There’s nothing like starting your day at o’dark early by opening the garage door, getting in your car, and, as you start to fumble with your phone to take a peek at your favorite weather app, hear your teenage daughter say, “Ummm . . . why is there a taxi in our driveway?”

Because it was o’dark early, and because I, once again, had awoken with a migraine brewing, what I heard was, “Ummm . . . why is there . . . uhhh . . . Taxi in our driveway?”


“Taxi is in our driveway???” I thought, as pictures of goofy, happy Irish Setter running excitedly back and forth behind my car, hoping I would get out to greet him, flashed in my mind.  “But he died over 30 years ago.  This makes no sense.  No sense at all.”  Then I saw the headlights of the car parked directly behind me, blocking my way out of the garage.

Sure.  A taxi in the driveway makes much more sense than Taxi in the driveway.  When I was 14 years old, and Taxi, the most ridiculous dog ever to run the face of the earth, died, I prayed for quite some time that God would give me a sign that he was okay and truly was in a better place.  In church, we talk all the time about what happens to people after they die, but nobody really mentions dogs.  They also don’t talk about cats, and we had a cat who died when I was 10.  I was sure he was going to hell.  He used to pick fights with neighborhood dogs and lie under trees with nesting mamma birds just to ruffle their feathers.  He would sit in the hallway of our home and dare our Irish Setters, who were terrified of him, to pass.  He bit me once, but only once, and we got along really well all of the rest of the time.  He would eat catnip my mother had planted and lie, completely stoned, in the front yard.  My ten-year-old self was so afraid he was going to hell.

I never thought Taxi, the ridiculous dog whom we loved ridiculously,  was going to hell, and by 14 I figured that cat wasn’t, either, but I also wasn’t sure dogs could go to heaven.  So I would pray that God would let me know he was okay.  Specifically, I would pray that I could look out and see him, his spirit, running one last time.  That never happened, of course.  I never saw him that one last time, but when my fourteen-year-old daughter muttered in a mystified tone about a taxi in our driveway at o’dark early on another migraine addled morning, I was suddenly 14 again, and I thought, for the briefest portion of a second, that Taxi was running happy circles behind my car in the dark and the rain.  How much happier would those circles be once he found out we have horses he could run with?

But, yes, a taxi in the driveway made much more sense than Taxi in the driveway.  Except?  I hadn’t called for one.  Currently, we have more cars than drivers, so why would I?  Though the fact that we even have a taxi service or two in this country town isn’t new to me, I still find it mystifying, which just added to my shock that one of their cars was sitting behind me, headlights shining into my blocked car.

Without getting out of my car, I closed the garage door.

Probably a normal person (is there such a thing anymore) would have walked out in the dark and the rain to ask the taxi driver why he was here and explain to him that nobody at this location needed a taxi, but I, once upon a time, lived in a high-crime-rate city for a little too long, and my current house sits a bit far back from the road, and it was dark.  If having lived through crime isn’t enough to justify my overly-cautious behavior, then we’ll chalk it up to the horror movies I watched as a teenager.  I’m not a virgin at this point, so my chances of being stabbed by a homicidal cab driver are way higher than they were back then.  Whatever.

I went in the house, figuring the cab driver would eventually come to the door, which would cause a whole lot of dog barking (Wulfric, much like the first dog we ever had, has a wonderfully large bark that belies his current actual size), and I would holler through the unopened door that he was at the wrong house.  After waiting for what seemed suspiciously too long, I watched the taxi go slowly down my driveway, then down the street, down the hill, and out of sight.

Crisis averted.  Nobody was stabbed by a bored, homicidal, country cab driver.  No boys were awoken by doorbell ringing and dog barking.  No ghostly Irish Setters were running happy circles on my rain-soaked driveway, though that wouldn’t have been a crisis, really.  The adrenaline rush seemed to speed up and heighten the effects of the caffeinated Tylenol I took for the migraine, which was helpful, because I got back in the car and life went on.


I Can Blog Again!

Not like I couldn’t blog before.  I mean, technically, for the past few weeks I couldn’t blog very easily because my laptop went toes up.  But all of the months and months before that?  I just wasn’t finding the time.

I’m not sure exactly what I was so busy doing, other than, you know, spending unhealthy amounts of time on Pinterest and spray painting all kinds of crap because, “Look!  Somebody pinned a picture of spray painted crap and it looks so pretty!”

