Why I Eat Paleo And Not Crap…..

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My Guy Bri ❤ and Me

I get asked often if I’m Paleo to lose weight.  The answer is no. I also get asked if I’m allergic to Dairy, Gluten or Legumes.  The answer is NO.  Then why would I put myself through the (what must seem to others) torture of a Paleo Diet?!???  The answer is, it helps my pain.  Then the conversation continues to people asking me what causes my pain. The answer is I DO NOT KNOW.  My doctors DO NOT KNOW.  Even with their lack of knowledge, the prescribe me medications.  I’ve been labelled as having Fibromyalgia.  There is no test for this, it is a process of elimination.  Nothing else seems to be causing the pain in my muscles and joints, sometimes so severe that I hardly leave my bed, so it must be this phantom disease called Fibromyalgia.  There are treatments for this disease, although NO CURE.  I can take pills to alter my brain function, pills to alter my nerve function or I can change my diet.  I opted to change my diet. I started October ’14.

Lovey Levin and Mom

Lovey Levin and Mom

I started by cutting a little bit of the “offending” food at a time. So in October, I gave up Gluten.  That wasn’t hard for me because my son, Lovey Levin, was still GF at that point. In December, I gave up Dairy.  That nearly killed me. I can almost guarantee that the majority of my diet was cheese.  I shit you not!  I put cheese on everything, with almost every meal.  February, I cut all Grains and Legumes.  SHIT HIT THE FAN, literally…. I was on the toilet more often than not.

Rosie and Me

Rosie and Me

The good news was that my pain was gone.  That said, I was going #2 so often that I was becoming dehydrated.  My fingers would swell. I went back to my doctor and had to go through an Upper and Lower GI exploratory.  It turned out that I had some kind of distress in my intestines.  They prescribed another medication.  I declined.  I added some rice back to my diet.  My #2 problem miraculously went away.  No medication needed.

So now I have my diet set so I can eat well and have no pain.

My Boo Drew and Me

My Boo Drew and Me

I still don’t eat white potatoes, I take it easy on tomatoes, I DO eat rice and my pain level has been reduced by 85%, easily!  My family has been great about meeting my needs.  They are more than willing to be guinea pigs to my recipes and my attempts to modify our regular recipes.  We’ve had some nasty, horrible duds; mostly it’s been great.  I don’t buy things that come in a box; things that are overly processed or prepackaged.   My family is eating healthier because I got sick. I am healthier because I got sick.  I managed to lose over 60 pounds through diet and exercise (which I can now do, because the pain is so much less). There’s always a silver lining!

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Lovey Levin’s Gluten Challenge….

Vampirates are bigger than apples!

Vampirates are bigger than apples!

Howdy out there! Lovey Levin has had appointments with a pediatric gastroenterologist and a pediatric allergist in the last few months. My husband and I have decided to start the process to a proper diagnosis of Celiac so there will be no issues when he starts school.  We thought it would take much longer than what it has to start this process, we were thinking months rather than days and weeks. It is the beginning of March and we should know by the end of March if he truly has Celiac or not.

It started with an appointment with the Pediatric Gastroenterologist, he took our history and food logs over the years and reactions to gluten (it’s been almost a year since his last one).  He referred us to a an allergist to have him skin tested also, for gluten sensitivity. Lovey passed the skin prick tests for all common allergens, including topical gluten. Then he had a blood test, testing antibodies for gluten and those also came back below 4. We knew they would as he has been gluten free for nearly two years. So on February 6 we started his gluten challenge with many bated breaths.

Quite a Happy Camper with his Blankets

Quite a Happy Camper with his Blankets

Much to our surprise there was no rash, no diarrhea, no refusals of food. In fact, this kid was in gluten heaven.  We allowed goldfish crackers to begin with then he had an English Muffin, then a bagel daily.  He had pizza one night, and he even identified it as “gluten pizza”.  We don’t tell him he is eating gluten because there is still a chance that DOES have Celiac and we would have to go back to a gluten free lifestyle.  His only symptoms so far, if they are related, are multiple #2 a day – soft but not runny, he developed a rash across his abdomen, and he has been complaining of his legs hurting.  I’ve made note of all of these things.  He will go in next week for his next blood test. If his numbers are high, they will do the endoscopy.

