31 Days of Grace…just breathe


It seems like such a fitting name for where I am today. I really needed to step back and catch my breath. I am attending the Breathe Christian writing conference this weekend. 

I’m still not feeling well. I have never done well with antibiotics. If there are side effects, I experience them. My tooth hurts so eating is a challenge because well, quite frankly, it hurts to chew.

But, I am here. My best friend who I actually met at this conference two years ago is attending with me. My husband is supportive of my writing. For two days I have the opportunity to be surrounded by people who get this writing thing.

I am grateful to be with a friend who extends grace to me and accepts me as I am. Over caffeinated and talking a mile a minute on the way to the conference…but she is the one who bought me the coffee ūüėČ. She recognized that I was not feeling well and was willing to drive to find a restaurant to accommodate my crazy food sensitivities coupled with my now chewing difficulties.

I am grateful for the grace she extends me. 

Sometimes, a writing conference is less about writing and more about life lessons God has for me.

It’s all part of the story. Just breathe.


Body Reset

My food intolerance issues and GI distress have been an up and down¬†roller coaster ride¬†lately. Following the advice of a friend who also struggles with food intolerance issues and who actually introduced me to my nutritionist whom I love, I decided to try Lyn-Genet Recitas “the Plan.” The premise behind her plan is that certain foods are more reactive than others in our bodies and eating these reactive foods result in our bodies reacting with weight gain, water retention, GI distress, headaches…and a whole litany of other issues depending on the food and the individual.

It’s a new way of thinking. Many of the healthy foods health experts encourage us to eat are on the highly reactive list. Foods such as black beans, salmon, quinoa, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, and cauliflower are high on the reactivity list. Before I started the 3 day cleanse, I began eating lower reactive foods on the list…chicken, salad greens, broccoli, carrots…and felt better. My GI issues actually calmed down some.

On Friday, I started her outlined 3 day cleanse. I have both “the Plan” and the updated “the Plan Cookbook” and the menus are slightly different but pretty close. It’s a reset of sorts for your body to rid it of toxins. You make and eat a lot of flaxseed granola, a lot of carrots, broccoli, and greens. Coffee is not allowed for the 3 days but one cup of green or black tea is okay. Water intake is important….you divide your weight in half and that number in ounces is what you drink for daily water…oh, and no water after 7:30 p.m.

So…this is my Day 3 of the cleanse. I have felt tired, sluggish, and mind fog. This is normal along with the headache and irritability. My friend promises she felt great on day 4.

The flaxseed granola…

flaxseed granola

After the 3 day cleanse, then there are a few weeks of testing new foods for your body’s reaction. Weighing oneself daily is important to see if there was water weight retention and thus, a possible food reaction. It sounds a bit daunting but after trying multiple diets and dealing with GI issues and leaky gut, I am willing to see how this helps me.

the plan

Saturday Love and a Morning Protein Smoothie

I love Saturday mornings…moving at my pace, laying in bed just a little longer if I want, morning runs, hot showers lasting longer than 3 minutes, and Saturday morning smoothies. During the week, it’s a quick Blender Bottle shake with Silk almond milk, 2 heaping scoops of Orgain protein powder, and my Vitamin C powder and out the door. It works, but on weekends, I like something a little more like this morning’s creation.

Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie

1 cup Silk Cashew or Almond milk

1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries

2 ice cubes

1/2 avocado

2 heaping scoops of Orgain Organic chocolate fudge protein powder

Blend together and enjoy. Perfect for a Saturday morning or any morning you have time to whip it together. It was the perfect post-run smoothie after my run this morning.

Saturday Smoothie

The sun is shining bright here warm with the promise of summer. It looks to be a beautiful Saturday and Sunday. Happy Memorial Day everyone! Remember to pause and reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day and thank a veteran for his or her service to our county!

