Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

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Healing: Day 4 … and also: Brownies!

Here we are on Day 4. Yesterday I complained that my digestion seemed to have stalled. Well, it’s fixed! It’s the best it’s been in four years, which – well, it’s hard to explain just how huge that is.

My skin on day 4 of recovering from a coconut/nut allergy reaction

My skin on day 4 of recovering from a coconut/nut allergy reaction

My skin is improving every day, and the ulcers and blisters everywhere else are much better, too.

Also, my headache has improved no end.

I have to confess that I did not go to Pilates this morning. For one thing, I only stopped work at 1AM, and the prospect of getting up at 5AM was more than I could manage. But also, the aching around my right ovary, while improving, is not actually better. And Pilates makes it worse.

I have a cunning plan, though. I will either unearth my Pilates DVDs or find a good YouTube Pilates channel, get up early every morning, and do it here. Then I should get stronger, and maybe in a month or so I can go back.

Because I’m back to eating clean, obviously sugar is off the list. And dairy. And with them, chocolate.

A life without chocolate is chaos.

So yesterday I had no choice but to make brownies. As you do.

If you’ve been here a while, you’ll know that I’m a HUGE fan of Chocolate Covered Katie, and her no-bake brownies are The Bomb! Since I can’t have nuts, though, I had to improvise. I have tried a range of seed substitutes, but actually the best solution was what I did last night: simple sunflower seeds.

This is the easiest recipe ever, and these chocolatey heavenly squares of goodness are the most amazing snack/soul food ever.

sugar-free dairy-free gluten-free vegan browniesHere’s my variation of Katie’s no-bake gluten-free sugar free dairy-free low-carb vegan brownies of awesomeness

Ingredients:

  • 250g dates, soaked in black filter coffee for 20 – 30 minutes
  • 1 cup of sunflower seeds, thoroughly smooshed in the blender
  • 6 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 2 tsp unsweetened brewed black filter coffee (because coffee)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (optional – I’m not a fan personally)

Method:

  • Blend everything together until it makes a smooth paste (and, as an aside, can someone please donate me a totally awesome blender than smooshes the living daylights out of seeds and dates?)
  • Line a baking tray with wax paper.
  • Spread the smooshed goodness you’ve just created all over the wax paper.
  • Exercising every ounce of self-control you can muster, leave the mixture in the fridge for two hours to firm up.
  • Cut it. Serve it*. Eat it.

*Note: serving does not imply sharing. Just saying.

 

Update …

 

(This is really just a journal of my SCD/recovery journey, so that next time I am tempted to try a teaspoon of Rolo ice-cream or a handful of crisps, I don’t. Please feel no obligation whatsoever to read or engage with these posts.)

Coconut/nut skin allergy reaction on my face - day 3 of healing

Coconut/nut skin allergy reaction on my face – day 3 of healing

Just a quick update … yesterday I shot to the chemist to grab something – anything – to sooth my flaming skin. My kind and friendly chemist gave me Mylocort cortisol cream, and recommended I apply it frequently.

 

I did, along with the SilverGenesis gel.

This morning, it looks a whole lot better >>

Yesterday I had a raging headache all day, and the two aspirins I took did nothing to relieve it. Today is much better though: it’s just simmering now, and the rage has passed.

My gut aches and my digestion seems to have paused. It could be because I ran out of enzymes, although I’d hoped that the probiotics and homeopathic digestive drops and tissue salts might conspire to get things moving. Especially since I have officially eaten NO starch in three and a half days.

 

Starting Somewhere

Establishing a baseline for pending life changesDay 2 of the blog challenge, and day 2 of eating really clean. (Does coffee count?)

My raging headache has matured into a simmering migraine, and I’m actually thinking of taking a short nap.

I thought I’d get the week started with some stats so that I can track my progress.

Stats

I weigh 66kg and I’m a size 36. Not that I am specifically looking to lose weight, but it helps to know where I’m starting.

Treatments

I apply rubbing alcohol to my suppurating blisters every morning and evening. If you imagine this would sting a little, you’re wrong. It burns like Billy-Oh and takes every ounce of willpower I have not to say the very bad words I’m thinking.

I follow that with calamine lotion.

