Monday, March 15, 2010

Continental Airlines Stops Serving "Special Meals"

SAN FRANCISCO - JANUARY 21:  A Continental Air...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
NOTE: This information is from the Celiac Disease Blog by Nancy Lapid, Guide to Celiac Disease.

Continental Airlines to Stop Serving Gluten-Free Meals on International Flights

Sunday March 14, 2010

Continental is discontinuing gluten-free meals on international flights. We need to all write to the CEO about this problem - please join in writing and make your concerns heard!

I read this today on Erin S.'s Gluten-Free Fun blog. I know Erin personally but I still couldn't believe the news. I went to the Continental Airlines website and saw: "Continental Airlines will be reducing our special meals program effective March 15." Then I called Continental myself, and their reservations agent told me that not only are the gluten-free meals being discontinued, but the airline won't serve special meals for diabetics either.

Given how difficult it is to bring foods from home past airport security these days, this policy prevents people with celiac disease from flying internationally on Continental. I for one would be willing to pay extra for a gluten-free meal, but the new policy as it stands now is thoughtless and insulting. The celiac community needs to respond.

Erin has a great sample letter on her site. You can send email to:

Mr. Jeffery A. Smisek, CEO

or write to:

Mr. Jeffery A. Smisek, CEO
Continental Airlines
P.O. Box 4607
Houston, Texas 77210-4607
United States

Note: This post has been updated to show the name of the current CEO.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Know Thyself

How well do you know yourself?

I am not talking about your personality or your likes and dislikes. I am asking, how well do you know yourself at a genetic level?

It's important where and by whom you came from, and here's why: your genes carry the code to your health and well being. That adage is true: if you have your health, you have everything. And if you don't have your health? Then what?

Was your Grandmother crazy, as I mine was? Was your mother unstable and childlike, as mine is? Did your father love sugar, as mine did? When we were kids, he would give us $20 and instruct us to ride our bikes up to the grocery store and spend every penny on candy. We would be in trouble for sure if we didn't spend every cent on candy. We did as we were told, my brother and I. I have a sweet tooth today that can substantiate this fact.

My grandmother Mimi -- whom this blog is named for -- was paranoid schizophrenic. She had what once was termed "blue baby" in 1952. They didn't talk much about post partum depression back then. My own mother was a single child and she grew up listening to her mother fret every single night about the communists and the Beetles, both of whom were out to get her (in her warped mind).

Both my mother and grandmother were thin. Both had pale skin. Both were anemic. Both had restless leg syndrome. Both had osteoporosis. Both had emotional issues that overwhelmed them throughout their lives.

Why is this important to me, or to you? Because I now know in my bones that Mimi was intolerant to gluten. I believe it was the starting point for all of her many health woes. She loved her wheat toast every morning and saved a piece in the oven to enjoy at lunchtime. She didn't know that wheat toast was killing her. Just as my mother was unaware that her emotional concerns came from food her body saw as an invading enemy.

My mother and grandmother didn't know. But I do. And I will never knowingly ingest gluten. Or dairy. Or corn. Or yeast. I have a physical response to all of those ingredients. I am lucky that I did not suffer the same mental demise that other women in my family have suffered . . . but I could have gone down that path had I not caught my health concerns when I did.

Do you know about your mom's health? Do you know if she had a problem with wheat? Do you or someone you are related to crave sugar, alcohol, or carbs? Could you or they be self-medicating?

Before you are quick to write off such a person, find out if they have a food allergy or are battling Candida. Rule that out for yourself as well. It's not an excuse, nor does it give anyone a free pass to abuse substances . . . but it is often true that we self-medicate because we feel so very fatigued, or achy or generally like hell and the starting place of feeling that way could very well be a food allergy or a leaky gut.

You need to know. Find out and do better with your own food choices.

Knowledge is beyond power -- it is health.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Reasons to Fall in Love with a Coconut

A bunch of young coconut in KeralaImage via Wikipedia
I am talking about the actual food, the coconut, silly. I am not going to give you reasons to fall in love with some (coco)nut person. You are on your own there.

I have always liked coconut but steered clear of it because I -- like so many people -- bought into the soybean lobbyist's interpretation of coconut oil being a bad health choice. In fact, the opposite is true.

I just enjoyed a melted tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil in my decaf ginger tea. I drink two tablespoons a day of coconut oil and hope to get up to at least 3 tablespoons. I was hesitant to start drinking an oil but the first time I did, I felt like I had finally, finally put the right kind of oil in my body's engine. The tremendous pain I was feeling from fighting a Candida infestation was gone in an instant. I had a sustained sense of energy and I wasn't hungry for hours after drinking my coconut oil-ginger tea.

It's the only oil we cook with. I have even started putting it my hair as a conditioner and my dry hair went away! I have been researching information about coconuts (those lovely monkey faces!) and particularly about coconut oil. As usual, there are 'authorities' on this issue who contradict one another. I will post some articles below and you decide on your own about the merits or the demerits of this natural product. I am still learning about coconut oil and after experimenting with it, I am a big fan and I think it is a good thing to have in your health arsenal.

Here are the health benefits brought to you by a coconut from the Coconut Research Center:
  • Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
  • Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.
  • Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
  • Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
  • Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
  • Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
  • Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  • Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
  • Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
  • Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.
  • Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
  • Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
  • Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
  • Helps protect against osteoporosis.
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.
  • Improves digestion and bowel function.
  • Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Supports tissue healing and repair.
  • Supports and aids immune system function.
  • Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
  • Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.
  • Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.
  • Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
  • Functions as a protective antioxidant.
  • Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.
  • Does not deplete the body's antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
  • Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
  • Reduces epileptic seizures.
  • Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
  • Dissolves kidney stones.
  • Helps prevent liver disease.
  • Is lower in calories than all other fats.
  • Supports thyroid function
  • Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
  • Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
  • Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
  • Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.
  • Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
  • Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
  • Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
  • Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
  • Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion
  • Provides protection form damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation form the sun.
  • Helps control dandruff.
  • Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.
  • Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
  • Is completely non-toxic to humans.
Suggested reading:

The Truth About Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil: Good Or Bad?