On the upside, I started frequenting our local Good Will to find the requisite crap, and I discovered that our local Good Will frequently has brand new, tags-still-on clothing.  Actually, a couple of weeks ago, I found a not-brand-new-but-in-excellent-condition, metallic bronze, dressy, leather jacket.  For nine-ish dollars.  In my size.  I so bought it.  And then I wore it to church and got a fragillion compliments and, of course, verbally vomited to anyone who admired it that, “Oh my gosh!  I got it at Good Will for $9.99!  Can you believe that?”  Because, yeah, I’m classy that way.

Anyway, I’m saving money by buying crap to spray paint.  That’s what I keep telling the husband, anyway.


Now I remember why I don’t blog any more.  I thought I had a few quiet minutes just now to write something mildly worthwhile and then *BAM*!  My two oldest daughters came into the room where I am because they wanted me to settle an argument about whether or not spikes can be made out of wood or if they are always made of metal.  True story.  They are still debating.

Personally, I think sharp pointy things made out of wood are stakes, not spikes (according to A~, agrees with me, thereby proving her contention that spikes are always metal).  L~ does not agree.  I am afraid to ask how this argument even started and feel the sudden need to lock my bedroom door at night.


So now that I have a new laptop (AGAIN!) (this one had better last longer than two years like the previous two laptops) (one of which was supposedly top of the line, and one of which wasn’t) I have all kinds of plans.  To wit:  I want to start blogging here again, at least for the winter months when I can’t easily spray paint crap; I want to start working on a novel I’ve been working on in my head for a long time – not in a NaNoWriMo kind of sprint, but in a real “I’m an actual writer” kind of way; the kids and I want to start a new blog all about our new (fourth) dog.

First:  don’t ask me about my novel yet.  That will just freak me out.  I’ve had a bunch of book ideas over the years that I’ve never done anything with, but this one . . . this one is sticking with me.  I know my track record.  I don’t deserve anyone’s interest.  Yet.  Until I get deep into it, I’m just a stay-at-home mom wannabe.

Second:  yes, we got a fourth dog because we are obviously beyond-belief bonkers.  We’re starting a blog for him so that his previous family can keep up on his adventures while they serve a church mission in Guam.  Plus?  He’s great to photograph and has a lot of personality.  It will be fun to write from his perspective.   Oh, yes!  The dog will be “writing” the blog.  It isn’t up and running yet.  Not. At. All.  But should you decide you just can’t not follow a blog about a shorkie who will undoubtedly encounter Blue Barb at some point, add to your Google Reader account.  Or, you know, whatever reader it is you use.

Okie dokie.  Aside from all of that, I’ve been out of the blogging world for so long that I don’t even know what else to say.  I do need to catch up on all the blogs I haven’t read for months and months (that would be *cough* *cough* pretty much everybody’s), so be, like, SUPER patient with me if I don’t comment on your blog until sometime around November. 

Of 2014.

Oooo!  Ooo!  Ooo!  Oooooo!  It’s been, I think, six months or so since my last migraine!  The Dr. told me to toy with my estrogen dosage to see if that helped.  He thought I needed more than he had me on.  I thought I needed less, as in none.  After months of “toying” I just quit using it, and *poof* the migraines went away.  So the progesterone was helping, but not enough to always overcome the estrogen that two separate doctors thought I needed.  Moral of the story:  work with your Dr. but listen to your gut.

Sorry, just seemed like an important update (you know, in case I don’t get back here for a while).

Tewt the Newt hopes to “see” you all again.

Before 2014.

Almost Two Months Without a Migraine, and Then Today Hit


Pain-wise, it isn’t the worst migraine ever.  I’m typing, after all, not sitting on the kitchen floor wrapped around a mega pack of Charmin.  But still, the hung-over feeling (I am assuming, of course, that this is what a hang-over feels like), the inability to process thoughts and pick the right words out of my brain, the pain (relatively mild though it is), the overwhelming desire to just sleep all day, the mild desire to puke, it all sucks.

And I have not cheated on my diet.  Well, unless you count the coconut oil I put on my popcorn, when I have popcorn.  Because coconut and popcorn?  Are not on the same day.  But I never eat coconut anything on the day I CAN, so I figure it should be ok to use on one other of my four rotation days.


