Chaos & Corned Beef with a side of Optimism

Well, I decided to postpone the LDN(Low Dose Naltrexone) for a while unfortunately. Even though I was taking it 12 hours away from the tramadol, it was still causing me issues with “withdrawal” like symptoms. And because I am having dental surgery and my body needs to have as little stress as possible to fully recover from my upcoming surgery, I decided to wait until after I’ve recovered a little before I mess with either medication again. PLUS, if the dental issues have been part of the autoimmune issues, maybe my pain issues will subside and the fatigue won’t be as bad so it could make the whole transition easier anyway.


So Monday I went to my first appointment with the autonomic specialist. It was almost a two hour trip one way so by the time we finished with the appointment and got home it had taken most of the day and we were exhausted! The doctor wants all evidence available to send to my insurance to try to get the IVIG covered. He said that it will more than likely not be covered BUT that there was an upcoming study that the neurology board he’s on at the local medical school had been put in motion that morning, and I would be perfect for it which is awesome. So he gave me a bunch of labs to do to get a clearer picture of what was causing the Small Fiber Neuropathy…even though I have a Sjogrens diagnosis but because I don’t have Sjogrens antibodies and haven’t had a lip biopsy, he wanted to rule out other possible causes. Ya know, he’s a great doctor but I don’t like feeling like I need to defend my diagnosis. When doctors do this, it makes me feel like the doctor is telling me that what I am feeling, the hell I’ve been experiencing, isn’t real. Or maybe the doctor thinks I’m making a bigger deal out of it than it really is. It just feels kind of like either I’m not being taken seriously or my rheumatologist that made the diagnosis isn’t being taken seriously. Although, this doctor is checking for ALOT and is not arguing my SFN diagnoses he’s just trying to definitively diagnose what’s causing it for my sake and for research purposes which I understand. And truth be told, I’m not getting better, I’m getting worse, so it is a good doctors job to further investigate and explore other options as well as current diagnosis’s so I have to try not to take it personally. And I’m also aware that they need to prove to my insurance that every other possible cause has been disproven. I’m sure once he receives and thoroughly reviews all my records, he will get a clearer picture of my history then I’ll no longer feel like I need to defend my diagnosis. He tested me for something called Fabry Disease which I sincerely doubt I have but he says it causes SFN and migraines which I have but both of those are also part of the Sjogrens diagnosis. And then he’s making me do a fasting glucose tolerance test to rule out diabetes & pre-diabetes. I went to do the fasting blood test this morning actually and had a nasty run in with the people at the lab. Just drama, and for me to have “run ins’ with people….that’s not something I do so if someone was rude enough for me to storm out of a place then you know it was pretty bad. All day it’s been one weird inconvenience after another. I’ve been trying not to dwell on it and be positive because I was so irritated at one point that I started giving myself a headache. Ironically however, this morning before any of this happened, I was judging a lady at the doctors office for going around telling every one about how she was running late and it was everyone elses fault and she was going to be late for her next appointment etc. I was thinking, “geesh lady the more you keep talking about it and putting that negative energy out there the more you wil find yourself being late and people running late with you!” And then here I was, an hour later, loosing my head because people were being rude and inconsiderate with me! Interesting huh.



On another note, I have 3 days until my first of two dental surgeries. I’m so completely done thinking about it, I can’t wait to get it over with!

Now, I have a confession: sometimes I write my blogs over several days before I actually post them and then I end up having to add more because so much has happened between the time I started typing said blog entry and the present time. lol. So with that, lol, I had that 3 hour glucose tolerance test yesterday and geesh….I was pretty sick towards the end two and a half hours later with cold sweats and trimmers. I’m super interested to see those test results now considering both of my parents are diabetic type 2 and surprisingly I feel ok today too which is also strange.  My dad says, “Do you want to have diabetes?” I told him “no of course I don’t want diabetes but it would be nice to take a pill and fill better for once.” He seemed to understand after that which is good. Anyway, I find out next week. Wouldn’t it be crazy if that’s why I’ve been so sick lately?! I mean it would easily explain why I’ve lost so much weight, the worsening neuropathy, and all the extra nausea. Anyway, I should know by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. Oh and thank God I didn’t end up having the glucose test with those ladies that were so rude to me last week! I can’t even imagine feeling so bad the way I did and those girls not knowing what to do with me or being ugly. That would have suuuucked. I said to my boyfriend last Friday after that happened that I wasn’t that upset because I guess it just wasn’t meant to be and it actually turned out to be true! Thank goodness! That’s a good Spoonie way to look at things btw, when things don’t work out the way we planned, just accept that there is a reason for everything and that there are better things planned for you in the future. Let go and trust in God or the universe or whoever or whatever you believe in and let it go. Half of life is your mind set and what you make of it. (Way easier said than done I know)


What am I eating this week

This week I am eating Paleo Cajun Dirty Rice which is always amazing, and this time was easy because I just happened to have some frozen cauliflower rice in the freezer. Then my boyfriend made us some hamburgers which I eat with lettuce as a bun. It is sweet of him to cook for us sometimes and make an effort to not put anything in our food that I can’t eat. We were craving corned beef and St.Patricks Day is coming up so I bought a brisket and have a corned beef marinating in the brine in the fridge right now. I’m gonna cook it in the crock pot Friday. It’s going to be delicious! And I’m pretty sure I caught whatever bug my boyfriend had the other day so I bought a Caldo De Pollo kit from the store and let my boyfriend put it together, I called in, and we lounged around and watched some movies. The Caldo was actually really good and we enjoyed the movie and bonus, I’m feeling much better today!

Finishing up this post…the corned beef was delicious! And it turned out not to be a bug from my boyfriend, it was an autoimmune flare, imagine that. Ugh. Lol. Such is the life.

This is the recipe I used for the corned beef and I will add the cabbage recipe below. I do not add saltpeter or brown sugar, I used 1 Tbsp Himalayan Sea Salt for the Saltpeter and use a Tablespoon Black Strap Molasses instead of the half cup of Brown Sugar. If sugar is not an issue for you, you can add 1/4 Cup of Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar with the molasses.  From what I understand, the saltpeter is what gives the corned beef it’s reddish color but as you can see, mine is somewhat red without the saltpeter but if the color is that big of a concern to you, try putting some all natural red food coloring in there, or better yet, you could probably even add a slice or two of fresh beat which is what red food coloring is made from anyway!

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/corned-beef-recipe-1947363.amp

Sauteed Savory Paleo Cabbage

Ingredients

  • 1 head of Cabbage
  • 3 slices of uncooked Bacon chopped into small squares.
  • 2 Tbsp chopped Scallion
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Bacon Fat

Instructions

  1. Chop 1 head of cabbage into small to medium sized bite size squares. Think stir-fry size. Set aside.
  2. Heat deep saute pan over medium heat. Add bacon fat and Extra Virgin Olive Oil to pan and heat.
  3. Add chopped bacon and scallions and stir and cook until scallions are translucent and bacon just begins to brown.
  4. Add cabbage and stir and mix until all cabbage is covered in the fat and oil and bacon & scallions are evenly distributed.
  5. Gently stir every couple of minutes to cook evenly.
  6. When the cabbage is evenly cooked and all pieces have softened, the cabbage is finished!

Tips

  • Some people add Apple Cider Vinegar to their cabbage and its wonderful. A Tablespoon or 2 of ACV can be added to the pan after cabbage is added to the pan, between steps 4 & 5.
  • Gluten loving friends can add 1/2 cup of their favorite pilsner or hefeweizen to the pan instead of the vinegar. In this case, use beer instead of the ACV or use just a teaspoon of the vinegar. Again, add between steps 4 & 5!