Break Out the Coconut Oil: It is Good for You

Is Coconut Oil Really a Thyroid Cure?

Is Pure Virgin Coconut Oil Healthy or Unsafe

Related articles by Zemanta:

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Could a Virus Cause Gluten Sensitivity?

Biopsy of small bowel showing coeliac disease ...Image via Wikipedia
This interesting tidbit is from a website called Top News You Can Use. It is fascinating and I think quite hopeful to think that gluten sensitivity could be caused by a virus. Next thing you know, they find a cure for that virus or at least something to limit its effects and life improves drastically for millions of us.

Virus Infections Linked with Gluten Intolerance

A new research has suggested that Virus infections may be a contributing factor in onset of gluten intolerance (coeliac disease).

The experts reveal that gluten intolerance may usually show no symptom, and people may not know that they are hit by the disease if their symptoms are mild or uncharacteristic.

Gluten intolerance is an autoimmune reaction in the small intestine. The gluten that occurs naturally in grains such as wheat, barley and rye hampers the intestinal villi, triggering problems with nutrient absorption and potentially other problems too.

Gluten intolerance, an inherited predisposition, plays a vital role in the onset of the condition. The only known effective treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet.

Academy Research Fellow Päivi Saavalainen, who initiated the research into the hereditary risk factors for gluten intolerance, quoted: "Some of the genes we have identified are linked with human immune defense against viruses. This may indicate that virus infections may be connected in some way with the onset of gluten intolerance".

Here is another great article about a new drug that could even help repair intestines damaged by gluten.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hip Hip Hooray for Boars Head Deli Products!

Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr
This company gets it. Let's all go out and buy oodles of their products to thank them for leaving gluten out of their deli products!

Gluten Free Stars at the Deli
Boar's Head Recognizes Growing Demand for Gluten Free Foods

SARASOTA, Fla., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Boar's Head, a leader in developing fine deli products that respond to consumers' health and wellness concerns, announces an initiative to reach the growing number of Americans now following a gluten free way of life. "Gluten Free with Boar's Head," is reaching out to gluten free followers with news that Boar's Head meats, cheeses and condiments are, and always have been, gluten free.
Boar's Head Brand
"Gluten Free with Boar's Head" provides kitchen-tested gluten free recipes featuring Boar's Head products. The guide also offers information regarding gluten in foods as well as tips for consumers to keep in mind when making gluten free food purchases, including deli products. "Gluten Free with Boar's Head," which is available at local supermarkets and delis where Boar's Head is sold, as well as on the Boar's Head website, is part of the company's broader wellness strategy focusing on health and nutrition.

"Even though Boar's Head meats, cheeses and condiments have always been gluten free, we are seeing an increase in the number of consumers who are asking us whether or not our products are gluten free," explains RuthAnn LaMore, Boar's Head Director of Communications. "Although gluten is found in many foods, anyone living a gluten free lifestyle does not have to avoid the deli counter where Boar's Head is sold." A recent survey by a food industry publication named gluten free as one of the top twenty important food topics of 2010.

This new brochure is part of the company's ongoing effort of responding to consumers' health, wellness, and nutrition concerns. Earlier in the year, Boar's Head launched a campaign, "Launch Your Own Assault on Salt," an initiative encouraging salt sensible food choices, which featured the Boar's Head line of Lower Sodium Deli Meats and Cheeses.

Boar's Head is a supporter of the Celiac Sprue Association, which is dedicated to helping individuals with celiac disease through research, education and support; and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, an organization focused on raising understanding of celiac disease among the general public and the healthcare community, and aiding research into its causes and treatments.

Additionally, 30 Boar's Head deli meats proudly display the American Heart Association's distinctive red and white heart-check mark, which means that the product has been screened and certified by the American Heart Association to meet their criteria for saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.

Boar's Head also assists the American Diabetes Association in championing the cause of diabetes prevention by promoting healthy lifestyle options through good eating habits and physical fitness. The company has been an ongoing supporter with a number of other national organizations including, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and the Feingold Association.

For More Information, Contact:
RuthAnn LaMore
Director of Communications
Boar's Head Provisions Co., Inc.
P: 941-955-0994

Horses and Good Health

I believe horses to be veritable soul healers. A good horse is also not bad for your health; in fact, active horse people are among the healthiest folks I know. I ride with countless women who have had broken backs or necks or herniated discs (like I did) and we all still ride. The horse in the pasture beckons to us every day to get well faster so we can get back in the saddle.

I had a car accident in 1991 where I was rear ended by a humongous City of Austin electric vehicle and that wreck left me with two herniated discs. The doctor in the ER room told me I should never, ever ride a horse again and that I would have lifelong pain. I often ignore many things doctors tell me, especially if they have anything to say about my horses. I ride all the time and I am pain free. I believe the will to ride guaranteed that I would one day find out why I was so ill so that I could hurry up and get back out with my beloved horses. I now know I have a systemic Candida overgrowth as well as food allergies to gluten, corn and dairy that likely caused me to be hypothyroid and have weak adrenals. Sometimes I think the Candida was the starting point for all of my health woes and I am incredibly determined to win the Candida battle. I have cleaned up my diet and added many beneficial supplements and I feel great most days. It took me a decade to reclaim my health but if I can do it, you can too.

I have three American Quarter horse geldings and one special mammoth donkey who believes himself to be a horse, so I count him as my fourth horse. He insists on doing every thing a horse does. He also refuses to associate with our herd of mini donkeys. He is a silly donkey but if he so badly wants to believe he is a horse, I am happy letting him think that.

Yesterday was a picture perfect day in Central Texas, so me and my favorite Aunt loaded up two of my experienced trail geldings and headed out to a 44,000 acre state park where we can ride for hours. We met our riding friend John, who is 65 years young and may be the healthiest person I know. He takes zero medications. I really believe that the medical establishment should be studying John's good health. How many 65 year olds do you know who are out riding horses every day and who take no medications whatsoever? Not too many.

Yesterday was a perfect day for us and for our horses. We basked in the sun that has been absent from Texas for months. We walked, we trotted, we loped and we often let the horses pick our path. After our ride, I had a sweet moment with my two geldings as we all shared a huge, healthy apple together. It turns out they like apples as much as I do.

