Monday, 31 August 2009

Elimination diet update

I am back from seeing the clinical nutritionist this arvo. Very interesting session. Of course always interesting when you are discussing your own insides and have the undivided attention of a professional who only wants to discuss your insides and not their own at all!

So, the upshot of the whole elimination diet is thus:
Non-coeliac gluten intolerance
Fructose mal-absorption (never heard of this one before this experience)
Possible lactose intolerance (needs further experimentation)
Chocolate intolerance (Good grief! How am I going to SURVIVE!!)

But the cruncher:
Helicobacter pylori bacteria (stomach ulcer bacteria discovered by some Australian chappies)
Dientamoeba fragilis parasite (Yes! PARASITE! Ewwwww!)and
Intestinal flora all out of whack (certainly expected)

One of the symptoms of these various nasties is multiple food sensitivities. Aha! Also, I might have had this lot for 20 years!!

So. Antibiotics are the order of the day. And probiotics. And a fructose malabsorption diet. So, the story continues......

On a much happier note I spent a fortune at the weekend, a spot of retail therapy without a doubt, and am now the proud owner of two books on watercolour painting, The watercolour artists bible by Marylin Scott, The watercolour flower artists bible by Claire Waite Brown and a small watercolour paint box. Also a new deck of tarot cards (Tarot of the Old Path) plus a very interesting book called The tarot directory by Annie Lionnet.

Of course, it's very funny them being called bibles considering how I feel about the pukka bible, so have a giggle at that then, I did :)

I also splashed out on a weejee board (how do you spell that?) Aha! Ouija board, (thank you and The Goff) so that will be fun.

I also splashed out on a new quilt and cover and cushions for the spare bed, it's just not right having friends to stay and then freezing them overnight, as if it might help preserve them in some way, especially useless if I've only just set light to them in my kitchen!

Did I buy anything else? Oh yes, I did! Bunnings! More plants and mulch. And a trolley to put my paints in so I don't have to keep carrying them around in buckets!

See? Retail therapy of the first order :))))

God, I had a fantastic time. And I am still enjoying my job. AND I didn't catch the childrens colds! Hoorah!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Eggs are a dangerous breakfast food.

I set fire to the fridge today. It smells quite strongly of barbeques now. And so does everything in it.

I cooked eggs for breakfast, they were quite yummy. The Goff boiled his own, in his northern fashion, which is NOT the right way, so I told him how he should do it. Obviously. To demonstrate this point to him quite thoroughly, I set fire to the fridge. The way you do when you are quite adamant about something. Everyone does that, I told him, I did it on purpose.

I then cooked poached eggs for me. The fridge was still safe at this point and a smoke-free zone. Not for much longer. The egg box was next to the cooking pan, which was on top of a gas ring, which was, quite naturally, alight. All was well. I might point out that it was The Goff who cunningly put the egg box next to an open flame! I'm fairly sure this was all his fault.

Anyway, just a little tidy up before eating, put the eggs away. On top of the other egg box. On the shelf. In the fridge.

The eggs were good. So was my book.

I think I had time to relax and think about life, the Universe and everything. I then went on a little explore because I could smell a weird smell. Like burning candles, but no, everything was fine, neither of the children had lit anything. Time for a cuppa then. Fill kettle, wait for kettle to boil, tum te tum, da dee da, oh, there we go, nice and relaxed, time for the milk....rice milk you know, calcium enriched and good for you, low in fat and quite tasty, you should try it, Oh my GOD, what the bloody hell is going on inside the fridge????!!!!

Smoke billowing out of the fridge, smell of burning electrics or worse, holy crap! Turn off the fridge at the socket, thoughts of "Will I be able to claim this on insurance? Where is the fire extinguisher, do I remember how to use it and how old is this bloody thing?"

The Goff, good on him, abandoned his cuppa and sprang into action, straight out the door! But no, was not running away (phew) was checking the RCD, all correct, nothing popped out. How strange. Pulled the fridge out (not easy, it's wedged in its hole, thankfully on wheels) Oh my god, look at the dust on the floor! And is that a bit of broken plate and how long has that cockroach bait been there?

Doors and windows open, extractor fan on, door to the hall closed because that smoke alarm is going to scream at us otherwise. Off to the bedroom for a torch (don't ask). Out to the garage for a screwdriver ("It's a star shape" "That's a posidrive woman!") Do battle with the stacked chopping boards and cake coolers for the extinguisher. Run off for the vacuum cleaner (if any insurance men are coming here, they are NOT going to find a dirty floor, I can tell you!) May as well wash the floor now then, as the fridge is out....

