Day 57 – new books in the mail!

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My GAPS book arrived and my bedside ‘library’ is getting full! I need to get started on this lot quick smart. I am feeling in the need for some focus so I think I will start with the GAPS book, gut healing and psychology stuff, notice I got a GAPS cookbook to go with it? Always be prepared – like a good girl guide.

This week has felt long and there is still one day to go. I was still feeling the effects of being glutened today so my brain is foggy as and my body is still slow and achey. The mid-term blues are kicking in for my girls – the wonders of the fresh start and the new term are wearing off and I spent a lot of time doling out hugs and tissues today. My office mate has a theory that they the whole school ‘syncs up’ and they all get PMS-y at the same time. Cadbury should just bulk deliver at this time. They would make a fucking killing.

It’s been the kind of day where you just want to come home and curl up with a glass of wine and some ‘alone time’. I was gifted a Whittakers %70 dark and a coke zero today. It took every ounce of my willpower to not eat them right there and then and I am pleased to say that they are still in my office fridge – I am hoping I can re-gift them without offense. What has the world come to when I am giving away chocolate? It’s unnatural.

It is getting tougher to not just go for comfort food though. Harder to resist just one small flat white when I am shattered in the morning. I am so tired that I want to use food to prop me up but I know that it is mostly from being glutened and getting used to the term being full swing again. So SLEEP is in order. And finding some time to read and get my ass educated about GAPS.

So what I need is time then. Ha! Tell ‘er she’s dreamin.

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Day 45 – A woman on the edge.

Picture in your mind’s eye a woman sitting on her couch. She has her eyes firmly on her laptop, one arm stroking the cat (who, in the absence of the male human has deigned to purr for the female), the other scrolling through her newsfeed.

Notice the lollies strewn all over lounge the floor in front of her. Casualties in a day that included both a child’s birthday party and visiting multiple Grandparents, the children had their fill – they couldn’t take any more sugar.

Now look closer; at her tense shoulders. Her fixed gaze – her eyes don’t stray from the laptop screen. She is stroking the cat in firm, fast downward movements, more of a ‘sports massage’ than an affectionate thing. The chicken soup she made earlier is cooling next to her – too hot to eat yet but she tries it every few minutes or so.

The lollies – fruit bursts, minties, milkshakes and jellybeans – are ALL gluten free. This she knows. Sugar is the issue here. They are strictly a no go area. And yet…

Being gluten free is not a choice. Coeliac disease is a permanent, autoimmune disorder caused by an intolerance to gluten which is found in wheat, barley, oats and rye. This intolerance to gluten causes the body to produce antibodies which damage the lining of the small bowel and make it impossible for the body to absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from food. The damage is immediate and can be severe in it’s physical manifestation. Because I am a silent coeliac I often don’t know it’s happening.

Giving up sugar on the other hand was a choice, to help my gut, to heal my gut and to ‘un-complicate’ this process. I know that high fructose fruit and veges are doing me damage as well and feel the effects straight away – and yet…

It has been a good day. But sometimes homemade chicken soup doesn’t quite cut it you know?

Day 14, Coffee – sort of, last day with Dave (and my Sis) and I get to see my little men!

photo 1 (9)Today was my last day in Christchurch, and Kris took the afternoon off to hang with me, so we went to the cafe that Cath had taken me to for lunch, The Herb centre Dispensary – because I was having a massive sugar craving and I knew they did no-refined-sugar desserts….

Before you throw your hands in the air aghast and lose all my faith in my hard-core stickability you’ll be pleased to know that once we got there I decided against any dessert/cake/slice no matter how sketchily it fit into my gut healing restrictions. When they take the refined sugar out it usually means that they are using dried fruit or honey as a sweetener (nothing artificial because it was wholefoods central) both are off the books for now. I had been all excited but once I got there decided that it wasn’t worth starting again – especially with the leg aches – and thought I would treat myself to a DECAF, rice milk Flat White. Yes I said it. And I know this is not a ‘real coffee’ (Kylee) and I would have been scoffing and throwing my hands up in the air as well – for fucks sake I won’t even drink Starbucks coffee (because it’s gross duh) – but I really felt like I had to try it. And surprise surprise it tasted like coffee. So much so – and the with the consequent speedy feeling I had afterwards – I think she slipped me real caffeine man. There was some confusion with me ordering because initially I hadn’t realised I could have a fakey fakey coffee, so I ordered tea. Then I realised and went back and I think it was all too much. So although it had rice milk – you could taste that – I think I got caffeined. Well, my mouth still feels weird anyway, and I’m still up and it’s 11.30pm oh my god.