I hope everyone has a good rest of your week! Stay positive and thanks for reading!

Tired in Tex Mex

Hello friends. So, I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks. I have been feeling like death so haven’t felt much like doing anything so ya’ll will have to forgive me. Yeah I was under quite a bit of stress, good and bad but mostly good, and trying to plan this surgery was a little much for me.



Plus, I got a air fryer which I was super excited about and I went a little crazy trying to make my own sweet potato chips, which didn’t go over too well because my body isn’t used to that much starch and sugar and that didn’t help things. Don’t worry, I’ll get back to the sweet potato’s later. Lol.


So I went to my consultation with the Huggins dentist here in my home city and, including travel expenses and because I don’t have multiple root canals and amalgam filings, it actually turned out to be about the same price to do it here which is pretty nuts. I’m so glad I don’t have to go to Tijuana!!!!! I was pretty nervous about that. So with the cone CT scan it showed that yes I have 3 cavitation’s, need an extraction of 1 broken wisdom tooth, and a new crown.Other than a little pain anxiety, I’m super excited! I worked into my budget the cost of needed vitamins so I just dropped a crap ton of money on amazon for some good vitamins and will be booking some lymphatic drainage massages soon. I never really understood the idea of a lymphatic drainage themed massage because all massages stimulate the lymphatic system, but as a retired massage therapist who is trained in lymphatic drainage, yes there is much more focus on the lymphatic system than focusing on painful muscles, trigger point release, or relaxation. It’s done with long, firm, repetitive strokes towards the lymph glands instead of massaging and kneading the muscles and connective tissue. Yeah apparently if my body isn’t detoxing well and meridians are blocked when I have the surgery then there is a chance that the cavitation’s may not heal correctly so I need to support my body the best that I can. I saw my doctor yesterday and she thinks the surgery is going to help me a lot which is pretty cool. She said, “Who knows how you’re going to feel after the surgery?! I seriously bet this is going to help you….you know, they(dentist) usually find alot of really nasty bacteria in there(cavitations).” So that felt good that a knowledgeable medical professional that is familiar with my conditions has personally seen people like me have this procedure, from the dentist I’m seeing no less, and has seen patients come out on top!

Just saw this on pinterest…it would be funny if it weren’t half way true in my case. Lol. Only two more weeks!

This past weekend my boyfriend and I went to visit some of my family and we ate at this Mexican restaurant we love and there were little bits of cheese on my plate. I don’t want to cause issues for others so I didn’t say anything and tried my best to pick out the cheese. I say this all the time but I can’t do that anymore because I started getting super dizzy at the table and felt like death the next couple of days. My health and well being is important enough to speak up! Who cares if a server or cook rolls their eyes, which they may not, it doesn’t matter! So after I was “poisoned” by cheese in my food and spent the two following days in bed, I finally broke down and started taking my LDN again. I wanted to wait until I was off of my tramadol because LDN reduces the effectiveness of opiates because it works off of opiate receptors, but I figured just start now and screw whatever happens, let my doctors know that I might need some help with it in the future but I need to get back on the LDN ASAP. The LDN not only helps with my inflammation and energy but it makes a huge difference with my histamine and food intolerance issues so I just couldn’t wait anymore. I’m hoping that once I get the issues with my mouth taken care of that maybe my bladder will get better and I wont need the tramadol, so hopefully the pain meds won’t be an issue with counteracting the LDN because I won’t need them! That would be nothing short of a miracle! Interstitial Cystitis is no joke. It’s like having a UTI….that never goes away. Just try to wrap your head around that for a second. Every night waking up multiple times a night, pain after intimacy, constant trips to the bathroom etc. When you have a bladder infection it sucks but it’s not that big of a deal because you know that with some antibiotics and cranberry juice that you will be back to your old self in a week. But with IC, no such luck. You wake up every day knowing what your future holds whether you want it or not. I’ve read several articles stating that IC is widely known by the medical community as one of the most painful chronic conditions a person can have.It’s like Chinese water torcher. the pain is consistent and leaves you helpless and tired. It’s pretty horrible. Anyway, I’m really hoping mine will get better! Healing the gut helps tremendously along with a low histamine diet and a low acidic food intake. If my IC doesn’t get better and I can’t take tramadol anymore due to the LDN, I’ll see if my doctor can increase the gabapentin. I don’t want to take gabapentin, more or less increase it but it’s the lesser of two evils considering the highly addictive nature of opiates. I pretty much cold turkied it off of my prescribed dose of clonazepam a few years ago(doctors weaned me off in 5 days. HA! What a joke) so I think I can handle the gabapentin, sadly. I avoid benzos and non-benzos like the plague! Gabapentin is not a benzo or non-benzo but it works in a very similar manner by working on the neurotransmitter GABA and it’s receptors therefore numbing the synapses. Benzos literally shorten your synapses in your brain making it difficult for the nerves in your brain to talk to each other. Imagine the nerves in your brain are telephone lines that connect all of your nerves in your brain and they are all talking to each other to keep your brain working on peak capacity. When you take benzos, all the lines have been cut. When someone withdrawals from benzodiazepines, the withdrawal you experience is LITERALLY your synapses growing back. It’s like a 6 month acid trip that doesn’t stop with seizures and headaches and severe mood swings. Fun times. Anyway, sorry for the sidetracked rant there, lol. Gabapentin helps people withdrawal off of opiates, and benzos FYI, and is safer, however because it’s hard to stop taking gabapentin as well, it’s best to seek out other options if you can. But some meds do make life much more tolerable. It will ALWAYS be a goal for me to not take meds at all but until then I have to make life livable right? But as of right now, the LDN is NOT effecting the tramadol so I’ve been able to sleep throught the night! I’m on day 4 and I feel incredible!!!! Now the past two days however were pretty flipping horrible but today is amazing! I’m super grateful!

For more info on LDN, click here. Facebook is a fabulous resource! There are groups for everything, including LDN!


What I’m Eating This Week

Ok so I mentioned the air fryer earlier. I actually just ate a left over chicken drumstick from the Paleo Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings I made the other day. It was delicious.  That’s about the only thing I’ve found useful about the air fryer as of yet. Lol. I tried a few different recipes and ideas for sweet potato chips, because the ones from the store are so dammed expensive and are almost always fried in canola oil or some other junk I’m not supposed to eat, so why not make my own?! Well…a $5 bag of chips vs hours in the kitchen over failed attempts at making sweet potato chips…you be the judge. Lol. The chips were cooking at different speeds no matter how full or loosely I packed the fryer, no matter how slowly or quickly I cooked them, I was having to keep checking them to pull out individually done chips out before they burned while other ones were still cooking etc. Epic pain in the ars! The best method I found actually was just throwing them on an aluminum bake pan with a sheet of parchment paper with some salt and coconut oil! The only thing with that method however was to just make sure they are all the same width. I have a mandolin that I used which got the job done. The sweet potato chips made a really nice snack with some fresh guacamole!

Click here for the chip recipe!

With that left over guacamole I made some more chicken fajita stuff so I could make a salad. It’s the exact same thing from Chipotle except it taste better because there’s no giant nasty chunks of gristle in my chicken, my guacamole recipe is better, and my salad is significantly cheaper! Last week I made a Grape Chicken Salad from my favorite paleo cookbook “Paleo Comfort Foods” with a few modifications. I’m allergic to walnuts and pecans so I use slivered almonds instead and I add about a quarter cup of fresh tarragon. It’s soooooo good!

I also made some more Paleo Sweet Cream and bought some more berries so that’s been amazing as usual!

