Thank you! and What’s up with Wendy?

First I would like to thank all of my contributors to the Meniere’s Treatments Series.  I hope we all learned something (I know I did).  I’m also hoping that this series will help those who are going through all of this understand that they are not alone.  That not all treatments work for everyone, but there are many treatments out there and hopefully one will work for them.

Thank you to all who contributed, either through a guest post, or by commenting.  This could not have worked without all of you.

It’s been a while since I posted about what’s going on in my life.  So, on at the risk of boring you, here it is:

NOT Gluten Free!

The biggest thing that is consuming my mind today is the trial against Paul Seelig.  The man who is accused of selling bread as gluten free when in fact is wasn’t.   I have to testify against him on Thursday.  This is just so hard.  I don’t want to see this man again.  I don’t want to relive what he put me through.  I read a post on Facebook by a woman who was at the trial yesterday.  They were selecting the jury.  She said that he kept chuckling.  What could possibly be so dang funny?  She also said that many potential jurors said they couldn’t be impartial because what he did was so horrible.  Hmmm, what about innocent until proven guilty.  I mean I know he’s guilty because I was there, but if I wasn’t I don’t think I could say that.

Of course, that is what I said the whole time all of this was going on.  People were saying they were getting sick from the gluten free bread this man was selling, heck I was sick.  But there was only a few people, and I thought I was sick from Meniere’s.  I felt that people were publishing things on their blogs about his selling bread as gluten free before they really had any proof.  Plus, he kept telling me that he was setting up a time for me to come in to his bakery and be there when he had testing done, so I could witness it.  He even applied with the Gluten Intolerance Group to have his facility certified gluten free.  I kept thinking, why would he do this if his products were in fact not gluten free.

However, even if he was guilty (as I now know he is) I felt that it was irresponsible for people to be publishing this without proof.  And I didn’t feel like a home gluten test was enough.  After all, we wouldn’t know if it was cross contaminated or not.

But the sad fact is, I believed him. He told me that he sold to the government and to hospitals.  He said he only sold to the public because he wanted people to be able to have good gluten free bread.

I look back at the emails we wrote to each other and I feel so very stupid.  Why did I believe this guy?  I think I just couldn’t believe that anyone would purposefully contaminate people.  And how could he be so stupid that he didn’t think he would get caught?  He was making people sick, did he think they wouldn’t eventually put it together?  I fell so betrayed.  He must really have been thrilled to have had someone who was so gullible on his side.

Ok, enough about that.  I’ll let you know how it goes after I testify, and then after the trial is over.

making a mold of my ear for my hearing aids

I have some good news.  I was fitted for hearing aids last week.  I will be getting them on the 8th.  I’m very excited.  Think of all the things I’ll be able to hear, that I can’t hear now.  hehehe.

The fructose intolerance diet is going well.  I saw the nutritionist on the 23rd.  She put me on a pretty strict fructose elimination diet for 4-6 weeks.  Then after my body starts absorbing nutrition again, I can try to add in new foods and see how I do.  Right now, I’m doing so much better.  No GI upset.  I did have a little of one thing on my NO list, and I got so bloated, and gassy.  Then within an hour I had a horrible migraine.  I’m really hoping that once I get this food intolerance under control I will stop having so many migraines.  (one can hope right?)  According to our scales, it looks like I’ve lost about 2 pounds this week.  Oh, I forgot to mention, the nutritionist told me I’m not eating enough.  I’ve been trying to eat more calories since I saw her, but it’s really hard for me.

I joined Spark People, an online weight loss community, so I could log everything I eat and keep up with my symptoms and my calories.  If you happen to be over there, look me up, my username is ONEARTSYCHICK.

One more piece of news.  Stuart and I are starting classes on April 5th, to become Foster Parents.  I may need a lot of advise from you who have children.  Wish us luck!

As you can probably tell, the patches are still holding, and I’m not having any vertigo, and the disequilibrium is gone.  Hearing is stable.

My hip is bothering me much more.  I’m sure it’s because I’ve been doing more.  But it’s a real pain….literally.  I’m also having more trouble with the pelvic pain, I’m sure that’s because I’ve been feeling a little more amorous lately, since the world stopped spinning.  However, just because I know why these things are bothering me more doesn’t mean it should be that way.  I should be able to walk and not hurt, or have sex without pain.  One thing at a time.  Perhaps I will get there.

What’s going on with you these days?

Happy New Year! Plans for 2011

There are many things I want to accomplish during this coming year.

Of course, I want to get the Meniere’s under control.

I want to figure out what is going on with my gut and get that fixed, including taking off this weight I’ve gained.

I want to exercise more.  I love to work out in a pool.  I just ordered some of the equipment that we used when I had physical therapy in a pool so I could do the exercises on my own.  (a flotation belt so I can exercise in the deep end without sinking, webbed gloves for resistance, and weights for my ankles to help with aqua walking and toning.)

I also ordered a heart rate monitor so I can keep up with that when I’m working out other ways.  (my heart tends to beat a little too fast too soon, so I have to keep an eye on that.)

Stuart and I have decided that we want to start living more in line with our beliefs.  Stop buying so much stuff we don’t need.  Start buying things that are used instead of new.  Stop creating so much trash.  Start buying closer to home.

We are going to try very hard to not buy anything new in 2011.  I’m looking at it as a smaller goal, I plan to say – Nothing new in January, then if I can do that, then Nothing new for the next 2 months, and build up.  I’m afraid if I say, Nothing new for a whole year, I’m just dooming myself to failure.  (of course, this doesn’t include food, necessities like soap and stuff, and we’ve agreed if we need underwear it will be bought new.)  It also doesn’t include services we may need, or the raw materials I need for my art.  I am trying to create recycled art, but there are still some things you just have to buy.  (I’m hoping to find some of this on Craig’s list, or Free Cycle.)

