Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Grainy Pains Grain Free Reference Guide

Before I begin this post please note that this is not a rant bashing anyone who doesn't understand what people with digestive conditions such as Celiac Disease, Crohn's, Gluten Intolerance, of the many other conditions that the medical community has scrambled to name since these conditions have come to light but rather a guide for people who are learning to adapt to going grain free because they either want to try it or have no other alternative and just don't know where to look online. 

Okay, maybe there will be a little rant here but seriously, grain intolerance can actually kill you if you suffer from it! If you ignore the symptoms and continue to eat processed foods that have grain flours as a base you are just asking for all the side effects that come with it!

Here are a list of side effects that I have personally experienced as a result of being grain intolerant and had no clue up until 2 years ago:

  • Migraines- I would suffer from migraines twice a week (unless I had nothing to eat but meat and vegetables) but because I'm on a budget, processed food was the most economical for me at the time. The migraines would usually always hit a couple of days before it rained. Now you probably think "oh it's because of the change in the air pressure; I used to think that too, but I haven't had a migraine in 2 years since I gave up processed food.
  • Rashes- I would be covered in a blotchy rash whenever I had a sandwich, not thinking it had anything to do with what I was eating at the time I switched to laundry soap for babies, additive free laundry soap, even went as far as washing my clothes in nothing but warm water! It didn't matter, I was still getting rashes that was until I went grain free, within the first year the rashes stopped. I also had what I thought was eczema, that too disappeared.
  • Scalp sensitivity- some people think that you get a sensitive scalp because either your hair is long or you color it too much, I kept my hair super short and only colored it twice a year. I tried different shampoos as well from baby shampoo to pure glycerin soap, it didn't make a difference.
  • Hair loss- this is tied in with the above  symptom again, I kept my hair super short for this very reason because every time I took a shower I would lose a lot if hair. Lucky for me I was losing it evenly but my hairline was receding to a "widows peak" which I found disturbing as there is no baldness in my family! I am happy to say that since going grain free I have not lost any more hair and the "widows peak" is gone!
  • Diarrhea- this condition is a sign not of undercooked food or spoilage, but a sign that you are not digesting your food! For me, it got to the point where nothing was working at all to stop it and I started accepting the fact that this was a part of aging that was until I got to the next scary symptom!
  • Undigested Food- there is a problem if you eat a meal and it comes out exactly the way it went in! By that I mean it's coming out of your bottom exactly the way you chewed it up!
  • Mucous- If your poop is covered by mucous, that means that your liver is working overtime to protect the lining of your stomach, if this fails you get what is known as "leaky gut" a condition where food particles actually enter your bloodstream!
  • Depression- Think that depression has nothing to do with what you eat? Guess again! Depression is directly linked to poor nutrition, observe any person that eats a whole food diet, they are happy, optimistic, patient, very rarely get angry and even when they do get upset it passes super fast!
  • Abdominal Pain- Not to be confused with a stomach ache, your lower abdomen is right above your pelvis and when it contracts or gets inflamed the pain can travel down your legs! I had this happen to me quite a few times, most recently in October 2017 when I came to the conclusion that I was no longer able to tolerate rice and ended up in the chronic pain ward of my local hospital!
  • Back Pain and Inflammation- When you are missing key nutrients in your diet your whole body suffers! I had always experienced back pain and figured it was because I had an epidural with each of my two sons, that wasn't the case. About a year before I kicked wheat to the curb my back actually started spasming on a regular basis causing me great pain and anxiety, the doctors said it was because I had bursitis that was spreading from my hips to my back. That wasn't the case, since I have stopped eating grains I have not had one back ache! Now I'm not going to say that it went away immediately because it didn't. It took roughly 6 months into being wheat free before I noticed a difference, that along with low impact exercise like Belly Dancing made a huge difference!(* Please note, if you suffer from any of the above symptoms make an appointment with your doctor and get a referral to a GI specialist)
But there is hope and support! There are other bloggers like me who are here to help, who have had to do a lot of the research involving digestive conditions themselves; below is a list of groups and websites that will help you on your journey to better health if you so choose to take this road!

GLUTEN DUDE this guy will give it to you straight up! He will not sugar coat anything and he also works very hard to make his blog as informative as possible!

No Grain No Pain Dr Peter Osborne is another great guide to help you along the road to better health, he also has a youtube channel that he does live streams on an will answer any questions that you have!

I have other links on this blog, feel free to check them out!


NOW FOR THE FOOD
 Below you will find some links for support groups and recipe websites that will make meal planning a whole lot easier! I also come up with celiac friendly recipes that I test out and publish on my blog so check back often!