Pictures Fall 2013-Fall 2014 1861

Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Food Reactivity

Last week, I shared something on Facebook that another friend had shared with me about top anti-inflammatory foods. The list included several foods I eat fairly regularly such as walnuts and those I eat almost daily such as turmeric. But, that post led to a comment by another friend who suffers from food intolerance issues as well. She shared with me that she is currently following “The Plan” by Lyn-Genet Recitas. I requested the book from my local library and began to search for more information on the internet. I located a food reactivity chart that is part of the plan. It takes several foods and rates their reactivity level. Not surprising to me, several of the foods I have been eating were rated high on the reactivity chart.

Quniona….50 % reactivity….every time I eat quinoa despite it being a gluten free grain, I end up with achey joints. Every Time.

Non-organic spinach….85 % reactivity…my tongue itches every time I eat raw spinach that isn’t organic.

Cauliflower and cabbage….85 % reactivity…every time I eat these foods, I end up with a very upset stomach and it triggers a colitis attack. All those Paleo cauliflower rice recipes, never tried any of them for this reason.

So, all week, I have been trying to eat on the low-end of the reactivity chart. I have avoided the four foods I know have triggered reactions for me personally…my beloved coffee, chocolate, peanut butter, and even bananas. My friend who is going through “The Plan” said we crave what our bodies react to, but if we quit feeding our bodies these things, then we quit craving them.

So, how do I feel after just 4 days of eating like this? Better, not perfect, but better. I have been eating bone broth, Silk almond milk with Orgain, chicken, organic greens, broccoli and carrots, sweet and white potatoes, raw nuts, berries, and flax/buckwheat flatbread that I make. I am trying to be very careful, and it seems to be helping.

Last Saturday, my stomach hurt, my joints hurt….I was a mess. This week has been better. I am hoping the book is in at my library soon so I can really dive in. I also plan to see my nutritionist soon so she can guide me and help me. I continue on my supplements..I need them!

Here  is the link: http://www.doctoroz.com/article/reactive-foods-list   and


People who eat whatever they want with no adverse reactions sometimes think this stuff is crazy. If you have food intolerance issues, you understand the effect food can have on your body. You understand the frustration, sacrifice, and struggle, but you can celebrate the successes, no matter how small.

This week, I have experienced small successes…no bloating, no pain. I’m willing to press on.


Too Much of a Good Thing

When you have been dealing with food intolerance issues for a while, you become a bit of an expert at reading your own body…especially when you have had nutritional counseling with a nutritionist and allergy testing with your chiropractor through the BAX 3000 energy based allergy elimination system.

Enter peanut butter… my mainstay food throughout my childhood and teenage years. And my young adult life. And my middle adult life. Okay, who am I kidding? I have eaten large quantities of peanut butter for as long as I can remember. My mother-in-law even commented once that when she first met me, that’s what she remembered…I ate a lot of peanut butter!

I’ve never been a huge fan of meat besides chicken so peanut butter has a been a good source of protein for me. Interesting, though…I don’t really like peanuts. My nutritionist has reviewed my blood work and says the low levels of hydrochloric acid in my stomach make it hard for me to digest meat. But…I also have trouble with beans so I focus on chicken, eggs, grass-fed beef, Orgain protein powder, and nut butters for protein.

I’ve been relying on peanut butter too much lately. I’ve been treated twice for it through the BAX allergy elimination treatments. I don’t have allergic reactions but too much of it causes GI distress. I love the PB2 powder in my morning breakfast smoothies. I love melted peanut butter in warm applesauce. Okay, so I admit…too much of a good thing. So, I need to do a peanut butter free diet this week. Yes, I know I can buy another nut butter, but I eat that stuff too quickly. So, peanut butter elimination diet for me.

That stinks. I love peanut butter. And chocolate. And bananas. Together. But….my 11 year old son is motivating me towards my best health:


And¬† one more thought…this one from my Yogi tea…”Be proud of who you are.” Flaws, imperfections, food issues…I am who I am. Hoping a PB free me this week¬† will calm the GI distress!

Anyone else have a favorite food that their body isn’t too fond of…maybe too much of a good thing?

Unsolicited Opinions

When you have food issues, you become the target of unsolicited opinions.

What are you eating? That’s dinner? Oh, you’re one of those healthy eaters. You eat the strangest stuff.