Shine torch into depths of fridge workings expecting to find charred bits or smoking bits or melted bits. Actually nothing to report, everything cool - literally. Strange. Ah well, may as well wash it now it's out of the hole and vacuum inside its guts :)

Shall we turn it back on to see what happens? The Goff thinking to take one more look inside because this is a puzzle and a conundrum. Where is the fire? Oh! There it is! Smoke billowing out of the fridge, smell of burning electrics or worse, holy crap! (Have we been here before? Deja vu! A glitch in the matrix!) The Goff blowing into the fridge to try and clear all the damn smoke, good god, what's that alight now?! Egg box. Glowing and producing roasted eggs. Not to mention melting the inside of the fridge, which has a nice brown bubble in its wall to prove it's story to it's grandchildren.

Egg boxes still alight! Into sink, douse with water, crack a few eggs to see if cooked yet! Take a photograph for facebook!

Moral of the story, no more eggs at breakfast time, I just can't handle the stress!

Of course, I have had previous firey events in my little kitchen :) And me a safety and health professional! Har de har!

I have tried and TRIED to put a link in here to the 14th April 2008, Upgrades versus Downgrades, to no avail! Which just goes to show I am not HALF as good at IT as I am at setting things on fire!!! Carrie's Musings: Upgrades versus downgrades. Yip Yip! I've done it!!!!

Monday, 24 August 2009


That little salt shaker at the beginning of the last post is sweet isn't it? :)

I am having Mondayitis, what I used to think was the result of a hard and drunken weekend. But as I haven't had an alcoholic beverage for a month, it can't be alcohol-induced can it? Drat it.

I don't want to turn this blog into a whinge-fest but I feel jolly rotten and have done ever since I started adding foods back in! Eggs are fine. Corn is fine. Tomatoes are fine. Peanut butter is fine, I think. I'm not sure about soya.

Fruit, milk, wheat, chocolate and citrus are NOT fine. I have yet to try yeast and beef. I must admit to having been putting off the yeast.

I have spent the last 18 days with pains and bloating, tired and headaches to varying degrees! I have been up in the middle of the night with cramps, or just awake and consequently like a piece of limp lettuce the next day. I have been a prime example of presenteeism for quite a lot of that 18 days. I'm exhausted and I need a holiday!!! I need a glass of wine! I need to NOT be the designated driver and get blooted! And to add insult to injury, I've stopped losing weight altogether! How is that possible???? Good Grief.

Ah well, on to more cheerful things, I have started to actually enjoy my job, so that is a bonus. In a couple of weeks I will be starting a "Train the Trainer" course, which is what was recommended to me that I do about three years ago and now I have the opportunity to do it, so I am very happy about that! I am always very happy learning new stuff. I am one of lifes perpetual students :)

My plan is to qualify myself as much as possible and move on to another safety job, I fancy engineering of some sort. I started off my working career a thousand years ago in engineering, it would be nice to give that a shot from a different angle. It's getting a bit distressing how many people leave this place, another two this week and both are young and dynamic and will go very far. That just leaves - who - behind?

On a happier note, I have started painting classes again. Folk Art. I needed a creative outlet and somehow just never get round to it at home. I have all the gear - very carefully stored in the garage but unless I have a deadline I don't do anything! Hopeless. Anyway, here are some I did a couple of years ago when I was still painting, before I went loopy :)

I used to do "real" art at TAFE (college) and did an Advanced Certificate in Fine Art, and am rather ashamed of the folk art as a result. It's just cheating really. I am somewhat happier if I take the design and do other stuff with it, which I do do. I want to get to the point where I can use my own photos to make my own designs. It is a bit difficult painting from the dining room table though due to a lack of space, which is why I am back at the class, it's great being there with the ladies and chatting while painting - but it's not really ART is it? :) It satisfies the urge to a degree though, so it's all good. For now. And I do like producing nice painted boxes!

Ending on a very sad note, one of the painting teachers that I had in TAFE died last week. He was young and very, very depressed. And now he's gone. What can be said? Nothing at all. It is horrible to think of him gone. Horrible and very sad. I salute you Tim.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Food intolerances and elimination diets

For as long as I can remember, I have had problems with my stomach. If I was a child now, I would be taken to a specialist by my loving parents and diagnosed with something or other. I wasn't however and now have various food intolerance's and IBS and the dreaded piles as a result. Not that I am blaming anyone, understand that, it is just the way the cookie crumbles, born too early medically speaking. So, now, after a lifetime of self-diagnoses and self-help, interspersed with professional help every so often when it all got too much for me, I have decided to find out "once and for all", what the bloody hell is going on with ye olde bod.

I have had various invasive tests and surgical procedures, all to no avail, or rather, there is nothing physically wrong. Nothing sinister growing, no major disease etc, etc. So, I am free to think I am a nuisance to myself and everyone around me, but I have more self confidence than that! Ha ha! So, what is the next logical step?

I have consulted a nutritionist. I have been given an elimination diet to follow for 32 days before seeing the (very young and skinny!) chap again. I have eaten the recommended lamb, chicken, brown rice, about 10 vegetables, water and sea salt for ten days. The first three were completely taken over with a headache, the following seven were FANTASTIC! Energy, wellness in stomach and head! I can't remember how long it is since I felt so GRRRRREAT actually! Marvellous. Was wonderful, if boring, and if I ever see another slow roasted carrot I'm going to have to kill someone! But all good.