Support Groups

Here are a couple of support groups that I am involved in that are full of wonderful helpful people who know first hand what it's like to suffer from a digestive related illness!

Gluten Free Celiac Disease Support Group is a wonderful group that you can find on Facebook; in the group we share opinions, ideas, support and recipes to help make living without grain more tolerable!

Wheat Belly Recipes   This another great group that you can join that is full of friendly, helpful people that will answer any questions that you may have based on their experiences! Need a recipe? You'll find it here!

Speaking of recipes, I have a few resources that you can go to to help you put together a meal plan!

What I like about this blog is that it has a lot of Paleo and Whole 30 recipes that contain no processed foods whatsoever. However in saying that the site is loaded with ads that make the page take a long time to load, I have no plans on having ads on my blog any time soon so you can access my recipes faster!

Another good site that has recipes based on the Ketogenic diet which is another whole food eating plan that will help you on the road to recovery!

This is the first site I came across when I was looking for recipes that I could actually eat, again this one takes time to load because it's full of ads, but she has some pretty good recipes.

https://www.ditchthecarbs.com/grain-free-kfc/ I love my chicken even more now than before, I make sure that it's free range, hormone free and free of antibiotics, so this site is a great resource for recipe ideas!

Now there is no fast and easy road to being healthier you just have to take it one day at a time but hang in there! It does get better! You will find that a lot of the things that you suffered from like colds and the flu will be a thing of the past! But I will save that for another blog!

Till Next Blog!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The One Pan Chicken Dinner

I hate doing dishes! Which is why I prefer to cook most of my meals in one roasting pan!
It's been proven time and time again that baking your food is a lot healthier for you than frying or microwaving!


And so I bring to you the one pan chicken dinner!






Now you can use a variety of different vegetables to bake  with your chicken; in the above video you'll see that I use carrots potatoes and onions, but you can also use turnips, sweet potatoes or butternut squash to bake your chicken with!

I use hormone free, antibiotic free chicken that's free range and raised on vegetable grain, not corn or wheat; healthy chickens make for a healthier dinner.

The items that you need for this dinner are as follows:


One large roasting pan
One pkg organic chicken thighs
Ten organic carrots
half a small bag of organic ruby red potatoes
1/2 a large organic yellow onion
1/2 cup of water
1 tbsp coconut oil

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375 F

Wash your chicken and pat dry, place it in the reason for this is to make the chicken skin crispy!

  • Peel and cut your carrots into lengthwise 1/3 rd pieces toss into the roasting pan with the chicken.
  • Wash your ruby red potatoes and cut them in half; no need to peel these little guys as the skin is thinner than a white potato toss these in the pan as well
  • Chop up your onion into medium sized pieces, toss into the pan
  • Pour the 1/2 cup of water over the chicken and vegetables!
  • Add the coconut oil and you're ready to cook!
Bake in your preheated oven for one hour, once the hour is up, take the roasting pan out, remove the drippings into a small pot and return the roasting pan to the oven cooking the chicken for another 15 minutes.

Now it's totally up to you but you can make a quick gravy with the drippings, just get 2 tbsp of arrowroot flour add enough cold water to make into a paste and add to the drippings, heat over a medium heat and mix with a wire whisk until the sauce thickens, add your favorite spices!

 This will last me two to three days, or it will serve a family of four for one dinner; total cost of this dinner is $12.

I hope you enjoy the video, you can also see it on my vimeo channel where you will find other videos that show you how to cook gluten free and get healthier through real food!

Till next Blog!


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Creamy Vegan Vegetable Soup!

Okay I know; how can it be called vegan if it's already got vegetables in it?!

The answer is quite simple; the "cream" is non dairy!

I came up with this recipe last night while trying to figure out what I wanted to eat for dinner, I'm sure there are other versions out there but whatever, I didn't get this online or from a book, I took an inventory of what was in my fridge and pantry like all great cooks before me and made it work๐Ÿ˜‰

This soup is so good you'll have 2 bowls of it!



Perfect for a cold winter's day!






CREAMY VEGAN VEGETABLE SOUP
One Acorn Squash (roasted)
Five Large Carrots peeled and sliced
One Pkg of Spinach (chopped frozen)
One Small Turmeric Root
1 Can of Coconut Milk
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg


Method
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375 F
Cut your acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds, on a roasting pan add 1/2 cup of water, place the squash in cut side down and cover; cook for forty to forty five minutes.
While that is cooking you can peel and slice your carrots, place them in a large pot and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for one hour or until the carrots are soft, (tip: the thinner you slice them the faster they cook).
Once the squash is done take that out of the oven and set aside to cool, wait and additional 20 minutes for the carrots; go check your e-mail or something lol!

