Showing posts with label autoimmune disease. Show all posts
Showing posts with label autoimmune disease. Show all posts

Succeeding at Paleo

I remember when I first heard the word Paleo. I was intrigued, I wanted to learn so much more! But, when I first started to find out the amount of foods that were restricted on a Paleo diet I began to panic! What in the world will I eat? How can a person survive without grains, or dairy or legumes? It was overwhelming to think of what our menu plan would look like! How would we ever eat tacos again?!

Perhaps you are in the same spot I was, maybe that is why you are reading this. If so, take heart. Tackling Paleo can seem like Everest but with some careful planning and trial and error it will suddenly become routine! Here are a few of my best tips to succeed at Paleo:

1.) Transform:
          Make a list of meals your family regularly eats. How can these meals be recreated or transformed into Paleo meals? For example, our family ate tacos on a regular basis. First step, get rid of the tortilla. We had a couple of options. Option A, replace tortilla with butter leaf lettuce. Option B required a little more effort, making cauliflower and egg tortillas I discovered on Pinterest. In the end taco night was always our easiest meal. Now that we are in the swing of Paleo tacos at our house consists of a VERY hearty salad and a side of ground meat. We transformed our food and our minds as to what tacos really are!

2.) Replace:
          At first you're going to have that major item you just can't live without! Perhaps it's your Snickers bar that you reach for in the afternoon. While you may be able to find a recipe to make Paleo Snickers bars (I'm sure it's out there), I really don't recommend it. Why not find a healthier option, like Larabars! Or make your own Larabars, or similar snack.

3. ) Find Support:
        You're not the only one in the Paleo Newbie boat. There's lots of us out there, and newbies can learn a lot from the veterans too. Find a few Paleo groups on Facebook, follow our page on Facebook, and find a few great boards to follow on Pinterest. Here's a few to get you started:

Paleo Mom
Phoenix Helix

4.) Invest:
       You've got a great start, you've made the most of the free online resources and recipes. Now that you're starting to get the hang of it it's time to invest in the future of your Paleo lifestyle. Invest in a few great books. These might be cookbooks, books discussing the science behind Paleo, or something in between. Here are a few of the books I highly recommend:

The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease, Heal Your Body
It Starts With Food
Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle
Well Fed 

These are just the tip of the iceberg. Any tips you'd add to succeeding while Paleo? Add them in the comments below!

Whole30 Progress Report (Days 4-8)

Day 4: I'm noticing irritability now on day 4. Part of it is due to the fact that my husband sent me to Starbucks for an iced caramel macchiato... Oh how I wanted one too! I knew though that it wasn't worth it. If I don't complete this challenge I'll never know what it could have felt like, or how it could have helped me!! Knowing you are depending on me to provide updates helps, so thanks!!

We were asked to go out to eat day 4. I thought long and hard about how to make Whole30 work while eating out. Finally I realized I didn't want to spend money on food I didn't want to eat, especially when we had a fridge full of awesome food!! So we stayed in and made tacos and I had cauliflower tortillas. Not only did I feel good from eating good food, but from making good food choices! 

Day 5: I can't skip breakfast anymore. Normally a cup of coffee was capable of holding me over until probably 2 in the afternoon. Unhealthy, I know. Doing my usual routine I feel a hunger attack at ten a.m. I know I should have eaten breakfast!! A couple fresh local eggs with this awesome salsa (Rojos avocado tomatillo salsa) does the trick!

Day 6: when I started this I hoped to see improvement in my MS symptoms, but honestly didn't expect to see anything that quickly. It's taken a long time to get to this point, it's going to take a while to heal. Day 6 I noticed I felt great. I felt more sturdy when walking! 6 days in and already I'm seeing the payoff! Just a tiny improvement in my ability to function is worth skipping all that nasty food!!

