Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thyroid update

My thyroid continues to function slowly! My pulse is 48! Way low! My BP is 90s / 50s, very low. Temps still low. I thought my pulse was getting better, it was 52 for three days, but is back down again.

I continue to take the supplements my doctor has me on. He increased one of them this past week. I continue to exercise to my best ability. I love T-Tapp!!! At times I feel I am getting stronger.

My diet continues to be extremely clean, but very low in calories it seems. My doctor says this is fine as this is what my body needs right now and to now worry about not eating enough or getting enough nutrients.

My weight remains the same and even a pound or two less, which is nothing short of miraculous with hypothyroidism!! Praising God for that!

I do anywhere from 20-40 minutes of T-Tapp each day. (five days)

My daily diet?

1 Quart green smoothie (spread throughout day)
2 egg yolks/1 egg with about 1/2 cup butternut squash
Sunflower seeds (soaked and dried)
Some bites of fish, chicken or beef and some raw salad (cabbage this past week)
Small amount of meat and veggies at dinner
1/2 grapefruit and kombucha at night.

I continue to be concerned about raw cruciferous vegetables. I have read they are goitergenic which slows the absorption of iodine, I think. Our thyroid needs iodine. I am just not convinced I should not be eating these raw. I drives me batty that God created these for food!! I know there are tons of benefits to raw, like enzymes. So I continue to pray for wisdom and HIS leading for ME. I also make sure I rotate my greens.

For example:
M- Spinach
T- Romaine
W- Kale
Th- Red Leaf
Sa- Escarole
Su. Romaine

I also feel like I crave salads right now, especially this cabbage salad. So, what do I do with that?

Shredded purple and green cabbage
poppy seed
shredded apple
vinegar, maple syrup (tiny amt.), olive oil,
S and P
Sunflower seeds on top



Day 20 of Elimination Diet

Well, we are on day 20! It is getting easier as I have been able to add in tomatoes! Apparently most of my cooking involves tomatoes! Our flavor profile appears to be Mexican and Italian.

My Isabella, with pretty bad eczema is actually doing worse. This is disheartening a little because I don't know if she is just having a bad day with it, or was something she ate, or she is detoxing . . .I just feel sort of helpless! I pray continually for wisdom. For now I am going to take back out nightshades for her, but something tells me this is not it.

We still do not have the big bad things in, like wheat, corn, gluten, dairy, eggs. My doctor says you need to have these out for AT LEAST 21 days before you can tell anything. So we shall see. Also, my other daughter outgrew her eczema, so who knows.

This diet has moved us to take our diet to a whole new level. It has opened the children up to new ideas in food. We closely follow Nourishing Traditions principles and have really taken it to a new level. We already did great, but I think there is always room for improvement.

Eggs and dairy have to come in first for us, as we have a bazillion eggs from our chickens and we have a cow share that is on hold. We are going to wait until next week to add them in slowly though.

My Blendtec is coming tomorrow!! I can't wait. I have made approximately 180 smoothies in my Bosch blender since we started this. I make six blenderfuls a day, hopefully the Blendtec will cut that in half! Yeah!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mama Left and Now She Is Back!

Since my crash on Saturday I have not been well. The exhaustion returned. You know, not the just tired, but exhausted! Also, I stopped sleeping and a heaviness descended on me. It lasted about four days. I also was a time in my cycle, days 8-11 that are usually weird hormone type days. I also had a headache each of those days and spotted a bit, which tells me it is 'female' hormone related.

Today, like a switch, I was back! The weight lifted, no headaches and I slept better last night. Not great, but better.

It is so weird.

Day Seven - Day Eleven Elimination Diet

The days have been busy cooking and getting a bit discouraged that this isn't going to work. We have had lots of weird stomach issues this past week that I don't know if they are from a 'bug' or the diet!

There is constipation, severe gas pains, and who knows what else.

My six year olds eczema is pretty bad. I had hoped that it would improve at least some by now.

I question whether this is right for us right now as we don't usually eat this many grains and beans. I have felt for a long time that more protein, veggies and minimal grains was better for us. So this just 'feels' wrong. But then again, the children did eat grains, just in different forms, so I don't know!!!

It is hard at times being responsible for their diet. Sometimes I wish I just didn't know what I know and we just went on like the rest of the world.