Once the 20 minutes are up strain your carrots into a large bowl, you need the stock so don't strain it in the sink! Toss the carrots back into the pot and mash them really good! Pour the soup stock back into the pot. Get your squash and spoon that into the pot with the carrots, add the frozen spinach and the coconut milk finish it off with the turmeric cinnamon and nutmeg and you have a superfood soup!
The thing I love about this soup is that it's loaded with good calories, not the bad ones that you find in canned soups and it tastes fattening but it;s actually not so your gluten loving friends will love it!

Till Next Blog!



Gluten Free Apple Berry Cake

Ahh winter! Don't you just love it? Well; for those of us who live in the northern parts that is! The freezing cold days, the dry skin from the artificial heat, the layers of clothes, and let's not forget the snow!
But there is one thing that winter brings and that's the urge to make comfort food! Yes, all the goodies that we cook in our ovens that make the house smell soo good. like lasagne and turkey and stews.......you get the picture.

Today I'm sharing with you another comfort food and that's cake!

Not just any cake though; gluten free Apple Berry Cake๐Ÿ˜Š

This cakes recipe is similar to my other recipes only the ingredients are different, there's fewer of them which makes whipping up this cake super easy!

Let's get started shall we?




Try this topped with banana yogurt or your favorite coconut ice cream!







APPLE BERRY CAKE
PREHEAT OVEN TO: 380F
1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup of blackberries, blueberries, or any of your favorite berries smashed to a pulp.
5 range free eggs
1/2 cup of coconut flour
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1 tsp of baking soda
2 tbsp of arrowroot flour


METHOD

In a separate bowl whisk together the coconut flour, arrowroot flour and baking soda, set aside.
In another bowl whisk together the eggs, applesauce, coconut oil and the berries, dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (or whichever bowl is larger) and mix thoroughly with your whisk, don't use a blender or you'll end up with a big pancake!

Let this sit for 5 minutes, in the meantime you can clean up your mess!

Once the time has passed get a 9 inch round cake pan lined with parchment paper and add the batter, bake for 28 to 30 minutes, don't be alarmed if your cake comes out super moist, coconut flour is much denser than wheat flour, just let it sit out on a plate for a couple of hours but you can have a piece as soon as it cools down ๐Ÿ˜‰

I will be making home videos and putting them back on my blog again in the near future.


Till next Blog!

Why I Won't Fight To Get My YouTube Channel Back

I am writing this post today not to trash Google or YouTube but to express my feelings on life as a new vlog creator. It's my hope that whoever reads this doesn't make the same mistake that I did; every social media website has different definitions of spam and it's important to learn them all for whatever site you use!


My channel Grainy Pains was suspended for suspected spamming, which is against Youtube's community guidelines an innocent mistake on my part. I had a good channel with no strikes that I put a lot of time and money into to make it a good channel where people with digestive conditions like mine could go and get gluten free recipes.

It all started with me wanting to help support small youtubers like myself; and so I shared the channels that I was subscribed to.
On New Years Eve I shared a little too much and was immediately shut down, (no strikes no warning e-mail) I even almost lost my e-mail account as a result!

I went through my own personal brand of hell that day, but the ultimate slap in the face was the fact that Logan Paul puts up a video showing a dead suicide victim in Japans Suicide Forest; a place where he had no business being in the FIRST place and Youtube does nothing!

All this shows me is that Youtube is not looking out for the little creator, all they care about is the money the more privileged creators bring into their channel!
I have heard that once upon a time YouTube wasn't like that; they actually supported new creators.

What Happened? 

I can only speculate that because YouTube was hard up for money to keep the platform going they sold to Google which is a bigger fish then they are in the sea of equity.

I don't want to be a part of a platform that favors the type of behavior that Logan Paul has demonstrated recently!
As far as I'm concerned it's not worth the aggravation!

I am still creating videos however because I enjoy doing them; you can find me on Vimeo, mind you my uploads are limited until I can afford to pay the hosting fee but you know what? I really don't mind paying the yearly fee, as far as I'm concerned it's a small price to pay to avoid the type of drama and uncertainty that YouTube has caused, every day I felt pressured to put out a video and make sure that all the i's were dotted and the t's were crossed and that I wasn't violating community guidelines or offending someone with a comment!

But I have learned a valuable lesson from this; I make sure that I read the terms of service of every site that I'm on thoroughly as well as the community guidelines and if I'm unsure of anything I will contact the mods of the site directly!