My main theory at this point is that the lovely, migraine-free life that I had been enjoying had to do with a combination of three things:  bio-identical hormones, the diet, and at least two miles a day on the treadmill five days a week (I don’t run much, I walk).  For the past three or so weeks I’ve been lucky to get in two days on the treadmill.  So I think it’s the lack of exercise.  Or maybe it’s because the diet was going so well I thought I could cut back on my hormones a bit (though I did hike them back up a few days ago because I could feel that I needed them, but maybe it was too late to stop this from coming).  Maybe it was a combination of the lack of exercise and lack of hormones.


I’m pressing on.  I’m staying with the diet.  I’m also getting back on the treadmill (it’s actually pretty much the only thing I accomplished today before I collapsed in a chair and spent way too much time just staring at Facebook, waiting for new status updates to appear) (oh yes, very lame) (I could have been catching up on blog reading, except my brain couldn’t process that many words at once).

So now my family is playing Apples to Apples on the floor while I sit here typing every word 17 times in order to get them spelled correctly (I can’t sit close enough to Apples to Apples to participate, or my head might explode).  Seriously, you should see some of the craziness coming out of my fingers.  Maybe, if this happens again, I won’t fix anything so you can see what a migraine looks like (in case you’ve never had one).

At any rate, this is very disappointing to me.  I really thought I was going to be able to say, “Hey, TWO MONTHS!!!  Yay for me and yay for my ALCAT diet!!”


But now I’m two pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight, which puts me only seven pounds over my wedding weight and five pounds over my all-through-high-school weight.  So?  Yay for me and yay for my ALCAT diet on that count anyway.

And?  I bought skinny jeans the other day.  They actually don’t look half bad on me, though they do reaffirm what I have long known: my calves are at least one size bigger than the rest of my body.  I have the wrists of a ballerina and the calves of a lumberjack.  And the gut of a woman who has birthed three children and done about 15 crunches since then.  I could be a Dr. Seuss character, but all the bright colors would hurt.

The good thing about the lumberjack calves is that they give my mid-rise skinny jeans staying power.  You know how mid-rise jeans with spandex tend to slouch down and just become low-rise jeans?  And the crotch hangs unattractively down to your knees unless you constantly are hiking them back up like a plumber?  And your I’ve-birthed-three-children gut hangs over the waistband that is supposed to be covering it, at least partially?  The lumberjack calves make the lower part of the skinny jeans so snug that no part of them can slide downward. 

Now I find myself wondering if the snugness of the jeans has the same effect as compression stockings.  Because, if so, skinny jeans really are for old people like me.  Not that I need compression stockings.  Not that I know of, anyway.  But the oldness, you know, it encroaches more and more every day.

Tewt the Newt would like me to shut up now.  The rambling is annoying him.

Epiphany Update:  Meaning I HAD an epiphany!  The other day I made sushi and added sushi vinegar (the ingredients looked fairly safe and within the parameters of the diet, mostly) and after eating it my mouth felt raw.  I mean, RAW.  So maybe that sushi vinegar is part of my problem today.  I did cheat.  It was a small cheat (an unknown type of sugar in the vinegar on a day when I could have beet sugar), but I felt the effect it was having on my mouth and I ate it anyway — a lot of it.  And honestly?  I don’t even know about vinegar in general — it wasn’t mentioned one way or the other on the test results.  Hmmm . . .

More Big Bad Wolves of Food Labels

But first?  Somebody posted this on Facebook this morning:

India foxtrot Yankee Oscar uniform charlie alpha November uniform November delta echo romeo sierra tango alpha November delta tango hotel India sierra charlie Oscar papa Yankee alpha November delta papa alpha sierra tango echo tango Oscar Yankee Oscar uniform romeo sierra tango alpha tango uniform sierra (IN HONOR of our military WHEREVER they may be) – let’s see who gets it and follows the instructions.

And I just thought, “Wookie Hagrid Yeti?”

Whatever.  On to the topic of today . . .

*Oh, you have no idea how sorely tempted I am to blog about something else I saw on Facebook recently, but I’m refraining.  Let’s just say some people apparently need to have a few real problems in their lives to help put things in perspective, know what I mean?  (And no, in case you are wondering, it doesn’t involve anyone that anyone knows through blogging; also, because I’m sure somebody will take it personally if I don’t specify this, it doesn’t involve anyone in my family, extended, immediate, in-law, or otherwise) (and now somebody is bound to take that personally).*

Anyway, seriously, on to the topic of the day (Please remember, these are just copies of notes I made to aid me as I taught the class, so it’s not, nor was it intended to be, stellar or engaging writing by any means):


MSG and Other Glutamate Excitotoxins

Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. In unnatural levels it is toxic.