I also feel like the GAPS diet or the BED diet would be very beneficial for some of my children. We shall see.

Today's treat was coconut milk and blueberries blended then put in the ice cream machine! They loved it.

We have added protein in to our diet in the form of chicken, beef and fish. I just don't feel right about the all grain and bean vegetarian type diet. We are still keeping out all of the big allergy type foods, corn, wheat, soy, dairy, gluten, ect.

We did add citrus in this week and haven't seen any changes, but I also don't know what to look for!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday Night Crash

This past week was outrageously busy. With all the cooking and trying to keep everyone in green smoothies and not 'starving', I was constantly on the go. Through into that a few trips to the store for more produce and a doctor appointment, and it was busy!

I am so thankful that I was able to keep up, for the most part. It felt so good to be doing all the 'doing' that needed to be done. It has been months, six to be exact.

I should not have been surprised, when on Saturday night, shortly after dinner I utterly and completely crashed! Exhaustion like I have not felt in a long time filled every cell of my body. I was shocked by how quickly it came over me.

The emotions began to get out of control as the tiredness took hold of me. I began to cry for absolutely no reason other than EVERYTHING felt too big.

I showered, and cried. I got my snuggly clothes, and cried. We went downstairs for our 'date', and I cried. I cried because I love Brian so much. I cried because I was hungry and didn't know what to eat. I cried . . .well, for anything and everything! ;-)

I didn't sleep that well, but not horribly either. I awoke so tired again. I have sort of forgotten that this and worse is how I felt for months! Obviously I need to take it slower, if possible this week.

I need to remember to praise Him for the ALL I was able to do and also praise Him for calling my to rest! That is the hard part. Don't we just want to do and do once given the opportunity? This is a journey. I am still learning how to rest. Just when I think I am getting somewhere with it, I push and push!

It is okay to rest! It is okay to slow! We cannot do it all, nor does HE expect us to. Let's take the burden off of ourselves and joyfully do only what He allows us to!

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. . . (Is 30:15)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thyroid Crashing

I went to the doctor again this week. I have noticed my resting heart rate is very low, in the 40s. Also, I feel like I am chasing my blood sugar a lot lately, even though I am eating very well. I simply cannot even fudge a little on waiting to eat. It has not been that bad in a long time.

I have also lowered my pituitary supplements, at his advice. He said to lower them slowly until we found the right amount. Well, I think we went a little too far, because the same sense of well being that came when I increased them left as I lowered them!

He had put me on some minor support for thyroid last time, but this time it is apparent that I needed something stronger, so he added a new thyroid supplement as well as increasing the pituitary supplements.

He said all the things I needed work on were pancreatic and endocrine, so it all made sense with the symptoms I was having.

I thought it might be beneficial to list all I take in the form of supplements, but I want to say that you simply cannot look at what one person takes and apply it to yourself! He muscle tests me for each and every supplement. When I was at my worst, he would test me for something that seemed great for me only to have me crash on two or three days later. (paradoxical reaction)

These are in no particular order.

Folate 5-plus (one a day)

Cytozyme PT/HPT (this is the pituitary support) (currently back up to 8 a day)

Gammonal Forte ( this goes with the PT/HPT) (currently back up to 8 a day)

Cytozyme AD (adrenal support) (3 a day)

Destress (2 in the morning and 2 at night)

Thyrostim (this is the first thyroid support he put me on)(three a day)

Glucobalance (this is just an all around great support) (3 a day)

Bio-Glycozyme (3 before bed)

Bio-D Mulsion (a great vitamin D) (2-6 drops daily)

GTA (recent addition) (one a day)

Optimal EFAs (six a day)

Iodine (6 drops, 2 times a day)

I also take a digestive enzyme with meals, when I remember ;-)

Occasionally I take Betaine with meals.

And, I cannot forget my beloved L-Tryptophan and Melatonin

Day Five and Six of the Elimination Diet

Things continue to go well, but we are getting a little weary of the somewhat bland diet. We have kept out some of the spices that we usually cook with, namely chili powder. We are trying all kinds of new flavor profiles, some we like, some we don't. I am pleased everyone, well almost everyone, is willing to try them.

Having the little children help in the kitchen is going a long way in getting them to try new things.

One thing we tried was roasted root vegetables. Sweet potato, turnips, carrots, onion, garlic, baby bok choy and mushrooms. NONE of us like turnips!

