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Archive for July, 2011

Sunday Surf’s Up!

So I’ve definitely been lagging behind with the blogging this week, for various reasons…

Number one is GAPS – I’ll post more about it tomorrow, but basically, while I know without a doubt that it is working and doing good things, it is also kicking my butt!

I feel tired and sickie a lot, but I knew that was to be expected, so I’m just trying to push through and get lots of sleep! It doesn’t leave a whole lot of motivation for doing much else though and I’m feeling pretty bad about all those e-mails I haven’t yet responded to…

Thrown in the mix is what appears to be a flare up of sciatica, something I experienced once before about 3 years ago and is totally not what I need right now!

There are various things that can cause sciatica, but in the main it causes excruciating pain in the lower back, hips, and up and down the legs, which only becomes worse when you sit or lie down. When I saw a doctor about it in the past she told me to alternate cold and heat on my back and take ibuprofen, which I have been trying for the past 4 days.

Aside from the fact that ibuprofen probably is not the best choice for the GAPS intro diet, it also doesn’t seem to be working – it will give temporary pain relief but the problem isn’t going away, so I’m thinking I need to see a doctor again. I hate going to doctors. :p Read the rest of this entry »

People Officially Suck

Sign – no children

Image via Wikipedia

I will preface this by saying: I haven’t had coffee for 3 days, and I just couldn’t help myself.

You know who annoys the crap out of me?

Men.

That’s right – men. They’re big and loud. They scratch and fart. They take up more than their share of privilege in the world. They rarely have intuition about things and they never have to go through menstruation or pregnancy.

In fact, men annoy me so much that I would be much happier if I did not ever have to encounter them in public.

Next time I go to the grocery store and I see a man, I am going to find the manager and complain. Don’t even get me started if I hear one talking in a restaurant!

I think there should be more places out there that ban men altogether – I know my life would be much happier that way.

You know what else would make my life happier? Read the rest of this entry »

Love Letter For A Bean ~ July 2011

Letters for Littles
(These posts are inspired by Touchstonez & SausageMama – if you blog and you’re interested in posting a monthly letter to your kiddos, you can grab the badge to join in here).

Dear Bean-i-o,

You were 11 months old yesterday. As ever, your mommy finds it continually hard to believe how quickly time passes…

I feel like the past few months have brought so much change in you. You’re getting so big. You can do so many things. It’s a constant amazement to watch you grow…I can hardly even imagine you being so tiny as you used to be!

You are a crazy climber little lady. Up and down stairs, hoisting yourself onto step stools and chairs – we look at you in awe to see all the places you can reach. You can climb up the slide backwards with the strength of your arms, and your newest fun game is climbing down off our bed – not so great for mommy and daddy but it sure amuses you! You are strong, baby! Read the rest of this entry »

Healing My Gut ~ Monday Menu

Preparing of chicken broth

Image via Wikipedia

I had chicken broth for breakfast this morning.

That’s because I’m beginning week one of the GAPS Intro diet today – so it’s not exactly a conventional menu plan I’m sharing.

But for any who may be curious (and for my own reference, of course), I’m posting what I hope to be eating this week as I begin the process of healing my gut, or restoring the balance of bacteria that is so important to proper digestion, healthy immunity and even the way my brain works.

So I spent the weekend making lots of chicken and beef stock and fermenting sauerkraut, along with cutting up different veggies to make them super easy to prepare.

I’m not making a formal ‘breakfast, lunch, dinner’ thing right now, as during the first week especially I’ll probably just be eating what I want, when I want (within the limits of the diet, of course).

So far I’m seeing the challenges of really consuming every part of the bone broth I’ve made (which means adding in the fat and marrow that would usually be taken out), and not using the microwave to re-heat anything. Nothing too bad yet, but of course I’ve only just started. :)

I do just want to quickly reiterate that I’m normally not a fan of ‘diets’ and I dislike the connotation that diet has - my intention with GAPS is not to lose weight per se (though I do hope to do so), but to pretty much revolutionize my insides and truly become healthy – both in body and in brain.