After the ten days, every 48 hours, a new food from a list is added in. If there is no reaction then I get to keep the food, yay! If a bad reaction occurs (pears OMG) then drop the food, and wait 48 hours before adding in the next food.

OK, first on the list - pears. The fruit with the highest fructose content. The day of eating was OK, but I woke up with a case of 24 hour stomach cramps plus the inevitable. Lovely. Right on Baby! Fructose intolerance, didn't see that one coming! Next on the list is milk. In fact I'm off for a glass of the cold, white frothy stuff right now. My breath is bated! My stomach awaits the onslaught.

The whole process will take a minimum of 32 days, longer if I am going to be really pedantic and the way the weight is dropping off me right now, I may be! Ha ha! I reckon you need to take your weight loss advantages wherever you can, and obviously this is a major advantage right now. No sugar, no alcohol, no delicious buttery toast, no chocolate! no crispy, crunchy, fatty yumminess of any description etc, etc, etc!!!! I've lost about 4kg in ten days. Absolutely bloody brilliant! And as this is to carry on for at least a month, I am hopeful it won't sneak back on - I live in hope, am ever hopeful! :))))

Actually, the hardest thing has been the lack of tea - hence the three day headache! Not a coffee headache, a TEA headache! And breakfast is the hardest meal to find, but it's not too bad and worth the effort I can tell you :)

Ideally, and the best way to carry out an elimination diet is each food should be added in the same way, not just one food from each suspect group. So, I shall go ahead with the approved list, go back and see the young skinny man and see what should happen next - I can't not eat fruit for the duration of my sorry life, lets face it! After seeing the chappy, will attempt to add in each food before I eat it properly again - see? A lifetime of self-diagnosis and self-help is not easy to discard! At least I know what foods to go back to if my stomach rebels at any time! Which is a relief, I can tell you. Bloody stomach! :( But it's mine and I love it, dear little thing! I believe it wants to be a train driver when it grows up, aaahhhh.

Did I mention a poo sample was sent off to Sydney for analysis as well? That was fun! See? All angles covered. Possibly I am just the ultimate food faddist (the Goff will be nodding at this point) but maybe not and maybe this will help and lets face it I feel fine and am not sick, au contraire, am in the rudest of health :))))) I am sure they will get used to me at work, rolling around the office holding my stomach and groaning! And I've come to like rice milk, I really have!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Serious research, trial group size = 1

I realised one of those very obvious facts of life today. They hit me every so often, and I wonder if everyone else has realised them. Or if I've made an amazing discovery. So here it is.

The reason so many of us adults are overweight is because (And you know there's been a lot of research put into this, I think the result was remote controls wasn't it? They should ask me, I know the answer! Pick me, pick me!) as kids, you had to be torn away from your lovely pastime. You were playing very happily and had to be made to stop to come and eat, didn't you? Remember your Mum telling you dinner was ready and you were not wanting to stop travelling around the world, or flying to the moon or winning the olympics. It was as bad as having to stop to go to the toilet wasn't it? You'd be hopping up and down and practically wetting yourself before you'd stop and go to the loo. Or was that just me?

So, it was a major bore, in my experience, being made to wash your hands and sitting at the table, "nicely" and eating that dreadful food! Bits of fat and random chewy bits! Disgusting meatloaf and broad beans! Bleuch! You had to wait for everyone to finish and if you snuck off to the loo to spit the wretched food out, somehow your Mum knew what you'd done! And if you dropped it on the floor for the dog, the dog wouldn't eat it either! Or made so many telltale chomping, lip-smacking noises he gave the whole game away and then got banned from the room. And of course your Mum was an excellent cook, the same as my Mum probably, but somehow, you didn't find out about that until you were about 13. Or more.

I have so many memories of dreadful food and awful meals as a young child. Of being too full, of having to finish everything on the plate, of having to sit at the table by myself for an hour after the meal until I did finish everything on the plate! I don't know what my mother was thinking of quite frankly. But all that desensitisation to food and brainwashing to dread mealtimes didn't work! I'm still obsessed with food and its deliciousness!

Now what happens? Now eating and food IS the lovely pastime! Now we plan our meals days in advance, we think of delicious tidbits to have between meals and after meals, we buy wonderful wines to go with the meal. We LIVE for food! Or is that just me? I still hate those random chewy bits and lumps of fat, but I'm the cook and I can cut them off! Broad beans are OFF the menu! In fact that's the only bit of brainwashing that actually took.

So there we have it. The problem now is that eating has become the playtime and we have to stop to do other stuff, like hanging out the washing, going to work, vacuuming. Maybe the problem is we DON'T play anymore and meals are the break from work and one of the most fun parts of the day.

So, is that ground-breaking research or what? Have I figured out the obesity problem?