There were many years when I was too ill to ride, or even groom my horses. Luckily my incredible husband took over most of their care and good horse friends would help me as well. Yesterday I had the energy to ride for 4 hours and then come home and walk our 5 dogs. There was a time in the not too distant past where just the thought of throwing a 40 pound saddle over a horse's back was too much energy to think about spending.

I never want to go back to the days of being bedridden. I want the good health I now enjoy every day to go out my back door to my horses and commune with them. I want the energy to ensure my dogs get their daily ranch walk. (Well, I walk; they gallop)

I also want you to enjoy your days. I often cry big horse tears for all the people I know who are suffering from extreme fatigue and who go to doctor after doctor and never get any better.

If you are reading this blog, know in your gut (literally in your gut) that you can regain your health as I did. It is not impossible.

Keep reading, keep learning, and eat well and soon you will be well.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My FORMER Long and Pathetic List of Health Problems

Position of the Thyroid in Males and FemalesImage via Wikipedia
If you met me today, you would think I was a pretty healthy person, and relatively speaking, I am.

If you met me 5 years ago, you would think I was nearly dead, because I nearly was. At least I felt nearly dead. I was hypothyroid (low thyroid levels) and my adrenal glands were nearly kaput. I kept dragging a three-page list of symptoms to "the best endocrinologist" in Austin and the best he could do is shrug his Big Pharma backed shoulders and offer me zero solutions and refuse to give me any thyroid medications I so desperately needed because I was considered to be sub-clinical hypothyroid.

As a layperson, when I look back over my long and pathetic list of symptoms, I am aghast that the "best endo in Austin" offered me no help at all. By doing so, he guaranteed me to get sicker and sicker. He also insisted that the parathyroid cyst I had to be removed surgically. I fought that for 5 years and he finally wore me down with his repeated concern that it might one day be cancerous. His good friend and ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) surgeon operated on me. He missed the parathyroid cyst (it is completely different than the actual thyroid) and instead removed half my thyroid, leaving me extremely hypothyroid and with an ugly neck scar. It also left me with the parathyroid cyst. I still have it and it is not cancerous, so that surgery was completely unnecessary and it guaranteed that I would need thyroid medicine for the rest of my life.

When I finally got some life-saving advice from some very wise women on-line, I found a true thyroid expert and he put me on dessicated (dried) thyroid medicine and adrenal support and I begin to get my life back. It has been a slow, uphill battle that one nationally known health expert says is the equivalent of becoming an Olympic athlete. I climbed up and over that Olympic-sized health hurdle, and now I blog in hopes of saving others this same misery.

I will share all of the symptoms I once had to illustrate what I have overcome. If you have any of these symptoms -- or all of them as I once did -- please know that you do not have to feel that punk. Find a truly caring doctor who listens to how you feel and one that works as your health care partner to get you back on your feet. (Check out my post on how to find a great doctor.) Also join on-line, patient-advocacy support groups and then read, read, read relevant health books.

And then get ready to thrive and not just barely survive.

Former Symptoms:
Low body temperature (97 degrees or lower)
Very low blood pressure (made me wonder if I was even alive)
Low thyroid levels (especially Free T3 and Free T4, forget the useless TSH test)
Nearly non-functioning adrenal glands
Candida overgrowth
Gaining weight and nothing I did would make it stop
Alternating diarrhea and constipation
Excessive sweating
Extreme heat intolerance
Low Libido
Perimenopausal in my early 30s
Extreme fatigue (couldn't hardly get off the bed in 2005-2006)
Repeated sinus infections
Antibiotics stopped working altogether
Severe allergies
Air hunger
Inability to exercise
Loss of ambition
Slowing of speech
Continual cough
Severe acid reflux
Puffy face
Loss of outer eyebrows
Thinning hair
Dry hair
Brittle fingernails
Low female hormones
High cholesterol
Failure to thrive
Fast heartbeat
Hand tremor
Increased thirst
Excessive itching
Night sweats
Inability to sleep thru the night
Inability to wake up easily in the mornings
Cold hands and feet
Brain fog
Bumps on the legs
Inability to work full time
Handwriting nearly illegible
Ear infections
Joint pain
Carpel Tunnel
Dry eyes
Dry mouth
Muscle cramps
Bone pain
Thyroid nodules
Iodine deficiency
Thankfully, I never lost my mind or got severely depressed but if you live without thyroid hormone for a long enough, you can even slide into schizophrenia. That happened to my maternal grandmother Mimi and to other women in my family. I kept my mental facilities but nearly lost the physical battle.

Today I am an active, inquisitive and healthy person.

I have not caught so much as a cold in more than two years. I have not had a sinus infection in four years. I am far, far from being stuck on the bed, watching life pass me by. Some days I think I get more done than "healthy' folks who still have their thyroid and whose adrenals work properly. I walk our 5 dogs every day and most days, I ride my horses. I work as a professional dog trainer and writer. Other than fighting a Candida overgrowth, ALL of the symptoms above are either completely gone or so minimal as to not pose problems. The only medicines I take are hormone related (thyroid, adrenal and female hormones).

Please don't settle for feeling sick. You have options and you are sitting in the driver's seat when it comes to your own health. Reach out on-line and surround yourself with people who have fought this battle and won it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Slap You Silly Statistics about America's Health Woes

Anatomia del corpo humano (Anatomy of the huma...Image by Dan SanDonkey via Flickr
I haven't been able to find a single argument that proves to me that gluten or high fructose corn syrup are good things for ANYONE, not to mention those of us with sensitivities to them. I hear from people every day who tell me they like what I have to say about gluten, corn and dairy (thank you!) but they are also quick to tell me that they are sure they do not have any food issues.

I know but apparently they don't know that there are countless people who have a problem with gluten who are asymptomatic. I also know that gluten sensitivity affects up to 144 million Americans, so if you think you are among the lucky it doesn't affect, I sure hope you have tested yourself every which way possible to try to rule out a gluten issue.