Ya’ll will have to forgive me because I know that this weeks recipes are a little more labor intensive than usual but I was craving this so I bit the bullet and made it. To save time, you can make larger portions of the salad ingredients that way you can make more than just one or two servings and it’s easy to throw together during the week.


Texas Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 4 small Avocados
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1/2  Lime
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Pico De Gallo

Instructions

  1. Cut avocados in half and remove the seed and use a spoon to scoop the meat of the fruit into a bowl.
  2. Squeeze one whole fresh lemon with a citrus press and add juice, without the seeds, to avacado. Repeat with a small lime wedge and hold the rest of the lime until later to add to the finished product if desired.
  3. Mash avocado and citrus juice with a potato masher until mostly smooth.
  4. Add spices and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Add pico de gallo and gently stir until mixed.

I have won contests with this guac so trust me, it’s amazing! I got the recipe from my mom but when I moved to South Texas I started adding lime and Pico De Gallo instead of just lemon and tomatoes by themselves. It’s delicious!


Spicy Pico De Gallo

Ingredients

  • 2 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped Yellow Onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped, fresh Cilantro
  • 1/2 fresh, de-seeded, finely chopped Jalapeno
  • 1 tsp finely  chopped Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together, stir, and enjoy.

Tips

  • To de-seed the jalapeno, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use your fingers or finger nail to remove the seeds!!!! I learned this the hard way. Or I should say, “the eternal burn” way. Use a spoon and hold it towards the sink or garbage can AWAY from your face and your eyes. Or very carefully cut the seeds out with a knife.
  • I never measure the ingredients so I guesstimated this recipe for you but I’ve been making this for years so I’m sure it should be pretty darn close. I just go by how it looks and tastes. You want a very balanced flavor which is why I like to cut the garlic and especially the jalapeno very fine so the heat and the spice is evenly distributed instead of chomping away at your paleo tacos and oh suprise, random giant chunk of jalapeno. There needs to be a smooth, even heat with every bite!
  • It’s important to have more tomato than onion too. Often times people will put too much onion and not enough tomato, a lot of times restaurants do this because onions are cheaper. Don’t do this.

Paleo Chicken Fajita Salad

Ingredients

  • Romain Lettuce
  • Fresh Pico De Gallo
  • Fresh Guacamole
  • 4 Chicken Breast
  • Fajita seasoning
  • 1/3 Cup Exta Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • Chalula Hot Sauce
  • Salsa Verde (Tomatillo Salsa)
  • Chipotle-Honey Vinegarette (use Light Olive Oil instead of Vegetable Oil for Paleo version)
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper

Instructions

  1. Slice chicken breasts into twoinch strips and add place in large bowl.
  2. In large bowl mix Olive Oil, fajita seasoning, garlic salt, chili powder, onion powder, and Chalula in a small bowl and stir together well.
  3. Pour marinade over chicken and stir together to make sure all the chicken is covered. Cover bowl and place into the fridge.
  4. While chicken is marinating, slice onions into one to two inch strips and set aside.
  5. Slice bell peppers into one to two inch strips and set aside.
  6. Heat 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Wait until oil is hot (it will sizzle with a drop of water or look super thin in the pan) and add sliced onion. Cook until onions are pliable and translucent and slightly brown.
  7. Remove onions and set aside.
  8. Add 1 Tbsp Olive Oil to the saute pan again. Wait until hot and add the bell peppers. Cook until soft and slightly pliable with golden spots. Remove from heat.
  9. In the same pan or cast iron skillet add a Tbsp of oil, heat oil, and add marinated chicken and sauce to pan. If not all the chicken fits it’s ok to cook one pan at a time.
  10. When chicken is cooked and golden brown, set aside and let cool slightly.
  11. Tear rinced lettuce by hand into your favorite bowl and top with chicken, grilled onions & peppers, fresh guacamole, fresh pico de gallo, green salsa, and Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette and enjoy!

Tips

  • This recipe is great for a family of mixed eaters. Your family can add shredded cheese, corn, beans, and rice if they want to while you enjoy your paleo meal.
  • I like to use a cast iron skillet to cook my chicken because cast iron is healthier because there’s no toxic chemicals from the pan leaching into your food, it’s an easy way to add iron to your diet, and I love the way the chicken browns in an iron skillet!
  • If you have candida issues or blood sugar issues then you can completely omit the honey in the vinegarette or significantly reduce it if you like and the dressing is still amazing!


Thanks for reading guys! And don’t forget to stop by my Facebook page! Have a great weekend!

Sadly, this proved true for me this week. LET. IT. GO! Lol. This next week I’ll focus on acceptance and forgiveness instead and hopefully I will feel better than I did this past week. Love, Light, & Blessings. 💗

Paleo Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

I came up with this recipe during the super bowl! I wanted some wings too! And these are pretty tasty! Even my non paleo boyfriend eats these up!


Paleo Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Whisk all ingredients in medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. Place rinsed chicken in large bowl and pour whisked ingredients over chicken.
  3. Place marinated chicken in the fridge overnight.
  4. Preheat air fryer for 3 minutes on 390°
  5. Place one layer of marinated chicken on the air fryer pan and sprinkle with additional lemon pepper seasoning and place inside fryer.
  6. “Fry” for 24 minutes.
  7. Remove and let cool for a couple of minutes before eating.
  8. Enjoy!

Tips

  • It can be a pain to order ingredients online because that means we have to plan ahead, but this lemon pepper is worth it! Its really good and is a great substitute for the lemon pepper you’re used to. I love lemon pepper seasoning and tried really hard for a long time to find a lemon pepper without MSG or crazy additives, I had zero luck. This is the only one I have found. ALL of their products are paleo friendly, and not just a marketing scheme like other so called paleo products I’ve seen, so I definitely try and support them when I can.
  • There are a few different paleo friendly bulion substitutes out there and from what I’ve seen, the More Than Gourmet brand is the best! I even called to double check they are gluten free & dairy free and a nice gentleman returned my call the next day and assured me I could eat it without triggering my gluten & dairy allergies. This brand is more affordable than the sugar & yeast laden ones I’ve seen at specialty stores and can be found at your regular grocery store which is awesome!
  • This recipe takes about 4 rounds to cook all the chicken in the fryer. I cooked two rounds and froze the rest with the remaining marinade for a low spoon day.

I’m gonna buy some paleo friendly ranch mix soon and will switch this up a bit and try it again. That sounds amazing actually! I will definitely let yall know. And sorry guys, I promise to get better pictures next time! I need to put the finished wings on a pretty plate to get a pretty pic of the final product. Next time I cook some up I’ll be sure and capture the moment for ya! Lol. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading! Come see me on Facebook and have a great day!

Mexico & Turpentine


So this week has been a blur. Between trying to figure out a game plan to get my mouth fixed and trying a new “detox” method, I’ve been absolutely exhausted. One positive though, I have finally settled on a game plan, Finally! Because my dental insurance caps out at $1000 and will cover crown replacement, AND because the dentist I choose in Mexico needs me to return 3 months later to put the crown in, it’s actually cheaper to do that portion here! So I kept my appointment next week with my Biological, Huggins Method Trained Dentist here in San Antonio and have been in correspondence with the dental clinic in Tijuana. The clinic I chose has been prompt & professional at every turn, they are SMART trained, IOAMT Certified, and Huggins Certified so they win! lol. The only thing though, they are not in a big fancy hotel  like the other guy and they send a shuttle to pick you up for $70. This guy, Alex, he will bring you across the border and take you to the hotel. It’s fine. I would rather deal with those minor inconveniences than to put my long term health at further risks. This one lady’s post that I read said, about the clinic in the hotel, that when they picked her up from the airport they waited for hours picking up people coming in from different flights and when they got to the clinic she was impressed because there were people from all over the world! Now….I’m from the country and what she’s talking about ….sounds kind of like cattle. IDK. The idea of them putting all these people in a bus and carting them into an over packed clinic didn’t sit well with me. I hadn’t heard one bad thing about the clinic I chose so when I get done with everything I will post all about it. Anyway, I’m super excited to actually have a game plan now and to be on the road to better health! Oh, I almost forgot, my passport is on its way and should be here in 4 weeks!!! 