Anyway, I got to the plane having only had a smoothie between lunch and flying so was starving, no snacks on me and nothing to buy, nothing to do but suck it up – cue stomach pains etc – but I know you ‘normals’ get that too when you starve yourself so nothing interesting there!

On the plane I was sitting between two dudes, who I thought were really old then realised I was probably within ten years of age with them and felt OLD, and of course they sat with their legs wide open and reclined right back and basically claimed all of the plane to themselves. Fuck that shit. I pushed my elbows out, reclined, dropped my knees, put my headphones on and raised my book. Ain’t no way you gonna encroach upon this hangry mamabears plane space motherfucker.

Flight was otherwise uneventful; no nice air host person I don’t want the teeny tiny cookie time (boo hoo) or the horrible GF (suspect) vege chips, nor do I want a perculator coffee (YES I DO DAMNIT) and thank you but no I don’t want the boiled sweetie to help my ears pop. So many lies. I wanted ALL of the boiled sweeties. I wanted to fill my overstuffed and threatening to burst carry on luggage with them. But I am very restrained and my willpower is great. or some shit.

I was sad to be leaving Dave and Kris, but pleased to be coming home to my little lads – it was SO good to see Master 7 standing right at the gate when I came through – but ssshhhhhh don’t tell them – Mama could have stayed another couple of days reading my books and mooching about and coped quite well…

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Day Eight – I’ve cracked the booze barrier

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It’s true – If you are a glass-of-wine-every-other-night kinda gal like me (or maybe one or two depending on your day) then it may not seem like much but seven days without your ‘mothers little helper’/alone time (whatever you call it) can feel like a month! BUT I find that once I’ve cracked seven days I can go on forever. I have stopped drinking before for various reasons, I took a year and a half off when I poisoned myself at 17 for example 😉 Since then I have randomly taken months and years off – mostly for health or training reasons or to find other ways to deal with stress. Today is day eight and I feel like it’s not an issue now. But then maybe that’s because it’s FREEZING in Christchurch and the thought of a wine in the sun feels very far away…

Really cold, I’m not joking. I got off the plane and my texts to Kris went ‘I’m here, I’ve got my bag where are you?’ then ‘FUCKING HELL it’s cold outside – WHERE are you?!’. Do you think I packed a jumper? a hoodie? a cardigan? oh hell no. What a dick. Because it was sweltering at home – and I hear all about Canterbury’s HOT dry summers so I assumed it would be hotter down here and just threw in my denim jacket as a ‘just in case’ we go out in the evening type deal.

So I walked the dog in my sister’s hoodie, and then risked it when I went to meet Cath for lunch in just my tee shirt and suffered the consequences. I met her at her house right in the middle of renovations – so exciting! My friend Cath understands my special food needs because it’s her specialty – and therefore knew I’d need a cafe for lunch that could cater to that – and we went to the perfect place. A little cafe where they have GF, DF and vegan options and they ALL look delicious. I had potato and kumara rosti with delicious mushrooms and a poached egg on the side – full until dinner time!

Just around the corner from Cath’s place is a Salvation Army and I trawled through the clothes, bleurgh, and then spied a table piled high with beautiful old school Kiwi made Kaiapoi wool blankets – yes please! I restrained myself and only got three – but enough I think to cover the massive horrible (now after being climbed on by the boys) cushions we have on our couch at home. Then, when we move to our fantasy home when we win lotto, and get the large couch to go in the large, light-filled airy room we will have beautiful kiwi made cushions covers in beautiful soft colours. Ahhhhhhh bliss.

Finding my way around Christchurch got slightly easier (I did get lost going to Caths – twice) and I made my way to Kris’s work in town and went for a wander around Restart container mall etc. I bought a grey marle Huffer Hoodie. YUM. (on sale darling don’t worry) because I was SO cold that I was going blue. Also I think I flashed all of Ballantynes my knickers as I went up the escalator….

I am looking forward to having a bit of a road trip to check out some of the nearby towns and see the sights. So far so relaxing. The only thing that could improve it is the sun! Come on weather sort yourself out eh?

Day four. Summer BBQ with friends and not drinking today

So I know I’ve been pregnant twice, and both times it was through some summer months, and we hung out with our friends and went to BBQ’s and all the time I wasn’t drinking. Well duh. And it SO wasn’t hard. No I mean it – I know some of my friends have really suffered a lot of summer envy with the whole not-drinking-cos’-I’m-making-a-person thing and couldn’t wait for the little person to come shooting out their vaginas into nappies and their cot to blissfully sleep while Mummy had a cool, crisp glass of wine….. but not me. I couldn’t even look at booze for the first four months of both pregnancies and that was enough to flick the switch. It was like I was a beer/wine virgin and didn’t know how good it was – therefore didn’t miss – to sit in the sun with friends and relax over a cold one.

