I'm still tweaking my diet, but here are a few solid conclusions:

Gluten = bad for me - it makes me very sick. You do not want details.
Peppers (chili peppers, bell peppers, red peppers, cayenne) = even worse than gluten - oh, my goodness, the rash, the swelling, the inflammation, the nausea.
Sugar = bad for me - sadly, this one gives me mood swings and increases my hunger.
Nightshades - bad for me - related to peppers (most peppers are nightshades) but not all nightshades are so severe. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, paprika, and pimentos appear to give me eczema.

Still up for debate:

I've been eating all of those, and clearly something is still not right. At the moment I'm eliminating pork, to see if that's the culprit. I hope that's the culprit, because I don't want it to be any of the others...
zellandyne: (Default)
( Jul. 14th, 2009 02:22 pm)
Hmm. Apparently some of my issues with balance may be caused by nerve damage thanks to the Celiac disease. Which may improve in time. But it apparently can cause vertigo, too.

I really ought to look into the nervous system side of Celiac Disease some more. I wonder how connected it is to the numbness I get in my hands at night.
Since November, when I began the elimination diet I have:
Slept better
Had more energy
Had much less stomach upset
Had fewer headaches
Had clearer skin
Gotten rid of a rash on my neck and chest that I thought was acne
Had less congestion
Had less itchy ears (my ears used to itch all the time)
Lost weight without much effort at all

I think this is made of win. In exchange for these benefits I merely need to refrain from eating:
Gluten in all forms
Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc (they give me migraines)
Tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant (they give me eczema - I will compromise on this one occasionally)
Sugar (gives me UTIs - no fun at all)

I'm still not sure about:

All in all, that's not too bad. Eating out is complicated, because restaurants frequently don't understand. Even when they try to accommodate they sometimes forget things, like that alfredo sauce is made with flour, so even if you replace the pasta with risotto, there will be a problem. It requires hyper vigilance on my part. In this endeavor, my natural OCD (which I have now had diagnosed - so, yes, I do have OCD as I always suspected) comes in handy.

As far as the weight loss, I have lost the 20 pounds I gained since I moved to the bay in summer 2007. I intend to continue losing weight and getting back to the shape I was in before the tonsillitis of doom. That would be another 17 pounds. We'll see if that's viable or not. As is, I've lost twenty pounds over 7 months, which seems like a good and healthy pace to me.

It's nice to feel healthy for a change!

20 / 20 pounds. 100% done!
zellandyne: (health 2)
( May. 5th, 2009 11:06 am)
I'm back to losing weight again (which pleases me). Turns out those gluten free shortbread cookies were way more calories than I realized. Tasty, though. However, in spite of the crazy food splurge this past weekend at reunion, I'm doing pretty well. So, back to using a word meter to track my weight loss:

14 / 20 pounds. 70% done!

Note: This is the weight lost since I started the elimination diet in November. My goal is to get back into the jeans I was wearing before I moved up to the Bay in summer 2007.
One of the things keeping me sane on this diet is a shortbread cookie recipe I've managed to cobble together by combining several different recipes I found and then trying different tweaks. The cookie turns out very rich, flaky, and crumbly - which is just find for shortbread. The texture is a bit coarser than you'd find with regular wheat flour, but I'm pretty happy with it.

This is not a vegan cookie, though you could very easily make it so. I use ghee, which is butter with the milk solids removed (hence lactose free), but you could use coconut oil instead and get similar results.

1 cup ghee
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 and 1 tsp agave nectar

Mix thoroughly. Shape cookies on the cookie tray (I like mine fairly small and thin). Heat oven to 325. Cook 7 - 10 minutes according to preference. They'll be more solid and less flaky at the lower end. I like the flavor and flakiness at the higher end better.

(Edited to add: After further experimenting, I have to say that refrigerating the dough for a few hours before baking massively improves the cookie texture.  The outside remains flaky and crumbly, while the inside is softer and meltier.  The texture is still more coarse than regular flour, so don't be surprised at that.)

One variation that I really like involves toasting the ghee, or burning it as Navarre likes to say. It adds a subtle caramel flavor to the cookies.

The xanthan gum is the binding agent, which I use instead of eggs. The agave nectar works beautifully as an alternate sweetener. Mind you, it's still a sugar, but it has a lower glycemic index and doesn't trigger my blood sugar spikes.
zellandyne: (health 2)
( Jan. 22nd, 2009 01:04 am)
[livejournal.com profile] amoken and I baked cookies tonight. Short bread cookies, using a combination of rice flour, millet flour, sorghum flour, and tapioca flour. For the sweetener, agave nectar. For the butter, ghee (which is butter with the milk solids removed). For the binding agent, xanthan gum (so that [livejournal.com profile] krchicken can eat them - speaking of which, I have cookies for you, [livejournal.com profile] krchicken).

Result? Surprisingly pleasant. They're sweet and crumbly, as short bread should be. Rich, as well. The texture is a little bit weird, but I think that's the xanthan gum, which, to be fair, [livejournal.com profile] simransmiles warned me would be the case. Her recommendation, which I will take next time, would be to use an egg instead.

Even with the current texture, they taste good. They would make an excellent crumb topping for a berry cobbler, so perhaps I'll bake one of those this weekend.

I am pleased.

Tomorrow, I test goat cheese. Hope, hope, hope that I can tolerate it. I would dearly love cheese in my life again.


zellandyne: (Default)


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