Information from Dr. Russell Blaylock – 26 years practicing neurosurgery as well as running a nutritional practice, now devotes his full attention to nutritional studies and research.

Excitotoxins are a special group of amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins that we call glutamate, aspartate*, and cysteine. These excitoxins are added to food to improve the flavor. When neurons become exposed to these substances they become excited and fire very rapidly until they become extremely exhausted and die. There are glutamate receptors throughout the body. Some of these excitotoxins are hidden by the names:

MSG (monosodium glutamate)
hydrolyzed vegetable protein
autolyzed yeast extract
beef or chicken broth
natural flavoring
soy protein
soy isolates
soy protein concentrates
hydrolyzed protein
vegetable protein extract
textured vegetable protein

Excitotoxin additives can be called whatever the food manufacturers want to call them as long as the glutamate content is less than 99% pure.

“It is very difficult to find a processed food that does not contain [glutamates]”.

There are connections between excess glutamates and obesity, diabetes, cancer, endocrine problems, and macular degeneration. Glutamates damage the brain. They are toxic at the cellular level and cause breaks in your DNA.

The toxicity is cumulative. Your body does not quickly process it out.

*Excess levels of aspartate in your body are converted to glutamate.


Nitrates and Nitrites

Nitrates and nitrites are used to preserve foods, especially meats like bacon, hot dogs, and lunch meats. They preserve the flavor of the meat and give it a more appealing color. They are also used in fertilizers and cosmetics (things you put on your skin can and will be absorbed into your blood stream!)

Some scientists (Suzanne de la Monte, MD, MPH et. al. of Rhode Island Hospital) have found a strong link between increasing levels of nitrates and nitrites in our food supply and increasing death rates from Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease.

Nitrate itself isn’t apparently toxic, except that it converts into nitrite in your body. Via the cooking process (heat) and/or combination with certain stomach juices, the nitrites convert into nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic (cancer causing) and can alter gene expression and cause DNA damage.


Trans Fat

Trans fats are artificial fats made when hydrogen reacts with oil. They are used to prolong the shelf life of processed foods.

While many fats raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol, trans fats both raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL (good) cholesterol.

Think of bacon grease clogging your sink pipes. Because the hydrogenation process thickens the fats, that is what they are doing to your arteries. Blech.

High LDL and low HDL combined increase your risk of heart disease.

Nutritional labels can say “0 trans fats” as long as there is less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. However, if you eat more than one serving, that can add up quickly to exceed recommended limits (which are highly debated as it is, but the American Heart Association recommends no more than 1% of daily caloric intake from trans fats).

You know you are eating trans fats if the label says:

Hydrogenated oil
Partially hydrogenated oil

“Fully” or “completely” hydrogenated oils actually do NOT contain trans fats.

Trans fats increase triglycerides, increase inflammation, and increase lipoprotein (a type of LDL found in your blood).

The human body doesn’t have any need for trans fats.

***End of Notes***

So now I’m reading that book about hidden food allergies by the purveyors of the ALCAT test (the title is something like How Your Hidden Food Allergies Are Making You Fat) (I’m too lazy to go get it and double check) and so far I’m pretty much thinking two things:

1.     Also not stellar or engaging writing by any means

2.     Rather repetitive

3.     Everybody should have this test done before they go on any medication for . . . umm . . . almost anything.

While the book itself is reading annoyingly like one looooong infomerical (okay, maybe not quite that bad – there is some science in it that nobody in their right mind would throw into an infomercial), I am really intrigued about the nutritional approach to wellness.  I am especially intrigued because I am experiencing some of the things they specifically talk about in the book.

Remember when I said that, since starting this diet, my cravings are about 99.9% gone?  They harp on that very point over and over in the book:  people who find out what foods are reactive for them, and cut those foods out, lose their cravings.  And can I tell you how much easier it is to keep the big bad wolves out of your diet when you aren’t constantly craving crap?  MUCH EASIER.

They also talk about how people who follow their own personal rotation of non-reactive foods can eat as much of those non-reactive foods as they want and still lose weight.  So true!  I’m experiencing that.  I eat as much as I want (which, granted, is less than I used to eat since I don’t have the wild blood sugar swings or cravings) and I’m still losing weight.  Awesomeness.

Then there is the whole “I haven’t had a migraine in almost two months” thing, and the fact that I am able to cut back on my bio-identicals.  Good things.

