Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ending on a (Relatively) Good Note

After such a lousy Thursday, Friday did turn around a bit. The ground beef does tend to help temper the bleeding for me. It's just that you don't have any of that yummy bread or potato helping to soak up some of that grease, so you're left feeling rather 'bubbly'. Not exactly the best feeling in the world, but it sure beats going to the bathroom every 5 minutes and losing so much blood throughout the day.

Tried a few hard-boiled eggs yesterday mid-morning, but this time took the yolks out. My little pitiful whites were definitely missing their counterparts, but with enough salt and pepper, it wasn't too terrible. And I felt better after having them. 

For lunch, I had a new favorite of mine I found on Pinterest a few months ago and just love! It's Quick Lime Cilantro Chicken and it is so easy and so yummy! And a perfect blend with some steamed cauliflower!

*If you have enough of that delicious browned goodness from the chicken juices, the olive oil and the garlic left over, it seasons your cauliflower just perfectly without the need to for any butter. Make sure to use your trusty old pan for this one; not your non-stick pan, or you won't get it good and browned.*

Rounded the night out with some more beef patties. But, bravely (or dumbly - jury's still out) paired them with a sweet potato. (Sweet potatoes are Paleo-friendly, but not SCD-advisable.) Not sure if it has compromised my progress at all or not at this point, but I haven't seemed to have had too much trouble since then. Still very minimal bleeding. Which is HUGE for me. And have been much less 'bubbly' since then.

So, planning on more leftover chicken breasts and beef patties over the weekend, with a handful of different veggies and we'll see how I am by Monday.

I did get a helpful email from Adam Scheuer this morning, from over at I Have UC, that shared this post with us from a girl who's found help with a great herbal sleep aid, Valerian Root. She also listed several other supplements that have worked for her, so have placed an order for some of these on Amazon this morning myself. (Have already been doing Fish Oil and B-Complex, but not the others.)

So thankful for the great community of UC'ers out there! Who, once they DO find success, take the time to turn back around and lend those of us still stuck in the mire a hand of support!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Long Week

Sure wish I could say that I felt as good this week as I had at the beginning of last week, but...

Monday, I actually had a decent day at work. No real major flaring. However, after I got home and put some squash on, I sat down for a minute and began to get sooo nauseous. What the heck?? Like I don't have enough going on in my body? It got so bad, I spent about an hour and a half on the floor in the bathroom just waiting for the inevitable. But, nothing happened, so I finally lined a trash can, plopped it by the couch and laid down. Went to sleep, scorched my squash and never did have dinner.

Next morning, I felt better, but knew I needed to eat something before lunchtime, so grabbed a handful of cashews and then ate a banana mid-morning. And I don't know if it was just the nuts... or the combination of the two... or what, but I had a horrible morning! I literally would just get back to my desk, sit down in my chair, and think "Aw, man.... not AGAIN! This is ridiculous!" Literally, the whole morning. But, got home for lunch and made some meatballs and actually did better the rest of the day.

Yesterday was alright. Certainly not as bad as the morning before, but still didn't feel great. Had leftover meatballs for breakfast, but they didn't seem to behold the same magic as before. But was just glad that I wasn't experiencing the same frequency as the morning before.

.... No, that would be saved for today. Ugh. Same thing this morning as Tuesday morning. Just had bacon-wrapped chicken last night with some squash for dinner, but did have some cashews this morning to hold me over 'til lunch (I didn't have anything else I could take with me for that). And I'm thinking it must be the nuts that keep killing my gut. Will definitely be giving those a rest now. So, again, I came home for lunch and whipped up some more meatballs and felt better the rest of the afternoon. And had the rest for dinner with some sautéed zucchini. We'll see how that goes.

One more day of work and then I can rest again and be on my own schedule. Just praying for a better day tomorrow.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hittin' a Wall

Back to work tomorrow, after having had a nice, relaxing 9 days off. And honestly, I was really hoping to be feeling at least a little bit better by this point.