One thing we have been enjoying is having frozen blueberries and coconut milk for dessert.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day Four Elimination Diet

Mama is fading fast. I seem to be coming down with what the others have had, severe headache and tummy issues. Well, for now it is just the headache, hopefully I won't be up all night in front of the toilet like my 19 year old son was! Poor guy.

The kids are amazing me with their eagerness to try new foods! Today it was Butternut Squash Soup. They would not have tried it willingly in the past. I am praising God, as I think if nothing else, this has so broadened their palates. They are so willing and want to be in the kitchen helping prepare these new meals. Today they loved drizzling coconut milk over their soup, they thought it was so cool to do it themselves.

Tonight's dinner was Summer Vegetable Kitcheree. I varied it a little bit as I didn't have some of the spices, but it was okay. I had chicken soup, trying to keep it bland for now.

My day:

Green Smoothie (spinach base)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 over perfectly easy eggs! served over a tiny bit of our hash (haven't had eggs in a while, loved them!)
1 cup squash soup
some fish
Celery w/ sunbutter
Chicken soup and romaine salad

Not as much 'raw' as I wanted, but I did not feel well. The last couple of days I have been having a hard time eating enough and soon enough, before my blood sugar crashes. I have lowered my pituitary supplements slowly over the past week, and I wonder if this is the cause. I also woke up today with an old familiar 'heavy' feeling which goes away when my pituitary supplements are at their ideal level. I go to the doctors tomorrow so we will see if I dropped too many pills. It could just be an off day, busy week, extra stress and three very good feeling busy days! Hard to tell.

Oh, and while preparing the butternut squash for our soup, my hand slipped and I ripped my thumbnail so far down and half way off the nail bed! It is by far the worst and the lowest I have ever ripped a fingernail. I cried and walked in circles not knowing what to do. The littles followed me and hugged me, it was so sweet!

So, all in all, not a great day, but I serve a GREAT GOD who has new mercies for me in the morning, goodnight ;-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day Three Elimination Diet

Wow, is it only day three? I feel like I have been in the kitchen cleaning produce or soaking and cooking rice, quinoa and adzuki beans for weeks now! ;-)

Today went very well. Again, I am feeling so good, comparatively speaking. It feels like such a blessing to be able to be doing all this for my family, as it has been months of not being up to it! Thank you, Lord.

Smoothie for breakfast. They beg for these. We still are making them with tons of greens ,(organic romaine, organic spinach (yeah Costco) or kale) apples, pears and celery. Today I made one with blueberries and pears with the greens in addition to the original.

I try to drink a quart, the children drink until they can't drink anymore ;-)

I think they are hungrier sooner because I am trying to keep the smoothies 'pure' meaning no oils or seeds, as we are detoxing and doing the elimination diet. I do think when I add oils or young coconut water and meat they last a lot longer.

Brunch was more of the Yam and Adzuki Hash and rice and beans.

Then a couple of short hours later, more of anything leftover from the previous two days. . .

Then, carrots, celery and cucumbers with a tablespoon of sunbutter (sunflower seed butter).

Then, I had to beat them off with a carrot stick until dinner . . . which was . . .

absolutely fabulous, 'I could eat these everyday' Sunny Sunflower Seed Burgers from the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook (not sure if the recipe is on their website) My husband LOVED them.

Basically they were sunflower seeds ( I soaked and dried them first for optimal nutrition) some spices, and cooked brown rice whazzed up in the food processor and formed into patties. I then 'fried' them in coconut oil. Delicious!

My daughters eczema is worse than ever, but I believe this is to be expected, as it may get worse before it gets better and the offending food needs to be out of the diet for more than three weeks.

As far as this adrenal fatigue mama and diet:

-1 quart smoothie (way more greens than low-glycemic fruit)
-1/4 cup sunflower seeds (soaked and dried)chicken, green apple, celery, cranberry salad with celery stalks
-(I crashed in the afternoon because I let myself get way to hungry, this is a big NO-NO for adrenal fatigue, I know this, but do it occasionally anyway!)
-Woofed down some fish and some sunflower seed and date balls.
-Dinner was a Sunflower Burger, lots of guacamole (yum) and green beans and a little more fish.

