Saturday, May 30, 2015

Weekend Update

Day Six:

The outbreak I had earlier this week was a major set back. I will have these bumps for weeks and I am still itching terribly. I still can't be sure exactly what caused that to happen.  The day I saw my dermatologist (Day Two), I was already feeling it coming on. Since I was still having outbreaks, he ruled out my blood pressure medicine, as I had been off of it for a month. He instructed me to resume taking it since my blood pressure was creeping up. Within 24 hours I had a big outbreak. I can't be sure if it was from resuming the medication, or from the nut products. I took the blood pressure medicine for two days, and then visited my general practitioner, who prescribed something else for blood pressure,  A totally different class of drugs. I am so gun shy, I haven't even taken it yet. I want to be on as little medication as possible, and eat as clean as possible.

As for the food cleanse, it is going pretty well. I have only waivered from the plan a couple of times, once with a fried food, once with a gluten/sugar.  The good news is, I am down 7 pounds since Labor Day! Essentially I am eating a very clean, low carb diet, with no alcohol and I guess that is why.  I also seem to have reduced swelling and bloating with a healthier diet. No MSG's or other preservatives. 

And the beat goes on....

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Are You Nuts?

Day Three:

Okay, so I woke up this morning just covered in bumps.  I am itching like crazy. It has to be the nuts. The only other things I have eaten are vegetables, meat, and a handful of dried bananas and apple chips. Drank nothing but purified water.

Today I am officially eliminating nuts, nut butters, and coconut oil for the duration of this cleanse.

Another interesting note… I am down 5.5 pounds since my Labor Day morning weigh in. I am attributing much of that to a reduction in bloating/swelling.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

That's Kinda Nutty....

Day Two:

I want cake. 

There's nothing wrong with green stuff but I'm craving sugar. I had a glass of chocolate almond milk earlier, which was delicious, but does contain some cane sugar. I discovered this after the fact. 

Overall, so far so good. Romaine lettuce, tomato, eggs, avocado, organic free range grass fed beef, a little corn, carrots, organic peanut butter, and lots and lots of purified spring water. I actually like what I'm eating, but I'm having serious sugar withdrawal. 

I saw my dermatologist today. I'm now back on my blood pressure meds since this doesn't seem to be the issue. He was in total support of the food cleanse and has me scheduled for patch testing in July. He's still convinced however, that it is a drug, and is now putting eyes on my anti anxiety drug, Klonapin. I won't lie, that makes me hysterical. We'll cross that bridge in July after the food cleanse and the patch tests. Right now I can't bear to think about it.

In the meantime, I have dozens of new bumps which itch like the devil. A lot of them appeared this evening. The most suspect thing I ate today was the peanut butter. Also had the almond milk after I got home from work, and used pure coconut oil on my skin this morning.  Interesting. I guess that's why I'm keeping this food journal. 

On a positive note, I feel good, and definitely less bloated. 

Anxious to see what the rest of the week has in store. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Green Grocery Cart

Day One of the 21 day food cleanse:

I am enthusiastic, and ready to begin.  This is a picture of my grocery cart yesterday. A vast departure from what it typically looks like. Full of vegetables and clean meats.  As much of it organic as possible. I will say, I feared I would have to buy most of my things at Whole Foods, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the huge selection of organic, dairy free, and gluten free foods my local Kroger offers.  

I'm sure I looked a little out of place yesterday, combing the aisles with my list of "good foods/bad foods".  But while I was in the "health section" I encountered several other shoppers. I struck up a conversation with one man while shopping for a coffee creamer alternative. He has an intolerance to dairy.  In fact there were a lot of shoppers in that area; I guess everyone of them had their own story, be it food allergies, health problems, or just trying to STAY healthy in the first place. 

So I got my groceries home and started sifting through them. Can I do this? Will I forget, and accidentally pour a bunch of half-and-half into my coffee? Will I be able to balance what I eat with the things my family eats? I can't overthink this. I just have to do it.