In case you are still skeptical that our food is wreaking havoc on our bodies, here are some eye-opening, slap-you-silly statistics that might make you consider your diet and how it can be improved. I am not saying bad food choices cause every single one of these ailments but I am saying that what you eat plays a major role in how you feel. I find it depressing that as a nation we are so very sick.

I've gathered this information from my library of health books, almost all of which are written by M.D.s or from websites such as the Center for Disease Control:
  • Depression affects up to 18 million Americans yet 27 million Americans are taking antidepressants.
  • 24 million Americans have diabetes (and that number seems to increase by the minute).
  • The number of Americans with Type 2 diabetes has TRIPLED over the past 30 years.
  • 75% of the world's population is lactose intolerant. 50 million Americans suffer from lactose issues.
  • 50 million adult Americans suffer from heartburn at least once a month.
  • 34% of Americans are obese.
  • 11% of children aged 2-5 are overweight.
  • 89% of Americans will develop hemorrhoids at one time or another in their lives.
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease is the most common autoimmune disease in the nation.
  • More than 12 million Americans have a thyroid condition and as many as 60 million are estimated to have a thyroid problem.
  • By 2016, less than a decade from now, the number of American adults (those 22 and over) with autism is expected to be nearly 1.5 million.
  • Autism affects as many as 1 in every 110 children in the United States.
  • 80,700,000 people in the United States have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease.
  • 73 million Americans have high blood pressure.
  • 16 million Americans have coronary heart disease.
  • 5.3 million Americans have heart failure.
  • 6 million men and women of reproductive age in the USA are affected by infertility.
  • 2.1 million Americans have Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • 1 out of 5 Americans suffers from Irritable Bowl Syndrome. It is one of the most frequently occurring gastrointestinal disorders.
  • More than 25 million Americans will develop a peptic ulcer at some times in their lives.
  • Crohn's Disease has spread like an epidemic since 1950 and it affects up to 1 million Americans.
  • By the age of 55, 1 in 5 American women will have their uterus removed.
  • 11 million Americans have cancer.
  • 555,500 Americans will die from cancer, corresponding to 1,500 Americans a day.
  • 1,284,900 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each day.
  • An estimated 205,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year, with an estimated number of deaths at 40,000.
  • 28 million Americans have migraines.
  • An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
  • Approximately 20 million American adults, or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year, have a mood disorder.
  • Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year
  • Approximately 2.4 million American adults, or about 1.1 percent of the population age 18 and older in a given year,11 have schizophrenia.
  • Gastritis accounts for more than 2 million doctor office visits each year in the U.S.
  • More than 19 million Americans have chronic esophagitis.
  • More than 1 million Americans have recurrent seizures.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

How to Know If Your Doctor Is a Great Doctor

A lab coat.Image via Wikipedia
I can talk all day long about bad doctors, just see yesterday's post. I have frankly had more experience with that kind of doctor than the good kind.

I do know that excellent doctors are out there, however. I will give you my personal check list that I have to have in my doctors. If he or she doesn't have these qualities, I move on until I find a better doctor.

I base these traits on three fabulous doctors that I have the pleasure and good fortune and thankfully now good health -- thanks to them -- to work with. One is a female ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat), one is a hormone specialist (he was the first doctor to believe that I had a thyroid problem and he fixed it) and one is a thyroid surgeon (often called one of the best thyroid surgeons in the country). I can easily add a fourth excellent doctor and that would be the TV doctor named Dr. Oz. I love that he cares about people with every fiber of his being. Had he not become a heart surgeon, he would have made a great shrink.

Traits of Excellent Doctors:
  • They are rarely late for your appointment and if they are, they quickly apologize for keeping you waiting. They bother to put magazines in the waiting room in case they do run late. Simply putting up medical graphics or drug company promotions on the wall does not count as reading material. If you see an abundance of Big Pharma advertising, leave.
  • They do not require you to wear that silly paper gown unless they have to examine something under that gown.
  • They do not repeatedly interrupt you.
  • They do not wear ties and often they leave that white doctor's coat at home as well. Bad germs love ties and that white coat often puts a lot of distance between doctor and patient.
  • They are not offended if your bring in internet research that you want to discuss with them. This kind of doctor is thrilled to have a patient who is knowledgeable about their own health and one that will be an active partner in their own health care. They often recommend books for you to read to further your knowledge. This kind of doctor is never threatened by an informed patient.
  • They don't stop learning the day they receive their diploma from medical school.
  • Many of them don't mess with insurance because they refuse to allow an insurance suit to tell them how to best treat their clients.
  • They spend at least 30 minutes with you; often they spend an entire hour with you.
  • They ask how you FEEL and then they listen to what you say.
  • They understand the body as a whole and thus treat the body as a whole.
  • Many of them understand drug interactions so thoroughly that they could double as your pharmacist.
  • They never denigrate holistic health care; instead they integrate it into their knowledge base and practice.
  • They actually do the basics that every doctor should do: take your temperature, your pulse, your weight and your blood pressure. If you are seeing a thyroid doc and they never bother to actually walk over to you and examine your thyroid, fire that doctor.
  • They often have a nutritionist on staff or recommend that you see one.
  • They treat you with respect and assume you are an intelligent being who can grasp the finer points of your illness.
  • They say that their best knowledge has come from their patients, meaning as they help patient after patient back to a state of health, they learn something new with each case and that helps the next patient they see.

Friday, February 26, 2010

How to Know When Your Doctor Sucks

{{es|The Doctor. Hermosa panorama de la profes...Image via Wikipedia
Are you aware that you can fire your doctor?

Every time I visit a doctor, I act like a client, not a patient. Patients can't fire doctors; customers can. Doctors are like fish in the ocean and you can easily get another and another and another until you find one who treats you like you deserve to be treated. Pay out of pocket if you have to. What is more important than your health?