On the bright side this has inspired me to keep working on my blog even more; now that I have a limited upload on Vimeo I only have to make a couple of videos every week which frees up time for me to work on other projects ๐Ÿ˜

Till Next Blog




Monday, January 1, 2018

The Art Of Belly Dancing; How It Can Shape And Tone Your Body (without killing you!)

If you want a nice low impact workout that you can do in the privacy of your own home than belly dancing may be right up your alley!

I have been practicing the art for the last five years and I can tell you that it's the most relaxing way to get into shape!

Not only does it shape you on the outside but it helps you in so many other ways; from relieving stress to helping you with your digestion, making childbirth easier and even easing PMS!

The art of belly dancing has been around for the last five thousand years, some say that it originated in the Middle East while others say that it originated in Africa, nobody really knows for sure but one thing is for certain; it's a great workout for every muscle in your body!


As you can see in the above picture I am wearing wrist weights; I wear those while I'm doing my belly dancing workout as well. Not only does increase the strength in my forearms and wrists, but it helps to tone my shoulders as well!


How To Start Belly Dancing

There are a couple of ways you can go about learning to belly dance; you can talk a friend into going to a couple of classes with you, or you can buy an instructional DVD an learn yourself at home!

My personal preference was to see what I could find online first; but there really was not a whole lot to choose from at the time so I bought a DVD that I found in the cheap bin at Walmart!

Once I had mastered that though, it was time to find a more advanced one and I have been doing the same routine ever since!
For some music to get you shaking your booty I recommend checking out Spotify!


The Importance Of Balancing Nutrition And Exercise!

If you think that you can get away with working out at the gym for 90 minutes and think it's okay to scarf down a pizza afterward; think again!
Not only is that counterproductive, but it also does more harm to your internal organs than good!

The same goes for any type of exercise including belly dancing! The best way to balance food and exercise is my eating first, then exercising fifteen to 20 minutes later for 20 minutes every other day.
Do not do it the other way around, because when you exercise first then eat after your body stores that food as unused energy which turns into excess sugar and ultimately....fat.

So make sure you eat a good gluten free breakfast! See my Monkey See Monkey Do Eating Plan for inspiration and remember to always drink three glasses of water with every meal!


Till Next blog! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

GLUTEN INTOLERANCE: A Personal View

Wow, where do I even begin; I remember my first introduction to Celiac Disease 5 years ago; I was selling skincare products and working at a convenience store when I met a lady who had severe acne; seeing a sales opportunity I started chatting with her about the skincare I was selling and she became a customer and a friend. It was then that she told me about celiac disease, at that time I knew nothing about it, what the symptoms were or how it affected your body; all she told me was that eating wheat gave her a terrible stomach ache so she avoided it.


It's really kind of confusing when you discover that wheat is not your digestive systems best friend, especially if you're not familiar with food intolerance. For me, I didn't know what the heck was going on. I started noticing things a couple of years ago but didn't know what to do about it. It wasn't until June of 2015 that I really did some research on it and taking action.

So I'll share with you my symptoms:

Weight gain (an average of 5 lbs per month)
Diarrhea with a lot of mucus and undigested food that was eaten 2 hours earlier.
Hair falling out in abnormal amounts and scalp sensitivity
Nails not growing properly ( they would be thin with lines in them)
Abdominal cramps that lasted from 1 to 7 days
Poor concentration
Lack of energy
headaches or migraines that lasted from 2 to 4 days