I can’t hear the phrase “I’m so excited!” without thinking of poor Jessie Spano! Lol.

Because I’ve been sick for about 10 years or so, 10 years of doctors usually saying one nonsensical thing after another, I can pretty much
recite every. single. theory and  alternative healing practice out there. Plus, I used to be a massage therapist so not only have I tried many of these healing methods but I probably used to provide them as well! lol. First of all, you seriously have to take everything with a grain of salt because although some stuff may seem hokey, there is a lot of truth in it, but I admit sometimes just a little truth or no truth at all. Some of these alternative healing practices can be dated back thousands of years!

Now, I’ve seen a lot of people over the years in candida groups talk about Turpentine. These people are taking it internally! This seems crazy until you do a little research and see that back in the day, like early 1900’s and 1800’s back in the day, Turpintine Gum Spirits were the cure-all for everything! My sister ordered some and wanted me to try it with her so I did. I was too scared to take it internally but I did rub a drop on the bottom of my feet, put my socks on, and went to bed. Now…I know my systemic candida issues are bad, and the turpentine must be a crazy strong antifungal because oh my gosh I felt sooooo tired the next day, just exhausted, AND I was in and out of the little girls room more than usual. My liver area was aching too(which happens when I have candida die off because of the toxins released from the die off process) so I put some Purification Oil over the area which seemed to help me fell a little better.

I’ve heard mixed things about how to prep for my upcoming decavitation surgery and amalgam removal but it occurred to me to be killing myself trying to end my candida issues when I still have mercury leaching into my body on a daily basis is pretty pointless. Yeah I would do good to not make my issues worse right now but just try to maintain my clean diet and still eat the occasional starches and fruits until the crown replacement and I should be fine. I’ll go over all of that with my dentist Wednesday but as far as right now goes, trying to kill candida while these toxins are still in my body is doing nothing but burning my adrenals! Apparently candida thrives off of mercury toxicity so seriously, what’s the point right now!?! I’m so excited to get my life back and get this candida under control and be able to eat again without having crazy histamine reactions! I cannot even begin to articulate how excited I am! If you are wondering why I’m talking about histamine and candida together, check this out! The connection between the two is pretty big. Fix the candida, fix the histamines. Fix the metal toxicity….fix the candida. Mind blown right. Anyway, I’m crazy excited!


What Am I Eating This Week?

So…what am I eating this week. Every once in a while I get a hankering for Chipotle until I remember how overpriced and unaccommodating to this paleo girl they are, so I just make chipotle at home but mine is waaaaay better! lol. Ok so…riddle me this…WHY does it cost $10 for me to get a burrito bowl with no rice, no beans, no corn, no cheese, and no sour cream? Surely one pound of grilled chicken, lettuce, grilled veggies, guac and pico can’t possibly cost anywhere near $10. Plus, the past several times I’ve been there, I get a mouth full of gristle with every bite. So, even though I do appreciate the 100% organic menu…no thank you, literally, I can do better. I just don’t like doing the work. So I just sautéed my own chicken with paleo fajita seasoning, sautéed some sliced bell peppers & onions in olive oil, made my own pico, and amazing guacamole…I’m good. I let my boyfriend heat up his own tortillas and I ate mine on some jicama tortillas which were good but honestly would be a lot better with shrimp tacos instead of chicken fajita!

Today I brought to work with me some left over spaghetti squash I had in the freezer with some delicious pasta sauce I threw together, some berries with fresh coconut cream, and fresh cucumber.  Last week when I made the Paleo Ranch Chicken Alfredo I had a ton of left over spaghetti squash so I just put it in a bag and threw it in the freezer to save for later. I was so pooped this week that I decided to go ahead and use it now. I browned a pound of all natural ground beef, poured over it a jar of Newman’s Own Fire roasted Tomato spaghetti sauce(yes I know, not exactly paleo but on a budget it’s the least processed pasta sauce you can find plus it’s delicious and I had some in my pantry. Very surprisingly, after I put this post together I found several very affordable pre-made organic pasta sauces. I mean, aparently even the Walmart brand, True Value, has an organic pasta sauce! So no excuses from me over pasta sauce again!), chopped up some sun dried tomatoes because they looked so good at the store, some all natural peperoni, sliced black olives, left over bell peppers and crushed tomatoes, and frozen mushrooms and onion. At this point everything was too thick so I added a can of tomato sauce from the pantry and added some garlic powder, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and salt & pepper. It was so delicious my boyfriend is even eating some today!

Which leads  me to my last and final thing…..Berries & Cream!!! Oh my gosh I don’t know why I just now started doing this. It’s absolutely delicious! I let a coworker of mine tried it and she said it tasted just like the coconut Cool Whip from the store. I said, “That’s the idea but guess what? Mine is healthy and it doesn’t have any sugar in it!!! Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom…….

Paleo “Sweet” Cream & Berries

Ingredients

  • One can non GMO Thai Kitchen Coconut Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract(not vanilla flavoring)
  • 1/8 tsp stevia
  • Fresh Berries of your choice

Instructions

  1. Let can sit at cool room temperature overnight or for several hours.
  2. Remove cream from the can and place the cream in a medium sized bowl leaving the clear runny coconut water behind in the can to drink for later or add to a smoothie.
  3. Mix vanilla extract and stevia with the coconut cream until blended well.
  4. Add additional vanilla and stevia as needed.
  5. Add sweetened coconut cream to your favorite berries!

Tips

  • Remember, a little stevia goes a very long way. Use sparingly.
  • This recipe makes a wonderful topping for almost any paleo dessert and is amazing in hot chai tea for a paleo vanilla chai latte!

Note to self: find a fluffy paleo biscuit recipe(and sweeten it yourself with honey or coconut sugar), sweet bread, or vanilla cake recipe and make a strawberry shortcake!!!!

Enjoy!

“I know it sounds crazy. But if it weren’t crazy, they wouldn’t call it a leap of faith. They would call it a sit of doubting.”

— Eleanor Shellstrop, The Good Place

Thanks for reading & stop by my Facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/The-Paleo-Spoonie-585807528546776/