By no means does the book claim that adhering to a rotation diet as prescribed by one’s personal ALCAT test results will cure anything and everything.  However it does claim that there are studies and anecdotal evidence to support the idea that it can help with things such as autoimmune diseases, infertility, migraines (umm, yes!), eczema, irritable bowel, asthma, ADD, and (as if the title isn’t warning enough about how much they beat this drum) obesity.

If you think this sounds like something you might want to look into doing for yourself, I have just two cautionary statements:

1.     Good luck finding a doctor who will do it!  They are out there, but generally not easy to find.

2.     Good luck getting your insurance to pay for even part of it.  Seriously.

Now, one LAST thing:  meatless tacos.

I can’t eat them (or any other type of tacos) because I can’t eat corn and rice on the same day.  I also can’t eat a bunch of the ingredients in the taco seasoning (and I really need to find a healthier brand of that).  BUT!  My family ate them with no complaints.  AND?  They are very easy.  Just cook brown rice (however much you need for your family) according to the directions on the package, EXCEPT add taco seasoning to the water and whisk it around a bit so you don’t get big clumps BEFORE the rice goes in.  Because brown rice is a whole grain, if you serve it with some type of bean you will have a complete protein without meat.  So?  Easy and cheap! 

I’m not a vegetarian, I’m not going to become a vegetarian, but I am all for consuming less meat.  So if you have any ideas/suggestions on how to do that (without resorting to pre-packaged, processed meat-like products) (I’m really trying to go for whole, unprocessed food ideas here), I’d love to hear them!

And so would Tewt the Newt.

For All Three People Who Care: An Update on Migraines, Hormones, and My Really Limited Diet

In my spare moments I have been slowly re-reading Gone With the Wind for my book club.  But once I am finished with it?  Next up is Your Hidden Food Allergies are Making You Fat by Rudy Rivera, M.D. and Roger Davis Deutsch (you can find it cheap on

I am particularly interested in this book because it is written by the makers of the ALCAT test – you know, that test that said I have food sensitivities out the wazoo and told me there are more things I can’t eat than things I can, and then divided those things I can eat into a four-day rotation.  Yeah, that one.

So I’ve been on that diet very strictly since we came back from Florida in mid February and this is what I have to say about it so far:

1. That stuff about me not being able to eat beef but being able to eat veal?  Must. be. a. typo.  I ate veal once, and I felt awful afterwards.  I mean, besides the awfulness of the guilt over eating a baby (I also ate lamb once – I now know what guilt tastes like), I just felt bloated and . . . icky.  You really don’t want me to go there in detail.

2. As of this morning, I have lost 12 pounds.  I now weigh 2 pounds less than I did pre any pregnancy.  This means I am 8 pounds over my wedding weight and 6 pounds over the weight I was all four years of high school.  Of course, while the numbers are great and make me want to party (actually, not – we’ve had enough parties lately), the grim reality is that I have birthed three children and grown old (don’t tell me that 40 is the new 20), so everything is still redistributed in a much more dough-like and dimply fashion.  But I’m not complaining!  Much.

3. I almost never crave anything anymore, and when I do?  I am usually craving something I am allowed to eat, just not on that particular day.  Like yesterday?  I really wanted grapes.  Yesterday was not grape day.  Luckily, today is.  But the sugar cravings and the chocolate cravings? 99.9% gone.  Additionally, I’m just not as hungry as I used to be.  I know this is because my blood sugar is no longer wildly swinging up and down like a drunk monkey on a trapeze (which reminds me of a story that a friend told me about a couple she knows who has a “special” swing, but that is really off-topic).

4. I have not had a migraine in over a month.  This is a HUGE milestone, since I always get at least one a month (and sometimes more).  But last month, when I would normally be asking my children to stop breathing so loudly?  I got nothing.  Not even a hint of any kind of a headache even trying to start.  Just. nothing.  I think this is partly due to the diet and partly due to the fact that I tweaked my hormones in a completely different way (which reminds me, I still need to call my Dr. and let him know what I did).  Whatever it was, it was amazing.

Like I said in an earlier post, I’ve read about the ALCAT test from the perspective of both supporters and naysayers, so, though I really was excited to do it, I was still a bit skeptical.  I’m becoming less so.  I know you’re thinking, “But once the six months is up and you stop the diet, you’ll gain the weight right back, and the headaches will come back!”  And?  You’d be right.  Except I don’t think I’m going to go off the diet after six months.  I think I may modify it – shake up the rotation a bit, have a monthly “treat” (that doesn’t involve peanuts, vanilla, oysters, or lima beans) – but I don’t want to ever go back to eating like I did before, even though that seemed restrictive at the time.