The yogurt maker I had ordered, in order to try my hand in that, never came, so didn't get to give that a go. But, I ate completely accordingly all week and allowed myself plenty of rest and, though I did feel better for the earlier part of Thursday...  I'm just not seeing any improvement. Which, I realize, is part of this process. It can just be so discouraging sometimes.

And I just want a quick fix.

I want a permanent fix.

I want a fix.

I want to feel better.

I want to feel free to go somewhere (anywhere) and not have to be concerned about restroom locations or how long I can travel by car.

I want to read something other than dietary information or research about this stupid disease, in my spare time.

I want a full night's sleep.

Heck, I just want some 'normal' food.

But... I want to succeed in this.

I want to keep pressing on.

I want to retain hope for a better, healthier future.

I want to be better for it.

And even stronger for it.

It's just that some days are harder than others. And this is just one of them.

*Any prayers for sustained hope and improved health welcome.*

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Back to Square One

Well - it's back to chicken / broth, beef and zucchini today. I either got oveconfident with the yellow banana (they should be brown-spotted), the glass of OJ, the scrambled egg or the tomato these last couple of days... and since I mistakenly tried too many 'new' things all at once and it's never an immediate reaction, there's no way of telling which one wreaked such havoc on my colon yesterday. But, it has definitely set me back. Back to where I was about a week ago. Ugh. Just so easy when you do start to feeling good, to get excited or comfortable with adding more back in. And at this point, I feel like I'm going to be living on chicken broth the rest of my days. But, hopefully not. Maybe it was just one of those items that my body wasn't ready to process yet and when I get better about trying one thing at a time, I can just eliminate that one item, and keep the others in my diet. Just going to be a very long, tedious process. 

In the meantime, Mom and Savannah and myself came across a pretty good video last night of Jeff Foxworthy recounting his experience in getting his first colonoscopy. 

(For some reason, I can't seem to get the video to load, but whatever... I've posted the link below.)

If you don't laugh, you'll just cry. So, might as well laugh a little, right?  :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Aye Yai Yai...

A couple weekends ago, I read a great book by Tucker Sweeney called 'Two Steps Forward, One Step Back', documenting his struggle to overcome life with UC.

What a fitting title. So much of this journey, with all its trials and errors and changes going on in your body... so much of it is exactly that: two steps forward and one step back.

Yesterday, I felt SO great! I couldn't believe how big a difference one week could make!

Until about 3:00 in the afternoon. And then, I couldn't believe what a difference a couple hours could make.

I'm not sure if I just caught a bug (though, not sure where I would've picked it up from) because my body has a weak defense right now? or if it was my body's reaction to such a suddenly active day? I don't know. But, about 2:30, back at home and jacket still on, I noticed I was getting chilly. By 3:00, I knew I wasn't just a little chilled; it was the chills. By 4:00, I had a full-blown 100.9 temp. And not just the temp either... the whole nine yards - achiness and all. Guess I'm glad I enjoyed the pretty day while I had. The rest of the day was spent bundled up on the couch.

 But, thankfully, though I don't recall my fever breaking, I woke up this morning temp-free. And am feeling better. Not 100%, as I hadn't eaten very much before I finally called it a night... but better.

Now, to take that step forward again....

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spicy Meatballs & Zucchini Stir-Fry

So, I may have rushed the whole banana thing this morning... but hopefully, I'll have better luck working tomatoes back in. All these meatballs lately have just left me wanting a good tomato with them. And when I saw them in the store the other day, I couldn't resist. So, I tossed one into my zucchini and onion today for lunch... and man, was it good. All 3 were so sweet, they almost made me forget about my poor neglected sweet tooth for a second. And being paired with the spicy meatballs (I may or may not have gotten a little carried away with the red pepper flakes today) ... very tasty combo! Looking forward to the day that I can add some Swiss or Provolone!

Tastes like summah'time!

Not Quite out of the Woods...

Didn't end up going to Turner Lake yesterday, because I ended up running some errands first and then decided to come home and have some broth before doing anything else... and then just stayed home instead. 