Invoke The Grey Rock & Keep Your Spoons


This week is going ok. I feel great today which is awesome! After much thought and research I decided to cancel my appointment with my holistic dentist and schedule the $315 consultation with the holistic dentist that does the Huggins Protocol, the protocol used in the Root Cause Documentary. That’s alot for me but I started thinking, “What happens if my dentist starts to remove the crown and discovers that I need a root canal or what happens if they don’t do it correctly and my metal toxicity problems become worse?” That wasn’t a risk I can afford to take! I have enough problems without making myself sicker! So I went to an extremely informative fb group I’m a member of called Hashimotos 411 and searched “Root Cause Documentary.” As I expected, there were multiple posts but no posts asking if anyone had done the procedure. I made a post of my own and met SEVERAL people who went to see dentists that used the Huggins protocol and were either in complete remission or had gotten significantly better! So with that, you had better believe that I am doing this! One of the admins of this group said that she was going to do it here in the states but couldn’t afford it so she found a reputable clinic in Tijuana Mexico and had it done for 1/3 the cost! I personally know one of the founders of this group so I know first hand that she would not chose to run a group with anyone that is even the slightest bit uninformed or un-trustworthy. So if this lady saying that she went to Tijuana to see a biologic dentist, that she had a good experience, and then was able to cut her thyroid meds in half, I’m going to listen. So the plan is, I’m going to this consultation and getting a treatment plan and seeing how much it will cost here in Texas and at the clinic in Mexico. If it’s going to be significantly cheaper in Mexico then I may do it there. As it turns out, there are two facilities in Tijuana that do this procedure and one of them is significantly nicer than the other one. Initially I had called the wrong clinic apparently and they told me it would be $100 or more to pick me up from the US so unless I wanted to pay $100 then I could walk across the border and they will pick me up once I cross. That is hilarious to me!! Tijuana is a scary place and I just picture myself trying to walk across the border. lol. NOPE! Yesterday I spoke with the nice clinic, the one the people from my group went to. The receptionist was so nice and polite and she said that they will pick me up from the airport and bring me straight to the clinic and that the clinic is in the same building as the 5 star hotel that I would be staying in, that there is a nice restaurant in the hotel and that there is an organic café across the street, and that they are in a nice part of town and as long as I stay in that general area I should be ok and I have nothing to worry about. That seriously put me at ease which was really nice. Not that I’m miss prissy princess and can’t live without a nice hotel and organic cafes but Tijuana is scary. You ever seen the movie Traffic? What about Sicario: Day of Soldeao? The Hangover 3? Yeah, no thanks. And I have plenty of friends from Mexico and apparently all the stuff about Tijuana, it’s all true. Again, no thank you! And there’s been a change of plans today and it looks like my bf will probably not be going with me but we think his dad might go in his place which should be interesting considering his broken english and my broken spanish! Lol. We do pretty good to communicate however but when all else fails, google translate saves the day! Lol. Anyway, I have some big decisions to make but I am so freaking excited!!! If I get better, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself! It looks like I really might get my second chance after all!

So….second topic today that I want to talk about but I’m not too sure how to start. When people are challenged with autoimmune disease, there are several factors at play that may have triggered the disease. There are genetic mutations, genetic predispositions, environmental factors, SIBO (small bacterial intestinal overgrowth), candida, heavy metal toxicity, physical trauma, and emotional trauma. I strongly encourage EVERYONE who is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease to explore all of these causes because addressing what’s causing the inflammation that’s causing the disease can help you get better, or at the very least, improve your symptoms! I mean, why just treat the symptoms when you can treat what’s actually causing disease and possibly go into remission!?!?! It’s absolutely mind blowing to me how anyone could not understand this way of thinking or that this train of thought is not encouraged in the medical community. One time someone even told me that I’m “cruel” for suggesting that they could heal. SMH. I’ve been at this for 10 years and I’m not better yet. Does that mean healing isn’t in my future? Nope! It just means I haven’t tried the right method or the right combination of methods yet and I won’t stop until I do!!! Due to diet and research I have found remission before and I have been able to consistently improve my symptoms and THAT gives me hope and strength to keep fighting!

If you are newly diagnosed with autoimmune disease, when meeting other people with AI disease you will quickly learn that almost everyone has trauma and toxic relationships that they are either still dealing with or that they’ve had to navigate their way out of, which sadly, makes since because many, many AI warriors are trauma and abuse survivors. I had to go visit one of these people last weekend. This person is getting older and I know I probably won’t have them around much longer so I do what I can to visit and call when I can but just wow! I have cut out every toxic person in my life except this one person which is something I am dealing with but their nasty behavior doesn’t deserve ANY of my spoons. They took enough of my spoons(energy) this past weekend and enough on Wednesday when I was exhausted all day from being upset. All there is really left to do is accept & acknowledge what happened, pray that God can forgive them for their actions, pray that I can forgive them, and move forward. Every time I feel sad or notice myself going down that rabbit hole of anger and sadness I think, “I already gave this person enough of my energy. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! What can I think about that is good? What people do I have in my life that love me and make me feel loved and appreciated?” And it seems to be working for me. Yes, I’m hurt but what’s done is done. I’m focusing on things and people that make me happy. I’ll protect myself as much as I can but I need a refresher course on the grey rock approach . They throw daggers and I just shrug my shouldres, “OK. And? Next.” Sounds like a plan. What have you done to change your surroundings and the people in your life? What do you do to cope with the toxic people that are still there?

I just stumbled across this amazing article as well….

https://mentalhealthintervention.org/fifty-shades-of-grey-rock/


What am I eating this week?

Last weekend I made some meatloaf from an old cookbook that had been gifted to me years ago. You’re not going to believe this but I used a couple of pinches of stevia instead of brown sugar and it was really, really good! (Just keep in mind, a little bit of stevia going a very long way so just add a tiny bit and taste to see if you need any more.) I still can’t believe it turned out as good as it did! lol. I make meatloaf all the time. It’s fairly simple to make. I just use all natural ketchup and substitute almond flower for the breadcrumbs. If you’re not eating Paleo but only gluten free you can use gluten free toast or crackers, even gluten free rolled oats! And if you are eating paleo and can tolerate starches, there are some amazing paleo friendly crackers out there that I eat sometimes if I’m splurging. I originally was just going to just share the sea salt ones with you but go ahead and get this combo order here. lol. You can use the sea salt crackers for your meatloaf and snack on the rosemary ones while it’s baking, and if you’re feeling really lucky, try the cheader ones in your meatloaf or bunless handburger. WOW that sounds amazing!!!! Hopefully after I get the de-cavitation surgery (because it’s supposed to help the SIBO and metal toxicity my histamine issues should improve) I can eat starches & yeast again and enjoy those crackers with you!!! When I ran out of meatloaf I made some grilled breadless chicken friend steaks. I just slice them super thin, sprinkle with Montreal Steak Seasoning and throw them in a cast iron skillet with olive oil and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. (My bf taught me that recipe) So yummy. The Montreal Seasoning is minimally processed AND gluten free. When you don’t have the time or money to make your own or buy your own spice blends, it’s ok to use something as long as it’s gluten free, soy free, dairy free, and nitrate free. Also, always read the label and look for things like dextrose, maltodextrin, and modified food starch, those are all either derviced from corn or wheat products. And if you deal with candida or mold issues, make sure it’s yeast free too which is anything that is cheese flavored but it’s always best to check labels just in case. I also made some roasted Brussles Sprouts which is super easy. Just throw a pound of roasted Brussle Sprouts in a large bowl and drizzle with a couple of Tablespoons of Olive Oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning, a tsp of lemon zest, and himilayan sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Then roast in the oven at 350° for 15 minutes, turn, then roast for another 15 minutes and they’re done!

So last week I said that I was going to make some pasta from the ranch dressing I made and OH MY GOSH IT IS AMAZING! It is one of the best things I’ve ever made and I love it!!! With the Ranch Dressing already made, it was fairly simple to make! Check out the reciope below….


Paleo Ranch Chicken “Alfredo”

Ingredients:

  • 3 thin sliced chicken breasts
  • 3 Cups frozen mixed vegetables (broccoli & carrots or
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tsp Lemon Pepper Dill Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3 cups spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup paleo ranch

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, with a good spoon scrape out the seeds, then rub with 1 Tbsp Olive Oil and sprinkle with Salt & Pepper. Place in oven open side up on middle rack.
  3. While the spaghetti squash is baking, trim the 3 chicken breasts if needed and brush with about 2 Tbsp olive oil then sprinkle with Lemon Pepper Dill Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt & Pepper. Set Aside until the timer goes off for the squash, then place the chicken in the oven south the squash on a different rack. Cook both for 30 minutes.
  4. After the chicken and spaghetti squash are done cooking, let them both cool for 30 minutes to an hour. Place the chicken and squash in the fridge for safety and faster cooling.
  5. When squash is cool enough to handle, take a fork and start running the fork across the inside to release the “spaghetti” and dump contents into a large bowl.
  6. Cut chicken into bite size cubes and add to the bowl with the squash.
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together and voila!








