Thursday, September 27, 2012


I have learned quite a bit on my journey so far.  Learning to listen to my body about what it needs to function correctly has been a looong journey this year!  Having two autoimmune diseases has really reinforced that I need to do a lot of listening. 

Hashimoto’s has taught me the value in slowing down and making sure that I’m taking care of my body, particularly my sleep schedule and overall stress level.  The Celiac’s has taught me that natural eating is the way to go.  There is wheat in nearly every processed food out there. I never realized just how much wheat product I was eating.  The gluten-free way of eating has made me shop the perimeter of the grocery store out of necessity…which is the way that all of the health gurus say you should be shopping.  I choose to look at the two diseases as my body telling me that improvements are necessary, thank goodness I’m listening.

Now I’m weaving in my WW points too.  I gave myself a week of experimenting, seeing what I needed to eat, and what I could do without, then came back to start tracking points.  I’m seeing that I’m staying more within my DPs than I was before.  Why?  Because I’m eating a lot of fresh veggies and fruits along with lean meats which means that my points are mostly coming from those lean proteins.  It’s great!

It will be interesting to see where I end up on weigh-in day.  I have given myself permission to have a couple of weeks where I may not lose much; my body is still in the process of adjusting to food and medication changes.  For now it just feels good to be eating well and treating myself well.

Oh, tonight is pizza night!  Woo hoo!  I found a recipe to make the gluten-free dough and bought all of the necessary flours.  I made the dough last night; put it in the fridge, fingers crossed that my all roasted veggie pizza has a good crust!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blood Pressure and Adventures in Gluten-Free Land

Things got a little bit crazy last week; I had a problem with my blood pressure dropping way too low on Tuesday. I nearly passed out at work!  Silly me, I thought I was coming down with the stomach flu until I really started thinking about it and realized I was experiencing symptoms since the day before and it might just be blood pressure related.  The doctor confirmed it, 72/58, and that’s when I was feeling better, who knows what it was when I thought I was going to end up on the floor!  She made some medication adjustments, told me to drink a lot more water and had me buy a blood pressure monitor to check it periodically.  I have been doing ok since, the bp has been a bit on the lower side, 100/62, but at least it’s more positive than before. 

Besides that I’m happy to report I’m starting to feel better.  I’m not exhausted like I was, I do still get tired easily and quickly but I figure that will be improving more as I go.  The gluten-free eating has been a lot easier than I thought it would be, I just have to adjust to making everything from scratch (which is better for us anyway).

I have come up with a couple of great recipes and found some products along the way.  Veggie stir fry (I found a fantastic gluten-free soy sauce, right a Kroger), Bragg Liquid Aminos, it’s great! Chicken Enchiladas (my own recipe) and a few from others as well.  I’m still learning everything but I’m slowly coming around.  My step this week is fitting it all into my weekly WW points (ha, notice the pun, “fitting”).  Anyway, so far so good.

I’m not going to post everything I ate since last week, instead I figured I would share some of my recipes so far.  I haven’t had any trouble with them, but, as is always the case when eating gluten-free, you need to be sure you are ok with all of the ingredients yourself.

Veggie Stir Fry (serves 4-6)

1 T olive oil (you could use peanut as well)
1 inch section of fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
4 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into small strips
½ package of cole slaw mix (this one had cabbage and carrots)
2 T of soy sauce (I used Bragg Liquid Aminos)
1 T of rice wine vinegar
2 cups brown rice (I cooked a bunch over the weekend to use in various things)

1.                   heat olive oil up in a pan on medium high heat
2.                   add in ginger, garlic and onion, sauté until onion is soft
3.                   add in vegetables and sauté until cooked to your preference (I like mine warm but still having a bit of crunch)
4.                   dump in the rice, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and stir well until the rice is fully incorporated and warmed

I had this without any meat, but you could certainly add ham, chicken, turkey, shrimp or tofu to it if you want.  It’s very filling!