I was curious why I am allowed to eat nuts and nut butters during this cleanse. After all, everyone knows there are a lot of people with nut allergies.  I did some more reading last night and discovered there is a difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance. Here is a little bit about the topic: 

"It is easy to know if you have a peanut or shellfish allergy that sends you to the emergency room each time you eat it... your body is clearly telling you that you should NOT eat these foods. But more common allergies are really more like “food sensitivities” and because the symptoms are bloating, poor digestion, headaches, lethargy, depression and weight gain, most people don’t think it’s caused by the food they’ve been eating for their entire lives... they just think, “There must be something wrong with me.”

So as I begin today with my creamless coffee, here are some stats:

Weight:  Higher than its ever been. I shall keep that figure to myself!
Blood Pressure: 133/88. Currently off meds (experiment one month ago to see if BP meds were the culprit). 
Rash:  Several breakouts. Particularly my arms, thighs, torso.  Freshest ones occurred in the past 48 hours. Overall condition of my skin is "lumpy" and rough. 
Itchy:  Level 5. 
Bloated and Swollen:  Yes. Particularly my calves and feet. My right side worse than my left. 
Medications:  Prevacid, Zyrtec, Klonopin

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Drastic Times Call For Drastic Measures

So it's coming up on seven months now since I first had a severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic prescribed to me for an infected bug bite.  I regularly hear from people, "Now what is wrong with you again?". I will try to explain now. 

I am continuing to have new breakouts regularly, and I itch continuously. My skin looks freakish. I gained about 20 pounds from taking steroids all winter, and I seem to be swollen or retaining water in my legs and belly. This is something I have not experienced before, except during late pregnancy. 

I have made multiple trips to my dermatologist, and have worked with an allergy/immunology specialist, who was convinced there was a problem with my immune system--that it was unable to shut itself off after attacking such a severe allergic reaction. After extensive testing, that proved not to be the case. This specialist told me he was unable to help me further, and sent me back to the dermatologist. Both of my doctors, and three other doctors I saw during a visit to the ER a while back, believe the severe reaction in October triggered new allergies that I may have never had before. But what?  None of their suggestions are working. Interestingly, no one has done any type of patch testing, grid testing or allergy testing. A biopsy I had in December indicated the continued rash was caused from a drug reaction, which is difficult to identify with skin testing. Basically it is process of elimination.  I have eliminated or changed all but one drug I take orally each day, which leads us to the possibility that the culprit is a drug or chemical in food or possibly a cosmetic.  I see my dermatologist again this coming Tuesday, and fear he will tell me to stop taking or using one more item and come back again in another month. I am growing increasingly frustrated, and feel it is time for me to try something on my own. 

Anyone who has read this blog for awhile,  knows that I went through a somewhat militant phase a few years ago regarding our food supply.  Drugs in our meats, pesticides in our fruits and vegetables. A host of chemicals and preservatives in anything prepackaged. The list goes on an on. I try to eat as clean as possible, but it is sometimes difficult. 

In the coming days I plan to try a 21 day food cleanse. I will eliminate known allergens such as dairy and gluten. I will only eat organic, grass fed meat, and free range, organic poultry. Fish, organic vegetables and eggs. And possibly the most difficult for me, I will eliminate alcohol; particularly wine and beer which contain a host of allergens. After 21 days of clean eating, I can reintroduce dairy and or gluten, and other foods to see if they spark a reaction.  it will be hard for me to stay on track. Life is busy, and "cheap and convenient" is such a temptation.  I have been incredibly busy at work, and the next two weeks will be even worse. There is a McDonald's directly across the street from my office, and a restaurant/bar down the hall!!  That is why I have to plan ahead. Also, I need to be accountable, so I will post my progress and my findings in this journal.  Maybe this will help with my lack of desire to write and post. If I have any readers left out there, I hope you will stay tuned.

Saturday, May 2, 2015


Remember the film "The Ten Commandments"? The epic one with Charlton Heston.  It comes on every Easter. Well, there's a scene where Moses' family was having dinner and all of the firstborn children were being murdered. All-around them screams of horror. They kept eating and chanting and just trying to get through the night. 

For some reason that is what I remind myself of this evening. Alone in the house, quiet. I hear kids running around outside, and every now and then some excited drunken screams from some of the big outdoor neighborhood parties nearby. I just keep thinking if I can make it through tonight, when I wake up tomorrow Derby will be over. 

It's ridiculous, sad, and hilarious all at the same time.