Here are reasons I have fired more than 15 doctors and took my insurance or my cash elsewhere:
  • They spend 15 minutes or less with you and act rushed and very non-interested in hearing about your health concerns.
  • They interrupt you a lot and/or finish your sentences for you.
  • They are more than 20 minutes late and never apologize for keeping you waiting.
  • They are arrogant, haughty and full of themselves and thus have no time for you as there is only so much room in that brain of his and it is filled with thoughts of his awesomeness.
  • They refuse to give you a copy of YOUR lab work. It is YOUR body and YOU are legally permitted to have YOUR lab results.
  • They tell you "it's all in your head." That one causes me to stand up and walk out immediately without saying a word to the doctor. Even if I am sitting there in that flimsy paper gown, I will grab my things and change in the bathroom. He can figure it out later why I walked out, if he even cares that I did. It tends to at least startle them and give them an opportunity to wonder about what they might have said to offend you. Of course they also can decide you are indeed crazy and it is in your head but at that point I don't care what that doc thinks as he is fired.
  • They refer you to any doctor ending with an -ologist in their title. This often means they have no idea why you are before them whining again about how tired you feel so they push you off down the road to an -ologoist who will then most likely give you a prescribed drug and never consider your body as a whole. There may be a real need to one day see an -ologist but be on the lookout for this cop out move by your primary doctor.
  • They say you fit the Four F Profile -- Forty, Fat, Female and Fertile. When a doctor has the nerve to lay this one out, I am so very thankful I never took that concealed weapon class after all because this line causes me to go postal. I am likely to respond by telling this sort of doctor that he/she forgot the fifth F: F**K YOU!
Okay, fine, not everyone feels comfortable using the f-bomb in a doctor's office. I think you might though if your body is falling apart for a few decades and doctor after doctor blows your concerns off. Or worse, they prescribe the wrong medicine or remove the wrong body part surgically from you and you end up sicker and sicker and sicker.

If you aren't willing to walk away from an incompetent or lazy or uncaring doctor, then you are saying that you are willing to stay sick. And sick you will stay.

My excellent thyroid doctor wrote this down for me on his stationary the very first visit I had with him: "Never let your doctor determine how you feel." Sage advice.

For tomorrow's post, I will share the ways to know if you are sitting before a truly remarkable doctor.

Natural Solutions Magazine Hits Thyroid Article Out of the Park

ThyroidImage via Wikipedia
This article in Natural Solutions magazine is the very best mainstream article I have ever read about thyroid issues. Kudos to Natural Solutions! They got the story right.

Check out The Hidden Epidemic: Is Your Thyroid Making You Fat?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How Is Your Appendix?

ERImage by via Flickr
Do you still have your appendix? If yes, you lucky dog, you.

Mine is missing. It was taken out in 2000 after it ruptured. I am a stubborn soul and my right side hurt for several days until I was finally bedridden on a Saturday. I screamed anytime I had to get up but laying down felt okay so I informed my husband that I would wait until Monday to see a doctor. Even back then I was suspicious that I was not getting the best medical care possible and I was no fan of doctors, mostly because I had been seeing an endocrinologist for several years who assured me I had no thyroid condition and it was all in my head. He was wrong on two counts as it was not in my head, it was in my neck, and I most certainly did have a thyroid condition.

Luckily for me, my husband is a wise man and he literally forced me into the car to go to the ER. Whattya know, my appendix had burst. Had my stubbornness prevailed, I would probably not be here now because when the appendix ruptures, you are likely to get some ugly gangrene spreading inside you.

As I was being wheeled down to the operating room, the ER doctor came out to meet me and I started grilling him on his experience. He was not happy about my giving him the third degree, but I didn't want any body part that was remotely necessary to be removed unless it positively had to go. The surgeon said that it was the most common procedure performed and he had done it hundreds of times. He also informed me that nobody needs their appendix. I thought that was an odd statement -- why did I have one if I didn't need it? It seemed like all of my other internal body parts served a very real purpose.

My husband added, "Honey, let's not piss off the man wielding the scalpel right now." Okay, okay, I said, let's get this thing out already. So it was removed and it had ruptured but thanks to my husband, it was caught before gangrene had set in.

For years afterward, I would try to find any information regarding the appendix because I wanted to know why we all had one if it was obsolete. I felt it must serve some purpose. I never found an answer, until now.

I picked up a fantastic book at Sprouts titled "Gut Solutions -- Natural Solutions to Your Digestive Problems" by Dr. Leonard Smith and Brenda Watson, N.D. They have an entire chapter devoted to the appendix. They write "In the past, medicine has not been able to assign a particular function to the appendix. Today, however, it is becoming more apparent that the appendix and surrounding lymphatic tissue probably serve an important role in immunity."

IMMUNITY. I have several autoimmune conditions: hypothyroidism, weak adrenals and the loss of female hormones. The only medicines I take are for hormone replacement. I am low in very important hormones because I ate foods for all of my 44 years that were toxins for me. Could the loss of my appendix have helped my autoimmune conditions take root? Why did it burst in the first place?

Here is what the authors of "Gut Solutions" have to say: "Obstruction of the appendix can occur due to solid pieces of stool or as a result of the stool becoming hard like stone."

I remember talking poop in college with a girlfriend and I was shocked to learn that she had bowl movements EVERY DAY. This was news to me as I went once a week. Where did all that poop go? Apparently some of it was turning to stone in my appendix.

Now that I have become self-educated on digestive issues as a sheer necessity to staying alive and thriving, I can see that I have had lifelong gut issues . . . but no one put them together until I was 44 years old.

I hope each of you will take stock of your gut. Ask yourself a lot of questions and keep asking until you find the answers. Pay attention to how you feel after you eat anything. If you have ANY autoimmune condition, look closely at what you are eating and consider blaming your diet for helping your condition along.

Most important of all -- listen to your gut.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Herxheimer Reaction

Overview of the main bacterial infections and ...Image via Wikipedia
Oh joy of joys! I think I am right smack in the middle of having a Herxheimer Reaction as a result of fighting Candida and dramatically changing my diet by eliminating corn, gluten and dairy (casein). What is a Herxheimer Reaction, you ask?