Day 7: woke up feeling ready to make breakfast! This is a whole new feeling!  Later, playing with my son outside I'm able to walk around our yard a little bit without falling over or feeling tipsy! I think this may be the Whole30 magic!! I'm excited to see what two weeks brings! Please know I am not promoting this as a cure, nor do I expect to be fixed at the end of 30 days. Rather I have submitted myself as a guinea pig in my own scientific experiment, and if I can find slight relief of symptoms it has all been worth it! And while this is only anecdotal evidence, sharing this journey is as much for me as it is for you! Stayed tuned for more progress reports!!

Im ready to tackle the rest of this project! If you are interested in trying it, commit to one week first. Then at the end of the week commit to the other three weeks. Honestly once I started feeling better it wasn't hard to eat this way anymore! What do you have lose except a few pounds and that pain you've been dealing with?

Stay tuned for my next update! I can't wait to share it with you!

Gluten Sugar and Dairy Free Breakfast "Cookies"

I have spent quite a bit of time lately searching for a good homemade replacement for my son's favorite cereal bars (the Kashi strawberry are his favorite). Everything I found online seemed like it had too much sweetener, even if it was honey, for me to feel comfortable giving it to him as a breakfast bar. Or they had protein powder in the recipe, usually most protein powders have artificial sweeteners or the better ones on the market have real sugar, but there again I wanted something that tasted good with real whole ingredients and no sugar! After playing with a few ideas and adding my own twist I think I finally have found the recipe our whole family loves. A close friend told me I should start selling these things because they are just that good. But they are so simple to make yourself, I thought I would just share my recipe with you instead.

Liam's GSD Free Bars
(I usually double this recipe as these tend to disappear fast in our house)

1 banana
1/3 c. almond butter (read more about the almond butter I buy below)
2/3 c. applesauce
1 tsp. cinnamon (more or less to your liking)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. raisins (optional of course)
1 1/2 c. certified gluten free oats

Preheat oven to 350
Mash banana until smooth and all the chunks are gone. If you have a dark brown banana they tend to mash bet Add almond butter, my local Fred Meyer store has a grinder to make your own almond butter. The grinder is just loaded with almonds, nothing more is added to this almond butter. It comes out smooth and delicious just the way it is. This is my favorite almond butter to use for us and especially with how many my kiddo eats. Then I add the applesauce, this helps dilute the almond butter and mix it in more easily. Add the vanilla and cinnamon. This is where you can customize it to your tastes! I add raisins because we love oatmeal raisin cookies, but you could add nuts or other dried fruit if you want! Add the oats last and mix well so that the oats get wet equally. Let sit for about 10 minutes or more so that the oats can absorb the moisture. Measure out the dough as you would with any cookie and place each one on a greased cookie sheet. These do not spread as they cook, so press them down a little. My son has a hard time with a round shaped cookie, so I form these into rectangle shapes, or bars that he has an easier time with. Since these cookies do not spread you can form them into just about any shape you like! Cooking time will vary depending on your preference, for us we like a chewier cookie so we cook them for about 15-18 minutes. If you want them a little crunchier cook them a little longer. These need to be stored in an airtight container, and if you like them chewier like we do you will probably want to store them in the fridge. Left out the moisture tends to let them mold quicker than the average cookie/bar.

My two year old loves these and is constantly asking for another "cookie." I usually hesitate at the word cookie and try to get him to eat something "healthier" like a banana or some applesauce. Wait, what did I just say? These cookies are the healthiest snack in our house! They are loaded with protein and fiber and taste like any other processed and packaged cookie or bar you could buy. Sometimes the word cookie throws me! I hope you and your family enjoys them as much as we do!

Moving On


Good morning! It's a beautiful day here in Idaho today, and I hope that wherever you are today is as beautiful as it is here! This spring weather leaves me energized and ready to face the world. I'm moving on from the negative emotions I felt when I found out my mom was diagnosed with MS.

The upside of the bad news is that my husband has jumped on board with both feet. He's ready to tackle our eating habits and support my diet fully! We both have realized our need to protect and train our son, especially with the second MS diagnosis in the family! I feel like we've been on the right track so far, we didn't vaccinate our son. This might sound extreme to you, but did you know one of the LISTED side effects on the Hep B vaccine is Multiple Sclerosis? This vaccine is one normally given at birth. With the risk ratio my son is currently facing, I'm not willing to take those chances.

