Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nutrition and Food Allergies *Updated*

It is interesting as I am sitting down to write this post that we found out yesterday JJ is allergic to wheat and peanuts. We knew he was allergic to other nuts but we thought peanuts were the only "safe" nuts. I had suspected that he was allergic to wheat with the particular symptoms he was having. The Dr. did not check him for Celiac but a lot of his symptoms were similar. The good news is that hormonally he is fine no thyroid issues which is what we suspected. The bad news is that his diet has to change! I am so glad I have been gluten free for almost two years to help show him the ropes! When we got home from the grocery store yesterday he went into the freezer and threw out his favorite frozen pizza. I felt so bad for him because it sucks to have food allergies and intolerances but at least we are on this journey together. My MIL said that JJ and I are truly meant to be together and are "two of a kind." Now our house is truly gluten free no worrying about cross contamination here! I will admit that it might make things easier for our house to just plan the same foods to have around the house instead of separate stuff.

When I talk about nutrition I am not talking as an expert. I just talk about my experience and what I have read up on which I will give you the sources and links to. I am not a Dr., naturopath or nutritionist! Always make sure to check with your health care provider before starting any new diet plan. Now that the disclaimer is out of they way here we go.

It is sometimes difficult to find the right balanced diet that works for you and your health conditions. There is so much information and books you can read, each disputing one another; eat soy, don't eat soy, eat grains, don't eat grains, eat raw dairy, don't have any dairy, and the list goes on! It really is about finding what is right for you and what works for your body, no two people are alike.

I started looking into natural nutritional ways to aid us in our fertility issues about 4 years ago. One of the first books I read was Marilyn Shannon's Fertility Cycles and Nutrition found here. I read this book so fast and took a lot of her recommendations. I started making my own bread and making sure our produce and meat was gmo free and organic whenever possible. I made a lot of our homemade treats with organic whole wheat flour instead of white flour. After doing this for awhile I noticed that things were not getting better, they were getting worse! Don't get me wrong the book had some great information but I think she misses the mark in a BIG way about the whole wheat and dairy issue.

Then after that I decided to cut out milk, so I switched to soy milk then to rice milk. For those of you with fertility issues especially for PCOS you are shaking your head at me right now. I know it was a dumb thing to go to soy milk but at this point I had been misdiagnosed and to my medical knowledge I did not have PCOS. You see soy is not a good thing for us women and our hormones because it can create an estrogen like hormone in our bodies and we do not need that. I then attempted to cut out a lot of animal protein, so red meat went out. I would eat eggs, fish and allow poultry once a week. I consumed more soy products than I care to admit. Then I started realizing that the soy was not good, duh!

Then when I finally went to a NaPro Dr. she suggested I avoid soy like the plague! She didn't really give me any nutritional advice until she had a proper diagnosis. Once she gave me the devastating diagnosis of PCOS she suggested cutting out gluten, dairy and sugar. I read Elisabeth Hasselbeck's book and started to take out gluten. I am not a fan of Elisabeth H. in general but I needed to start somewhere and she seemed to be the only main stream person talking about this. She does warn about replacing gluten with other non healthy grains which I recognized that I was doing just that.   

I still had not taken dairy out even after our miscarriage. I love cheese so it was a fight with myself to even just give it a try. Despite my best efforts I was lost at what I should and should not eat and spinning into a tale of confusion and frustration.   I decided to seek out professional help for my diet dilemma because my body was still out of whack six months after our miscarriage. Since I was not getting any help from my Drs. I took a recommendation from a friend to go see her naturopath. I would only go see someone who a friend recommended because this is LA we have a lot of people who think they know what they are doing in terms of nutrition. She put me through a detox phase that lasted a little over 3 months. She also has a book called The Candida Cleanse that lays out her detox program and a little bit about her story.

So this is where I am at right now, I have been gluten free for almost two years and dairy free (she does allow for eggs, mayo and small amounts of organic butter) for almost seven months. I have sugar sparingly, I mainly use agave. I tried stevia but that stuff is nasty! So here goes what is mainly in my diet. I am not trying to promote certain products because as long as the ingredients are good who cares what brand they are.

