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    Green~Tara's Journey to Better Living

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    Greetings fellow Groks and Grokinis. I am not yet on the road, but paving the way. My plan is to start with a different program and then maintain and continue to learn right here at Mark's Daily Apple while living the Primal life. I have pre-ordered a book by a trusted pair of naturopathic nutritionists, referred to me by my own naturopathic physician. While waiting for the book, I am signed up for the emails and am reading and learning here.

    I have done an elimination diet already - five or six years ago. In desperation I called the naturopathic offices here and made an appointment. Traditional western medicine had failed me. A voice deep inside me welled up from a fog of lethargy, pain, medication and dysfunction and said "Just call the office - it needs to be done." I met the woman who saved my life and also discovered that I had been misdiagnosed with several conditions - the worse misdiagnosis being genital herpes. Herpes? I cannot begin to describe the tensions this brought to my marriage. I certainly hadn't cheated. It must have been him. When I came home from that dermatologist 20 years ago and told my husband that the painful, itchy, oozing rashes were herpes, he gave me a look - she cheated on me! This tension simmered between us and boiled over during every argument over finances or whatever. For years afterward, I would ask doctors "If I don't get these rashes [ahem down there] then why are you telling me I have a venereal disease?" Answer: "We classify any herpes other than cold sores as genital herpes." For several years I took powerful anti-viral meds and gave up - they did not work! I also asked, how can I have it but my husband does not? One doctor told me that my husband must be a "carrier" and that he was immune to G.H.

    During my consult with Dr. O, the naturopath, we discussed the herpes and my distress and confusion. She asked me to describe it, and then opened a book and showed me photos. I pointed to a woman who had sores all over her back, back of arms and buttocks. Dr. O next examined my active sores. I dressed and we sat down. "You do not have genital herpes! You have dermatitis herpetiformis. "Derma - wha?" "Have you been diagnosed with Celiac disease?" "No."

    Here's how it all began:
    • 33 years ago I was blessed with a beautiful little boy. Shortly afterward I began experiencing painful rashes that would go away for a few months and I'd forget about it. The rashes became more common until I was living with them daily. Enter my herpes misdiagnosis.
    • In my late twenties I began suspecting a thyroid problem. I had all the classic symptoms. My doctor ordered a test and said TSH levels showed some abnormality "but nothing to worry about."
    • As years go by, I am living in a cloud of fatigue. Eyebrows fall out, eyelashes fall out, nails ridged, skin dry, constipation. Fatigue, falling asleep at my desk, depression.
    • Enter the mid-1990s and I began noticing red patches inside my wrist and severe wrist pain. An orthopedist orders tests. Shortly after I get a call. "Hi Tara? It's Dr. K." My heart falls to my feet because in my gut, I know bad news is coming. "You have rheumatoid arthritis. I have contacted a rheumatologist's office and you are on a waiting list. He will see you in three months."
    • Fast forward ten years. I'm having a pre-op for my third joint surgery when the PA feels my throat and asks "Have you ever had your thyroid checked? Your thyroid is a mass of nodules." "Yes, I was told it was nothing to worry about." "After your surgery I am sending you for a thyroid ultrasound and today we are ordering a complete blood panel."
    • Follow up visit: "Tara, you are severely hypothyroid and in fact you have Hashimoto's thyroiditis."


    THUD
    Last edited by Green~Tara; 03-23-2015 at 09:40 AM.

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    So, following my consult with Dr. O, I began the elimination diet. She told me that wheat would never be a part of my diet again, and I agreed. In fact one of the reasons I called the office was because I'd begun noticing that whenever I ate pizza or had a sandwich my fingers would swell like balloons. But I had never had symptoms of Celiac disease, so it was a puzzle. At age 50, I underwent the routine first colonoscopy, and the GI nurse discussed all this with me. She told me that in recent years the symptomology of CD has been expanded and that my chronic constipation, fatigue, joint pain, RA, OA and thyroid disease were all symptoms of undiagnosed Celiac.

    Wheat is my personal poison. If I feel a rash beginning, I've been glutened. It has happened from medication, from Emergen-C, from candy, from vitamins. I had to get my own toaster.

    What I'm hoping to get from my next elimination diet and following the Primal lifestyle:
    • Stop break-through RA flares
    • Can I possibly get all the skin lumps and bumps under control? Rheumatoid nodules, mucoid cysts, and ganglion cysts continue to plague me.
    • I sincerely want to lessen my body's inflammatory response to environmental allergies. Will this help me? I hope so.
    • Eliminate dizzy spells from deep-seated sinus inflammation.
    • Energy - oh Goddess above give me energy! Fatigue, you are my companion but not my friend!
    • Lose the basketball gut and get to a healthier BMI.


    Is it too much to seek?