Okay, all adrenal fatiguers need to be in bed by 10:00 pm and it is now 10:14, so I am breaking another rule . . .I'm am off to bed!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Successful Day Two of Elimination Diet

Woo Hoo! I would say today went very well! Tons of smoothie making and cooking though ;-) My children are eating better than ever, and we already ate great. They love the Yam and Adzuki Hash.

For lunch I stir fried some veggies in olive oil, onion, garlic, broccoli, green beans, snow peas until tender. I add a little water to make a 'sauce' and served it over rice. (I do soak my rice according to Nourishing Traditions) They loved it, but did miss the Tamari sauce.

Dinner was a Lentil and Rice casserole from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. The reviews were good. I thought it was a bit bland, but I like things 'spicy'.

I did not eat it as I am sticking to the way I have been eating which is veggies and protein! Today I had Atlantic Cod (from Costco, it is awesome) and a salad with lemon and olive oil. The lemon is not on the elimination diet, but I don't think I have a problem with citrus.

I felt so much better eating the way I normally do. I am glad I tried the smoothies for a day, but it was certainly a closed door for this adrenal fatigued mama!

Brian did his second green smoothie day and did well.

I was so happy to be buzzing around in the kitchen all day. It felt a little like the old me, though I still tire easily. I can tell I am getting better ever since early December when my doctor put me back on some pituitary supplements and my diet was way more focused on no carbs again. That is pretty much how I have eaten since last February, but you know there are 'mess ups' here and there where I get off track. By God's grace I sailed through the holidays with very little sugar, praise God!

I also think the addition of some thyroid supplements and some essential oils last week will help, I just haven't been taking them regularly. :-(

I so want to do a separate post on what I feel green smoothies have done for me.

So, my diet today:

Green Smoothie (romaine, pear and blueberry)
Chicken, celery, cranberries, green apple (salad)
Kombucha (love it!)
Cod and salad
Enjoying a final glass of Kombucha as I type!

Elimination Diet day 2

Yesterday feels like it was awful! I felt terrible most of the day. Kind of like a blood sugar feeling all day. Had a bad headache at night. Felt like I was chasing hunger all day which is what it felt like when I was at my worst. I think the high fruit content (even though I use way less) was too high for me with adrenal fatigue.

The children fared pretty well. They were 'starving' all day. Do you know how many greens it takes to keep a family this size in green smoothies all day? A LOT! ;-) I felt like I made smoothies all day, which I did, of course.

I did make some Healing Quinoa Cabbage Soup that is on the elimination diet and everybody was thrilled to have solid food! They ate it without any complaints!

Today we are proceeding as if it were day three for the rest of the family, meaning only a green smoothie for breakfast and elimination diet food the rest of the day.

Me, on the other hand, well, we are still praying, but I need the protein I think. Also, the elimination diet is way too high in carbs for me. Even though they are complex carbs, it is way more than I have eaten in about a year.

My diet has mostly consisted of:

1/2 to 1 whole apple
Pink grapefruit
Meat, organic, free range
and Vegetables
and good fats

That is it! No grains, no legumes, no sugar and minimal fruit carbs. It is basically a very low carb way of eating. I believe I feel the best when I follow this to the letter. So, I am thinking, even though the diet provides complex carbs and veggies (no protein from meat though) it will not work for me. Brian is doing fine on it, but he doesn't have adrenal fatigue with the blood sugar issues I have.

I have fasted in the past and done cleanses, but this feels different. I don't feel well eating this way. Also, I can't possibly be 'detoxing' that much because I already didn't eat sugars, junk and carbs. So, I just don't know. Am praying and trusting God to lead me.

I am still pursuing eating as much 'raw' as I can. I have been studying the raw diet, but can't get past the protein needs I believe someone with adrenal fatigue has. I could be wrong, and am praying for wisdom. I really want what 'they' the raw foodists are selling! Health and energy!

Oh, one really cool thing to come out of this is today I made Yam and Adzuki Bean Hash for brunch and everyone gobbled it up! You have to know that Yams! and Beans! for breakfast would not fly in this house. I guess there is benefit to 'starving' your children! ;-) Also, I think any complaint ever about anything I serve with come with a swift, "okay, green smoothie day for your tomorrow!"

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day One Elimination Diet

Today we begin, as a family, the Elimination diet. I was so excited and really felt the Lord leading us to this. We all prayed and let Him lead it. That is my consolation right now as I listen to "I am hungry", "is there anything else I can eat?" "what do get to eat in two days?"

