Liver detox by going semi-Paleo

Going semi-Paleo

I am excited to say that we are getting somewhere with the naturopath treatments for my stomach and skin. As I mentioned before, the issue seems to primarily be my liver, which has been treated holistically for a little over a month now. There have been flare-ups where I had very little energy and severe breakouts, but I’ve been feeling very normal for the past few weeks and had my third appointment yesterday. My liver readings are much better! In order to flush out possible gallbladder blockages remaining, I am going to do a 2 week liver detox cleanse.

All kinds of fun bodily things will happen at the end of the cleanse — it’s not called a “cleanse” for nothing! But we will ignore that and focus on the middle. I have been told to go off of dairy, all grains, and all sugar again, very similar to when I did my 30 day macrobiotic cleanse. The good thing about this one is that I can have fruit. I love fruit!

The biggest deal to me with this 2 week cleanse is that I am seriously considering the possibility that I might go back to eating meat for that time period.

It’s a big deal because I have been vegetarian since 2003. However, in the last year since learning of my son’s difficulties absorbing nutrients I have had to learn to cook more meat because he can get a lot of proteins through organic meats that he wasn’t able to absorb properly through soy, nuts, or beans. I’ve already written about what an adjustment it’s been to learn to cook meat, but I’m feeling slightly more comfortable with it now.

The fact is, I was “hangry” a good deal of the time when I was on my macrobiotic diet. With this liver cleanse, I will be drinking hemp protein several times a day, so that should help. Still, I think that without grains and dairy I am going to get the queasy feeling I had throughout those entire 30 days because my stomach never felt truly full. I am thinking maybe adding white meat to my diet will help with that.

I do still have moral qualms about meat, since we don’t have easy access to truly ethically treated chicken and pork. We have Whole Foods, but…I think we all know that’s probably the bare minimum of animal treatment accountability aside from the conventional grocery store. I probably just need to suck it up and drive the hour or so and pay half our paycheck for some happy chickens and pigs. I am sure I’ll blog more about that later.

As for now, I think I’ll be starting the cleanse on September 28, which should give me time to do some Paleo-ish meal planning.

Send me your favorite Paleo recipes, cookbooks, and products!

Naturopathic treatment: 1st visit

I’ve blogged before about What a Naturopath Does and my experiences with my son’s treatment for food intolerances. He has seen such great results, I have been very impressed. I’ve also mentioned in past posts that I have ongoing unresolved stomach issues and have been struggling for the last few years with cystic acne that I haven’t been able to solve with natural acne solutions. I even went on a 30 day macrobiotic cleanse, complete with specialized probiotics and saw absolutely no results. Well, I finally saved up enough of my kids yoga money for my first naturopathic treatment! I am so excited!

The first visit is a broad overview, but the main thing that popped up was liver stress.  No idea why, but my liver seems to be having trouble moving things through and toxins are building up. To aid in liver detoxification, one of the things we’re doing to increase my hydration is a salt solé. Check out this video that my naturopath made to explain how to make one:

Another thing we are doing is a castor oil liver compress at night. I might try to blog about this more later.

There were a few very strange things that we found. One was that my body had a very strong NEGATIVE reaction to pretty much all the major strains of probiotics. We are having to drastically decrease my exposure to probiotics in order to halt the stress on my body. There was only one strain that my body did not react to, and I am restricted to one dose every other day. Which is totally the opposite of what most green, crunchy, and holistic folks will tell you to do. I’ve always been told the more probiotics, the better! That probiotics will solve ALL stomach issues! Well, apparently not all. Not mine! (read more about whether you should take probiotic supplements here). Interestingly, this explains why I had such a problem with kombucha after drinking it every day for a period of time. I might not have actually got a bad batch. It might just have been that I overwhelmed my body with too many probiotics when it was already having trouble.

Although she found that food do not seem to be the main stressor, there were a few that registered very high reactions and that I should attempt to avoid. Avoiding these foods is going to be the hardest part of the next few weeks:

Coffee - one of the things my naturopathic treatment found as a stressor to my stomach
Goodbye for now, caffeine!
I love you and will see you again SOON!

caffeine – WHAT?!! I only have one cup of coffee a day. Just one, never more. I do not drink carbonated beverages. But let me tell you, that one cup of coffee is a BIG DEAL. I skipped it this morning and had a headache all day. This is exactly what happened when I quit cold turkey after become pregnant with LS. Which is why I did not go off of coffee when I was pregnant with LS. My fervent prayer is that this one will not be permanent!!