Main Grains: Brown Rice, Millet, Quinoia, ArrowRoot Flour  
Sometimes Grains/Starch: Organic Corn (minimal), Organic Potatoes (preferably red)

Meats: Red Meat(which I have not added back yet) 1x week, Organic Chicken/Turkey, Fresh or frozen fish 2x a week (canned fish does not count I can only have it once a month). Never pork it is not allowed!

Fruit: Avocados=yum, Green Apples, Oranges 1x a week, All berries, Bananas and Grapes 1x a month. I am not a big fan of fruit so this does not bother me too much.

Veggies: Almost all mainly dark leafy greens. Sweet Potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, squash and peppers are my main go tos. I get them fresh or frozen depending on the price. I throw frozen spinach into almost everything I make to get the extra veg. in.

No soy sauce at all! We get Bragg's  liquid aminos and apple cider vinegar and use that in salad dressing and stir fry's.

Nuts: I mainly stick with almonds since JJ is allergic and almonds give him the least reaction. No peanuts, they are inflammatory! 

Seeds: Sunflower seeds are my main go to. I use unsweetened sunflower butter in place of peanut butter. Other seeds like pumpkin and sesame seeds are in snacks that I have. Flax seed is a BIG one too! I can not rave about flax seeds enough, I put flax seed meal in most all of my baked goods and pancakes.

Legumes: Black, Pinto, Kidney and Garbanzo beans. All of these are not to be had every day and peas are to be eaten sparingly.

*Oils= Mainly olive, grapeseed and coconut is what I use. No canola oil!

*No caffeine via coffee or tea during detox. All teas are herbal and chamomile is best.

*No alcohol whatsoever! Which was not a problem for me because I do not like the taste. It was harder to stay away from chocolate and cheese!  

*64oz. of water a day. You could also use tea to subsitiute for some of the water intake.

"Milks"= no animal milk while on detox. Coconut, Almond and Hemp milk all unsweetened.

After the detox she does allow for raw dairy products like cheese and milk in small amounts. She prefers raw goat and sheep products to cow products. 

This is the plan that she has for me it might be different for others and the main gist of this is to not have too much of one thing. Also to eat a lower glycemic index diet as PCOSers tend to have or get diabetes. I eat the way my naturopath has directed 80-100% of the time the other percentage just gives me some wiggle room. Although I do not want to chance eating gluten, cheese or milk!

I am going to create a recipe tab eventually so that y'all can try them if you want. What have you found to be your food go tos or no nos?

Thursday, February 21, 2013


The feeling I have been experiencing lately is that of being tired and d-o-n-e! I could not quite pinpoint it until I was talking to JJ about it the last few days. We have been looking into many different things and they all seem to NOT be working out.

The first thing is obvious, TTC and asking God to give us a child here on earth. I told JJ that I am so tired of not getting pregnant every month, I have even stopped praying for it specifically. We started to pray a St. Gerard prayer every night, JJ's idea not mine, that is the only time I consciously ask God for it to happen. I am so tired of not being in the mommy club and not rocking a baby to sleep. I am tired of hearing about Catholic mommy groups that I don't get to be a part of. It is hard to see that my marriage is fruitful when we can not see the visible fruit of children, especially when much emphasis around us in the Catholic community is put on having a big family. It sometimes makes me feel like my marriage is less than or not as legit as those with children here on earth. 

The second thing is adoption. It is so expensive I do not see it in the near future unless we win the lotto, which we don't play. I am trying to be more budget conscious, cut costs, eat at home instead of out. We do not use coupons because on the diet that I am on they are pretty useless unless they have coupons for fresh veggies that I am not aware of. We are fully aware that next to our rent our grocery bill is the next highest one, which we are unwilling to compromise on. We would love to grow our own food and are looking into renting a house so we have the space to do so. I am also experimenting with making my own laundry detergent and have started to buy things on Amazon which is cheaper!