So where do we start? Well I'm starting with the Best Bet Diet. Have you heard of it? The main idea is to eliminate gluten, dairy and other allergenic foods from your diet. I also am removing added sugars and for now coffee. The Best Bet Diet was designed by Direct-MS, an organization in Canada. Many people have seen amazing results, but there is only anecdotal evidence at this point, clinical trials have not been complete for this diet. I don't really see the downside of it though. What could it hurt?

MS medications on the market today slow the occurrence of relapses, but do not slow the course of the disease. Tysabri can even cause a severe and deadly brain infection. Side effects of eating healthier? More energy, better elimination of toxins, weight loss, overall feeling of well being, plus reducing relapses, possibly slowing the course of the disease, and possibly preventing it for those who may have genetic factors that could cause them to have MS. So I am choosing healthy eating with the support of my family.

I am going to be doing an overhaul of my blog, and I'm very excited to share new things with you. I am hoping to be blogging a lot more frequently and giving you reviews of products, recipes and supplements to help reduce the symptoms of MS! Thanks for reading!

Are you a Pinterest addict like me? Follow me here:

Want more info about the Best Bet Diet? Check out their YouTube page:

I've been a bad, bad girl...


Ah summer, the time of year when the family calender is so packed there almost isn't even time to sit down! Between responsibilities to volunteering my husband participates in, weddings, putting an offer in on a house and still other obligations, this summer has definitely been one of the busiest, hence the long stretch between posts. While sitting in the car waiting for my hubby at an appointment, I realized how irritating it is to rather sit and wait than go in with him anywhere. It's time to kick myself in the butt and take care of myself. So I made a few phone calls while I was waiting and planned a good healthy week for myself. I see an ND regularly, but I am ready for a more aggressive treatment. One benefit I can report from my regular appointments with my ND is the disappearance of my neuropathy, or numbness in my toes. And all it took was a daily dose of coconut oil. This is an amazing benefit, I can finally drive again!

So back to my aggressive therapy: In the past I have had success with chelation, which involves IV's to remove heavy metal toxicity. Unfortunately there is no one locally that performs this, so to do it I need to drive two and half hours (or should I say have someone drive me). Last time I did chelation I visited a clinic where I stayed for a week, but since having my son the idea of spending a week away from my family has been more than daunting. The way I am doing it this time requires driving for two separate appointments next week. These appointments will also more than likely involve colonics as well, then on the days I am home I will be continuing my detox process. I am also determined to finally do my full juice cleanse. I have been juicing once or twice a day, but this next week I'm all in. I am so thankful for the support of my friends and family, without them I would not be able to make this work.

So here's how next week is going to go:
Monday, I am supposed to find time to visit my local ND and sit in the infrared sauna. However I am starting babysitting a friend's children now that school is out, so not sure if I can swing that. But I am for sure starting juicing 100%.
Tuesday, first appointment 2 &1/2 hours away which should involve chelation, colonics and possibly a dry blood assessment.
Wednesday, continue with juicing, a specific tea prescribed by my ND's (I think she said Cat's Claw tea, but more on that when I find out more). Possibly visit my local ND for ionizing foot bath and maybe this day I can sit in the sauna.
Thursday, one more appointment 2 &1/2 hours away, treatment should be similar to Tuesday depending on how things are going. Continue juicing as much as possible since I will be away from home most of the day.
Hopefully by Friday I will have good results to report to you. Also on top of this I will be drinking plenty of water, and not just any water but 9.5 water. If you haven't heard of ionized water, it is amazing. Unfortunately water ionizers are not cheap, and one of our next investments for sure. Thankfully we have a very good friend who owns one and shares water generously. I am so thankful for the resources we have due to our good friends and family.