Yup, I’ve heard it all. I even had one of my volunteers after she preceded to tell me I eat strange food, reach into my Ziploc bag and grab one of my bean chips. Um, okay, help yourself???

After doing this modified diet stuff for four years, it doesn’t really bother me. People will sometimes laugh because on the rare occasion I eat an almond butter sandwich, I have the tiny slices of gluten-free bread. Or, I have a mug of chicken bone broth. Or, I offer someone the chance to try my chocolate pudding….only I don’t share it’s made from avocado…and they give me a look because it doesn’t have the processed taste of box pudding mixes.

My family has learned to live with me and my strange food. My teenage daughter who does all the family dishes in exchange for her cell phone bill is never fond when¬†I use the food processor, blender, or juicer and especially not fond when¬†I leave bone broth remnants in the crock pot…oops! A¬† nice bonus…..They always let me choose the restaurant which is nice.

I make green juice and smoothies. I make gluten-free mug cakes with no sugar. I use chocolate avocado pudding as a spread on my gluten-free banana bread. I tried cooking plantains in the oven…not a huge fan of that.

Food collage

I have been eating basically the same rotation of foods since I have been home from vacation in a valiant attempt to calm my gut. (Note to self: ketchup is not a happy stomach food). I’ll save the healing foods regimen¬†for another post…it’s a slow process but my stomach is starting to calm down, and my skin is starting to clear up. And I am trying to be really creative with chicken so I don’t have a table full of complainers….chicken again?

I work with a bunch of junk food junkies. They come to work with their fast food bags, bags of chips, and cans of pop. It makes me want to say….You’re eatin that??? But I refrain from offering unsolicited opinions.

Any thoughts?



A dear friend of mine encouraged and challenged me to go deeper with my writing.¬†She reminded me I am more than my food issues, and I should never allow them to define me. So, my Sunday reflections…

I am not defined by my food issues…yes, they affect how I must live my life….not just by what I choose and not choose to eat, but in a social sense, my health issues, financial issues (healthier living costs more), and they¬†complicate things like family get togethers and travels.

The frustrating thing about food issues is that it is¬†not a “socially acceptable” issue…it’s not a defined disease like diabetes or even Celiac disease. When I tell someone I am gluten-free, I often have to face a litany of questions…do I have Celiac disease? Do I just choose to eat this way? And so on. I even had a waiter at a restaurant ask me once if I chose to eat this way or if I had to eat this way. Yes, it’s a choice….don’t we all make choices? Even the strict diabetic must choose whether or not to indulge in a double chocolate brownie and then thus deal with the consequences.

I could allow these food issues to consume me, and for a while, they did, especially in the thick of the unknown. As the GI bleeding ceased and my body began to slowly heal, I was still consumed by my food issues. I have a mental list of “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to what and how I eat, but it’s not consuming my every thought anymore.

I am and will always have these food issues according to my much trusted nutritionist because of the damage that has been done to my gut. And, I guess that’s okay. I can learn to live with them, deal with the issues, and move on. They are not who I am. I am complex and complicated. Yes, I get frustrated by my food issues, but I also get frustrated by work, a messy house, weather…I am human.

This past week, I went back to work after a wonderful week of vacation. In less than one day, all that relaxation from vacation was once again replaced by the daily stress of life. I had to deal with an expensive car issue, my husband missing a day of work due to a migraine, an unplanned state inspection at work, work stress, school meetings for my kids, not as much sleep as I would have liked…in other words, LIFE. Life happens.

I have been reflecting a lot. I have been having prayer conversations¬† with God on my way to work. I realize I have goals, but I must have a plan, work hard, and sacrifice with intention. When I am discouraged, I need to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. I believe I am where I am for a purpose even if I don’t like it at the moment. I am learning, I am growing.

“Not only so,¬† but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

Spring Break 2015 094

I snapped this photo on vacation…through the long winter, hope of new life…a¬†tiny green plant…¬†is peeking through…the extraordinary in the ordinary. God’s way…always a lesson if I am only still enough to listen to the quiet in the noise.

My challenge for the week: notice the little things and find joy in them.