Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Search for Real Food

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I have been on an elimination diet for a month…now, that doesn’t mean I was able to be totally strict with it but for the most part, I did follow it. I would “slip” every now and then and pick myself right up and continue on. One learns valuable truths about one’s eating habits through the cravings along the way…my craving was and always seems to be, BREAD. Good bread, real bread, bread worth eating.
What did I learn? Well, I have to say that I have been learning how to search for “Real” food. It was imperative to have done the basics before hand…eliminating sugar and drinking the necessary water. Without those two in place, I could not have survived this month.
The elimination diet itself is just phase one…phase two now will be to add foods back into my diet but unlike the time before, I am going to be quite selective. I am treating my body as the temple it should be…and eat only REAL. The ingredients are being scrutinized…I am going to make my own bread out of einkorn wheat. I am going to eat only real butter. I am making my own yoghurt. I am not going to eat any packaged snack foods like chips, crackers and cookies. I am going to make my own chocolate using cocoa and honey as the sweetening…
I will make my own soups in the crockpot. I will make salads in the mason jars so that when you look into my refrigerator, you are going to see healthy foods on every shelf. Lucious fruits and colorful vegetables all ready to eat. I’ve been making “ice cream” out of bananas and actually prefer it…
Real Food. I am really looking forward to it.
Will you join me?
Take the time to read the ingredients in your foods…since it’s summer, buy local foods from your farmers’ markets. You are what you eat…
til next time…Eva

R and R

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  I don’t know about you, but I never seem to “allow” myself to truly relax.  I’ve always envied people who make up their minds that they are taking care of their needs and just do it.  My “bad” habit about not putting myself and my needs first go back a long way.  I was caregiver 24/7 for my parents for 6 years and my daughter was young at that time as well.  Those years saw me getting very little sleep, gaining quite a bit of weight, having very little free time and stressed most of the time.  I know I did what I had to do at the time and I know it was the right thing to do(having that special relationship with my parents plus the heightened spirituality).  I missed a lot of things that I was no longer able to do…I regret not having the quiet times with my daughter(not being able to read to her, those were special times for us).  The interesting fact is that during that time, she learned to read by CDs and her reading skills sky rocketed.  I regret not having the time and energy for my husband, our home, our cat, and my friends.

   Bringing us back to R and R…it’s 10 years since that time and I still haven’t  “allowed” myself R and R without guilt.  I always feel the need to “accomplish” something…the to-do list always beckons, the pets need attention, food needs to be made, house needs to be cleaned, de-cluttering needs to be done and the list goes on and on.

   I realized the other day just how bad it had gotten.  I had taken a nap on a Sunday afternoon…something I never do…had felt “down” all day for some reason and nothing looked good to me.  I’d gotten up to make dinner and just as it was done, my left eye became blurred and I could feel a headache coming on.  I quickly fixed the pets’ food, got my husband’s plate out and the utensils, called him, said I didn’t feel good, ran to the bathroom, put compresses on my eyes, threw up and quickly went to bed with a full blown migraine.

   I know now that it is imperative that I start being good to myself.  I’ve been diligent with the various improvements in my lifestyle with water, no sugar, watching what I am eating, now my next step is getting the rest I need and being good to myself and my needs.  All of the other health improvements won’t be worth anything if I don’t get my rest.

   Looks like it’s about time…

   Eva

 

 

Bits and Pieces

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This is a kind of “bits and pieces” day…

a. Since I’ve been drinking a lot of water, I’ve begun noticing how many different products are out there to “enhance” your bottled water. I picked one up that a friend of mine had on her table…it was iced tea flavor…you put a few drops in it and there are no calories…I wrote down the ingredients so that I could look it up tonight.
The ingredients are:

Water … ok, no problems there

Propylene Glycol…used as aircraft de-icing fluid, used in vaporizers and those e-cigarettes. As a
preservative in food and tobacco. Can cause eye and skin irritation.

Malic Acid…food additive and preservative

Natural Flavor…whatever that means

Citric Acid…preservative and adds sour taste to foods

Sucralose…artificial sweetener with adverse health effects(Mercola.com)

Acesulfame Potassium…artificial sweetener combined with other sweeteners.