Now if only I can stick with it, hopefully telling you about it will keep me accountable. Next weekend we have a wedding to attend. Last time I needed to have more aggressive therapy I ended the week at a wedding, irony? Who knows, maybe I will actually get to dance on the dance floor instead of in my chair!?! Here's hoping


computer fans

Hope all of you are surviving this wave of summer heat! I am dying here! It's so early that we haven't had time to install our window air conditioner, and it seems sort of pointless since by the weekend it is going to be in the 50's again. I think this year I want to invest in a cooling vest. Heat is my mortal enemy, I try to describe the feeling to my husband but I still don't think he fully understands what it is like. I've told him that walking out of a cool grocery store into the heat is like hitting a net, or suddenly walking through sand. The last few days I have worked hard to get stuff done in the morning while it is cool so I can sit out the afternoon. Today I was smart enough to use the crockpot so I don't have to stand over a hot stove tonight, or make my hubby do it.

I've had a seriously hard time changing my diet, old habits are so hard to break. Right now I am working on getting protein into my diet, and it's going well. I have been eating three eggs for breakfast, or should I say brunch since it is usually 10 or 11 am before I get to it. Protein shakes are a big help too. However I am still stuck on the Soy/Whey protein debate vs. hemp, rice and other protein sources. For now I have a chocolate whey powder and a veggie filled vanilla soy powder I am mixing 1/2 and 1/2 until I run out. I'm not a fan of soy, but the veggie content of the Nature's Way soy protein powder is impressive. Dinner is always a protein based meal for us, so that one is generally taken care of. Now I am trying to find ways to get non-animal sources of protein worked into our household and part of our new habits.

Hope you all are surviving the summer heat wave! Cheers!

Where Does the Time Go?

It's been awhile since I have posted and it was a crazy month of March, we've been so busy that I haven't had time for anything else! April doesn't seem much slower. Spring seems to get everyone up and going again. My reality check today about how fast time flies, is the fact that my little boy is one year old today! I look at him in disbelief that it has really been that long. It seems as if it was just yesterday that I was giving birth to him right here in our living room.

For a long time I didn't want children. I was afraid of not being able to be the mom I wanted to be, instead being a mom with a disability. After talking to quite a few of my friends about it, they had convinced me that children adapt to the situation, even better than adults. I must admit I wouldn't change the decision we made for an instant. But it hasn't been easy. My health followed the typical path, 6 months after my son was born I started crashing. And I am still fighting to get back my health and feeling of well being. My son on the other hand has adapted well. I think he would be the kid who is constantly attached to me, as a baby he would not let me put him down. But now that he is bigger and heavier (and can walk on his own!) I cannot physically carry him everywhere with me, and he seems to have accepted this fact, begrudgingly.

On a positive note I have been feeling better the last few days! I am not sure what the reason is since I have changed a couple things lately and the weather is nicer, but no matter, I love feeling better!! Hope all of you are loving this spring weather like we are!!

Delicious Health

Katie's Shamrock shake from Chocolate Covered Katie

So I know a few of my readers out there follow a strict diet. Possibly your diet means no sugar, gluten or casein.

Good News!! I discovered a blog that is absolutely to die for! All of her recipes are healthy, most of them vegan and sugar free. Recently she posted her shamrock shakes, the green color of this minty shake comes from spinach. Now I know what you might be thinking, do these recipes actually taste good? Most of the time something is either healthy or tasty, not both at the same time. But I can tell you first hand, these recipes have it!

I recently tried her cookie batter dip recipe, the main ingredient was garbanzo beans!! I even had a few of my friends taste it before I told them what it was! They loved it. Here is the link and enjoy!!

Juicing without a Juicer

So recently I dropped and broke my juicer, it was a very sad moment. I have had this juicer for about 8 years, but hadn't really used it. Finally when I realize how much I need to be using this machine to juice instead of collect dust I break it!

Not having the money to buy a new juicer immediately I had to find another option. I found a video on YouTube called juicing without a juicer, he uses a blender and then strains it through a paint strainer bag. A lot of 'professional' juicers would tell you this ruins the juice, since the blender heats it up. Since the juicer I dropped was a centrifugal juicer I didn't really see the difference. Plus I was using a Ninja blender, which means the motor is on top of the blender instead of underneath, and I thought maybe that would help keep everything cool and raw.