I like this definition that I found on-line:

"The Herxheimer Reaction- When you start a new treatment for an illness, your symptoms might increases at first, leaving you wondering if you're really getting healthier at all. This is called a Herxheimer reaction. This is the "die-off" effect that many people experience when they dramatically improve their diet and lifestyles. It is an allergic response to the toxic by-products produced when the body's ph is changed for the better. When this happens, large numbers of dangerous bacteria and yeast organisms die and leave the body. During this time, you won't feel very well, but in reality, you are responding positively to treatment. After this initial Detoxification period, you should see significant improvement of your symptoms."

My main symptoms are feeling very sore and achy all over. For some reason, my right shoulder feels like someone whacked it with a brick a few hundred times. I also have been having a mysterious red rash in the evenings on my back and shoulders.

I like these links that give good suggestions on how to deal with this not-so-fun side affect on the long and winding road to health:

Dealing With Yeast Die-Off Reactions

Could Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Candida Overgrowth be Related?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Apology to My Gut

play knitted intestinal tractImage by Sterin via Flickr
Dear Gut,

I owe you an apology.

I am sorry that I pumped foods into you for 44 years that made you congested, bloated and very unhappy.

I am sorry that I was a sugar addict and might have permanently endangered your structure.

I am sorry that I like alcohol and you have to deal with that as well.

I am sorry that I am a carb Queen and that I never met a potato that I didn't love.

I am sorry for all those times I sat on the bed watching a TV show and eating Cheetos.

I am sorry that I never liked vegetables much.

I am sorry for all the pastries.

I am sorry for the chocolate, too. I really love chocolate.

I am sorry most of all that I ignored my "gut instinct" for too long.

I hope you will forgive me and that you are willing to give me a do-over.

If you are, I promise you that I will:

  • eat whole, real foods
  • eat no food that has more than 5 ingredients in it
  • never knowingly eat gluten, corn or dairy casein again
  • give you daily probiotics and Omega Oils
  • boycott sugar, in all her forms
  • avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • spoil you with ginger and green teas

And my most important promise, I will listen to my gut.

Monday, February 22, 2010

#$(*$#)($)#)_@!! Applesauce!!!

A photograph of applesauce, specifically Musse...Image via Wikipedia
When I went into commando mode of eating last week in my attempt to ensure I got no gluten, corn or dairy, I ate applesauce every day. You would think that my "all natural" brand applesauce would be a safe bet, but it ain't.

Today I was at the store and looked for more applesauce. I now look very, very closely at anything we buy and there it was on my favorite applesauce: high fructose corn syrup. I almost cussed out loud for the merriment or offense of all the other shoppers.

The corn syrup alone could have been what made me and my husband sick. Sorry to have blamed you, garlic.

Sick Again!

Coryphaena hippurusImage via Wikipedia
One of the most difficult things on my journey to health is having a set back. It happens all too often and all too easily. It is beyond frustrating to stick to a very strict gluten, corn and casein-free diet and still wind up sicker than a dog. It can drive you down right mad.

I am been retracing my food intake over the past 3 days to figure out just why it is that I became so very ill over the weekend . . . . my husband did too. We eat mostly at home and had eaten many of the same things and since we were both ill (digestively speaking), it was a little easier to track down.

At first I suspected it might be the deli turkey we got from Sprouts Farmer's Market. I called Sprouts to inquire and they confirmed that it was definitely gluten free. Then I looked at the dried banana chips we both love from Sprouts and noticed the ingredients included "coconut oil OR vegetable oil." Coconut oil is fine, corn oil would be NOT okay. I called Sprouts back but they had no idea what oil was used. I will call the corporate offices today to inquire and the banana chips were tossed into the trash.

The only other two possibilities were the herbal cleanse I had started on Thursday. However, I felt fine on that and my husband wasn't doing the cleanse and he felt sick as well, so that let the cleanse off the hook, at least a little bit.

Here is what I think might be the culprit: garlic. We enjoyed a wonderful Mahi Mahi fish dinner made at home on Friday that called for 4 cloves of garlic. That's a lot of garlic! We do eat a fair amount of garlic but perhaps since our guts are in the process of healing from food allergies, it proved to be too much. Or perhaps we both have a leaky gut and we are now both allergic to garlic. I really have no idea but in two days time we were both back to feeling great.

For the time being, no garlic for us. And I have decided to stop the detox for now. I have been reading up on detoxes and I am going with the theory that my gut is just not ready to handle that, yet. And it seems like people either think they work wonderfully or they are a complete hoax.

Meanwhile, my energy level is outstanding this morning and I am happy to feel "normal" again. I haven't lost anymore weight but I haven't gained any either. I am still at 178, which is a loss of 10 pounds since last Wednesday!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Animals Heal Us

Animals are my respite and besides my husband, they are the most rewarding loves of my life. I have a theory that many of us who are now discovering we are quite ill with major food allergies also had a difficult childhood. It's not always the case, I know, some of you just got unlucky and have genes that contribute . . . but I do know for sure that major stress in life can have all sorts of health repercussions, and a bad gut is one of them.

I thought I would begin to introduce the animals of our farm since I think it is wise to not focus on our health woes 24-7. Besides, my animals are the main reason that I want to feel totally healthy because when I was nearly bedridden a few years ago, I had to stop riding horses and working with our dogs. We bought a ranch in Texas for the enjoyment of our animals and so that I could walk all 5 dogs off-leash with no worries of cars. I was getting very depressed that I no longer had the energy to walk the dogs or even saddle a horse. I also bought a 100-acre ranch so the horses would have room to run as there is little in life that I love more than seeing a horse in a full run, mane and tail flowing, and I love it even more when they throw in a few bucks of complete and total joy. I also happen to love seeing my dogs being able to run freely and explore the ranch with their noses. They live for their daily walk. I do too.

I have always loved animals. I also always wanted a horse. It took me until I was 38 years old but I did finally get a horse. Then I got another and another. Then I discovered donkeys and now we have 6 donkeys. Actually we have 7 donkeys but one is convinced he is a horse and he refuses to associate with the other donkeys. We named him Honkey Donkey because he is half horse and half donkey (which is a mule), at least in his mind. I suspect he was raised only with horses and we got him a year ago from a lady who said she got him at 4 months old from an auction.