Now because I exist on a low income I ate a lot of bread, pasta, and cheese and processed food. The only time I didn't have any abdominal cramps is when I would eat  veggies.
But I really didn't think anything of it except for suspecting that I was lactose intolerant, so I stopped eating cheese; which meant no more lasagne! Unfortunately the cramps didn't stop. I finally got to the point where I was accepting the fact that these cramps were a part of my life.. I know what you're thinking; why didn't I go to see my doctor? I didn't because any time I went to see him he would give me a prescription for whatever and I don't have a drug plan and really couldn't afford it.
As I mentioned in my earlier post I came across a book at my work called Wheat Belly which helped immensely I read half way through the book and immediately stopped eating anything made with wheat and corn. Two days later my hair stopped falling out, my scalp didn't hurt and no abdominal cramps! As for the diarrhea, well that took a little longer, I guess because my body was detoxing itself. Now in the 4 months since I have adapted to a wheat free lifestyle, I feel a lot better; I have lost 30 lbs, I still get the odd headache but it doesn't last days anymore, just a couple of hours, I have lots of energy and my hair looks great!
What I eat in a typical day is actually a lot more that what I did when I was eating wheat:
before I was just eating 2 sandwiches  with some fruit and usually pasta for dinner with meat or veggies.
Now what I have for breakfast is this: 3 boiled eggs, fruit, & a bowl of yoghurt, for lunch I'll have either steak or chicken with veggies  and or sweet potatoes, for dinner I'll have a stir fry with either beef or chicken and lots of veggies. For snacks I'll mostly have fruit and occasionally a chocolate bar. I feel much better the only thing I miss is the convenience of just making a quick sandwich or having a couple of cookies with my tea. But as I have discovered, there are a lot of gluten free recipes online and I got a copy of the Wheat Belly cook book which has tons of great dishes! For my next entry I will share some recipes and an eating plan. :)
But there is so much more to Celiac Disease than just avoiding wheat; you have to stay away from ALL grains as your body just can't digest it!
A lot of people who just don't know about it assume that you go gluten free and you can manage it, so just go to the grocery store and buy the gluten free food, I wish it was that easy but it's not.
You have to read the ingredients of EVERYTHING that you buy pre packaged, if it's made with rice flour that's not a food choice for a Celiac, not only that; it's not even an option! When I was first diagnosed as gluten intolerant I could eat rice, but recently after spending 6 hours in the chronic pain ward and having to undergo a CT Scan I had to knock rice off my food list!

You're probably wondering how a Celiac can tell if they have been affected? I can't speak for anyone else but for me personally I experience pain so bad that I would rather give birth again! The pain is so bad that it travels down my legs and I feel like I want to die!

How do you know you have Celiac disease? Well, aside from the pain you get after eating any type of grain, (wheat being the most painful) you don't digest your food at all!

What I mean by that is plain and simple; you eat, then up to 2 hours later you go to the toilet and excrete the food you previously ate! It's like vomiting out the other end!
Also what comes out with your undigested food is mucous; this mucous is what your liver secretes in order to protect the lining of your stomach, so if you find that in your poop get to your doctor ASAP and get referred to a GI doctor!

How do you feel once you know you have Celiac Disease? Again. I can't speak for anyone else but my first emotion was relief, then it was sorrow, then it was righteous anger!

What happens if you don't eat properly? You get sick. Period. You have to have a balance of plant and meat proteins; you'll notice a lot of Celiacs eat a lot of eggs, that's because it's the quickest meat protein available! If you don't have that balance you lose energy really fast! When you go grain free your body starts to heal itself but in order to to that you need to feed yourself the proper nutrients, but you also digest your food three times faster than when you were eating gluten, because gluten it not a digestive food it actually stays in your digestive tract longer giving you that "full" feeling!

What are the best things to eat?
I can tell you what I eat; range free eggs, vegetable grain fed chicken and bacon as well as pork chops, grass fed beef, sweet potatoes, broccoli, organic mixed vegetables, gelatin free yogurt, coconut yogurt, coconut ice cream, fresh ground peanut butter, quinoa, wheat free oatmeal, avocados, bananas,cheese ( thank goodness I'm not lactose intolerant) coconut milk and I make my own chocolate!

When I read the book Wheat Belly; I broke down and cried halfway through the book! It described what I had been going through all my life! It was the answer to all the questions that I had about my health!
What made me sad though is the fact that my mother had been suffering from the same thing, only it killed her.
What makes me angry to this day is that food companies know that the shit they put in processed food is not healthy but they continue to do so in the name of profit!

When people crack jokes about being gluten free it used to piss me off at first; but now I fluff it off because I know that they know nothing about the subject!
The reason why your gluten free friends and family want you to go gluten free is not so they feel less alone; far from it! They just don't want you to go through the same pain as they have gone through!

How does a condition like this change you?
Before I knew that I had this condition I was like many other people that had little to no knowledge of food sensitivities I made jokes, I got upset when I could no longer send my kids to school with peanut butter & jam sandwiches but, not just because of the allergic person; but because I really couldn't afford to give my kids lunch meat every day! But I kick myself in the ass now that I'm on the other side of the fence because now I know what others go through.
For some people the anger takes over and they become bitter and verbally attack people that just don't know enough about the subject.
For others they learn not to ignore the signs that their bodies are telling them and act on it, but also they learn not to take things for granted in  health as well as in life.

I hope this sheds at least some light on the subject of Celiac Disease for you and if you are one of those people that like to crack off about this serious life threatening condition please educate yourself.

Till Next Blog!

Featured Post

The Grainy Pains Grain Free Reference Guide

Before I begin this post please note that this is not a rant bashing anyone who doesn't understand what people with digestive condition...