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    March 21, 2015 - second day of spring and first day of my Pre-mal life (pre Primal as I eliminate my larder and take baby steps for the transition)

    Breakfast:
    Applegate Naturals turkey bacon
    eggs and eggwhite scrambled in ghee and bacon bits
    sauté of red onion, red cabbage, leftover brown rice "couscous" and coconut aminos

    Snack: 2 raw Brazil nuts, green smoothie (apple, kale, celery, ginger and turmeric root, grapes, frozen pineapple, 1 Medjool date)

    WORKOUT: 30 minutes Zumba; 20 minutes Pilates

    Post workout: finished green smoothie, sweet potato chips

    Dinner: bison chili, wild rice, quinoa and amaranth blend
    Last edited by Green~Tara; 03-21-2015 at 05:51 PM.

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    March 22, day two "PRE-mal" as we transition. Thoughts: last night's bison chili was amazing. I am going to miss having beans in my chili when we make the big switch.

    Brunch: omelette cooked in ghee with chard and red onion
    organic chicken sausage
    organic cultured sauerkraut

    Pre-workout: banana, 2 Brazil nuts

    workout: hit the gym for treadmill warmup, weight training for lower body, back and chest. Got overcome with a horrible wave of heartburn - too much protein? Vinegar in the sauerkraut? Got a bottle of kombucha at the store while grocery shopping to try to soothe.

    Grass fed steak on the menu for tonight, I don't know if I can even look at it. Think I will focus on vegetables.

    Update: I cooked the steak dinner but could hardly eat. The smell of the steak cooking made me feel ill. I gave DH his steak, potato and veggies and saved the other one for during the week. I had 1/2 baked potato and some asparagus roasted in coconut oil.

    Then the diarrhea started, up several times in the night, slept fitfully, sweats, nightmares.
    Last edited by Green~Tara; 03-23-2015 at 06:00 AM.

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    March 23rd, day three on "PRE-mal" while waiting for my Elimination Diet book to get here.

    I finally got to sleep for a couple of hours toward dawn, woke up to another explosion but the cold sweats had stopped. I don't feel sick though. I actually seem to have reduced inflammation and a reduction in morning sinus crud, too. Had a nice hot shower and scrub, hit the kitchen for my smoothie. (I'm sorry for talking about poop but have a feeling it's been done around here before.)

    Breakfast: green smoothie of coconut water, kale, green apple, celery, grapes, 1/4 golden beet, lemon juice, some frozen fennel stalks, frozen mango, flax oil, topped with a Barleans omega swirl.

    I have absolute zero desire to eat anything resembling an egg or a piece of meat. DH and I talked about it, maybe I just need to be a hungry cave woman for a day and forage on plants.


    Bookmarking: Cooking with Camille Episode Three very informative. Happy to see something for the sweet tooth.

    A.M. Snack: almond milk yogurt, blackberries

    BOOKMARKING: Homemade Paleo Mayo

    Lunch: tossed salad of spinach, baby beets, baby cucumber, celery, 1 TBS of raw, wild Wisconsin pecans with homemade olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette
    Small amount of homemade chicken salad with chopped veg and a handful of Blue Diamond pecan Nut-Thins
    Last edited by Green~Tara; 03-23-2015 at 09:46 AM.

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    Ugh. I got home Monday night, I'd been limping during the day because of pain in my left foot. I got home and took my shoes off, there is a huge lump in my left forefoot. So the RA is acting up again. I had to call out yesterday and spent the day with my foot elevated. Spirits are in the can, I'm depressed and angry over it. Podiatrist cannot see me until Monday.

    I went off plan yesterday but tried not to totally blow it. I drank some wine to go with my whine.

    I am back at work today. DH went to Walmart and got some gel inserts. I will hobble through the day. Needless to say there will be no walking or cardio, but I've got to do the best I can and take care of this damn foot. Back on plan with the food. I still have no desire to consume eggs or meat and the thought of it makes me queasy in fact. I hope it passes.

    Breakfast: first half of green smoothie (chard, 1/2 green apple, pear, ginger, turmeric, cilantro, celery, frozen mango)

    AM Snack: Pecan Nut-Thins crackers

    Lunch: Salad - mixed greens, green bell pepper, broccoli sprouts, 1/2 avocado; Amy's gluten free aloo matar burrito (I know, I know ...)

    PM Snack: - remainder of green smoothie

    After hobbling through the day, I relaxed a bit at home then did a Kundalini yoga practice that did not require weight bearing. Soaked the foot and read.

    Dinner: "refreshed" the bison chili by sauteing chopped organic crimini mushrooms in ghee then adding bison to the pan to heat through, topped with organic cilantro. Side: organic carrots steamed with some crumpled kombu.
    Last edited by Green~Tara; 03-26-2015 at 06:03 AM.