And one thing that’s cool with this is that you’re not just changing what you eat – but changing a lot of the other areas of life that I’ve already taken care of (I feel like I’ve prepared without even realizing it!) – things like switching to all natural personal care products, reducing toxins in the home – whether it be cleaning products or the things I store and cook food in – in all those areas I am ready!

So in some ways this is like the next step in that journey…

So here’s the plan for this week: Read the rest of this entry »

It’s A Sunday Surf!

Bone Broth Simmering

Bone Broth Simmering

Weekends always go by too quickly, but I don’t mind it as much this weekend because I got so much awesome stuff done yesterday!

I have tons and tons of stock boiling in the kitchen, all kinds of veggies cut up and ready to use in the fridge and some beautiful organic meats in my freezer. All I need to do right today is peel and chop some butternut squash, cool and jar the stock when it’s ready, and I am prepped for the week!

I have never made homemade stock before so I’m very interested to see how it will turn out – it definitely smells good! I’m a little worried that it doesn’t really seem to be reducing much, but I think I’m just being impatient – the recipe I’m using for bone broth says you can cook it for 2 days!

So I will try to remain patient, and in the meantime, provide you with a Sunday Surf – here are some of the best posts I’ve been reading over the past week… Read the rest of this entry »

Posting in Gratitude ~ July 23, 2011

gratitude: january 16, 2008

Image by rversde23 via Flickr

I’m joining in with Amandra Metro, TouchstoneZ, and others in being thankful until “I absolutely exude gratitude”.

Last week I had the opportunity to post how thankful I am for certain specific bloggers – I plan to do that again soon, but this week I’ve had a lot to be grateful for just in life so that’s where I’m sharing from… :)

This week I have been grateful for:

1. The care my in-laws give to my daughter. I have awesome Chinese in-laws who pretty much believe it’s their job to care for the grandchildren – like, full-time care. Up until the last few months I’ve been hesitant to let my little Bean go for more than a few hours at a time, but as I will be returning to work soon, both of us need to get used to the idea. She now goes to their house for a full day once or twice a week, and has nothing but fun. The moment she sees her Popo (grandmother) she starts laughing her head off – it is obvious that she is already one of Bean’s favorite people in her little world. I’ll admit – I wasn’t keen on the idea of having them care for Bean while I work – we don’t exactly agree on quite a few parenting points! But they have admirably respected my wishes – even when they think I’m crazy – and the love they have for Bean pretty much overshadows any other small concern. Now, instead of apprehension, I can only feel gratitude for their willingness to help raise their granddaughter – and the knowledge that Bean has so many amazing people to love and take care of her! Read the rest of this entry »

Prodigal Summer – Mini Book Review

Cover of "Prodigal Summer: A Novel"

Cover of Prodigal Summer: A Novel

I recently saw this article: Decline of Predators Throws Off Food Chain, and it made me think of the Barbara Kingsolver novel Prodigal Summer, where she explores the same concept through a story told by 3 very different people during a particular summer in southern Appalachia.

As Kingsolver is certainly one of my favorite authors and this is an important and interesting issue to be aware of, I thought I would share a mini book review for anyone who might be looking for a little summer reading or new author to enjoy…

Prodigal Summer is a story of one summer as told through the eyes of 3 people:

‘Old Chestnuts’ or Garnett Walker III is a crusty, nosy old gentleman who has very certain ideas about appropriateness and the way life should be – of course with quite a high idea of himself as one of the few who posses this particular wisdom. He is also a man on a mission – he’s spent his retirement in attempts to revive the American Chestnut tree, a species almost totally eradicated from blight, by crossing strands from the inferior Chinese Chestnut to create a tree possessing all the qualities of the American while maintaining the Chinese Chestnut’s ability to withstand blight. His main problems include the fear that he will die before his work can be completed, and irritability with his hippieish, organically growing neighbor, old Nannie Rawley, who always manages to somehow foil his pesticide spraying ways. Read the rest of this entry »

What Is GAPS – And How Am I Going To Do It?