Going gluten free should not be a problem for our household as I am now doing Auto Immune Protocol Paleo (AIP), for my own health, which is completely gluten free.  We are curious to know what is going on with our little man and why he was unable to tolerate gluten.

Poosents? I like Poosents!

Subscription Boxes! YAY!!! I love them! I’ve tried a few. Some for myself (The monthly box that comes full of tampons and chocolates!! That one was great, but pretty expensive.) Some foodie ones (Gluten free, that I cancelled right away! How dare they say GF but be manufactured in a facility that also manufactures wheat?!?) I’ve tried some for Levin (Bluum, Honest Company). But my favorite box is the one I get for Lovey Levin every month. It’s called Citrus Lanecitrus laneJanuary’s Citrus Lane box                                                                                                                                              Lovey Levin loves play food, so getting Plan Toys three piece “cut” food was wonderful ($8.30 + $7 shipping = $15.30 – Plan Toys) . Faber Castell Duo Tip markers in such a beautiful array of colors ($10 – Amazon) did not come amiss. We used them to color on wooden race-cars (from February’s box)!  Zig Zag Zebra, which is a beautiful coloring book, a little bit old for Lovey Levin, but beautiful still ($6.29 – Amazon) We put this item away until he’s old enough to use it. Finally, Mommy’s Bliss for Kids, is a homeopathic remedy for an upset stomach ($9.74 – Amazon). We haven’t had to use this yet, but I didn’t think it would hurt to have on hand given Lovey Levin’s intolerance and reaction to Gluten. Maybe it will help him! The total value of January’s box is $41.33, I paid $16.33. That offered me a $25 value over what I paid. So it may not seem like I got much in my box, but it had good value. Plus, Lovey Levin LOVES LOVES LOVES his fruit and his markers. I know he will love his coloring book and hopefully, the Mommy’s Bliss for Kids may be helpful to him, as well.

February’s Citrus Lane Box

1966641_10152253297480505_331553732_o(1)Lovey Levin really liked his February box. His box contained more from Plan Toys, this time a practice shoe for lacing ($9.28 – Amazon). He enjoyed pulling the laces out of it. He got to pick out which Skip Hop bin ($14.99) he got this month, and he picked the owl. It’s a good size and will hold some of his toys! The book was AWESOME this month! Skip Through the Seasons ($6.99 – Amazon) by Stella Blackstone. What a truly awesome book! It’s a seek and find book with beautiful illustration! There was also an Apple lotion that didn’t smell like Apples to me. My nine year old daughter took it over so I can’t even price it… SORRY! I would guess around $3.00.  We also do the add ons, sometimes. 1902206_10152253353405505_2036520927_oThis month we added on Melissa and Doug Race cars. I purchased two of them because I had an email with $10 off a purchase and this total came to $9.50, they retail for $7.15 each totaling $14.30 on Amazon. So total value this month was $48.56 ($34.26 without add ons) and I paid $16.33, as I do each month. That offered me a value of $32.23 over what I paid ($22.73 without add ons).

 

March Citrus Lane Box

 

March Citrus Lane Box

March Citrus Lane Box

Look at all the wonderful things in our box this month!!! WOO HOO! We got the Skip Hop Elephant back pack ($18.64 – Amazon). This was added on this month for $20 (I happened to have a credit so I didn’t pay anything for this item!). Lovey Levin hasn’t gotten his little hands on this item yet as it will show up in his Easter Basket.  Next is the  Petit Collage Safari Animal Puzzle ($13.00 – Amazon). Lovey LOVES this puzzle. I thought it would be too tough on him but it’s not. It’s just challenging enough for him! He loves digging out the colors to sort the animals before he attempts to put it together.10148661_10152308853080505_859193918_o He must pull this puzzle out at least ten times a day! We also got Eco Dough ($6.94 – Amazon). I put this away for a give away gift. It contains Gluten and Lovey Levin will sometimes put things in his mouth. I did go to the website of the manufacturer and found out that they do make a Gluten Free option!! That’s pretty cool. While I doubt I will order any (we make our own gluten free play doh) it’s nice to know there are options! Little Adventures Power Mask Red/Blue, which were another add-on this month purchased for a total of $6.00 but I used a credit, ($3.99 + $1.99 shipping = $5.98 x 2 = $11.96 – Amazon) have been a hilarious prop in my house since our box came! Levin will run around shouting “SUPER HERO LEVIN” It’s quite the sight to see! Next is the purple10148777_10152320648535505_1913511890_o Medi-Buddy ($6.99 – Amazon). I opened this up and it looks well stocked with plenty of good stuff. I plan on keeping it in my car! Finally there’s the CleanWell Hand Sanitizing Wipes Orange & Vanilla ($6.65- Amazon). I haven’t used these or even opened them yet. These are also going to go in the car.  I love things like this for when we go to playgrounds and restaurants. Keeping it clean! YEAH! So when I add all this stuff up, my total box value is $64.18 ($38.18 without my add ons). Total paid $16.33. That offered me a value of $47.85 over what I paid ($21.85 without add ons)!

