozen so I can't add the gizzards quite yet but that's fine. The meat does not need to simmer as long as the bones anyhow.

I love the taste and texture of gizzards after they have simmered for several hours. However, the real reason I buy them is that each gizzard has a nice chunk of yellow chicken fat on it. I cut the fat off and fry it on low heat in a cast iron skillet to render the liquid fat. The remaining chicken cracklings are yummy as well.

Place the bones, and meat if you have some, in a large pot.


Add water to cover bones and meat by about 1 to 2 inches.

Cover pot with a lid and bring to boil.

When the water starts boiling you will most likely see some foam building. There are two types of foam. I mention this because there was some confusion about skimming foam on one of the Yahoo groups I belong to. There's the sort of white kind of foam that looks more bubbly and typically goes away when the water stops boiling. Then there's the more "foamy" and sometimes even dirty, sort of thick foam that you see towards the top in the picture below. That's the kind of foam you want to skim off.

Here's a closer shot of that foam.

After you have skimmed off the foam, lower the heat to bring the water to a low simmer, and add some fresh cracked black pepper corns.
video

I try to keep my broth simmering like in the video above but with the lid on. So once you put the lid back on your pot you will have to turn the temperature down a bit more. Just check back periodically to make sure it's still simmering. I let my broth simmer like this for about 24 hours.

Part of the GAPS intro diet is sipping ginger tea made from fresh ginger in between meals. I do not like this ginger tea for some reason and can't get myself to drink it so I add copious amounts of ginger to my broth instead. I usually wait until it has anywhere from 2 to 4 hours left before adding it.

Because my chicken gizzards were frozen when I started my broth, I did not add them until the next morning - after cutting the fat off to render it.
After adding the gizzards, or other raw meat, bring the broth back to a boil and skim off any new foam. Then place the lid back on the pot and turn down the heat to return the broth to a slow simmer.

Once the broth has simmered for about 24 hours I turn off the heat, let it cool down a bit, then strain it into a large bowl through a stainless steel colander.

I let the broth cool down to room temperature, then put it in the fridge and let it cool down completely. As much as I love fat, I do not like it in my broth, so once the broth has cooled and the fat is solid on top, I skim it off and save it in a jar. The broth should now have a jello-o like consistency. I fill it into 32 oz mason jars and place them in the freezer.
That's it!