A week or so ago I was sitting in front of the t.v. while making a bunch of tissue paper flowers.  I honestly never watch Oprah (I swear, I’ve blogged about it every time, so you all know how often that is), but Oprah was on (probably a rerun) and her whole staff was doing some week-long vegan challenge.  At the end, there was one guy talking about how he’ll probably never go back to eating meat because he lost 12 pounds that week.  I immediately thought, “Well, you probably have a beef sensitivity.  Or chicken.  Or whatever meat you eat frequently.”  While other people on her staff lost weight, nobody lost that much.  This was yet another confirmation of something I realized 10 years ago:  everybody’s body is different.  We all need the same basic nutrients, but we all process and react to different foods differently.  That is why every time you turn around some television show or magazine article or internet link is telling you about a NEW, AMAZING diet.  Some diets are amazing for some people, and others are amazing for other people.  And in case you were wondering?  Deep fried Twinkies are amazing for nobody.  But for now?  I feel like I’ve discovered what is amazing for me, so I’ll stick with it.

Okay, on top of all that, I was asked to teach a class at a church activity last month about the importance of reading nutritional labels.  I thought all three of you might be interested in some of what I found as I prepared for that, so I’m going to copy and past part of my notes here.  I’ll copy and paste the rest of them in a different blog post since this one is getting so long already.  The theme of the evening was The Three Little Piggies.  My class was This Little Piggy Went to Market, so I focused on some of the Big Bad Wolves found in our food.  First up?  High fructose corn syrup.  Good grief, people, I hope you don’t believe those stupid ads about eating it in moderation.  You have to work hard and be very diligent to only eat that garbage in moderation.  Anyway, my notes:

High Fructose Corn Syrup


High fructose corn syrup is commercially produced. It starts as corn syrup, a liquid sweetener extracted from corn, and is then chemically altered by enzymatic processes to create a different balance of monosaccharides (simple sugars) that that found in ordinary corn syrup. IT IS NOT NATURAL!

In laboratory tests, HFCS has led to weight gain, abnormal increases in body fat (more so than from a high fat diet), especially in the abdomen, and a rise in triglycerides (circulating blood fats). The laboratory subjects who were give sucrose (sugar) rather than HFCS did not experience these results.

Excess fructose is metabolized to produce fat, while glucose (sucrose) is largely processed for energy, or stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles.

Fructose molecules in HFCS are free and unbound, ready for absorption. Every fructose molecule in sucrose (sugar) is bound to a corresponding glucose molecule and must go through an extra metabolic step before it can be utilized. CONTRARY TO WHAT THE COMMERICALS SAY, IT IS NOT JUST LIKE SUGAR. YOUR BODY PROCESSES, ABSORBS, AND STORES IT DIFFERENTLY.

HFCS was introduced into the American food supply about 40 years ago. Since then, obesity rates have gone from about 15% of all Americans to about 33% of all Americans.

Google A Sweet Problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain.

That’s the end of my notes, but seriously?  Read that study.  I know it was done with rats and not humans, but still.  And if you’re as old as I am, you don’t need those statistics because you can remember.  By no means am I saying that HFC is solely responsible for all of our societal health woes, but I do believe there is good evidence to support that it is heavily responsible for many of them.  Next time I’ll share my notes on trans fats, glutamates, and nitrates and nitrites. 

I know, all three of you, along with Tewt the Newt, are swooning with anticipation.

The Proof Is In The Pudding, Which I Can’t Eat

First, let me just say I’m not looking for pity.  My life, like anyone else’s, has had it’s ups and downs.  And really?  Overall?  I can’t complain.

I mean, sure, 2008 and 2009 were really, really sucky years.  2005 was also pretty stressful, and a lot of it spilled over into 2006.  Not a whole lot of good came out of 1994, and I wasn’t thrilled with 1995 that much either (though I did start dating my husband then, so it wasn’t all bad).  The second half of 1991 wasn’t great, and now that I’m really thinking about it, 1988 was rather miserable, and 1983 was a year I wish I could have skipped.  But other than that?  I really don’t have much to complain about.

And as far as my food sensitivities go?  This is obviously not the worst thing that could happen to anyone, so I’m not walking around all “Woe is me!  Woe is me!”

However, while knowing that a million worse things could be wrong makes it all less traumatic (because, really, it’s not traumatic), it doesn’t make it less frustrating.