Throughout the day, I apply Silver Genesis Skin Hygiene Super HydroGel, which seems to be, basically, colloidal silver suspended in aloe vera gel. It seems to be improving things:

bad skin - day 2

Update on my bad skin – day 2

There’s still a long way to go, though. I have to present a marketing strategy to the board at one of my clients’ this evening, and so far I have no idea how I will look presentable for this.

Other than that, I take a combo of vitamins every day, including Staphysagria powder from my homeopath. I also take a fairly potent probiotic, and L-Lysine every morning. The rest includes something foul-tasting called fulvic acid, drops for digestion and drops for immunity from the homeopath, and Doc Frank’s Business Owner Booster (BOB):

  • L-Carnitine
  • Chrome
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Vitamin D3
  • Alpha-lipoic acid
  • Coenzyme Q10

Every evening I swallow a capful of colloidal silver.

Besides these things, I do Pilates once a week, and I’m supposed to do homework every day. I usually do the homework, but I’m pretty sure I’m not doing it right. I think I’m going to give the Pilates a break, because it hurts my lower back and makes the ache in my gut/ovary worse.

And I get way too little sleep – an average of 4-6 hours a night. I usually do nothing but sit at my desk working, fetch kids from school, and buy groceries. Every day of every week; every month of the year.

So that’s where we’re starting from.

Let’s see how it goes from here.

 

Challenge

h o t - a i rIf you’re still reading this very sparsely and inconsistently updated blog, then consider this fair warning: things are about to get really dull.

This is for two reasons. First of all, I’ve set myself the goal of blogging every day for the next thirty days. (No, I’m not really sure why …)

Second, I am restarting my SCD plan.

It’s been four years (almost to the day) since I started my SCD journey. (It starts here.)

It lasted just on a year, and it was one of the most effective years of my life. I lost weight. I had energy. My skin cleared up* (sort-of). And my brain worked. Also – my digestion worked.

The thing is, towards the end of that year on SCD, my skin actually stopped being clear in what can only be described as a very dramatic way. It’s a bit too gross to describe in a public forum  but basically, I had break-outs everywhere.

It took a long time to get to the bottom of that skin issue. Eventually, it turned out that I had developed an allergy to coconut. Maybe I always had one. I don’t know. The point is, now I can’t eat coconut.

That’s a little bit of a challenge, because coconut and nut flours form the basis of most of the SCD recipes that aren’t simply meat and vegetables.

Anyway, since getting to the bottom of the coconut thing, my skin did clear up. I have eased up on the eating plan and basically just follow a gluten-free eating plan now.

It includes potatoes and potato crisps. It also includes gluten-free flour, baked goods,  pasta, and pizza bases. The upside is that I picked up some of the weight I lost on SCD. Then some more. Then all of it. Then some more again.

At which point it stopped being an upside.

I also slowly started introducing dairy products, like cheese and yoghurt. The yoghurt (no matter how whole and pure, and even goat’s milk yoghurt) makes my throat, nose and chest close up. So that’s off the list.

Everything else seemed to be okay, but in recent months I feel like my health has steadily declined again. (Of course, it could be all the late nights. My gut is bloating and something that feels very like my right ovary is incredibly sore pretty much all the time.

On Wednesday I ate a gluten-free rusk, without checking the ingredients (#RookieMove!). It had coconut and nut flour. By the end of the day my jaw line had started to itch. The next morning, I had itchy bumps lining the lower part of my face, and the skin had started turning red.

 

bad skin 17 Jul 2016

My Skin on Day 1

Now, Sunday, my face is a mess. It’s itchy and blotchy and ugly – and all from just one stupid rusk. Which actually tasted a lot like chipboard, if I’m honest.

 

So here’s the plan: SOMETHING in my diet is hurting and fogging my brain, growing my gut, scarring my face, and causing me belly pain.

So it’s back to SCD. Except without any dairy, nuts, or coconut. Which leaves meat, veg … and maybe some seeds. We shall see.

This is day one.

 

Inside an Anorexic Mind

I’ve shared before about my journey through anorexia here and here, and more recently here. Today I was listening to random TED talks while working, and I found this.

For the first time, someone gets it.

I am free of this disease. It’s been a long time since this “noise” Laura Hill describes controlled my life. But I do still have it sometimes. It’s a relief to hear Dr Hill’s insights and the results of her research, and to know: it’s not selfish or shallow or spoilt or stupid. It’s just a disease – and it’s treatable.