Tips:

  • I always get thin sliced chicken breast when available because it absorbs more flavor so the chicken isn’t bland.
  • Always use sea salt when you can. Himalayan Sea Salt can be pricey so I stopped buying it but I started using it again when I realized I can get it much cheaper at Ross Dress For Less and other discount stores.
  • Always use fresh cracked pepper when you can because not only does it have more flavor this but the nutrients and antioxidants content is higher.
  • There are many ways to cut a spaghetti squash. Find what works best for you and please watch one of the many videos on you tube so you don’t hurt yourself! Here’s a couple of videos:

This has several great suggestions!

This is how I do it except I don’t cook it in water anymore. However, cooking it in water is quicker unless you want your squash on the dryer side like me because whatever sauce I’m putting on it is liquid enough and I don’t want it watered down. 😉

Paleo Ranch Dressing

When living with food allergies or if
you’re simply trying to improve your PicsArt_02-01-06.00.36.jpghealth by adopting a paleo lifestyle, you will quickly learn which foods you simply can’t do without. Ranch Dressing is one of those for me. There are dairy free – gluten free ranch dressings on the market but I find that they have so many additives and almost always have sugar & yeast, neither of which I tolerate very well. Ranch dressing is one of those versatile ingredients you keep in you kitchen at all times for salads, for a good vegetable dip, a marinade, a dipping sauce for your paleo chicken fingers or gluten free pizza, some extra seasoning to add to your paleo meatloaf, whichever you choose, there are a thousand uses for this delicious condiment. A few years ago I decided that I wanted a cobb salad and that it was time to learn how to make Ranch Dressing that I could enjoy. Here’s the recipe I made and I hope that you love it as much as I do!

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Paleo Mayo (see below)
  • 3/4 c unsweetened, plain coconut yogurt
  • 1/4 unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1/4 cup full fat organic canned coconut cream or organic full fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 or 2 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 or 2 dashes of your favorite hot sauce. (I like Cholula)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 small or medium sized garlic clove1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:

  • Add all wet and dry ingredients together in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Tips:

  • For thicker dressing add more coconut cream and less coconut yogurt.
  • Use fresh herbs for this recipe but if you forget something and want to use dried herbs from your spice cabinet make sure to use at least a 3rd less of the dried herbs as the flavor in dried herbs is more concentrated.
  • Paleo mayo is believe it or not very simple to make… once you learn how to do it. I must have attempted it at least 5 times before I finally figured it out when a friend sent me a video. Here’s the recipe I use. Using an electric whisk on the highest setting works best but apparently using an immersion blender works even better and is much easier(video below)! I always use extra light olive oil instead of avocado oil though because it’s cheaper and the taste is more mild and tastes more like the processed junk mayo that we’re all used to. lol. I can’t find the original video I saw that taught me how to make homemade paleo mayo but I did find this one where she uses an immersion blender which honestly looks 1,000 times easier than how I do it with a hand mixer! I can’t wait to get an immersion blender and I can try this! Check it out the video here!
  • Ya’ll will have to forgive me for not making my own Worcestershire Sauce. I looked online and even though I did find some all natural organic versions, I was unable to find any that are soy free and gluten free. So it looks like I really will need to start making my own. I found a recipe that looks pretty good though. If you try it, let me know how it is! Click here for paleo Worcestershire Sauce Recipe!
Add wet & dry ingredients in food processor or blender…
…and blend until smooth.
Store in air tight containers in your fridge until using.
I’ll add a better picture next time I make this! Sooooooo good!

Enjoy!!!!

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What’s Your Root?

So my week this week has been crazy hectic and I’m worn out! It looks like my weekend is building up to be busy as well so I have to make sure and take it easy when I can. For instance, tonight when I get home from work I’m gonna put on my PJ’s first thing and curl up in the bed with my cats and find something fun to watch on TV and do absolutely nothing! It’s gonna be fabulous. I’ll be sure and turn off the TV early enough to try and meditate before I go to sleep.

Sunday, we watched a documentary on Netflix called “Root Cause.” If you have chronic health issues and or mysterious fatigue and illness, I strongly urge you to watch this film!

The movie starts off with a young healthy man who gets into a scruff and looses a tooth and a few years later he starts having debilitating, daily fatigue for which no one could understand or find an explanation. His symptoms and depression were so very similar to my own! After years of spending thousands on holistic doctors, vitamins, and new age treatments (that was me too), basically just grasping at straws, he went to a practitioner that suggested it was his teeth that were causing the fatigue. In a state of disbelief he researched and found a holistic dentist who did 3D X-Rays and sure enough, there was a bacterial infection found where he had had the previous root canal.

Years ago I had all 4 of my impacted wisdom teeth pulled and I have a crown on one of my molars that desperately needed replacing. So you bet your ars that I called my dentist the next morning. I searched for a dentist in my city that uses the protocol they used in the film and actually found one but he wanted $315 for x-rays and a consultation and did not take insurance. I initially said that I would go anyway, but after thinking about the cost of oral surgery, I decided against it. Hopefully one day I will be able to see him and have my jaw looked at. But I did see my holistic dentist, who takes insurance, and agrees that I need to have that crown replaced which is scheduled for next Monday. Ugh! Not looking forward to it. I am however looking forward to possibly feeling better after getting this fixed! My health has been declining more rapidly over the past 8 months and coincidently  it’s been about that long since I noticed that the crown wasn’t fitting correctly and needed replacing. I just didn’t connect the two things until after I watched the documentary. Yes I should have taken care of it sooner but it’s so expensive and I have a little bit of a fear of dentist. I’m just glad I’m finally going. On a side note, now understanding the connection between our teeth and our bodies, the whole oil pulling thing makes so much more since! I’ve been trying to be more consistent about oil pulling as well!

So back to my week, like many people with autoimmune disease, I have insomnia. I sleep better than I used to BUT I’m usually a rediculously light sleeper and…its time for a new mattress. I’ve been researching like crazy and I originally wanted a hybrid mattress but if you’re looking for what’s known by mattress people as “motion isolation” (the ability of a mattress to absorb movement without the transfer of energy. I guess. lol. I was trying to provide an intelligent sounding definition but it basically means a mattress that allows for one person to move and the partner not to feel it! lol) then foam or latex mattresses are the way to go. If heat is an issue for you like it is me, thank you neuropathy and crazy hormones, then don’t spend extra on a cooling mattress, just get a foam gel mattress pad. Mine has been life changing! Lol. but if you’re in the market for a mattress, this website sleeplikethedead.com has been extraordinarily useful.


So, what am I eating this week?


This week I made a delicious vegetable soup from thehealthymaven.com. I’ve been making this recipe for a couple of years now. It’s my go-to when I’m out of money and energy and need something easy and cheap to make. Of course I forgot to take a picture of my soup so the one here is from the original recipe. If you would like to try the recipe, trust me you should, then click here.