Red 40…artificial food coloring with side effects. Could cause migraines in adults, behavior problems
in children and possible cancer. (foodsafetynews.com)

Yellow 5…artificial food coloring with side effects. (foodsafetynews.com)

Blue 1…artificial food coloring with allergic reactions to asthma patients (foodsafetynews.com)

Potassium Sorbate…preservative

After reading these additives, I think I will stick to drinking my water plain or adding some lemon juice to it for flavoring if I need it(or even some juice).

b. Update on the hair color…I went for a much needed haircut last week and was bracing myself for any comments from my hairdresser. She knows from the past that my hair was getting gray and white in spots and that I’d used conventional haircolors before…with sometimes not so great results. As the hair was falling all around me, I noticed all shades from a coffee brown to a golden blond..but no grays or whites anywhere.
As I was ready to pay, she finally says, “OK, what are you doing to your hair?” “Why do you ask?” “Well, it looks really good with all the natural shades, your scalp is so healthy and I can tell it’s not conventional haircolor nor is it henna of any kind.” “You really want to know?” “Yes, as a hairdresser, I like to know many options for people.”
“Well, its sage or coffee.” She looked at me puzzled and I explained to her that I would fill 1/4 of an empty shampoo bottle with my shampoo and fill the rest with strong coffee(decaf or regular) or a strong sage tea. I do the same with my conditioner. And then, once a week, I’d get a pot of coffee or the sage tea and pour it on my hair over and over again in the sink or a plastic basin. Wring it and then put a shower cap on my head and let it in for 1/2 hour before rinsing it out.
“well, it’s working for you…I have to remember that…”

So, I’m continuing this method of coloring my hair for now.

c. I read an article that was about an English woman who upped her water intake from 8 glasses a day to I believe it was 14 for 21 days. Once she did that, her skin improved remarkably, her bags under her eyes plus her wrinkles in her face diminished, her cellulite disappeared. She also lost weight by doing nothing else differently.
I had also read a while ago that by hydrating your body through water, you could improve your eyesight and improve/eliminate tinnitus. I’ve upped to 12 glasses a day and will see if that makes a difference.

I noticed this past winter that I’d gotten more wrinkles around my mouth area and my bags under my eyes have become more pronounced. Add to that, my tinnitus seems to have become louder. If drinking more water will rectify any or all of the above, I’d be a fool not to try…
So the experiment is on!

Til next time…Eva

Elimination Diet – 3 of 3

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Elimination Diet…Part 3 of 3

Now we get to the good stuff…what foods you are able to eat.

Allowed Foods:
Oils: sunflower, sesame, virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, safflower oil

Nuts: Nuts in the shell or cracked without additives(Hazelnuts, Almonds, Pecans)

Almond and Sesame butter

Eat mainly fresh or fresh-frozen foods.

Fish(Fresh, Packed in Water, or Packed in Olive Oil)

Sea Salt(commercial salt often contains corn starch and chemicals)

Garlic Powder

Vegetables: (Sweet Potatoes, Yams, Cabbage, Carrots, Squash, Asparagus, Cauliflower, Avocados, Celery, Okra,
Radishes, Greens, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Parsnips, Green Peppers,
Rutabaga, Leeks, and Turnips)

Fruits: Fresh or Frozen.(Bananas, Grapes, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Kiwi, Papaya, Mangos, Coconuts,
Plums, Persimmons, Berries, Melons, Cherries, Apricots, Pomegranates)
Note: eat only small servings of fruits as fruits contain lots of natural sugar.

Sweeteners: Honey in very small amounts, Stevia

Meats: Wild Game(Deer, Rabbit, Duck), Deep Water Ocean Fish, Salmon, Lamb, Crab, Lobster, Oysters,
Clams, Scallops, Turkey.
(Other elimination diets I have seen allow most meats and fish other than Beef and Shellfish.)
Avoid processed, smoked or cured meats since they contain starches, fillers, milk, corn,
sugar, food coloring and other additives.

Also, if you eat an allowed food presently quite often before you start the elimination diet, it is
quite possible that you are allergic to that food…and it is advised that you refrain from eating that
during the elimination diet(mine was almonds…)

I know in the beginning I was almost afraid to put anything into my mouth and was not eating enough. The trick is to make sure you have allowable foods in the house. I made soups of allowable foods and that saved me for many of my weak moments. It’s only for 30 days…keep telling yourself that 🙂
Til next time…Eva

Elimination Diet: Part 2

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The Elimination Diet: Part 2

Foods to Avoid

You may look at this list and think, “What am I going to be able to eat?” And yes, it looks very limiting…but think of this time as a chance to heal yourself and understand the connection between your health and what you eat. All of the Elimination Diets have the basics eliminated but others have added other items as well. Dr. Cranton’s Elimination Diet is very thorough because he adds other things to eliminate and not just food.