So, got up early this morning and set out to enjoy more of the outdoors today. Had to get my oil changed, so knocked that out first. That only took 30 minutes, so I was out at the park long before noon and spent a good hour out there. It was great! It's been so long since I'd been out there and I just love it. Especially this time of year.

So pretty out there.. and so peaceful. 

And it really is amazing how much stronger I feel than just a week ago! I had intended on just keeping to the loop and then hanging out in some sunshine for awhile. But, once I started, I couldn't help but hit the trails once again. And even got a brief jog in a time or two. Felt so good just to be out there again and be active again - and just feel good!

Of course, I no sooner got to the home stretch and my tummy reminded me that even though I may have come back off the trails and hit pavement, I'm still not 'out of the woods' quite yet. So, as much as I had dreaded their port-a-potty and hoped I wouldn't need it... I did. However - I must say, this time, it was one of the cleanest ones I've been in. And never more thankful to see it. So, there ya go.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Consumed... with Health, Healing and HOPE

I have no doubt that there are those out there who think that I've just let all this 'diet stuff' become somewhat of an obsession.

And you know... I think I would have to agree.

I think in order to have any measure of success in treating a disease in your body through diet alone... you have to go all in. In mind, body and spirit.

There is soooo much to learn. So many amazing resources out there to tap into. And in many cases, so much un-learning to be done. I have a list of roughly 130 foods that are 'legal' for me to consume at this point. And a counter-list of roughly 130 'illegals' (according to the SCD).  Sure, it all pretty well narrows down to a handful of 'good things' and a boatload of not-so-good. But, then you have varied degrees and different forms of many of them to consider. You've got grassfed this and pastured that; fermented something else and wild that.

Oh. And don't forget to drink all the water that you can.

It is a lot to take in. And retain. At least, for this feeble brain of mine.

Then, once you begin to get a grip on what you need to do... you have to truly 100% commit yourself to this thing. It's all or nothing. Either you do the SCD or you don't. It only works when you are totally committed. At least in the beginning stages. And in this day and age, when you are surrounded by foods of convenience (processed, fast food, frozen...) and friends and family who can still indulge in whatever foods they desire (be it at home or dining out)... it. is. hard. Your mind has to be made up. As good as all that other mainstream food out there still looks, smells and sounds, you have to resolve to eat differently than everyone else. And now, you must pay close attention to every-thing that goes into your mouth.

We won't even talk about the ads on tv or photos that show up in news feeds or conversations that come up... all about food in our society, on a daily basis. Or trips to the grocery store. (Why, oh why Lord, must we walk through the deli and all its delicatesseny goodness to get to the produce section?! I'm only human! Have I mentioned how badly I miss mac-n-cheese? And the bakery?? What're you trying to do to me here?!)

Anyway. I digress.

Then, there's the reactionary part once you do start. You are now no longer giving your body what it had gotten accustomed to. So even though you feel better overall, with the new healthy foods, you've got cravings and overall shock to your system to deal with.

And last, though certainly not least... if you do suffer from Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's, you know full-well how consumed you really become when in the midst of a flare. That you must know the exact locations of pretty well any restroom, at all times, wherever you may go. You're also wise to consider whether it's a one-stall or multi-stall (can't chance it being an already occupied one-seater) and the walking distance to each in advance. No time for second-guessing. Time is not on our side during a flare. And 'fair warnings'... well, they don't exist.

So, yeah... you could say that I'm consumed with this diet. With my health. With this whole lifestyle change.

I have to be.

I've determined to be.

In the hopes that it will all be worth it in the long run.

I owe myself that much.


Well. I haven't really improved in the last several days, but I haven't gotten worse either. So, I'll take it.

Still not having nearly the amount of trips to the loo that I was having last week (once every 45 min's, on average, last week). And not quite the degree of urgency as I had been experiencing either, which is good. But, still more blood than I'd like and nothing very 'productive' at all. Ever.

However, I can tell that my energy level and stamina are both improved, so that's exciting! And, I've been able to maintain my weight, which is a relief. (I was steadily losing a pound a week, and then had begun to lose one every day or two before plateauing.)