The first time I tried juicing with my blender I did it just as the video showed, I added water to the mix to help get things blended. I hated the extra water, it really ruined the flavor of the juice. So the next time I tried it, I added my veggies in a certain order and it minimized the need for extra water. I added the cucumber first, cucumbers are so full of liquid. Then I added the kale leaves that I had ripped into a smaller size. Next were the apples, to help weigh down any kale leaves that weren't blended yet. The result was a juice very similar to the juice that came out of my juicer. I didn't have a paint strainer bag or a nut milk bag so I decided to use an old t-shirt. It worked perfectly!

Norwalk Juicer
So I am still on the hunt for a new juicer. I want to make sure I am buying a juicer than can hold up to daily juicing, and multiple daily juicing. There are so many kinds of juicers and opinions on which ones are best. A friend of mine suggested getting the Norwalk juicer, which is recommended in the Gerson Therapy, but these juicers are $2,500.00!! A little bit out of my price range.

The Norwalk juicer did get me thinking though about looking at masticating juicers instead of a centrifugal juicers, my biggest reason is because they do a better job with leafy greens. I want my juices to consist of a large amount of leafy greens! I think I have finally decided on the Kuvings multi-purpose masticating juicer. It's at a reasonable cost, on Costco's website anyways, and it has great reviews.

The other upside of buying the juicer through Costco is that they make returns super easy. I don't want to drop a ton of money and have something go wrong, I think half of all the reviews I have read on any juicer show that all juicers have unexpected malfunctions! What were your deciding factors when you bought a juicer? Did you get a centrifugal or a masticating juicer?

Best Ever!

Pink Happy Face on GreenI had the best visit ever with my ND today. I entered my appointment a bit apprehensive, I had been doing extensive research online about alternative therapies and supplements for my condition and symptoms, and I was worried to tell her about all of the new things I was trying. I guess it's the preconceived notion that all doctors hate patients who research their symptoms online, even a dentist I worked for hated it when patients came to him, telling him what the problem was and what the solution needed was. Well I was far from the truth on this idea.

"I'm so proud of you," she said, "you're taking the initiative with your own health!!" I was so shocked that everything I was doing was spot on for me, and with some tweaking I was even able to eliminate a couple of other things I had added into the mix. I think it is the first time she has been ecstatic with me, normally I am getting a lecture about my daily water intake, which has gotten a lot better by the way. I guess I tend to forget the major differences in attitude between medical and natural doctors. But this is why I love my ND. I do have a special connection with her though, she is also a midwife and delivered our bouncing baby boy almost a year ago in our home.

I came home feeling better in all senses of the word. Not only had we made some progress with supplementation for my symptoms but I had made her happy and in turn made myself feel good about what I was doing for myself. She applauded the juicing and added that since I am always in need of protein I could add sprouts to the mix to aid with this. Compliments AND suggestions, I now feel empowered to continue on this journey of sacrifice and reward.

Hungry for Change

Have you guys seen this trailer? I am so excited to watch this documentary, plus I love Joe Cross! Watch the video and follow the link to sign up for the free worldwide screening online!!

If Nothing Changes, Then Nothing Changes

Turn right!

It took me a while to realize how self destructive I had become. I knew the things I needed to change, like my daily intake of massive amounts of sugar. I didn't want to change, wasn't willing to make the sacrifice. Well I have to say that juicing has changed my life! I am only drinking one juice a day, and not even making the full recipe, and I am seeing wonderful results in my attitude and physical symptoms!

I saw a quote the other day online that said, 'if nothing changes, nothing changes.' This hit me like a ton of bricks! Wow, this is me!! I am not willing to change simple things, but I am complaining about my pain and lack of mobility daily! So that's when I finally decided to change! And I am feeling better, the changes were worth it!

Now I'm not saying I have completely quit sugar cold turkey, but I am definitely eating a lot less than I am used to. And I cannot wait to be able to do the full on juice cleanse.

For more information about the beginning of my journey check out the beginning of this blog at