Isolated bacteria - Micrococcus luteus

Image by NEPMET via Flickr

Over the past couple days I’ve been writing about what I see as the pros and cons of beginning the GAPS diet – something I’ve become more interested in and excited about the more I’ve read about it.

In case you’ve been wondering just what the heck the GAPS diet is, here is a super quick and simple summary -

GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which is a condition that establishes a connection between the function of the digestive system and the brain, and is a term coined by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who has worked with hundreds of children and adults with neurological and and psychiatric conditions.

The diet is essentially based on the idea that the bacteria – or flora – that populates our guts is way out of order, and needs to be healed. This gut flora is incredibly important for all kinds of things:

  • Appropriate digestion and absorption of food
  • Synthesis and absorption of nutrients
  • Protecting the gut from invaders and toxins

Well-functioning gut flora is the right hand of our immune system. The beneficial bacteria in the gut ensure appropriate production of different immune cells, immunoglobulins and other parts of the immunity. But most importantly they keep the immune system in the right balance. ~ GAPS – What is it?

There are many ways for our gut flora to get out of balance (years of eating processed foods, anyone?) and the GAPS Diet is essentially a way to heal the delicate balance of flora in order to restore proper digestion and immunity.

Its effects are not just on the body, but on the brain – it was a diet created to assist with both mental and physical problems like autism, hyperactivity and attention deficit, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders and more.

OK, I’m getting into a little bit more than I wanted to here, but I thought it might help to know why I’ve become so interested in this whole thing!

It is also a helpful reminder to me – to know that repairing the damage of years is definitely going to be a process. GAPS doesn’t look easy – but it seems worth it for sure, so starting early next week I’ll be starting out with the GAPS Intro Diet.

Here are some of the ways I’m preparing to embark on this journey… Read the rest of this entry »

GAPS Diet – My Pros & Cons

Homemade Sauerkraut: The Yield

Image by I Believe I Can Fry via Flickr

Yesterday I posted about my interest in beginning the GAPS diet and what I see as the pros to taking such a drastic measure.

Today I’m discussing the cons – I would love to hear your thoughts as well!

Cons…

It looks hard!

I talked yesterday about how in some ways I think it will be easier to have something more strictly laid out than just ‘I am giving up grains’ – but that also doesn’t make it any easier!

I have a problem with commitment – particularly when it comes to diet and exercise – and that scares me. I don’t want to chalk this up as another failure in trying to attain good health.

On the other hand, I can’t know whether it will work unless I go ahead and give it a try – and that’s what I always come down to in the end.

It is going to be hard to follow something so regimented – especially making all the homemade stock, fermented dairy and vegetables, and baked goods with alternative flours that GAPS calls for – but I am hoping with enough forward preparation (stocks can be frozen, thank goodness) and support from the husband that I will be able to make it happen.

The GAPS diet calls for eating a lot of fermented foods – and I don’t really like them. Read the rest of this entry »

A Whole New World…

Homemade Beef Stock: The Yield

Image by I Believe I Can Fry via Flickr

Do you have the Aladdin song in your head now?

I know I do (and if you didn’t, you probably do now).

At any rate, that has absolutely nothing to do with my intention for writing this post…I just like to provide a little harmless (or super annoying) distraction every once in awhile.

OK – here’s the thing though – yesterday I promised to write about an upcoming major change to my diet that I’ve been contemplating, and, well, it’s time to deliver.

I am (most likely) going to attempt the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (or GAPS) diet created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride – hopefully beginning early next week.

I’m not going to go too much into what the GAPS Diet actually is here – you can easily find plenty of information on it – but I am going to discuss why I’m interested as well as what I see as the pros and cons of embarking on what seems to be a pretty strict regimen – something I generally don’t do very well with…

First off, let me say that I am not a ‘diet’ person. I don’t really believe they work well or long term (there are exceptions to that, of course) and I don’t think they are very good for a healthy self-image either. I really believe that the key to eating well is, well, eating well. (Yes – that was cheesy. Sorry).

Really though – eating a good balance of healthy, whole foods is my ideal (not that I’ve ever been able to accomplish that longer than literally a week at a time).

So why do I think GAPS is different? Read the rest of this entry »

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