Honkey's best friend is a huge blue colored horse named Dylan. They are inseparable. They eat together, they play together, they walk everywhere together, they sleep side by side. Dylan is nearly 16 hands, which is the way horses are measured. It basically means that he is very tall and you need a stepping stool to get up on that horse! Dylan was rescued after serving most of his life as a Pony Horse on the racetrack. Pony Horses are usually stout and gorgeous and they have a horrible life. They exercise up to three thoroughbreds every morning of their lives, running a mile with each horse "ponied" by the rider on the pony horse. Then they get put back in their stalls for 23 hours a day. They never get to eat so much as a blade of grass.

We got Dylan several years ago and the poor guy would not leave the false security of our fenced in barn area for months, even though the gate was open and he was free to explore. He whinnied and cried when the other horses and donkeys left for their daily ranch tour but he would not follow them; he just parked himself in a corner and hung his head over the fence, basically putting himself in a stall. I finally had to halter him and walk him out to the pasture, far from the barn and with the other horses. He was shaking in fear but he eventually adapted and returned to being a normal horse. Dylan is never stalled at our place and he never will be.

I gave Dylan his freedom and in exchange, he has given my heart a much needed boost and these animals are medicine for my soul. Dylan has become an excellent trail horse and we have covered many, many miles of Texas together.

Some people tell me that I "spoil" my horses. When people tell me that, two things are sure to happen. That person is on their way to no longer being a friend and I always ask this soon to be ex-friend: Why is it that you assume that by my ensuring my horses are happy and healthy and enjoy their lives that I am spoiling them?

Spoil your animals. Free them when you can. Allowing them -- and yourself -- to have wants and desires. It's good for your soul and what is good for the soul becomes good for your heart and then your gut.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What's for Dinner?

Here is what we had for dinner last night. It was FABULOUS! One of the best meals I have ever eaten. It does help to marry a man who is an excellent cook but if you are already married and your spouse doesn't cook at all (like me!), then this dish is worth learning to cook for. If you are not yet married, listen carefully: find a spouse who is a very good cook!!

I adapted the original recipe somewhat as we did not use the salmon or the red peppers it called for, mostly because I do not care for salmon:

Sauteed Seafood and Bell Pepper

From: 500 Low-Carb Recipes by Dana Carpenter

  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 Mahi Mahi fillets
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, deseeded and thickly cut
  • 8 ounces large fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 8 ounces sea scallops (we didn't add these)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper or dried hot red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped (we used parsley)

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet -- do not crowd the ingredients -- over medium heat. Put the Mahi Mahi fillets in the skillet, skin side down. Scatter the yellow pepper slices around. Cook for about 6 minutes on a medium heat, turning once halfway through.

2. Add the shrimp, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper, salt and pepper. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes more, until the shrimp are opaque.

3. Move to serving dishes. Scatter the parsley over and serve.

2 More Pounds Gone + New Foods that I Love

weight loss tracker week 5Image by The Shed1 via Flickr
Oh happiest of days!!! I am actually down two more pounds, making my weight loss 10 pounds in 4 days!! And, my energy levels are through the roof. I even wake up peppy, and that is a first.

I do believe that the healthy way to lose weight is little by little so that it stays off for good . . . however, I have been seriously trying to lose weight for 6 months and nothing happened except for gaining weight. I now believe that I was still ingesting foods that were toxins to my body and my body clung on to every ounce trying to tell me it wasn't happy and it was trying to pull any trace amounts of nutrients it could out of the bad food. I do not know exactly why that resulted in a bloated feeling and appearance and I am still researching that one.

I've been very strict about what eat and I am 99% sure that I have avoided all corn, gluten and dairy (casein) products for 4 days and then presto! Ten pounds melt away.

I also got my adrenal and thyroid medicines switched to compounded versions and that helped a lot. If you still feel ill after removing the food toxins in your diet, please look closely at your medications and supplements. The corn starch in my iron pills made me very ill. I've also given up my 20 year habit of wine in the evenings. I will introduce it back in down the road and I will be sad beyond measure if it turns out I have an allergy to alcohol because that is my one bad habit -- but I will give that up too if I must. I am too tired of feeling bloated and I want my youthful energy back and I will do everything and anything it takes to get there.

I have also discovered a grocery store called Sprouts. I love that store so very much that I could almost sell the farm and move in right next door to it. Okay, I could never leave my horses and donkeys and I will just suck up the two-hour journey it takes to get there and back, but I highly recommend you check out a Sprouts if you have one in your state. I like it much, much better than Whole Foods. Whole Foods needs to change its name to "Wholly Expensive Foods."

Here are a few things that I have found at Sprouts that I absolutely love and finding these yummy things keeps me motivated:

SO Delicious Coconut Milk
SO Delicious Coconut Creamer
MaraNartha Almond Butter
Just Pineapple (dried fruit)
Lundberg Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Cakes
Amy's Organic Soups
Pacific Natural Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
Brown Rice Snaps (crackers)
Seeds of Change Organic Whole Grain Basmati Rice
MLO Brown Rice Protein powder (for smoothies)

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Am Watching what You Eat

VeggiesImage by Lodigs via Flickr
That's right, I am watching what you eat. I can't help it!

Today I went to two grocery stores (Sprouts for produce and meat and great gluten-free items and HEB for everyday stuff like household cleaners) and I looked at what the people around me were buying. The folks at Sprouts had a lot of healthy, yummy things in their baskets, but that is to be expected if you are at a health food store, right?

HEB was a different matter entirely. My lane's checker was mighty s-l-o-w so I got a good stare at the person's choices in front of me. I noticed right off that she had a puffy look to her, like I did when I was really ill. I can barely keep my mouth shut any more when I see people with that telltale puffy face. I want to give them Food Education 101 on the spot, but I try to be good and stay quiet. She also had lost the outer edges of her eyebrows, which points to a thyroid problem.

This lovely but puffy person had some of these items in her cart: hot dogs, sausage, white bread, corn chips, whole milk, Egos, potato chips, rice, ears of corn, oranges and grapes.

