Thursday, June 30, 2011

Teff Porridge

Teff Porridge
It's been a while since I've posted any food pics. After finishing up my last cookbook project I had to go on a crazy diet and just wasn't up for taking pics of the boring food I was eating. I've been doing a lot of shopping at PCC and Whole Foods lately. During my last visit to PCC I picked up some Teff grains. I didn't really know what they were but they sounded like something healthy that I could eat and I am up for trying new things.

After Googling Teff I found that teff is the smallest grain in the world and a staple grain in Ethiopia. It's used to make injera, a yeast-risen flatbread. I searched for some recipes to see what I could make with it. I found several recipes for porridge and polenta and they were all about the same. All it takes is a combination of teff grains and water and you have porridge. You can add other spices and things to give it more flavor. I added some cinnamon and topped it with blueberries.

1 Cup teff grains
4 cups water
1 Tbsp cinnamon
handful of blueberries or other fruit

Toast the teff grains in a saucepan for a few minutes over medium heat. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If too thick add more water until it reaches the desired consistency. Add cinnamon and top with berries.

This makes quite a bit so you can refrigerate the leftovers and reheat it later, just add more water before popping it in the microwave or reheating on the stove.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Candida Diet

I went in for a doc appointment last week to go over the GI and blood test results I had done. They had called me requesting an appt to go over them and to discuss a treatment plan. It sounded to me that my test results may have shown something out of the ordinary if they wanted to discuss a treatment plan; I was right.

My copper and Vitamin D levels came back normal. However my GI test showed my intestines were inflamed due to high levels of yeast. Looking up the causes of this I wasn't too surprised. Antibiotics was one of the possible causes and a few years ago I had my fair share of them due to recurring bladder infections. I looked up the signs and symptoms of this type of yeast infection and it didn't sound like it was all that easy to diagnose and some doctors don't even acknowledge it. One thing this yeast does is breaks down your immune system and could cause you to start having food and chemical allergies. Other symptoms which I have had are fatigue, mood swings, acne, eczema, poor memory, sensitivity to chemicals. This would explain why I was testing positive for practically every food test I took even though I hardly ever eat some of the foods I tested for. They say the more you eat something the more likely you will develop an allergy to it yet I had allergies to foods I rarely eat.

So the treatment plan consists of:

1. anti-fungal cream
My doc seems to think that this may be causing my dermatitis and suggested I try an anti-fungal cream for it even though my previous doc checked my skin for fungus and didn't see any. My previous doc was also an idiot so I wouldn't trust anything he says. I looked online for some anti fungal cream and found Derma E - Tea Tree & E Antiseptic Creme so ordered some of that off Amazon and it should be here on Wednesday.

2. Nystatin powder
Nystatin is an antifungal drug taken with water a few times a day for several months. Starting with small doses for the first week and each week increasing the dosage a little. This should get rid of the yeast in my intestines. I should have my prescription on Tuesday.

3. Supplements - Probiotic and Multivitamins
I've been taking a probiotic already for several months and am almost out so I thought I would ask if they recommended any in particular. The one I was using was a non-refrigerated variety and the doc said the ones you keep refrigerated are generally better. I've also been taking Vitamin D but no multivitamin. He recommended I take a multivitamin and they sold both the probiotic and multivitamins there so I picked some up. The probiotic they gave me is Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Complete and the multivitamin is Thorne Research Aspartate Formula Basic Nutrients I.

3. Candida Diet
The doc didn't really say I had to go on a candida diet but said I should be fine if I just avoid the sweets. Of course I did some research on yeast and Nystatin powder after my appointment and it sounds like a good idea that I go on one of these diets and it was also mentioned in a handout he gave me but didn't think it was necessary. I am planning on doing it anyway since the yeast feeds on certain foods and makes sense that those foods should be avoided to have the best chance of getting rid of it. The diet isn't as bad as the one I'm on now to avoid the 8 foods I tested positive for so I don't think it will be too bad. I've got another 2 weeks left of that diet. Looking forward mostly to eating eggs and cheese again.

Some of the foods I'll need to avoid are fruits (I guess citrus fruits are ok), cheeses aged for more than 6 months, preservatives, alcohol, caffeine, pre-cracked nuts, condiments, sugar, vinegar, glutinous foods. So what can I eat? Lots of organic vegetables and meats, herbs and spices, cold processed oils.