Made up another big batch of broth from the chicken carcass I still had left from the other day. So, I'll  try to get more of that going in me the next couple of days. Cook up some more meatballs, because my body does seem to be okay with the grassfed beef. And I am really enjoying them more in meatball form. I shredded some onion and fresh garlic and threw in some red pepper flakes, and they were almost more like sausage balls - very tasty! Also have some leftover bacon-wrapped chicken thighs from last night, so will work in one of those today, too.

I feel 'funny' having taken a whole week off work just to stay home and relax (I don't typically take off for any reason) but I'm truly glad I have. Just to be able to take it easy and really focus on what my body needs and not have to be somewhere by a certain time and worry about what I can have on hand at work just to get something in me, and worrying about how that'll 'set' with me, and then rushing home for lunch to prepare something and worrying over what that should be ahead of time and then rushing back to work... let alone the job itself. Just such a relief to get a break from that whole factor. And just rest.

Today is a pretty day. No wind. No rain. And I think I'm finally back at a point to where I feel comfortable going out to Turner Lake Park for a period of time (I'd have gone before now, but as much as I love that place, they have got the most disgusting port-a-potty that I have ever had to experience.). It's been awhile since I've been out there and I just know it'll do my body and soul some good. And this is always the most beautiful time of year to be there.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Two Steps Forward.....

You know... I'm actually starting to feel like this whole lifestyle change might work after all.

These last couple of days, I've pretty much just stuck with baked chicken / chicken broth, meatballs and, of all things... bacon. Decided to try cutting out the eggs for a few days, just to see if that helped. Not sure if it did, or if it was just coincidental, but... I'm really beginning to feel somewhat normal again. And even though all sorts of things (from the illegal list) still sound good, I'm finding that my body really doesn't want any of that anymore.

Will work some squash with onions back in tomorrow. And maybe an egg again for breakfast, just to see if it seems to set me back at all and go from there. But, I'm VERY hopeful at this point!

If all goes well, I might even get really wild and crazy and add a banana or two back in after that!

As badly as I started off craving my sweets at the beginning of this journey, I now look forward to the day I can eat cheese again!

Funny, how you really begin to appreciate all the things that you are still able to have. Once you take your eyes off all the stuff that you can't.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mmmmm... Soup

Well. I will say that my chicken broth has already improved since the beginning of all of this. And that's a good thing, what with it being the core meal in which all other things SCD are built around. 

Now, this serving does have too much fat still in it (which you can see beaded on the top), but I didn't have the patience to wait and let it cool down before digging in. 

Nothing special really. No great profound secret ingredient or unconventional way of preparing it. I've just begun adding a whole heap of onion into it. And even though I'm not keeping them in there for the time being, as they can be too fibrous at this point in my healing, they leave SUCH a rich yummy taste! 

So, basically, I just take a whole organic bird. Clean it up and put it in the crockpot. Add at least a half of a sweet onion (for the rich yummy goodness). Add carrots (if you choose to). Add any seasonings that you like. Fresh parsley is good. Oregano is also tasty. Top it off with water. Cook on high for at least 4 hours. Scoop the chicken and veggie/s out. (If not on SCD, by all means, leave the carrots and onions in it!) Pour broth into a pot and ideally, put in the fridge to cool (if you can hold out that long). Once the grease has congealed on top, gently scrape the fat off and discard, then you're ready to warm it back up! You can top it off with more water (filtered, if possible) if too dense, stir well and heat on medium heat until ready to indulge!

* Do what you like with the cooked chicken. It is very juicy and fall-off-the-bone tender while still hot. This is when it's easiest to manage. You can add back into the broth (though, to me, this really toughens the meat up), enjoy warm and juicy as a meal unto itself or save for the next day, cold. * 

Saturday Funny

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Small Steps...

Today was a much better day. Not really sure why, as nothing has seemed to 'agree' with me still, but I felt much more like myself. Only had a few woozy moments, so that's good. Am still extremely weak and easily exhausted (a trip up my one flight of stairs leaves me feeling like I just did an hour of P90x) and heartrate is still fast and hard... but overall had a much more manageable day. Really thankful for a desk job these days.