Today felt different. And obvs it was different from being pregnant in a myriad of ways – I didn’t have to avoid the seafood and wasn’t able to balance my glass on my belly (although close!), the grumpy Dutchman wasn’t wringing his hands with future worry about money and being awake all night with ANOTHER baby (why?! why would you?! he ask me every time I mention maybe having a third child). And it was different from all those times I have done the Febfast or similar too.

This time, I couldn’t replace my drink with juice or fizzy drink – because no sugar. I wasn’t eating fruit or snacking away like crazy on cheese and crackers – because none of those things either. And I wasn’t socially smoking to keep my hands busy because DUH year of HEALTH. And actually I noticed today that the GD is the only one of the group still smoking – must be time to give it up babe!

I drank 1.5 litres of sparkling water though. I pissed like a pregnant woman. And I thought about wine A LOT. And Beer. And Cider. And all those cold delicious summer beverages. Oh how I wanted one. And I told myself that this time next year I would have one and goddamnit it would be good. I only ate the food we brought with us because I’m special needs – and I felt terrible because our friends are lovely and had made an effort to find GF treats that I could have too – so for the sake of full disclosure I will admit to having some corn chips (scratchy/crunchy) that Bruce and Ildi got specifically for me because they were GF. Our hosts made an effort too to keep the GF sausages separate right up until they got on to the BBQ when Mark forgot but he told me straight away and it was super fine because the GD had smoked a salmon to take with us and I was all over that ha ha.

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We have a smoker and the GD does a really delicious smoked salmon, so we took that and my roasted vege salad and chips and sausies for the little lads. Our friends have a really cool house with multiple decks that all get the sun and our kids and the four dogs all ran around and had a cool ass time.

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Although I have to say, that being sober and not at all ‘relaxed’ with a drink meant that I noticed when the lads were not behaving like perfect angels and probably got on their asses more than they liked.

The up side of not drinking; I am not falling asleep on the couch right now (it’s 7.30pm) and I have a clear head. I know that drinking all of that water could have only been a good thing. If not for my bladder. I did not say stupid things to my friends that I need to wake up and have a panic about the next day. I am giving my liver a break. No useless calories/sugar. And I wont feel like shite for boot camp tomorrow morning at 5.30am.

Yes you read correctly. Bootcamp has started and the alarm is set for 5.30 AM.

Wish me luck!

Day two, an old standard, a failure, and a slow start

It’s been an up-and-down 24 hours – with me having to remember quite hard not to have refined sugars and little trickies like that – bad habits have taken over and it will take a while to retrain. I spent all night last night, once the kids were in bed, going to the kitchen, opening the cupboards and fridge and then wandering back to the lounge defeated. I blame it on my free right hand – no wine glass occupying it….

I woke up this morning wanting to make something for breakkie that wasn’t an omelette or smoothie – and not toast which is my fave – because of the ‘crunchy’ bits.

There has been this recipe floating round on various do-gooder-healthy-recipe sites that had piqued my interest and this morning I got the lads all excited and said ‘hey mama’s gonna make banana pancakes – yum!’ cue excitement and ‘when are they ready mum!?’ (I’m not even off the couch yet).

You see the beauty of these pancakes is that they ONLY take two ingredients – I KNOW amazeballs huh – and ‘taste just like normal pancakes!’. I looked them up (thank you Aunty google) and got started. So NOT hard. I literally had to break three eggs and one and a half bananas into the blender and pulse. Then fry.

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Voila! You like my photo? they look good right? Except that they SUCKED.      They were terrible. Like the gross uncooked bit in the middle of french toast that you always slather in tomato sauce so you don’t have to feel the texture. Bleurgh. Master 7 took one bite, spat it out again (he’s not an egg fan and I may not have been very clear with him on the ingredients). Master 4 had two – liberally sprinkled with brown sugar – which by the way is the way the ‘healthy website’ recommended they be eaten because they know they suck too. I put four aside for the grumpy Dutchman figuring he’d eat anything and had to throw mine away because there wasn’t a single thing I could think of to add to them that I am allowed to eat. SO. Breakfast failure on day two. I ended up having the last two pieces of bread in the bag – waste not want not – and I just won’t buy anymore I promise. That crunchy tummy scratching peanut-butter toast never tasted so good. But I did miss the coffee I would have usually washed it down with…..

