Monday, August 17, 2015

Allergies... and even more allergies


I started this blog already aware of my own issues with milk products and certain raw fruits: apples, peaches, nectarines, plums, sometimes cantaloupe. Then it became clear my daughter was dealing with something. Wheat is definitely a problem, but we don't know at this point if it's just wheat or all of gluten. What we do know is that the flour used at her work is highly refined and does not make her sick the way other wheat flours do.

She has also realized that chocolate affects her poorly, as does too much dairy.

And then we found out about another allergy (or sensitivity; it's just easier to say "allergy") the hard way: through hours of violent vomiting.

The first time it happened, we thought maybe it was a bug or something. Or a cominbation of foods. Couldn't figure it out.

Second time it happened, still couldn't figure it out.

Third time it happened, we started suspecting Bob's Red Mills' All-Purpose Flour Blend (the one with garbanzo bean flour).

The fourth time it happened, eating an Amy's Burrito with chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and garbanzo bean flour finally clued us in: she's allergic to chickpeas.

At that point, I was very glad we hadn't bought anything from Babycakes NYC when we were in DisneyWorld in June. Why? Well, the first vomting session was after the doughnuts from the Babycakes book. The third vomiting session was from crêpes made from a recipe from that book. Several of her recipes use that flour. It's not too far to think that that's what she uses in much of her baking at the stores.

Of course, this adds an extra difficult element when we're out and about. If she wants to eat gluten-free, she needs to be careful about what she's ordering and what it's made with. A small amount of chickpeas makes her far more ill than wheat/gluten does. She is not completely wheat-free with her diet and with this now popping up, it'll mean it takes precedence over eating wheat-free.

I am going to go back to what I've said before: if we all just switched to a raw food diet (and clearly avoided chickpeas in her case), this would all be taken care of. lol

Speaking of Disney, I do have some things to share about our trip and eating dairy- and gluten-free there. But that will have to be another day. I will say quickly that Disney World is actually a pretty great place if you have those two allergies. Lots of stuff you can eat.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Itchy Skin? Maybe It's What You're Eating

Last year, I started developing itchy skin on my shins. There wasn't a rash, the skin didn't seem excessively dry, it was just really, really itchy. Sometimes I would scratch until I felt like it would bleed if I scratched more.


Changing detergents didn't help. Using anti-itch creams, like calendula or others, helped, but it didn't stop the itch from coming back. Pretty much every single day.

Then I started eating almost entirely wheat-free after Easter when my daughter realized she needed to go gluten-free. And lo and behold, I started realizing I would have several days of no itching. When I'd eat wheat again, the itch came back. If I'd eaten a lot of wheat, it was a ferocious itch.

I had no itching yesterday, then ate regular wheat bread as part of supper last night. And my shins itch again this morning.

People tend to think of hives or perhaps even eczema when they think of food allergy/sensitivity symptoms. Itchy skin--and it doesn't have to be everywhere as my case shows--is another symptom. If you, too, suffer from itchy skin that doesn't seem to have any understandable cause, have a look at what you are eating. It's probably not the only symptom from a questionable-for-you food.

Friday, June 5, 2015

12 Weeks to Better Health--Week 2 Day 6

Yes, yes, nearly the end of the second week and I'm only now just posting.

It's been one of those weeks where life reminds you that you can have plans--and life may just laugh at you.

My plan had been to eat a salad each day AND do cardio at least 3 times this week.

In reality, I've started coming down with something--so my food desires and even my ability to remember that I was going to eat salad are hampered--and my knees have been acting up, which makes the cardio very hard; and I can't swim because of my shoulders (even if I actually had the time to go swimming).

So, I thought about what to do with this plan of mine and here is how it has worked out:

*I've had salad a few times this week. I consider this a lead-up to next week where I can make sure to eat a salad every day.

*I've been reminded that they typically say 3 weeks (at least) to a new habit. If my shoulder care and fruit first rules from the first week are the only thing I stick to this week and next, they are still new habits being created. If I only added in something new every 3 weeks, I'd be adding 17 new habits a year! Wow! And right now, I've got 2 habits going on, so if adding 2 things every 3 weeks becomes a habit, then that's 34 new health habits in a year.

Are you creating your own habits? Doing your own 12 weeks of something? Set yourself some rules, but at the same time, be gentle with yourself and be flexible when needed.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

12 Weeks to Better Health -- Day 5

How have you been doing with your week 1? Those first small changes can be really hard to make. I know that, already, I've been struggling to make sure to have a serving of fruit before I eat anything else in the morning. And really struggling to remember to do my rotator cuff physio exercises. The first while is the hardest, absolutely. It's the reason people last 2 days with things like New Year's resolutions: it can be hard to change our habits. It pushes us out of a comfort zone. Our comfort zone doesn't care about how healthy or better things are outside of it, so we have to sometimes deliberately challenge it so that it changes its size or its content.

I've been thinking ahead to my Week 2. I want to be exercising at least 3 times a week--Monday, Wednesday, Friday. So, I already started. Why? Well, because by the time I get to next week, it won't be as hard to stick to. My comfort zone will have been stretched a bit already.

The last post, I said I would share about my using "rules" rather than "goals." I do have a goal in mind--80% healthy eating, for example--but I know that the way to reach that goal is to break things down to develop habits bit-by-bit. But there's something that goes on in me that if I say my goal this week is to have fruit first thing every day, I might not actually achieve the goal. The goal is not the action itself, but the ending. So, what action do I need to take? I need to actually eat the fruit every morning. How do I make sure that I will stick with it? For me, setting it as a rule works. With a rule in place, I'm far more likely to actually follow through on the planned action because I don't want to break my rule. And the rule is reasonable and doable, so I'm not setting myself up for failure and actually helping myself be successful with the change to fruit first by setting it.

What about you? Would setting yourself a rule work for you? Or do you resist rules and tend to want to break them? What would be your "thing" to encourage you to actually stick with your planned action? For some people, it might be charting--and keeping the chart in a spot where others will see it to help with accountability. For others, it might actually be having a buddy to be accountable to and you don't want to have to admit you've messed up that day, so you're more likely to actually do it. There are all kinds of possibilities, it's just a matter of connecting with what would work best for you.