Another thing I do from time to time is make homemade ranch dressing. Since I am allergic to dairy, ranch dressing is one of the many great things on the long list of yummy deliciousness that I can’t eat. I have tried the gluten free/dairy free ranch dressings but because they have to put so much other stuff in it to make it taste halfway normal, it’s usually almost always over processed. The Daiya one is actually pretty decent but it has yeast and I can’t have yeast because of systemic candida overgrowth (one of my many root causes that I did test positive for via my functional medicine doctor) so one day out of complete frustration I learned how to make my own. I studied some ranch recipes that looked good and figured out new wet ingredients and ratio of dry ingredients to wet ingredients and it’s amazing and VERY convincing. Here’s my Paleo Ranch Recipe.

After I made the dressing, I put some in some small to-go containers to store for my lunches and put what was left in a large container for later which I think I may use next week for some pasta. We will see.

And here is my lunch box….Vegetable Soup, Cucumber, Yellow Squash, and Carrots w/ Paleo Ranch dressing for dipping, & a half Granny Smith Apple.

I hope you are having a great week and if you have any questions about the recipes or any topics discussed feel free to ask! Blessings!

Great things happen to those who don’t stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.” – Roy T. Bennett

Bittersweet – A New Diagnosis, Renewed Hope!

It’s been too long since my last post. Things have been crazy hectic between health issues and appointments and my boyfriends son visiting…I’ve been busy to say the least. Surprisingly I’m doing ok! I’ve been trying to make sure I’m getting enough rest and meditating when I need and making time for myself which has been nice. I’ve been working on my crocheting skills and I made a hat completely my own without a pattern! Even if the hat didn’t come out ok, I find crochetting extremely relaxing. Oh and I almost forgot, a friend invited me to a vision board party which I wasn’t able to attend but I made one anyway! She challenged me to make a health inspired board which I did and I LOVE how it came out! It was so much fun to make too!

So as far as my appointments go, I got some pretty big news last week. Monday was my appointment with my rheumatologist, actually I saw her Nurse Practitioner which is fine because she’s wonderful as well. She told me about the 14.3.3 ETA Protein and how mine is considered aggressive because it’s above .5, mine is .9. She said that my doctor is very hesitant to give someone such a serious diagnoses like RA but because RA needs to be treated early and my inflammation is so severe that we need to start treatment immediately. She said that they wanted to add methotrexate but if the skin biopsy comes back for Small Fiber Neuropathy then they wanted me to start IVIG(Immunoglobin Infusions) as soon as possible, instead of the methotrexate. I then did x-rays of my hands and feet to look for RA and to get a base line for treatment as well as have an x-ray of my chest for a base line to watch for lung issues from the methotrexate. Scary stuff!

The next day was my appointment with the Neurologist. The doctor said my sleep study came back normal, and all the blood work came back normal, BUT my skin biopsy came back positive for Small Fiber Neuropathy. Hearing that was so bittersweet! I have heard that, for a lot of people, the skin biopsy comes back negative even if they are having significant symptoms so I was very surprised and grateful mine was showing up. It is so completely validating and shocking when crazy symptoms you’ve been dealing with are found and diagnosed and actually have a biological and physiological cause!!!! Like so many people with autoimmune issues, it’s very common for patients and their symptoms to be pushed aside, brushed under the rug and not taken seriously, so when things are actually found and diagnosed, it’s nothing short of miraculous. After the doctor told me the news, I was babbling on and he told me, “You know Nancy, this is not good news.” I told him, “I know but now I have answers and now I can get the help I need!” To which he said, “This is very true. This also explains all the nausea and constipation you’ve been having. Have you been passing out?” I told him I hadn’t but I am very dizzy pretty often. He then warned me about driving and told me to be safe. JUST WOW! For over a year I’ve been begging for help from my doctors about possible autonomic dysfunction and worsening neurological issues and they either dismissed my symptoms or had no idea how to help.

It all started about 8 months ago when I was talking about my symptoms on a Sjogrens forum and someone, now a good friend of mine, commented and said “Do you have POTS? You have every symptom
of dystatoniomia (autonomic dysfunction).” I started researching and she was right! For 10 years I’ve been dizzy, had blurry vision, felt disoriented, vertigo, light headed, memory loss, bladder issues, heat and cold intolerances and problems with temperature regulation, severe weakness and debilitating fatigue, insomnia, unprovoked panic attacks and depressive episodes, all of which have been slowly getting worse up until a year ago when they all suddenly started getting significantly  worse with more frequency and the neuropathy and almost constant nausea and constipatin began.

So that brings me to now. The closest neuromuscular therapist in network for my insurance that prescribes IVIG therapy is 100 miles away. They actually called me this morning and I’m awaiting to hear back from them to schedual my appointment. When I spoke with their nurse she said because I have all these diagnosis’s already and the severity of some of my symptoms that they would probably get me in pretty quickly. I’m working pretty hard on my diet and already starting to see improvements so hopefully by the time the insurance actually approves the IVIG maybe I won’t need it anymore…or maybe not as much anyway. I haven’t smoked in over a week either! 10 days! YAY!!!!! So yes, I’m super hopeful and motivated! My plan is to heal enough to where my bladder isn’t hurting as bad from the IC (Interstitial Cystitis) and I can sleep through the night without having to jump out of bed to go to the restroom (right now I’m down to about 3 times a night) and I can start weaning off of the tramadol so I can start taking the LDN again. Because LDN works off of opioid receptors you can’t take it with opiates because they wont work.  I didn’t realize before when I stopped taking it that the LDN really was helping me a lot. I had more energy and my histamine responses weren’t as frequent and as sensitive. Looking back, the difference is astounding! I wish I had never stopped taking it! On top of the fact that I was already planning on taking the LDN again, I stumbled across this paper yesterday where this woman had severe dysatonomia w/POTS and she was treated with antibiotics for SIBO and with LDN & IVIG. She had SIGNIFIGANT results!!! It gave me a lot of hope reading about someone with similar diagnosis’s and symptoms who was on the same treatment plan as me and was extremely successful!. We will talk about natural antibiotics later. Anyway, I can’t wait to get better!!!!! I can’t remember the last time I was so positive, so hopeful, and so motivated! 

So, what am I eating today?


Cash is tight right now so this is how you do things on the cheep! For lunch I had baked flounder with homemade tarter sauce. To bake the fish I brushed the fillets with olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon and a few drops of high quality, non-GMO orange essential oil then sprinkled with seafood seasoning. For the side, I had mixed vegetables(Broccoli Normandy) seasoned with some Lemon Pepper Dill seasoning and some more seafood seasoning. Actually, I think I’m gonna try that Lemon Pepper Dill season mix on my fish next time, that sounds delicious! And for my drink I had a glass of mineral water over ice with a small orange wedge. I’ll post pictures later. For breakfast I had my regular mixed berried and spinach vanilla smoothie. In my lunch box for work I have: a cheese free cobb salad with vinegarette dressing. Here is my favorite vinegarette recipe but because I’m doing a mold protocol I sub Apple Cider Vinegar(most of it anyway, I love balsamic vinegar and it’s hard for me to give it up completely) for the Balsamic Vinegar and omit the honey for now.  For snacks I have salted almonds, cucumber wedges and half a green apple.