So forgive me if I whine for just a minute.

I got my Official Packet from the lab.  Here are my test results (you can skip them if you don’t really care and go straight to the last paragraph or two where I talk about going to Orlando in a week):


test results

Yeah, I’m going to miss those lima beans.  NOT.

At first it didn’t seem all that bad to me.  I mean, I’ve been cutting foods out for a long time now, so what’s the big deal, right?

But then I also got the rotation part of the diet:

Rotation Diet

Look at the foods I can have on day one (I just rotate through this four-day cycle for about 6 months).  Let’s just focus on day one for a minute.  How many different recipes can you come up with using only day one foods.  Harrumph.  Last night?  I found one.  I found one, and I had to omit at least half the ingredients in it, and then?  Then I realized it called for olive oil, and olives are a day four food.  That’s when I went through each day and jotted down the oils I’ll be able to use.

Now, if I had to live off of all the ingredients listed in all four days and I could mix and match them as I see fit, I would have no problem, NO problem, with this.  But not being able to mix and match them?  Holy hell.

And I’m still not convinced that I can eat soy.  I need to do some investigating to see what other common denominators are in soy products.  I think I figured out the cashew problem, however.  The next time you’re looking at nuts (minds out of the gutter people), pick up a can or bag of cashews and look at the ingredients:  cashews, peanut oil.  Seriously.  So I need to find raw cashews and see how that works.

Anyway, I also was reading the ingredients in my multivitamin and realized I’m going to have to stop taking it because it has plant based ingredients like carrot and raspberry and other things that I’m not supposed to ingest on a daily basis.  I’m also going to have to quite my fish oil supplements because, no matter what fish they’re made out of, I can’t have any of them every day.  Maybe I’ll switch to krill oil?  I realize having anything everyday kind of defeats the purpose of the rotation concept, but since they didn’t test for krill and I’m not going to be eating it at all . . .


Anyway, in case you have nothing else going on in your life (riiiight), feel free to take on the challenge of developing or finding a recipe for me for one or more of those days.  I know I’ll come up with something for every day, but my fear is that I won’t be able to come up with more than one or two things for each day and it will all be . . . boring.  And nutritionally unbalanced.

Now for the fun stuff:  6 DAYS!  We leave for Orlando in six days!  Alas, as much as I’d like to stay there for a month, we are not made out of money and will only be there for a week.  So, as we sit here on day 6 of the countdown, I have:  three kids with a head cold, one puking, one with a headache and low-grade fever, and one with a chronic cough.  Yeah, that adds up to six, which means one of them has more than one thing going on.  Our hope is that they will all be better by the weekend.  Our plan is to go even if they aren’t.  They insist that we go even if they aren’t.  So then our hope is that we parental units don’t come down with it all the day before we are supposed to leave. 

Would it be inappropriate to just ask all my kids to lick my face right now?  Right now so that I can get it and be on the mend before we leave?

Tewt the Newt is looking for a healing spell.

No, I Do Not Have a Fax

So this morning I had a follow up, telephone appointment with my new wellness doc.  The purpose of this appointment was to go over my food sensitivity test results.

For the past two weeks I have been a bit worried that he would call with the results and say, “You hypochondriac.  You don’t have any food sensitivities.”  Not because I am a hypochondriac, mind you; just because it would be my luck that the test results would come back that way.  Who?  Me?  Paranoid that the world conspires against me?  What?

Instead he told me, “I do this testing on people, and it isn’t uncommon to find two or three problem foods, but you . . . do you have a fax?”

For the love, people.  Ayn Rand has written novels shorter than the list of foods I am going to have to avoid for at least six months.

I hyperbolize, obviously.

Hyperbole aside, however, I am reportedly mildly to severely intolerant of 45 foods and 8 different chemicals commonly found in pre-packaged foods.


I won’t bore you with the whole list of everything, but here are some of the highlights:

I am severely intolerant of peanuts.  Umm . . . WAHOO!  Nice to be vindicated, especially with peanuts since they are the very first thing I ever pinpointed as a migraine trigger.  I am also severely intolerant of vanilla.  Who knew?  So maybe my wheat issues have been more vanilla issues?  Because baking cookies and muffins almost always requires vanilla.

Or maybe it wasn’t the wheat but the combination of vanilla and blueberries in the muffins?  Because I am supposedly mildly intolerant of blueberries.  *sob*

But I’m sobbing too soon.  I haven’t even told you yet:  according to this testing I am strongly intolerant (comes between severely and mildly) of cocoa.  *SOB*

But back to the wheat for a moment.  According to these results, I CAN eat wheat, but I need to avoid gluten.  Hmm . . . How’s that work, exactly?