I've found to be a really good resource. They have a nice list of foods to eat and not to eat on their site which is very helpful. I will try to stick to the diet as much as possible. I've already given up coffee and alcohol for several weeks so I think I can handle that for a few months. I've been trying out Teeccino's Herbal Coffee which is actually not too bad. I've also been trying for the past week to drink more water. I've always had problems with drinking enough water. It wasn't uncommon for me to go all day with just one glass of water or even less. I started drinking a minimum of 5 glasses a day last week and I don't know if that has helped or if something else has but the day after I started drinking more water I have had a bit more energy and don't feel as tired as usual. Today though I was a bit tired again and am thinking it may be due to the corn I had this morning for my elimination diet test.

So, hopefully in a few months I will be feeling better and can get this dermatitis and all these food allergies kicked to the curb and life will be back to normal or maybe even better than normal. This yeast issue has probably been going on for years and I just didn't know it and who knows how long I would have gone on before realizing there was an issue. In a way I guess it is a good thing I got dermatitis from epoxy or things may have gotten much worse.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Sulfite Sensitivity

Sulfate Free ProductsI've discovered within the last few weeks that red and even more so white wines may be one of the causes of my dermatitis. I had come to the conclusion that red wine might be causing me some trouble so decided to switch to a white wine which we normally don't drink much of to see if that was any better. Boy was that a mistake. The next morning full blown dermatitis back on my face and it was worse than ever. The right side of my face looked like a dry lake bed. I read there are more sulfites in white than red wine so that is the conclusion I have come to. I decided to take a break from our Friday night tradition of sharing a bottle of wine last weekend to see if the dermatitis would stay away. I made it through the weekend and things were looking promising until Monday morning a small dry patch appeared on my right cheek. *sigh* I had my hopes up that wine was the only thing causing this but it turns out not to be the case. By Tuesday my whole right side of my face was scaly, itchy and red. I've been putting on Protopic and after a couple days it's still slightly itchy but starting to get better. It should be completely gone by Friday. Time will tell if it comes back over the weekend. I'm trying to be really careful with what I eat.

It could be any number of things. Some possibilities is from the vinegar I used to marinate the chicken or that I put on the eggplant or my salad. I don't think vinegar has as much sulfites as wine but maybe it has enough to bother me. Another possibility is my SPF30 facial lotion which contains Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate which I did use on one occasion over the weekend or my face cleanser that contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate that I use on a daily basis or even my fragrance free shampoo/conditioner which contain Sodium Myreth Sulfate, or could it be my Colgate toothpaste that contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. The list goes on. There are sulfates and sulfites in almost everything. I bagged up every product I could find that I had with sulfates or sulfites in them and went to PCC and got all new stuff.

Once the dermatitis appears it usually takes about 5 days of using Protopic twice a day for it to disappear and I usually end up with huge zits as a result of using it. The dermatitis usually starts out as a small spot of dryness on my right cheek and within a day it spreads to my whole right side of my face and for the last few months it has become very itchy which it didn't used to before. It seems to be progressively getting worse each time I get it. My eyes also get dry and my eyelid also gets dry and scaly. I sometimes also get these little bubbles on the edge of my eyelid near my eyelashes. I used to get them for a long time but it was not often. It is much more often now. I get them on both of my eyes. Occasionally some dryness will appear on my left cheek but it typically is centralized to the right side which is the area I had contact with epoxy and is when this all started. I no longer have contact to epoxy so that contact must have triggered some other allergies or made my skin weak and sensitive to everything.

I don't know what to think about all the food allergies I was diagnosed with. I've been on an elimination diet for the past two weeks and haven't really seen any improvement in my health from it. I will be much happier when I can eat corn, soy, egg, dairy, rice, yeast, tomatoes and potatoes again in a few weeks. I need to really watch what I eat that has sulfites in it though and see if there is any improvement. That is going to be a hard one too because sulfites are in all kinds of foods. I found this extensive list of foods that are associated with sulfites. That site also has a recipe database which looks to be pretty neat. You can mark off what food allergies you have and it will show you recipes that don't contain those foods or will have some kind of mark next to it indicating it contains something you noted as being allergic to.

I have read that Vitamin B12 or Vitamin B Complex is helpful for some with sulfite sensitivities. One site I ran into suggested getting blood tested for serum copper because if it is high it could cause molybdenum levels to go down which may be responsible for sulfite sensitivity. I talked to my allergist about what I found online and they've sent me a request to get my blood tested for that. I needed to get blood drawn anyway to test my Vitamin D levels so will do them both. I still need to make an appointment for that. She said they could do Vitamin B injections which I guess are more efficient than the sublingual or pill form. I am not sure I want to stick myself with a needle every week so I'm going with the sublingual form which is still good but she wants me to get it in prescription form from a pharmacy so should be getting that soon. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that it will help.

Hopefully one day I will kick this thing in the butt and get some relief.