Posts Tagged ‘health’

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food

November 23, 2009

I think it’s been a while now since I wrote about food but it’s right near the top of the list in what I’ve been working with lately. When I first got to school I was excited to get back to baking budget friendly snacks; crackers and muffins in particular. It was all going well for a few weeks and then I started to notice that it wasn’t all agreeing with me. Of course I continued baking for a little while longer.

At the same time, the naturopath I’ve been seeing here was pointing towards my possible challenges with gluten. Having been wheat free for the better part of 7 years I didn’t listen very well at first. Doh! During this time the variety of grains I’ve been using has been on steady slide with spelt being the only thing in my cupboard here. I didn’t truly wake up to my possible gluten challenges until after a couple of restless nights in late October when I was using barley rather than the usual buckwheat in a magic bag to warm my bed. It was as if I’d just eaten an offending food before slipping into bed. It took hours to fall asleep, the sleep never lasted for long and I would feel soooo tired the next day. Quite simply, I should have known better.

I’m hopeful that my body will accept spelt, barley etc. more pleasantly after a bit of a sabbatical so lately I’ve been testing out gluten free. I started with Bob’s GF rolled oats* that I was grinding up in the blender to make flour. This form of oat flour doesn’t take up as much liquid as spelt but it seemed to work well for cookies. Then I had the nerve to try making muffins. Fail!

I was quite defeated by the muffin failure and it took a good 10 days or so for me to recover enough to start looking at what else might work. Fortunately I have some familiarity with the other options since Kevin has been gluten free for the past few years. Mind you, he can’t have corn or soy and I can’t have rice. He’s been doing his own baking ever since his gluten discovery. I’ve helped find recipes but that’s about it. I’ve often felt bad about this but somehow unable to get past it and just try making something I can’t sample. Sadly, I think this new hyper-sensitivity to gluten may be just what I needed. Being able to provide food, especially of the baking variety, has been so important for me and I’ve really felt the void these past few years.

This weekend I got Kevin to share some of the recipes he’s got at home and I’ve stocked up on almond flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour and xantham gum. No doubt it’s going to take some work but I suspect there are far more vegan GF baking resource out there now. If you know of any I’d be happy to learn.

Oh, and after about 3 weeks of searching I finally found buckwheat pasta for less than $10 a package. It’s made in China but at this point I don’t much care. I can eat pasta again and we’ll be able to share the same pot of food when I get home. Yay!

* Oats are a problem with some GF folks but so far so good for me. I also know from tests that I had done in university that I don’t have celiac disease.

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dem bones

May 11, 2009

Knowing that my bones are bad but not quite knowing how bad they are now had me full of anxiety this past week.

Since shortly after my first wrist fracture 11 or 12 years ago I’ve known that my bones are bad.  For the first few years I went for bone scans every two years as a precautionary measure.  My densities kept going down but medications weren’t deemed necessary since I wanted to have kids and hadn’t crossed the line (and wasn’t expected to until well after 30).

Four years ago at age 27 I had the nastiest break yet (and hopefully ever).  What had previously been a gradual decline in my bone health had suddenly changed and instead of wondering when I would wind up with osteoporosis I had it.

I have a tendency to forget about my bone health (well, apart from taking supplements every day, trying to eat healthy and staying active) except at this time of year when I go for what has become an annual DEXA scan.

The first osteo revealing one was by far the hardest on me emotionally but this one was coming close.  We’ve been talking about starting a family for a while but I want to take one last kick at school first.  My anxiety about how bad this test would be was making me wonder if I was pushing my luck.  I’ve met other women on-line who have found out they have osteo after having their baby but I have no idea if they were in worse shape before hand or not.  Regardless their experiences have sounded awful – usually involving very painful and debilitating compression fractures of the spine.  Add to that, the fact that I hadn’t seen a specialist in a few years because of our move and unsuccessful attempts at taking fosamax…  I was super anxious.

Well, today I went to see my regular doctor and I got exactly the opposite news of what I was expecting.  I’m by no means in the clear but I’ve pretty much made back the bone that I lost from 2007-2008 which was a significant amount.  There have been tears of joy pouring out of me all afternoon.

So why all this improvement after years?  Well, I know it’s not related to physical activity since I was way more active in the years preceding that last break than I have been the past 5 months.  My diet hasn’t changed much either.  I think the biggest thing is that I sought help.  A year and half ago, concerned about mysterious allergic reactions and my shaky emotional state I decided to give naturopathic medicine another try (I’d had both good and bad experiences in the past and moving around made progress difficult).

With my naturopath’s help I’ve been able to reconnect with my inner self, get my “system” running better with the help of supplements and get out of this hole I was stuck in for a few years.  At last there is hope that I might kick this disease!!!  Yeah!!!  Now I just wish I’d gone to a naturopath sooner.