Also, my two year old is having tummy troubles again which has resulted in a horrible diaper rash. My 17 year old's tummy and head don't feel well either. I am very hungry and wonder if it is okay to be doing this with my adrenal fatigue. I have to trust that God has led this, but I am continually crying out for wisdom with each turn here today.

It is 12:18 pm and I have made at least seven blender-fulls of smoothies! Keeping a family this size in green smoothies is proving to be pretty time consuming. I just realized, it might sound like I am complaining. I am not! Really, there is grace, just giving you a 'real' picture.

For the first two days we are supposed to only consume green smoothies. We do believe that the littles might need more and are willing to give them some rice, beans and quinoa if needed, but so far, they are doing great.

The two year old is eating rice, applesauce and bananas, in an effort to firm up his bowel movements. Bananas are not on the elimination diet, but we are not so concerned about him.

I also need to make sure everyone is drinking enough water, which I have found that if you give a kid a straw they will drink anything, and copious amounts too.

Main reasons we are doing this:

A couple of the children have eczema, one pretty severe that has not responded to taking out wheat and/or dairy.

Some of the children have 'elimination' problems, meaning they take way too long to go and don't always go regularly. Some go very infrequently and have a hard time of it.

One has some pretty bad attention problems.

The others are along for the ride. It is a very healing diet for the next several weeks, so we all can benefit from it. I do think there may even be some spiritual issues that will be addressed during this time.

We have an inside family joke going with this. Whatever symptom or ailment someone brings to me they get the same response, "you need the elimination diet". It might be a tummy ache, an earache, a sore foot, a blister from their boots, selfishness, pride, you name it, I am convinced (and trying to convince them ;-) that the elimination diet will cure it!

I might update later to let you know if we are surviving or not!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Health Update

Still feeling pretty good! I have had a few MINOR crashes, but have handled some pretty busy, out of my control days.

I have been seeking the Lord on any changes to our/my diet. I have added green smoothies, just fruits and greens, for almost a week now. I think I might be feeling better from them. I think they are going to help in the 'elimination' area, if you know what I mean. I think things are still trying to balance out. I have been doing tons of reading on green smoothies and trying to incorporate more raw foods into our diet. I really don't think the Lord is leading me to a completely raw diet, as this conflicts with much of what He has shown me, but I do see great benefit to increasing the raw and possibly for a short healing season. I am walking with great caution though, because I don't want to undo all that has been done in the healing department.

Starting on Monday, January 11, 2010 our whole family will be doing a 28-day elimination diet in the hope of discovering some food allergies or sensitivities. It can be daunting, being in charge of healthfully feeding this crew and then throw in some health issues and it gets big in a hurry! Thank God I have Him and His wisdom to guide.

We, as a family have been praying about it and unless the Lord closes the door, we will start! Part of the 'fleece' was that it would all fall into place because we know that me being stressed or overwhelmed from it would mean a closed door. Well, He laid it all out for me and I am really excited to begin, I mean from the preparing department.

Lord willing, I will update if there is an interest.

This is the website that I am closely following. The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen I bought their book months ago, love how the Lord prepares me, and we are following their elimination diet.

Friday, January 1, 2010

"Me" is coming back

I just wanted to quick post that since Wednesday of this past week I have felt a tremendous peace and joy! Now, it is not like it is when I am 'normal' but it is such a stark difference than how I have been feeling!

I love feeling like 'me'. I told you, I am happy, joyful, hopeful, excited, passionate. Oh, and the peace and quiet thing is a new thing for me. Wednesday I should have been pretty out of it considering the past two days events, but I wasn't. I woke up feeling hope and joy. I was able to have an unbelievable wonderful morning with the children. I spoke softly. I was patient. I was not 'bugged' by all the things that were not done, I just went about, enlisting help gently and we got things done.

The joy and hope has continued. I am so thankful! I know it is lots of GRACE, but I also wonder how much the adding back in of the tryptophan was a factor. I don't care, it just feels good to feel good!!

Wouldn't it be great of 2010 was the year of the "return of me"? I don't mean like self, or that there is anything wonderful about 'me', I just mean to feel like the 'me' God created!

Praising God for His mercy and goodness, in the valleys and on the mountaintops.