And?  Beet sugar is on my green list, but cane sugar is on my mildly intolerant list.  Anybody but me ever notice that on ingredient labels it just says, “sugar”?  Maybe I should start a campaign to require food manufacturers to tell what kind of sugar is in their products.  Of course, if I’m going to be pushing for more government regulation of stuff, I guess I’d better become a democrat.

Who knew that food sensitivities could make one change political parties?  Not I, that’s for sure.

Let’s see . . . ahh, yes.  Cow’s milk is also on my highly intolerant list (I know what my liberal friends are thinking: “Damn conservative.  You’re a conservative, of course your highly intolerant of all kinds of crap.”), so I’m vindicated again after years of not eating dairy because of the migraines.  I shall be trying more goat milk products, however, since goat milk is on my list of a-okay things.

Now, here are some head-scratchers for me.  After I quit eating all things peanut related, a friend got me a jar of cashew butter.  After eating it a few times, I got a migraine.  So I quickly dumped the cashews and avoided all nuts after that.  I know that peanuts and cashews are legumes, actually, not nuts, but still . . . I’ve just avoided nuts.  Anyway, there are all kids of peas and beans (legumes) on my severe and high intolerance lists, but cashews?  They are on my green-means-go list.

Really?  Okey-dokey.

And then there is the soy issue.  Good grief!  For a while I was eating soy cheeses, soy milk, soy “meats”, and the headaches!  Oh, the headaches!  So I cut the soy out and they were gone.  Just gone.  Until, you know, they started coming back.  But????  Soy is also on my green list.

So very confused by that one, unless there is some common factor in soy products other than soy that was causing the migraines.  Who knows?  Not I, that’s for sure.

Giving up the lima beans (severe), chick peas (strong), kidney beans (strong), and lentils (strong) isn’t going to be a big deal.  But the turkey and white potatoes (both strong)?  Really?  And black pepper, carrots, raspberries and sunflower butter (all mild)???   If I can’t eat peanut butter and I can’t eat sunflower butter, what’s left????

Ahh . . . almond butter.  Supposedly I can eat almonds as well.

But who the frap can’t eat black pepper? Sheesh.

Oh, and let’s not forget my years of not eating eggs due to the migraines.  According to the test I am only mildly sensitive to egg whites, and not at all sensitive to egg yolks.  Interesting.  So maybe it was the combination of egg and milk in the scrambled eggs or pancake batter, or whatever, that was giving me the migraines?  Maybe the milk wasn’t enough to cause them on its own until later, after I’d had another baby and my body had further gone to pot?  I just don’t know.

Part of me wants to experiment with this, but the other part of me thinks, “How does one go about washing all of the egg white off of the egg yolk; and really, how appetizing does all yolk scrambled eggs sound?

Hmm . . . at the moment, actually, not too bad.  And?  I could make them with rice milk because, THANK  YOU!, I can eat rice.  And corn.  And buckwheat.  But seriously, have you ever tried to make anything with buckwheat.  I guess it is an acquired taste or something.

And I still don’t know how one would make sure there were no white remnants left on the  yellow.

I’m not going to stress about all of this too much right now, though.  I am waiting for the lab that did the testing to mail me The Packet, which will contain a (hopefully better) copy of the test results and an apparently detailed rotation diet.  Once that gets here, well, then mealtimes will become an adventure, I guess.

But I refuse to go whole hog on this thing before we go to Florida next month.  ‘Cause daggonit!  I am going to drink some butter beer in The Three Broomsticks.

Thank you to everyone for all of the book suggestions and other comments on my last post.  I was going to write a post in which I replied individually to each of the comments, but it just hasn’t happened.  So, off the top of my head:  I have read The Hunger Games series (LOVED it); I’ve only read the first Stephanie Plum book (why?  why didn’t I ever read the rest of them???) so thank you for reminding me of those . . . ; umm, I don’t think I’ve read anything else that anybody suggested (but I don’t exactly remember what everyone suggested, though I will be going back and making a list); and, last but not least, how very, very Orwellian of you. Smile

Tewt the Newt is off to bed.  Maybe tomorrow will be Catch Up on Blog Reading Day.  I think it should be a holiday with cake and everything, don’t you?  Not that I could eat the cake.