(Note – after reading this a few of my friends commented that they had made the pancakes and they liked them – major difference seems to be that they cooked them in butter and mashed instead of blended them – might try again later in the year if I pick dairy again 🙂 )

Last night for dinner I made a big roasted vege salad – this is my go-to if we go places and need to bring a contribution, it’s filling, jam packed full of veges and you can change it up, I also like to add things like salami, chicken, smoked salmon, avocado – depending on what’s around – if you weren’t avoiding dairy Feta is great in it too. And when there is only a few manky bits left in the bottom of the bowl I can throw them into the pan for breakfast with some eggs too – it’s an all-rounder!

I got the original recipe out of the ‘Allergy free cooking’ book by Dr Sue Shepherd, which specialise in recipes for folks who follow a low FODMAP diet, but I make alternate versions of it depending on who will be eating it because a lot of peeps don’t like Aubergine and I find garlic ‘infused’ olive oil weirdly hard to get at most stupidmarkets. Also I am not allowed nuts and seeds at the moment and my favourite used to be to throw some toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds on it too. For last nights salad I roasted pumpkin, 3 colours of capsicum, courgette, sparrowgrass and green beans in olive oil and sea salt, then tossed up with baby spinach when done. I chopped some avocado into it as well – because YUM and it had the added bonus of pissing off the GD just that tiny bit more…. He hates avocado – it used to be something we bonded on – the only two people in the world who hated avocado but I have converted. He may never forgive me.

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This morning I took the little lads to see my Nana, their Great Nana, in the hospital where she is for the moment. They were loud and ‘wrestly’ and playing with wholehearted abandon out in the grassy area – much to the conscious old folks delight – but not so much to some of the sicker folk and bedridden patients. In order to shut them up for fifteen minutes so I could hang with my favourite old grrl, I promised them Mad Mex for lunch. We have only tried this once as a fam in town and it was great – no sore tummy for me, lots of GF options and the kids were very excited. Today we went to the one in Ponsnobby because I knew I would get a carpark with everyone out of town.

Hmmm….. The realisation is dawning that the reason the boys loved it SOOO much the first time is because we let them have the ‘real authentic soda’ from Mexico. (Which btw all tastes the same – like SUGAR and masses of it – I had grapefruit and there was nothing sour about it). This time they had water. Not so great with spicy food. Also the sour faced queen who served us threw sour cream all over Sol’s kid nachos before anyone had time to blink so of course he refused to eat them. The girl who took over serving was better and she asked before she put anything on anything which was good – the good thing about Sol’s meal was that one kid eats free with grown up on Thursdays and Fridays so we chalked it up to experience (And when he was starving later he ate the whole congealed mess in the car).

I got the ‘Naked burrito’. which is naturally GF (and DF because I declined to have cheese and sour cream). I forgot about my raw food rule though and I think the DELICIOUS salsa combined with the medium heat chilli gave me a terrible tummy ache. Or maybe it was indigestion because it was so yummy I ate it pretty fast! Sad face. I came home and instead of taking the lads to the zoo as promised ended up sleeping and reading my book all afternoon. So. Note to self – take it easy on the Mexican for now – but later – might be a good option.

All in all, day two was pretty easy – as expected – having given up sugar and booze for 14 weeks at the start of 2014 I know what to expect really – headaches and body aches from the lack of sugar for the first two weeks but it’s the ‘bored eating’ that gets me. I was stricter last time and cut out fruit too – because it kicked off cravings – and the way I’ve been going through this bowl of plums today is pretty telling. No fruit tomorrow. And no I don’t count tomatoes in that restriction because how else would I make my delicious Avocado and Tomato salsa that goes with my breakfast omelette?!?

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No bootcamp this week – holiday for our instructor, and Yoga was shut today – although my aching legs probably need a days rest to be honest after yesterdays effort – we’ll take the lads (all three) down to the beach after dinner and let them all have a big run. It’s so great living in this city – never more than twenty minutes from a decent beach – and the one tonight is five minutes away!

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New Years Day – Day One has dawned bright, rose tinted glasses on!

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(not my image/shoulders – it is the first one that comes up when you google image search ‘hot yoga’ – you should have seen some of the others!)


So the day dawned bright and beautiful and me and the littlest lad rolled over to greet the sun; despite the fact that master 4 had been awake until well after midnight last night (beating master 7 and I hands down).