Small steps. But, just so long as they're in the right direction...

Tonight, it's back to broiled hamburger patties. Adam Scheuer over at the 'I Have UC' site suggests them as part of his flare remedy and they have helped me some in the past as well, so going back to them this week and we'll see how that goes.  It will at least be a welcome change from all the salmon and cold baked chicken I've been having this week!

Now to just get up off the couch to actually cook them.....

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Not Sure Who's Winning... But the War is ON

I've heard mention  of a 'die off' stage (aka: 'healing crisis') and feeling like this was something I could relate to these last few days, I looked into how long they typically last. Well, it's hard to determine, seeing as there are so many factors involved (how many 'bad guys' you have in there, how strict you are on your dietary restrictions, and basically, we're all made differently). However, in finding this, I also discovered another great little resource that I think truly relates to where I am in all of this right now:  Everything You Need to Know about... Candida Die Off . Seeing as I have been enduring at least a third of the symptoms they've listed, I'd say the possibility is good that this is what I'm experiencing right now.

Basically, the little evil pathogens are being starved out (because they had come to love all the same tasty 'bad' foods that I did, that I am no longer succumbing to) and they are not happy about this. So, in the process of being destroyed, they are getting back at me by releasing endotoxins into my body on their way down. Not fun. For any of the involved parties. Meanwhile, not only does my body have to work hard to purge itself of all these toxins, it is also diligently working on repairing all the damage that those little vile gremlins are leaving behind. Explains a lot. And also encourages me that these symptoms are normal and will pass (after a period of time) and helps me to know what to do to help ease some of this process so I can function until that time. Already loaded up on my Vitamin C and have some MAAC ordered and on its way.

In the meantime.... Epsom Salts... Take me awayyyyyyy....

Monday, April 7, 2014

Dealin' With It

That's the kinda day I had. And not just 'cause I'm down about 30 lbs. Feeling like any time I try to pull up my 'big girl panties' and deal with it, they just fall back down around the ankles.

I've gotta say... Today was one of my punier days. Wiped out and depleted this morning. Would've given just about anything to stay in my cozy bed while the rain rolled through. But, this is Spring Break week, so we already have so many folks out of the office that I just pushed through. Thankfully, I seem to be tolerating the hard-boiled eggs alright, so I had one of those mid-morning. Then, for lunch, managed a little bit of leftover baked chicken. Another hard-boiled egg around 4:00. So, just keeping those in me has helped abate some of the weariness.

Not sure if the last couple of days are because the Intro diet is working and it's just my body trying to rid itself of all the toxins... or if it's not the food for me. So, at this point, going to try working a few of the things back in that had seemed to stay with me before and go from there....


Connie said she's worried about me and that I've never looked so bad. But, a guy at WalMart said I looked just like someone he knows from his neighborhood, so I must not look so bad. Either that, or she's pretty puny, too. Either way, I'll be sure to pray for her tonight.  :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

New Beginnings...

So... basically, in the Intro Diet that I've begun this weekend, you are allowed (and must keep to) the following:

Organic Chicken
Homemade Chicken Broth
Lean Ground Beef
Pureed carrots
Hard Boiled Eggs
Unflavored Gelatin mixed with Welch's 100% Grape Juice

(The onion and parsley are just to flavor the broth and sadly get dumped out in the end.) *sniff, sniff*

Exciting, huh?

Most any meats (the more organic the better, of course), so I will try to make the most of that and mix it up a bit. But, other than that, at this point... one vegetable. And not exactly my favorite one at that. Though, I will say, when you puree it and then add it back into the chicken broth... it is better than I had expected. (Either that, or I'm just really hungry.) And even though I've never been a huge grape-flavored fan or a Jello fan, the Jello is a welcome treat when all you're eating is meat and one veggie.

So, still not sure what to expect from all this. And actually still didn't have a great night/morning after sticking to these items yesterday, but they say it takes several days and often, you will feel worse before you start feeling better.

(My carrot pureed chicken broth - Looks almost like a thin tomato soup and actually not half bad.)

Trying to remain hopeful though!