Chicken Enchiladas (serves 6)

3 chicken breasts, boneless/skinless
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
¼ C lime juice
¼ C olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 bell pepper, sliced somewhat thin (I use red, a matter of preference)
2 large zucchini, sliced into thin strips
1 large jar Herdez green salsa (salsa verde)
10 white corn tortillas (made sure they are GF!)
6 oz. shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 can fat free refried black beans

  1. mix together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and oregano, add in garlic and pour over chicken breasts that have been placed in a glass bowl/baking dish, cover and marinate overnight
  2. grill or bake chicken breasts until cooked through (375 for about 30 minutes in an oven)
  3. sauté onion, zucchini and pepper in a skillet with a little bit of oil until soft and onions have slightly carmelized, remove from heat
  4. shred cooked chicken and place in a bowl with the onion/pepper mixture, add refried beans and about 1/3 C of the salsa and mix well
  5. add 1 oz of cheese and mix well
  6. char tortillas in a hot dry skillet so that they become pliable
  7. spray a baking dish with a little bit of cooking spray
  8. pour a little of the salsa in the bottom and move it around to coat
  9. fill one tortilla at a time with the chicken filling, roll and place in the dish seam side down (make these a little full or you won’t use all of the filling)
  10. once you have placed all of the enchiladas in the dish (you may have to squish a little to get them all in) pour the remainder of the salsa and cheese over the top, covering everything
  11. cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until top is browned
  12. serve with sides of chopped tomato, sour cream and/or guacamole

I hope you enjoy everything….I will let you know more about my adventures in the kitchen as I go!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Going Gluten-Free

The beginning of the transition to gluten-free and moderate-carb (for my diabetic husband) eating began over the weekend.  I had some headaches, I’m thinking that’s because my body is just getting rid of what it perceives as toxins any way that it can now that I’m not putting more in. 

Overall it was a good weekend and beginning to the week.  It has been a good easing into the new way of eating.  It will take some time for me to really get good at this, but I know it is going to make me feel better, which is the best motivator.  On Saturday I went through my pantry and refrigerator and threw out anything with gluten in it, I was amazed at everything that has it.  Then, the trip to the grocery store took a while because I had to read any label I came across.  It is so much easier when in the produce section where you don’t have to read a label, and at the meat counter as well.  I’m still a little stunned just how much has some form of gluten in it.  No wonder I was feeling so awful!

Yesterday I had a little trouble with dizziness.  It didn’t occur to me that by going moderate carb I would need to watch my electrolytes (for those of you that haven’t experienced it, you lose a lot of water fast).  My husband made me weigh myself last night because I was dizzy, I lost 11 pounds between Friday and Monday evening.  Not good and not healthy.  Though I do believe part of it has been my body getting rid of what it sees as toxins.

Here’s to a new day…one great side-effect is that I’m thinking more clearly, there is less “brain-fog”, it’s fantastic!  Next step is adding exercise back into my morning routine as my energy finally starts to come back.  I’m really looking forward to getting back on my treadmill, I actually miss it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Gluten-Free Here I Come

This blog is going to change just a bit due to recent life happenings.  I mentioned a couple of times that I have had trouble with health issues in the last several months and finally have some answers (after several doctor visits and finally breaking down and crying to one doctor about how awful I feel).  I already knew I had Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack your thyroid.  I have had that for several years and it was mostly controlled through medication.  Then, in February/March, an extremely stressful period, my health started declining rapidly.  I lost nearly 40 pounds in 2 months.  Silly me, I thought it was due to my health efforts when in reality it was due to a hyperthyroid swing.  I was taken off of my thyroid medicine by an extremely uneducated doctor.  I learned later that’s one of the worst things you can do to someone with Hashimoto’s, oops.  When I finally got back on I was still having troubles, a lot of them, and got desperate for answers.  I am getting them.

Along with the Hashimoto’s I also have Celiac’s disease, nothing that’s earth-shattering, there are a lot of people in the world with it.  The significant thing for me is that the effects from that is likely what has kept my immune system continually attacking my thyroid.  Oh, and my vitamin levels had bottomed out because of it too.  Answers, that’s all I needed.  Now I have a plan of attack.

First, supplements for everything that’s lacking…iron, vitamin d, vitamin c (to better absorb the iron), folic acid, b12, flaxseed oil (to up my HDL).  Second, I’m going gluten-free.  The gluten-free should even out my system and get rid of the aches/pains and exhaustion.  I’m really looking forward to feeling good again!

So, this is still a journey, one toward health, a little bit different path, but still moving toward that healthy direction.  The great thing I’m learning about gluten free eating is that it still focuses on fresh veggies, fruit and meats, I need to leave processed foods alone because those generally contain gluten (unless, of course, they are indicated as GF).  I like the idea of using as many fresh ingredients as I can then using the processed foods every once in a great while.

Here’s to better health.