What to Avoid:

Dairy Products(milk, cheese, yoghurt)

Eggs

All Grains(wheat, corn, rye, barley, oats, rice)

Sweeteners(NutraSweet, equal, aspartame, cane sugar, beet sugar, corn sugar, fructose, glucose, and brown sugar)

Citrus(oranges, grapefruit)

Legumes(beans, peas, peanuts, soybeans)

Meats(beef, chicken, pork, lunchmeats, shrimp)

Apples

Tomatoes

White Potatoes

Food Colorings

Chemical additives, emulsifiers, yeast, preservatives

Chocolate

Cola

Processed and Packaged Foods

Caffeinated Coffee, Tea and Alchoholic Beverages

Avoid chemical exposures. Do not breathe tobacco smoke, exhaust fumes, solvent fumes, chemical fumes, or perfumes.

Use scent free laundry and house cleaning products that have no chemical odor.

Use only hypoallergenic, scent free toiletries and cosmetics.

Avoid tobacco in any form

Condiments

Black, Cayenne and Hot Peppers

Yeast containing foods(bread, wine, vinegar, mushrooms, dried fruits)

Avoid any fruit or vegetable that was regularly eaten more often than once a week(example…if you snack regularly on almonds, eliminate them…even though they are permitted.)

Very little or no fruit juice

If you are planning to do the elimination diet, I would suggest that you do some preliminary homework with it…I have found that if you have been gradually improving your health and have been eliminating the sugar, cutting down on the wheat consumption, drinking more water, it will be easier to live with the elimination diet.

Start planning…chances are, there will be family members who are not going to be on the diet. Figure out a way to keep their foods separate from what you are allowed to eat so that you won’t be tempted. This can be done by their having a section of the refrigerator and freezer as well as cupboard space. Do whatever you can to make it easier for you.

This will also be a time for you to try new foods that you haven’t done before…for example, mine is artichokes…be adventurous and try something new and it may become a favorite.

til next time…Eva

Elimination Diet…Part 1 of 3

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If you have suspected food allergies or just feel some foods aren’t working for you, attempting the Elimination Diet might be something for you to try. It’s not for the weak hearted…it’s a month long(or longer) and many foods are taboo for the month. There are many varieties of the Elimination Diet. I’ve used the following one by Dr. Elmer M. Cranton. I did it a few years ago to determine if I had allergic reaction to wheat/grains because I was coughing every time I ate anything with wheat and I couldn’t make the connection. I remember one time my daughter and I had gone to a fast food restaurant and had gotten a burger…I couldn’t stop coughing and we had to leave quickly. Another symptom I would have was frequent heartburn…several times a day. I went on the elimination diet and for the first time in such a long time, I wasen’t coughing…I also lost weight that never returned.

According to Dr. Elmer M. Cranton (2005), the Elimination Diet is useful in two ways.. to help diagnose suspected food allergies and/or relieve stress on the immune system. One thing to remember is that this is not a life time program…it is a direction towards feeling good again.

To diagnose for allergies, it is recommended to stick with it for a month and observe any changes/improvements in the way you feel. Symptoms that may improve are skin rashes, fatigue, congestion, digestive tract problems, joint pain, discomfort of any kind.

The suspected foods and beverages that were eliminated during the month are then re-introduced to your diet one by one and you over a few days notice if any of the symptoms return. If they don’t, it is then safe to eat that food again.

If the diet is used to relieve stress on your immune system, the time frame is 3 months. This is a period of rest and can give your system the time to recover its’ tolerance to the foods you previously couldn’t tolerate. The foods may then be tolerated as long as they aren’t eaten often. When you do this diet, it’s known as the Cave Man Diet or the Rare Food Diet because it avoids your commonly eaten foods.

It is recommended that you keep a daily diary of your symptoms, diet and any improvements that you notice. You may experience withdrawal symptoms during the first week or two…and incidentally, whatever it is you crave or have withdrawal symptoms of, is probably the allergy causing food.

Various changes you may notice: Relief from:

Nasal or Lung Congestion
Constipation/Diarrhea
Heart Burn
Joint Aches
Drowsiness after meals
Mucous
Bloating
Mood Swings
Urinary Problems
Fatigue
Gas
Foggy Thinking
Fluid Retention
Digestive Disorders
Pain
Part 2 will be all the foods you will need to avoid
Part 3 will be the foods you are permitted to eat.

til next time…Eva