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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

We interrupt this programming..



..to learn all about food allergies!  Ugh.  But it's not all bad.  It actually gets good. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this pic over there..



At the end of last month, I went to an allergist, as a sort of last resort, hoping that maybe I would find out that my year-round "seasonal" allergies were being made worse by maybe a food I'm eating (as in one food) and by cutting out that food I might feel better.

But if you look at that report, shock of shocks, I had many massive food allergies/sensitivities. No wonder my allergies just kept getting worse.  

(Thank goodness I wasn't allergic to rat and hamster-hehe Actually we have a no rodent policy in the house, so that wouldn't have mattered.  The important thing: I'm not allergic to Buster.)


The back story:  I never had allergies until after having a baby. They started out as just seasonal allergies. But over time, I went from taking an allergy pill a day, to taking nasal sprays, sometimes with steroids, and finally inhalers, and having sinus headaches every day, and frequent sinus infections.. and it just kept getting worse.  I was kind of at my wits end. These warnings were my worst nightmare: (or so I thought)



I sometimes wonder now, if the post pregnancy development of allergies had anything to do with developing a tumor on my thyroid when my son was 6 mo. old? More on that in a sec. 



Aside from the allergies (sorry if this is tmi) I was also having heartburn every. single. day. Since I had my son.  SEVEN years ago.  It wasn't so bad at first, but it had been getting progressively worse over time. At one point, they tested me for a bacterial infection in my stomach and gave me antibiotics and it got better.. but it came back again. The NP even mentioned that I might need to "be scoped" to see what's going on in there.  Ew. Not fun!

And can I say.. WOW!! I'm glad I saw the allergist!  He had me cut out all of the foods that scored a 4 on the allergy testing for ONE WEEK, which ended up being lots of things that I eat frequently.  ?? He actually told me, "I hope you like meat and potatoes." 

And honestly, corn is on the list of "4's".. it is so hard to find corn free things here in the U.S. of corn.  I kind of have a newfound interest in watching this documentary!




These allergies might sound like a big gigantic PAIN, but actually.. after cutting out all of the foods that scored a 4 on my results for an entire week, I felt so good.  I was sleeping better, I could BREATHE freely, and.. the kicker.. I lost between 5 and 10 pounds! (I'm not sure exactly how much b/c I hadn't weighed in forever b/c it was just depressing.) I was eating fewer calories, yes, but not enough to lose that much weight that fast, so I'm sure it was all from inflammation.  I have been slowly killing myself with foods that I thought were healthy!  Lettuce, rice, corn, tomatoes, citrus, bananas and eggs.  ???

Not that they are unhealthy, they just aren't healthy for me.  Since finding all of this out, I've been reading and researching and learning a lot about food allergies and sensitivities.  Esp. from this book. Its name has nothing to do with Virgin Atlantic Airlines, or actual virgins, or anything, it's the author's last name. :)




She advocates giving up 7 foods that most bodies are sensitive to in some form or another, and then explains the reactions that those foods cause in our bodies, our hormones, our THYROID, etc. It's a great read, and a great chemistry lesson on our cells and metabolism, etc etc..  Even though I didn't get it for the weight loss part (not that I didn't need to), I know that it works, b/c most of the 7 foods that she advocates giving up are the ones that I gave up, and I definitely lost weight. I weigh less now than I have in a long time!   

But that is really just a side bonus at this point.  The main thing is I feel 100% better! I had so many of the symptoms of food allergies/intolerance, I didn't even know that some of them were symptoms! Joint pain, headaches, migrains, heartburn, itchy skin, asthma, fatigue.  So many things make sense now.

*I haven't taken any nasal spray since giving up these foods.


*I haven't had a headache.. (I had even had a couple of migrains last summer!)


*I haven't had any heartburn. Which is HUGE.  Major.  

*I've hardly used an inhaler.


*I'm still supposed to take a daily allergy tab b/c I did score pretty high for mold, dust, pollen, etc.  All of the stuff that blows around in the air, but I've even forgotten to take that a couple of times.


*I'm fitting into clothes I haven't been able to wear in forever!


So, while I've been getting in my Drop and Give Me Twenty sewing for February, I've also been researching cookbooks like this..



..and trying to avoid corn. ;) (it really is everywhere!) And mourning the loss of Mexican food, my favorite comfort food since it routinely contains 5 of the 7 foods that I'm reactive to. :( But did I mention I can BREATHE?  It's a miracle! ;)

Do you have any experience with food allergies or intolerances?  I would love to hear about it, it's all new to me. I've become the person standing in the store reading all the labels obsessively.









Saturday, February 15, 2014

Drop and Give Me Twenty Progress

Wow! Back on Jan 16th, I pledged to sew at least 20 min. a day in the month of February for EvaPaige Quilt Designs Drop and Give me Twenty Campaign.  I've been managing to get it done, but have hardly had any time to post any updates.  It's been a busy sew-month so far with lots of things happening.




Haven't made progress on UFO's but have some new-FOs going. :) I have two new quilt tops done and waiting to be quilted right now. I can't wait to get them done and show you!  

One is out of the Riley Blake basics tone on tone dots, and the other is out of a new line called Unforgettable by Jen Allyson (The Project Girl).  I'm hoping to finish them soon, and then I'll blog all about them.

Yummy fabrics!

Expo ----> a chain piecer's dream..


and Bespectacled             -->
 




And there has also been an Angry Bird pillowcase for my son, who likes to pick out his own fabrics for a new pillowcase once in a while, if there's a super-sale at JoAnn..



.. and today, while cleaning, I found some cute dish towels that I had been hoarding away to do something with and thought I'd try to make a little apron.  Here's how it's taking shape so far..



Wingin' it on this one and it's a total experiment, inspired by the latest issue of Apronology.. (have you seen that magazine?)  I'll be sure to post when it's finished to either share its success story, or its epic fail story. :)

Hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day! 










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