I hate to admit that we did go on a spending spree at the end of the year in anticipation of this upcoming year.  I’ve been wanting a new vacuum cleaner for so long, and I wasn’t going to wait another year for it!

Buying nothing new is going to be hard.  But I think we can make a good go of it.

I also want to eat healthier.  I need to get my cholesterol down (well my triglycerides, the rest is fine).

As most of you know I’ve taken on the challenge to make at least one meal a week from S.O.L.E. (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) ingredients.  This has been a challenge during the winter months, there just isn’t that much local produce at this time of year.  But I’m enjoying the challenge.

Next, I’m taking on a challenge of going Vegan or at least Vegetarian for 21 days starting January 3rd.  I’ll take it one day at a time, but cutting out a substantial amount of saturated fat from my diet should lower my triglycerides.

I want to spend more time with my friends, and I want to make more friends who have the same interests I do.  It’s hard for me sometimes to go to parties and see how much is being wasted, and so many people don’t bother to recycle.  We are the only people in our group of friends who have a composter.  I also think it’s important to use cleaning products that are safe to the environment.  I feel like many of our friends do some things, but when it’s not convenient they don’t try.  I feel like we’ve fallen into that trap sometimes too.  For example, getting take-out.  What could be more wasteful?  At least when we eat at a restaurant they reuse the dishes and utensils.

We would rather spend our money on visiting friends and family.  Or giving to the charities we believe in.  We are tired of being wasteful.

In a nutshell what we have planned for the New Year is:

  • Get Healthier.
  • Stop being so wasteful.
  • Don’t buy anything new.
  • Make more time for our friends and family.

Are you making any resolutions or plans for the New Year?  I’d love to hear about them.

Happy New Year to one and all!

Recipe Testing – Citrus Black Bean Soup

I’ve been a tastetester for recipes for Kathy Hester’s upcoming Healthy Slow Cooking Vegan Cookbook.  (No, this isn’t the name, I don’t know what the name will be yet.)

I made the most delicious meal from one of her recipes yesterday, and it was so easy.  I just put everything in the slow cooker and let it go, then we had Citrus Black Bean Soup that evening.  The recipe makes this a pureed soup, but we liked it chunky with all the beans, it kind of had the consistency of a chili.  Oh but it didn’t taste like chili.  The seasonings worked so well together.  I was just thrilled.

I decided to have mine on top of brown rice, and then I mixed in some steamed collard greens to make this a complete nutrition meal.

I know you are just dying for the recipe, but you will have to wait until Kathy’s cookbook comes out.  However, you can check out many of her other recipes on her blog: Healthy Slow Cooking. I started following her blog right after she first started it and became a fan immediately.  I love food that is easy, good, and nutritious.  How great is that?  So check out her blog, and keep a look out for her cookbook.  I’ll keep you posted.

Getting things done

Today I’m no longer running a fever, but I’m still have GI distress.  Oh well, don’t know why I’d expect that to change.

I started taking probiotics before every meal, hopefully this will help get my gut back to normal.  I also restarted taking my multivitamin, and extra B-12 + B complex supplement.  I tested low on B-12 but B-12 should be taken with a B complex and if you are a little older (over 40), like I am, you should take your B-12 sublingually (under your tongue).  B-12 isn’t absorbed as well in the stomach as you get older.

I also completely cleaned my kitchen. (more on cleaning green in my next post)  I wanted to make sure I’m not accidentally getting any cross-contamination from my husband’s gluten food.  He doesn’t bring much gluten in the house, a loaf of bread, and cereal of his own.  However, today I realized just how many crumbs from his bread and toaster get everywhere.  He has his own toaster, but have you ever noticed how many crumbs there are around a toaster and on the counter near a toaster, even if you clean them up every day.  I’m afraid I may have been getting gluten.  So we’ve decided there will be no more regular bread with gluten in our house.  I’ll just make bread more often, and Stuart can use the toaster oven like I do.

My favorite Gluten-Free Bread recipe is:

Flax, Quinoa, and Almond Meal Bread

(this recipe originally came from Kira at The Medicine Women’s Roots blog, but I changed it a lot)

Preheat oven to 375F.

  • 1 Cup Milled Flax Seed
  • 2/3 Cup Blanched Almond Meal (could probably used unblanched)
  • 2/3 Cup Quinoa Flour
  • 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil, Butter, (do not use butter to make this dairy free), Grapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil (only use unrefined with a sweeter bread)
  • 4 eggs
  • water to texture desired, just enough so that the batter pours in the pan thickly.  It took a little over 1/2 Cup of water for this recipe. The more water you use the longer it will take to cook.

Mix dry ingredients together.  Gently beat eggs together before adding to dry mixture.  Add oil.  (I had my coconut oil in a mixing cup and added the eggs to mix together but the coldness of the eggs turned the oil solid, it was difficult to mix the solid oil in the batter.

Add water a little at a time until you get the desired consistency to pour thickly into your loaf pan.

I used a Pyrex bread pan with parchment paper, cooked at 375F for 40 mins.

I hope Stuart likes it. 

This afternoon we went for a walk around the block.  It’s nice to get outside this time of year.  The weather was beautiful today.  As we walked we saw a few neighbors out doing the same, we stopped and chatted for a while.  That may not be great for exercise, but it was great for the soul.

Flax, Quinoa, and Almond Meal Bread