What was in my lunch box today! I already ate almost all the cucumber and almonds by the time I took the picture though. lol
Paleo Cobb Salad before the dressing. When packing a salad for your lunch box, make sure you put all the wet ingredients(tomato, avocado, olives) at the bottom of the container and all the dry ingredients on to (lettuce, bacon, egg). I alwasys like to put the chicken in the middle to create a little of a barrier between the wet ingredients and dry. Basically, by thoughtfully stacking your ingredients and packing your dressing on the side, your salad is sure to survive your lunch box until your break!
Paleo Cobb Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing

You wonder how I do it? Prep! Yes I spend a few hours every Monday(last day of my weekend) prepping food for the week. If I’m eating fish that week, I pre make the tarter sauce and keep on the coldest shelf in the fridge so it stays as fresh as possible. This past Monday I baked the chicken breasts for the salad (raw, trimmed chicken breast brushed with Dijon Mustard, Olive Oil, and salt and pepper),cooked bacon, boiled eggs, and made vinaigrette dressing. I have a few other very easy go-to meals that I can throw together easily during a busy week. It drives me crazy when people say they don’t have time or energy or money to eat healthy…other than my friends online, I seriously only know two people who lack as much energy as I do or have even less than I do and they both have MS. Sometimes I’m practically in the kitchen with my eyes closed because I know if I don’t cook for myself then there won’t be anything for me to eat at all and I will, either one of three things: either get hungry, spend too much money on paleo friendly fast food, or eat something I shouldn’t. That’s why it’s important to evaluate your energy for the week and plan your meals in accordance with how many spoons you have and how many spoons you think you will have. How do you do that you ask?

Here’s some examples of good questions to ask yourself when planning your week:

  • What’s going on with your hormones this coming week?
  • Do you have deadlines to meet at work?
  • Do you have plans with friends or family?
  • What do your kids have scheduled this week?
  • Any changes with medications this week or doctors appointments?

For me, it’s a life confined to a bed or having my own place, having relationships, keeping a job, having my own life! I wouldn’t be able to function without my diet and homelessness or being a complete shut in is not an option for me! That’s my whole point in starting this blog is that I truly hope I can inspire and help others to eat healthy, to take care of themselves, and get well! In the beginning it is hard to find the energy but after a while you will start feeling better and it won’t be as challenging. Your diagnosis doesn’t have to be a life sentence, it doesn’t have to be the end. It is merely a marker and a tool used to tell you what’s going on in your body and how to fix it!

“Hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something. – Neil Gaiman

Paleo Spoonie – My Journey

Thank you for joining me! For years I have been toying with the idea of starting a blog so what better way to kick off 2019 than to get down to business and set up a blog and write my very first ever blog post! Let me start by introducing myself, I’m a 40 year old woman trying to balance life, full time employment, and autoimmune disease. You may be asking yourself “What is a ‘spoonie’?” Let me give you the quick run down. The founder of the website ButYouDontLookSick.com, Christine Miserandino a Lupus warrior, came up with the spoon theory to explain to her friend what living with chronic fatigue from invisible chronic illness and autoimmune disease was like. She basically explained that a normal person in good health might start the day with 20 spoons, while someone with an invisible illness might only start their day with 10 spoons. It takes more spoons(energy) to do simple tasks like washing our hair or driving to the grocery store or an appointment than someone with good health, therefore depleting our already small energy reserve quicker. Because of the less available energy, we have to chose how we spend our spoons and on what and whom we spend them on! Yesterday for example, I used my spoons on credit which was due today apparently. It’s been a rough one but I’m doing all I can to stay positive and stay busy and destract myself for the rest of my shift until I can make it home and crash out for the night.

https://youtu.be/jn5IBsm49Rk

The Spoon Theory Explained

So what’s my “why”? Years ago before I had any real diagnosis’s yet, a nutritionist friend suggested I stop eating grains, gluten, dairy, processed foods, sugar, nuts, and mushrooms for a month and do not cheat! I did this for 2 and a half months and all of my symptoms went away. I had chronic fatigue, it was gone! Urgency, nocturia, and constant painful bladder/UTI symptoms, gone! Brain fog, gone! Dizziness, gone! Endometriosis symptoms were not completely gone but significantly improved. My mood was significantly more stable as well and my horrible insomnia that I’ve lived with almost all of my adult life was gone! I had trouble maintaining the diet and fell off the wagon and my symptoms returned.

8 years and 3 autoimmune diagnosis’s later, I still struggle to stay on my diet and let go of other bad habits that hinder my healing and my health….that was up until a few weeks ago anyway. I was finally able to get in with my old rheumatologist and discuss the worsening fatigue and unprompted weight loss and neuropathy. She immediately ordered tests and scheduled a follow up in 3 weeks. Well, one of the tests came back positive for a protein that is apparently only found in patients that’s have Rheumatoid Arthritis or Psoriatic Arthritis (14.3.3 ETA Protein). A friend suggested I not over-react until I see the doctor and she gives me an official diagnosis even though the information from the lab told me what it meant and every medical document says that that specific protein is a marker for RA or PSA and as from what I can see I don’t have psoriasis. The doctor did have the nurse call me and tell me about the test results and said we would discuss it at my upcoming visit. The nurse can’t give me a definitive yes or no of course but the tone of her voice was enough. Anyway, my follow up is next week and I am absolutely terrified. Living with Endometriosis, Hashimotos, and Interstitial Cystitis are already an epic pain in the ars, an inconvenience and sometimes are downright disabling in their own right, and the Sjogrens Syndrome was already scary enough but now Rheumatoid Arthritis too?!?! Most people don’t realize that some of these more common, severe systemic rheumatatic diseases aren’t just body aches, fatigue and sore joints but they come with a high risk of lung disease, increased lymphoma risks, and a whole host of secondary diseases and diagnosis’s. I’m just done with this being sick nonsense! This is too much, too expensive, and too scary! There is no longer room in my life for cheating on my diet or smoking the occasional cigarette or negativity. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them I’ve put myself in remission before through diet alone but I am here to prove them wrong! My closest and oldest friends can attest that I have done it and my health is significantly improved when I am consistent with my diet. I am consistent now but even the gluten free – dairy free pizza I ate last week had enough sugar and yeast to send my body into a flare. So yeah I’m very good about my diet but for me the trick is consistency and staying away from sugars and starches and keeping it as close to AIP(Autoimune Paleo) & Mold & Yeast free as possible. This knowledge came from years of research, labs & tests from functional medicine doctors, and good ol’ trial and error. A friend asked me today how I do it(stick to such a strict diet) and I told her, “It’s my only option. If I eat junk food I’m a constant basket case, have migraines, and I’m too weak to get out of bed.” My life, my friends, my family, my boyfriend, and my stupid cats(I love my cats),
these are all far too important to me to chose food over living! Plus, I have to be able to work to support myself so I have to learn to be well, to be functional. I have too many “why’s” to give up trying! I didn’t choose to have autoimmune disease and food allergies but what I can choose is my response to it! I choose to never stop reaching for remission. I choose to stay positive. I choose to stay hopeful and to never stop learning!

I think of how many people there are like me living with autoimmune disease trying to work, trying to be a mom or a dad, a friend, a sibling, a girlfriend/boyfriend, or wife or husband whatever!!! This is no way to live and I want to do all I can to help teach and encourage others that there are options! Remission isn’t and doesn’t have to be a fantasy. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. I’m going to do all I can to avoid chemo and immunosuppressant drugs! Yes I know one day I might have to take strong medications if the RA and sjogrens get dangerous but I’m going to do everything in my power to heal and not let it progress that far. I invite you on my journey and we can learn to heal, learn to stay positive, learn to take care of our bodies. I’ve been doing the paleo thing off and on for about 10 years. I’ve learned alot of tricks to save time and money in the kitchen since getting sick has cut my income and energy in half. I have so much knowledge, its shameful for me to keep it all to myself so I will be sharing recipes and time and energy saving tips as much as I can. I’m not turning back this year until I reach remission and it would be amazing if I could bring others with me on my journey and they could find remission as well. I know it’s not an easy feat but if enough people encourage each other and give testimony that remission is reality, it seems that much more achievable for others that are struggling and looking for hope! I’ll get through this and so will you. Thank you for reading!

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