Hot Yoga this morning – my first yoga session of 2015 (and first session in over 9 months) what to eat so that I didn’t throw up in the heat later on? I settled on my fave – a chocolate smoothie – and in fact I only had half because it is so filling – and saved the rest to have chilled after Yoga. Here is the recipe – it’s really easy – just whack them all in the blender and whizz it up. 1/2 an avocado, 1 cup almond milk, 1 frozen banana chopped, 2 tblsp raw cacao powder, 1 tblsp peanut-butter and 3 dates. SO GOOD.

Yoga was fucking hard. I am NOT flexible and NOT great in the heat – I have a red face in a warm room in winter ffs but it felt good to be doing something and I like the instructor Bruce; he wanders around telling absent minded little stories that keep your mind off the hard core ness of the temperature and the disgusting grunting sounds the man next to you is making. Seriously – the women don’t make those noises – are they really necessary dude? Anyways – it’s a nice change of pace between boot camps and the studio I go to has introduced different types of (not hot) Yoga in my absence so am looking forward to trying them all out.

Back home and I am thinking about what to do to prep for the year ahead, I have thought about it a lot, and have been planning but not really anything tangible as yet. Mostly I am obsessed with all things food so it will be a matter of making sure I am always prepared like a good girl guide – and never caught on the hop starving – because that’s when I weaken and make bad food choices for my tummy (and pay for it later). I have talked to friends on similar missions or people who eat a certain way for health and have gotten lots of good links to sites and recipes, and a book recommendation from Jonni that I am waiting to come in at my local library.

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Here are my starter guidelines, mostly gathered from appts with various specialists including Dr Jenny who I see now, reading the book ‘The Calorie Fallacy’ by Libby Weaver, and general hunches firmed up by conversations with Cath (my friend with PHD’s who is amazeballs). Some of this stuff I was meant to be already doing but got seriously slack over the Xmas break so am getting ‘back on the wagon’ as it were 🙂

These are the rules for ‘my year of health’ all based around the plan of healing my gut and in turn (hopefully) fixing my skin and everything else;

  • No Gluten duh
  • No Dairy
  • No refined Sugar, and certain natural sugars (honey and high fructose fruit like apples and grapes)
  • No Alcohol or Coffee
  • Try to cut out or limit dramatically processed-to-death food
  • No raw food to start with, this might improve with time but for now the fiber is too much and it gives me instant tummy aches
  • No ‘crunchy’ or ‘scratchy’ food – toast, crackers, corn chips, etc – anything that might scratch or damage my gut lining
  • that goes the same for raw whole nuts – I can have nuts but in paste or totally ground up
  • MORE yoga
  • Regular WOF’s to check gluten, iron, magnesium etc levels
  • MORE ‘good for my gut’ food i.e. bone broths, smoothies, avocados, salmon, casseroles etc
  • MORE walks around the neighbourhood with the fam and the dog
  • LESS beating myself up for not fitting my clothes at the moment.
  • MORE mindfulness – appreciating the moment. The glorious here and now and the wonderful peeps in my life.

So not that much eh? HA HA. well, this is day one after all – Got to start positive!

New Years Eve

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So, tomorrow I start my ‘Year of Health’. I have been boiling bones and veges for the past three days to make the ‘bone broth’ (stock) that I am experimenting with – the house already smells delicious so thats a plus! Over the past few weeks I have made peace with the fact that I will not be drinking – at all – for the year – not for Birthday drinks, no ‘thank fuck it’s friday’ drinks, no ‘the kids are being babysat and Mummy’s going to let her hair down’ drinks and not for our friends wedding coming up in February. And so far, it feels positive. The fact that my skin is the most sensitive it has been, my belly looks 6 month preggers half the time and that random and unrelated food can give me terrible stomach pain is a BIG motivating factor. After I got diagnosed with Coeliacs in september 2012 and went gluten free I thought things could only get better right? Well so far so much worse. Including slow, seemingly uncontrollable, constant weight gain which is really getting me down – no matter how much I exercise. But the good news is that this is not unusual and that I can help myself.

I have only gone half arsed about it before now, so I have decided to spend the whole year doing everything I have been advised to do – I am an all-or-nothing type of person, my tattoos are a good example of that ha ha – and I guess this blog will be my way of being accountable to myself. Next week I will see the doctor and get a complete WOF – see what my gluten levels are like and everything else, and will check in four times thoughout the year. I start Yoga tomorrow again after letting that interest fade away in March last year.

So I don’t know how interesting this will be to anybody else ha ha, I’ll post recipes that work well for me and reccomendations of sites that I follow that are useful too. Have a great New Years Eve – stay safe and don’t make any resolutions you can’t keep!