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    So I think yesterday was better. Bummed about the foot but what can I do. Still working through my larder, thinking about how to plan better. The nut crackers did not sit well in my stomach afterward - hint, hint?? My Elimination Diet book should be released pretty soon, I'd like to get going here. In any event - I had a great night's sleep despite my foot woes.

    Day Five "PRE-mal" - Breakfast: organic GF toasted oat cereal, Silk cashew milk, banana, flaxseed meal. I do not feel optimal. The oat cereal is giving my stomach the same feeling as the nut thins did. Also, the cashew milk was a bad purchase - recommended by a health conscious friend, I did not check the label. It is loaded with cane sugar. I hate to waste food, but may put the oat cereal out for the birds and dump the sugar milk. Prior mornings where I had an 8 oz. glass of fresh green smoothie had me feeling so much brighter, energetic and no stomach issues.

    This morning I read about intermittent fasting. BOOKMARKING: Tips for Desk Jockies (that's me)

    AM Snack: dairy free almond yogurt, blackberries

    Lunch: salad of mixed greens, sliced beets, broccoli sprouts, squeeze of Ranch
    Small bowl of leftover baked potato, roasted asparagus and a bit of steamed carrots from last night. Organic Earth Balance.

    This made my belly feel very happy.

    Dinner: nibbled on raw veggies while food prepping; red cabbage sauted in coconut oil with a pinch of fennel seeds and sliced organic chicken sausage (casings removed). I really wasn't hungry!

    Workouts: Still struggling with the foot. I kept getting up at work and stretching so as not to stagnate, and forced myself to hobble around the conference room a couple of times. A co-worker offered to get things for me and I declined, I keep on keeping on. At home I did another Kundalini yoga practice to keep my spirits up and stretch the back after limping all day.
    Last edited by Green~Tara; 03-27-2015 at 06:17 AM.

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    I am getting a little bit frustrated waiting for this Elimination Diet book. It was supposed to have been printed by end of March. I'm getting impatient for it! Guess I'll just have to keep PRE-maling on in my personal Phase 1.

    Last night I cooked DH a steak with onions and red bell peppers and mushrooms with a reheated 1/2 baked potato. So far DH thinks he has died and gone to heaven with my PB experimentations. This was one of the steaks from the day I had all kinds of "purge" and heartburn and nausea, so I could not look it in the eye. However this weekend I am ready for a nice grass fed steak from BJ's.

    I experimented with a plantain. These seem to be popular in the paleo community. I could not master the art of getting it opened, however. What a mess. I gave up on it and had a small dinner of just the sauted cabbage and organic sausage.

    Today, Day 6 of PRE-mal: Breakfast: 1/2 green smoothie (organic kale, spinach, 1/2 green apple, celery, pear, ginger, turmeric root, frozen fennel stalks and fronds, frozen pineapple and coconut oil). Happy belly.

    A bit of good news, the golfball-sized ball in my foot has gone way down on its own. It still hurts to bear weight but I am not limping as badly!

    AM Snack: thinly sliced apple nuked with cinammon; small amount of leftover sausage and red cabbage saute (mmm, good combo).

    Lunch: salad of greens, beets, celery, cuke, 1 TBS raw wild almonds, 2 oz. organic local goat cheese, homemade olive oil vinaigrette
    Last edited by Green~Tara; 03-27-2015 at 10:38 AM.

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    Welcome to the forum Ma'am

    One way to get eggs in is to scramble them up with a ton of sauteed veggies. You are going to need your protein (about 1 gram / lb of lean body mass) so if beef is giving you problems, go with chicken or fish. Maybe a protein powder in your smoothies?

    Glad to see that your foot is getting better. Prior to starting the PB, I had some sores that just would not heal. Not painful or deep, just sores that would not go away. Corticoids would make them fade, but they were still there. They disappeared not too long after eliminating grains and processed sugars, just one of the very many benefits I have received following the PB.

    Looking forward to reading your successes

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    Welcome Green-Tara,

    Saw you on my good friend Jrosto's journal and had to come check things out.

    I will mention that many times when you first start eating better, adding lots of veggies and particularly coconut oil, it can really loosen up the system as it starts to clear out all of the junk. That may have been what caused your first explosion.

    Since you cannot get the elimination book you ordered, google "whole 30" you will see it mentioned around here quite a bit. It too is an elimination diet. They have a book "It starts with Food". You will see it referred to on their site. However, the site will give you plenty of info to do the diet with out the book. It's tough but doable. Also, the cookbooks "Well Fed" and Well Fed 2" by Melissa Joulwan a completely Whole 30 compliant and the recipes are awesome. I own both books.

    I look forward to reading about your journey. I am confident that this way of eating will really help you.

    Grok on!

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