Elexoma Update: concentration: 1 – tics: 0

Elexoma: Brain Stimulation for Novices

Elexoma: brain Stimulation for Novices

We’ve been using the Elexoma device since Thursday. And by “we”, I mean mostly me. I’ve been making Goldilocks do it too, when time permits.

She was reluctant at first, but soon came to see the value.

Yesterday I couldn’t find it, so I didn’t use it. Goldilocks was in a bad mood and retreated to her room, and when I went to check on her I found her using the Elexoma all by herself. And it helped a lot, she said – even though she only managed to squeeze in about nine minutes.

I must say that I am feeling more relaxed and better able to cope generally. My sleep has also improved enormously. And, interestingly enough, my tics seem to be better now, too. So that’s a very good thing.

In fact, I’m using it now, as I type.

In the first post, I mentioned that my cysts were taking strain: they were noticeably bigger, and felt as though they were about to burst. Now, however, they’re a lot smaller. And they barely hurt at all. In fact, I’m no longer even aware of the ones on my head, and it’s been a very long time since I could say that. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve cut out chocolate and crisps, or if it’s the Elexoma doing it’s thang.

Maybe it’s both.

My particular interest is to note that it’s helping Goldilocks. Like – a lot. She is calmer, more confident, and less prone to tics. Her concentration seems to have improved, as well. That’s not to say that we don’t still have melt downs to deal with. Because we do. But they’re less intense and easier to resolve.

So far, so good.

Read more here: www.BoostMyBrain.co.za

Detox Day 3: intermittent failure and a clear head

Coffee. Productivity in a cup. Well, mug. Well - pot, really.

Coffee. Productivity in a cup. Well, mug. Well – pot, really.

Let’s recap the detox: Day 3 started badly. We both ached from head to toe and sported pounding headaches, rank breath and scratchy throats. Our voices were croaky, and clean teeth and fresh water did little to improve matters.

Faced with a large, greasy breakfast, I felt ill and battled to finish it. In fact, I couldn’t, and gave my excess bacon to Goldilocks. Who even knew there was such a thing as excess bacon?? Staggering out of bed late, we were only eating breakfast by 8:30, and I doubt we even made it to 9AM before I caved and made us coffee. Bulletproof, of course.

Oh. My. Word. Sweet hot ambrosia that wipes away the pain and badness of – well, everything. I confess that I chased the first delicious cup with a second, and then everything was right with the world. Armed with confidence, energy and a clean(ish) intestine, the girls and I tackled the mammoth task of sorting out their rooms. Not only did we tidy them – we switched the beds from one to the other, and threw away an entire bin bag’s worth of debris! And it only took us three hours – unaided by male assistance, I hasten to add.

It was amazing.

Then I made lunch, went shopping, got some work done, and we spent some family time huddled around the TV, watching Chuck. As you do. Red Riding Hood has decided to become a spy. Obviously. I think the role would suit her. She can be enigmatic if she wants to. And black certainly looks great on her.

Work was so much easier, since I had a clear brain and could focus on what was most important, and what needed to be done next.

We had our customary, doctor approved cheat of tiny avos and small amounts of biltong in the mid afternoon, but by seven o’clock we’d caved utterly. I guess it’s my fault for making what is arguably the best ever crustless quiche. Or maybe just the best food starving people have ever tasted. And yes, I know. We were hardly starving. We were weak and yielded easily to the temptation of the overfed.

Sunday morning was a doddle. We woke up refreshed and energised, ready to tackle a caffeine-fueled day, and be awesome. A big breakfast (with coffee) was followed after Church by raw nut and dried fruit bars from DisChem. Lunch comprised absolutely amazing omelettes, stuffed with fied onions, sautéed mushrooms and delicious cheese. And supper was chicken stew cum bone broth and boiled / steamed veg.

All in all, it was delicious, and we certainly feel cleaner and more focused. Papa Bear can concentrate better than ever (except the last time he did SCD with us); his mood is better, and he’s lost 4kg! (I, on the other hand, lost nothing, and made no progress whatsoever towards sorting out my little problem. Which, frankly, is so disheartening that I’m thinking of seeing a doctor.)

Last night I sat and made a comprehensive list of what I need to achieve this month. It’s doable, and having it all laid out in front of me makes me feel confident that I can and will achieve it, and that it’s manageable, rather than overwhelming. Which is definitely what I felt before I did that.

I’ll write a separate post on the Elexoma.

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