The only thing remotely healthy she choose was the fruit, though some even call that unhealthy if it isn't organic. If I were able to take away all the suspected items that might be causing her puffiness, she would have only walked out of the store with the oranges and the grapes and the rice since it wasn't white rice. I don't mean that they were unhealthy because I somehow knew that she had allergies to those products, I mean I do not think those items are healthy for anyone.

When I traveled to the Texas Coast last week, I noticed what everyone at our table got when we ate at a pizzeria. I made two trips to the salad bar and I didn't even miss the pizza. I was the only one who did that in the entire restaurant, but I guess most folks don't go to a pizzeria to get salad, now do they? Maybe they should, though, maybe they should.

Everyone at our table had several slices of pizza and some calzones. I wished I could have done a poll in a few hours to see how everyone felt after a meal like that. I REALLY wanted to stand up on the table and yell out that everyone was eating very unhealthy and in many ways, life-threatening food (if you ate enough of it, or say, ate it throughout your lifetime) but once again, I was a model of self-restraint. I know, I am so thoughtful to others eating what I used to eat just last year, aren't I? :)

After dinner, we all did talk about our many health issues and every single woman there had a major problem from diabetes to fibromalgia. The men weren't in any better health and had faced cancer and heart attacks. One woman walked with a cane and had very swollen ankles. If I had had one more glass of wine that evening, I would have stood up on the table and shouted over and over and over: what you are eating is killing you!

But alas, I kept my opinions to myself.

At least until I could spill them all here. . . .

Can the Weight Loss Continue?

Three bellpeppers (Capsicum annuum) from three...Image via Wikipedia
As you may have read here yesterday, I lost 8 pounds in ONE DAY. I did it (I think) by using commando eating tactics to nearly guarantee I was not ingesting any gluten, dairy (casein) or corn. I am going with the theory that one of my not fun reactions to ingesting any of those items makes me bloat up and feel fatigued and some might even say grouchy. I am trying to get to an ungrouchy and thin state of being, or least get to a non-bloated state of being.

I have to say that my energy is OUTSTANDING today! I feel healthy! The scary thing is that who knows how long that feeling will last since it seems that I have a pattern of gaining energy and then losing it all too quickly. I also wonder how long I can continue to be this disciplined with such a strict diet. I will never knowingly consume the foods that I know I have an allergy to but I do have some yummy gluten free treats in the pantry that are calling my name!

I did not lose another pound overnight, but I don't see the need to get greedy. :-) I also didn't gain any weight. I did add in a few brown rice crackers and a brown rice protein bar last night. I am now starting to wonder if anything like rice or potatoes will cause me to swell up?

Don't worry, I won't bore you with telling you what I eat every day but so many of you have asked and I am on a quest to figure out once and for all what is making me feel so bloated and if it helps you on your path to healthyville, I am happy to share this struggle.

Here is what I ate yesterday:
  • big Red Delicious apple
  • almonds
  • gluten-free deli turkey
  • black olives
  • almonds
  • Chicken Stir fry with onions, green peppers, water chestnuts, and pineapple. YUM!
  • applesauce
  • gluten free deli turkey
  • almonds
  • big Red Delicious Apple
  • almond butter and brown rice crackers
  • Pure organic Wild Blueberry bar
  • ginger tea

Thursday, February 18, 2010

8-Pound Weight Loss in ONE DAY

Silhouettes and waist circumferences represent...Image via Wikipedia
I went to my knowledgeable Doctor of Osteopathic medicine (DO) this week to complain yet again about my weight gain issues. I wanted her to rule out possibilities such as any kind of ovarian tumor or parasites or please just give me any reason why I am STILL packing on the pounds after giving up sugar, corn and anything with gluten or caseins in it. She felt I didn't have tumors or parasites based on an exam and previous blood work.

The doctor felt that I am having an issue with my thyroid meds. I am currently taking Nature-throid and it is true that my hair had returned to a brittle state, which is indicative of not getting enough thyroid, even though my blood work shows I am getting too much thyroid. So I am switching back to Armour Thyroid, though the compounded version to avoid any fillers such as lactose. Plus I did not do well on the "new" version of Armour last summer, which is why I switched to Nature-throid in the first place. (See Are You Switching to Nature-throid? Here's 10 Good Things to Know.)

I told my DO that I keep reading on-line that some folks do gain weight when they remove all the toxins from their diet. There are different theories as to why but one is the idea that I am only now absorbing nutrients properly and that adds up in weight. That theory confuses me a bit since all my previous bloodwork shows I had very normal vitamin and nutrient levels, though I have always been anemic. Another theory is that when you go off gluten, you tend to stock up on gluten-free breads and other high calorie, gluten-free foods. I did do that; it is hard not to at first because you feel sorry for yourself and you load up on what you can safely eat.

My DO suggested I try a two-week cleanse. I agreed to do that and started yesterday. The brand name is Life Choice RX. She also said I should try the HCG diet, the one where you exist on 500 calories a day and you give yourself a shot daily that tricks your brain into thinking you are pregnant. That sounded like mutant science to me so I declined that option.

When I went to the doctor on Wednesday, I weighed 188 pounds. I am tall so while I don't look obese, I technically am obese at the weight. Today I weighed myself and I weigh 180. There could be a few pounds difference in the scales but we have a very good scale at home. How in the hell do you lose 8 pounds overnight?

Here is how I think I did it: I kept to a very minimal diet yesterday doing my dead level best to avoid anything that I might have an allergy to. I felt that most of my added weight was water weight that felt very bloaty, which to me means that I was still ingesting something my body cannot process. I did also start the cleanse yesterday and the doctor says some patients lose up to 10 pounds on it; that is over two week however, not in the first day. Here is what I ate yesterday:
  • Orange and banana
  • almonds
  • applesauce
  • gluten free deli turkey
  • almonds
  • half an orange bell pepper
  • black olives
  • large steak
  • green beans
  • applesauce
  • I also did not have my nightly favorite treat -- wine.
I seriously doubt that eating what I did could cause me to drop 8 pounds in a day. I do feel that by NOT ingesting any of the food toxins, I lost a lot of that bloat. I intend to eat this way until I feel the bloat is under control.

Stay tuned . . . and here's hoping that another 8 pounds falls off by tomorrow!