If you are interested in giving Citrus Lane a try, you can use this link https://www.citruslane.com/invitedby/citrus.lane.508057 It will get you half off (50%) of your first box! I highly recommend this subscription service. It’s been great for us!! So many learning opportunities!

 

There Ain’t No Wheat in Me!

Levin enjoying a GF bagel

When we found out Levin couldn’t eat Gluten, we took it with a grain of salt. He was young. It wouldn’t matter that much. Well, now he’s two. He wants to eat EVERYTHING we are eating!! More and more we, as a family, are eating Gluten Free. Thank goodness for the internet and those who have walked this path before me! I praise them! If I knew them, I would kiss their feet!

Has this been a challenge? Of course! Have we messed up? <hangs head in shame> Yes, much to the detriment of my son’s belly. The poor lovey suffers for days after being “glutened”. But after each mistake, we learn. We are a little bit smarter. We don’t make that mistake again.

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That’s what Lovey’s face looks like after he’s been “glutened” that’s just his face. He won’t eat solids or have a solid poo for 4-5 days. My poor little dude. So I go to great lengths to make sure this doesn’t happen to him.  The last time he was contaminated was a few weeks ago.  Let me tell you, I felt bad afterwards, but not nearly as bad as he did. We had Japanese – cooked at home because I don’t trust anyone else… My Guy sauteed our food in a few tablespoons of Saki (something we usually don’t do with the kids food), GF soy sauce and mirin. Levin had maybe a teaspoon of this reduction, that was cooked with chicken and broccoli and string beans and mushrooms (AKA: very diluted), over his rice. He was sick for a week. Cause of sickness – Saki. Lesson Learned.

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Levin is now nearly 28 months old and we are teaching him to start to be aware of Gluten himself. Whenever he eats anything, he will look at me and say, “Gluten Free, Levin!”

On the other hand, if he sees someone eating something he can’t have, like a cookie or a roll, he will say, “Gluten, yucky, get sick, Bleh!! Daddy can eat it!” It’s really important to me that I teach Levin how to be aware. So we have t-shirts, bracelets and stickers. photo 3

He is enjoying a GF bagel and cream cheese!photo 1 photo 5

<3 Valentines Day Dinner <3 Who Cares if it's Late?

Ahh! Married life! Isn’t it wonderful? Full of roses and rose tinted glasses? More like forgotten cards that are already signed and Valentine’s Day dinners 6 weeks late! It’s the thought that counts. Always remember that. My Guy took me to a new restaurant about 15 minutes outside of town. We thought we would try something new. The food was good, the waitstaff was excellent. The prices were a bit inflated.  All that aside, I loved having a few hours alone with My Guy, sans kids. We didn’t have to worry about Gluten Contaminating anything, Levin touching something he shouldn’t, Krista minding her manners at the table – we could just enjoy each others company and the meal (that I didn’t have to cook OR clean up after)! So what if our bill was nearly $200? You can’t put a price on time.  It was time well spent.

me and My Guy

Who needs a Food Processor Anyway???

My decade old food processor died today, just as I was going to mix up some chicken salad. It was filled with cooked chicken, salsa, cream cheese and shredded cheese. I plug it in and turn it on and NOTHING! Dead! UGH!! I had to transfer all of the food from my large processor to my very small mini food prep… it took me four rounds. Anywho – my chicken salad dip was yummy and just what I was craving. I had mine with baked tostitos and DH had his on an Amaroso roll with mixed greens. Levin dipped his pizza in the dip! Crazy kid.