beef – haha, no big deal, I haven’t eaten red meat since 2003 and it is pretty gross to me.

wheat – OK, this is another weird one. My results came out exactly the same as my son’s – neither of us have any negative reaction to gluten, which is what most people react to. Just the actual wheat kernel itself, we can’t break it down. I wasn’t tested for the individual types of wheat but I bet it’s the same as with him — he was fine with white wheat flour but whole wheat was a stressor. Even stranger, I had been taking a digestive enzyme containing a specific enzyme that helps the body digest wheat and my body reacted specifically to the enzyme that was supposed to help digest wheat. What does that even mean?!

spices – strange, since I don’t really use spices. But I was told to specifically avoid black pepper. I accidentally ate Kettle chips today and then realized they are full of pepper. Delicious, delicious pepper.

soy – this one is a blow since I do occasionally eat meat substitutes as a vegetarian, and they contain soy. I make sure it is non-GMO soy. It is particularly difficult to avoid soy in grilling season when I have to bring non-meat substitutes to cookout situations.
The good news is, I had absolutely no issues with dairy. All the butter! All the cheese!!

As I’ve discussed before in our naturopath treatment journey, this first visit usually has the most restrictions. In future visits, some of these foods might be clear and if the liver has improved we can focus on hormones.

Meanwhile, send me all your soy-free spice-free vegetarian wheat-free recipes!

 

Packing with food intolerances

Packing for kids with food intolerances | Conscientious Confusion

Even though we are light years away from where we started on our journey with our naturopath for my son’s food intolerances, his body continues to attack certain foods and have trouble absorbing the nutrients from common foods. We’ve also had to do a lot of travel recently, and often spontaneously. I think this is the third time in two months that I’ve packed all our gear with less than a day’s notice. That sounds like a lot of time, but not when you consider that I wasn’t able to stop any of our previous social engagements/school/playgroups.

So, because I was packing again when I wrote this, here’s a list of the things we typically bring for our dairy free, gluten free boy:

  • shelf stable coconut milk or almond milk
  • gluten free snacks
  • dried fruit
  • squeezy food like these or these  (affiliate links & I know disposable is bad but we are looking to have to refrigerate as little as possible and if we use our Squooshi pouches, we have to refrigerate them)
  • peanuts
  • our homemade low-gluten bread (I use our wheat bread recipe but substitute part gluten-free flour)
  • probiotics (we all use these – affiliate link)
  • digestive enzymes (he uses these and I use these – both affiliate links)
  • cultured coconut milk yogurt (example here)
  • liquid vitamins, since he doesn’t absorb nutrients from the chewables (we use this one – affiliate link)

Aside from clothes and bathroom essentials, these are the things I throw into bags and insulated coolers when we travel. Piece of cake, right? (um, wait, we can’t really have cake regularly…)

How do you pack healthy easy snacks for your allergic or food intolerant family members?

2014 To Do List

I don’t do resolutions. I intend to live every day making conscious choices, so whatever I am doing, I have thought about it and already decided to do it or not do it. That is a lifestyle, not a one-time resolve that is going to fade by February.

2014 To Do List | Conscientious Confusion

2014 To Do list

1. Go to the dentist.

Seriously, I need to do this. It was on last year’s list and I never made it. I’m now a little over 3 years since my last visit. My teeth aren’t as white as I’d like them to be. The barrier is that we don’t have dental insurance so I’m going to be buying a Groupon, and I have to find a place that has availability during the hours that my kids are in preschool. It can be done, it just takes lots of calling ahead before buying.

2. Fix the paint in the half bath downstairs.

It’s embarrassing that we paid thousands of dollars for a painter who did stuff like this 2 years ago when we moved in:

bad paint job

I’ve located the paint and I should be able to fix this at some point.

3. Eliminate the part time jobs that do not generate income.

I have a bunch of part time jobs right now, some of which don’t actually pay and some that only pay sometimes (classes based on attendance, for example). I am wasting my energy and taking time away from my kids pointlessly if I am not getting paid. I will not say “yes” to things that do not compensate, and I will attempt to eliminate anything that is currently not profitable. I have a few commitments that I need to see through before this can be completely accomplished, so it might take the better part of the year to do.

4. Try to blog at least 3 times a week.

This year’s NaBloPoMo was much less painful than last year’s. I think I am more comfortable in my blogging niche now than I have been in the past. I have gained a lot of readers and THANK YOU! If I make a priority to blog immediately about the things that are on my mind I tend to a) blog more often and b) produce higher quality content. The barrier is being able to sit down and blog. I’ve tried to blog on the iPad, making it a more portable endeavor, but then I can’t access my pictures from iPhoto, since they are not accessible from outside our home WiFi. When I try to use the “real” computer at home, there are 1 million distractions and I can only get to that computer a few times a week. I’d love to blog while my kids are in preschool but they only go twice a week and one day is completely allocated to kids yoga all week and the other day is my errand day. Need to figure this out.

5. Address my health issues.

I blogged about my 30 days of Macrobiotic Eating here. It is an attempt to clear up my skin and help with my digestive issues. If that does not work to entirely clear things up, I am planning to go back to our naturopath. I tried Western medicine this past year and it was a horrible failure, so on to other things.

6. Keep up or even expand my personal yoga practice.

I have loved getting back into yoga and teaching children. In order to teach, however, we must learn and grow. I cannot teach what I am not learning, myself. So it is important for me to continue my own practice, either at home or at a studio.

It’s a short list this year, but I might add to it as we go along. These last few weeks with the kids at home and all the family here all the time have left me with little to no reflection time, so this list was put together hastily. I hope to reflect more fully on my 2014 intentions and add to this list within the next week.

What are your To Do’s for 2014?

Cooking for kids with food allergies: my fave resources

Cooking For Kids With Food Allergies: My favorite resources (online and offline)

After Little Sir’s initial bout with food intolerance, most of which his body overcame after treatment by our naturopath, I become highly aware of the challenges of food allergies and food intolerances for kids. Little Sir’s remaining sensitivities are dairy and gluten. He really cannot have anything dairy more than 1-2 times per week without his body going on high alert (typically with diarrhea being the first sign of trouble, followed by a runny nose). We are mostly a diary free family, but I do allow him to have a frozen yogurt treat occasionally or some cheese on gluten free pizza. I list him as having a dairy allergy at preschool and at bible study/church so that one one will feed him any dairy without my knowledge. He also still has quite a bit of trouble processing whole wheat as well. It’s not actually the gluten he has trouble with, but breaking down the actual kernel of wheat. His body does best if he avoids wheat products, so I feed him a very low gluten diet. I buy gluten-free as much as possible and try to restrict anything with wheat to about every-other-day. So right now, we are largely dairy free and gluten free. Still, it is so much better to avoid these two things than the huge list we started out with.

On this journey of Various Things We Need To Avoid, I collected great resources from other green blogger friends, from amazing friends like local kids’ chef Tara Andersen, and even from you, my readers and Twitter followers! I wanted to pay back that advice by doing a post listing all my favorite and most valuable resources for recipes and ideas on cooking for kids with food allergies (or sensitivities/intolerance).

Local to Dallas (my favorites, unpaid — none of these business know that I’m writing about them!):

  • Half Pint Palates – will custom prepare handmade, healthy, kid-approved food specific to your child’s allergy or food sensitivity.
  • Natural Grocer by Vitamin Cottage – has several locations in Texas including Richardson/Dallas, Lakewood, and Preston/Forest in the Dallas area. They have extremely high standards for their products and often lower prices than some of the larger national healthy food chains (coughWholeFoodscough).
  • Reverie Bakery – vegan (dairy free) and gluten free bakery here in Richardson. Just went yesterday for a treat for Little Sir! He loved it!
  • Unrefined Bakery – gluten free and vegan bakery in both Dallas (Lower Greenville) and Frisco. I got cupcakes for Little Sir’s 3rd birthday here when we were dairy free and soy free. It’s nearly impossible to find soy free bakeries, which is why I love them!

Online stores

  • Vitacost (referral link) – not just supplements! Also a lot of allergy-friendly foods that are difficult to find in stores. I save a lot by using their Set N Save option to have certain items delivered on a regular schedule. If you aren’t a member yet, drop me an email at jenny {at} conscientiousconfusion {dot} com and I can send you a code for $10 off your first order! Orders over $50 have free shipping, so I often go in on an order with several local friends to reach the $50 threshold.
  • Azure Standard – this online store does local drop-offs, so you will need to find a drop-off location near you. Or, start your own! A huge variety of not just specialty foods but also organic produce and grass-fed meats.

Blogs

I definitely have to include Pinterest in my list of resources, and will be doing a followup post on How to Search Pinterest for Allergy-Friendly Recipes, because it is a little tricky. My BFF started a collaborative board for me called What Little Sir Can Eat where I pinned recipes when he was on the severely restricted diet. Feel free to check it out!

Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list — it’s just a list of what I have used. I’d love to hear your favorite resources in the comments, so that we can all share with each other!