The third thing finding a decent house to rent. I do not have to remind people of how expensive renting or buying is in SoCal. We are looking for a two bedroom one bath house for rent w/ a front and backyard that will allow dogs. We really want a dog so this is something we do not want to budge on. Most of the places will not allow pets so they go off our list. What we are finding is that the houses are usually a duplex or two on the same lot which we do not want. Who the hell ever thought two houses on a lot would ever be a good idea! We are also finding that the houses have a great yard but a crappy inside or a great inside but a crappy or non existent yard. Since I spend a lot of time in the kitchen we also want to make sure it is not tiny or in bad shape.

We have looked at MANY houses and there was one that was doable for us. We would have to replace the carpet ourselves or put down some other flooring as the landlord does not want to replace it. We have tried to turn in an application for this place and meet the landlord but he is a flake and is never at the house when we are or when we have arranged a prior appt. The only way we have seen the house is because he left the door open for us to go in and look at it. So we really like the house but would have to put our own money into it and we don't like the guy. So we are contemplating letting it go and continuing our search.

The last thing I feel like I am done with is eating super healthy! I want to eat cheese again! Eating gluten free and avoiding soy and processed foods isn't that bad for me but not eating cheese has been the worst. I told JJ that I am giving it a couple more cycles and then I am going to start to eat cheese again. Who knows I may not like it anymore but I at least want to eat my favorite g-free pizza once again.

With all of this it feels like we are trying to move forward with our life and we are unable to. We are taking the steps to do all of these things and none of it is working out. Does God really want us to stay in this place forever? Both literally and figuratively! I sure hope not because I am d-o-n-e! This all may sound like I am a spoiled brat complaining and I am fully aware of that. I am frustrated with all of the above situations and needed to vent. Sorry dear reader that I could not come up with something more insightful to post. Sometimes I need to put down this cross to rest a bit so I can pick it back up and continue the journey. Onward Christian soldier, onward...  


Wednesday, February 13, 2013


So, I have been avoiding writing about Lent mainly because I don't want to be in Lent yet! But, alas the liturgical year does not revolve around me. I have had a really hard time the last couple of years figuring out what to sacrifice because a lot of my life already feels lenten. Last night JJ and I were wondering what to do for Lent together and we could not really come up with much. 

You see when you are dealing with IF the spirit of Lent never really leaves you. There is a constant reminder of your deep wounds and your need for God's grace. You constantly cling to this cross that you do not want yet you know was meant for you. Yes, we all have our crosses in life but the cross of IF is a heavy one. It is one that I would not wish on anyone. Wounds are made and scars are reopened constantly and just when you think you are healed another piercing that you did not even know was possible has emerged. It is a humiliating cross to have and soon you begin to realize that the only one who understands is Christ himself. Christ who suffered much more than any of us becomes our perfect solace.

This lovely lady whose blog is conveniently called This Cross I Embrace wrote a wonderful reflection on Lent, the Stations of the Cross and infertility. She explains things much more eloquently than I can, so go read her reflection.

So after thinking about this for weeks I decided what I am going to do for Lent this year. JJ and I decided that we are going to not watch any television on Sundays before Mass so that we can better prepare ourselves for Mass and we will be going to a weekly holy hour together. I did not give up any food items because if I give up anymore food groups I won't be eating very much. I am not giving up blogging but I am going to try and spend less time on them. I am not saying what I am doing for Lent because I don't really think it is necessary. Know that you will all be in my prayers this Lent and I pray that we all have a fruitful Lent!       

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Quick Takes

--- 1 ---
So this cycle was pretty much a bust. I did not take clomid per my NaPro Dr.'s instructions. I thought my body was all awesome and healed, then the PMS reared its ugly head. It turns out I probably did not ovulate this cycle due to my extremely low progesterone levels. Since my progesterone was so low I took a pregnancy test on P+13 on the slim chance that I might have ovulated and actually conceived. It came out negative as you can tell. My estrogen was pretty much kicking my progesterone's ass, hence the PMS. Which leads me to....
--- 2 ---
Reconsidering having another surgery that may help my PCOS condition. I am so sick of my high estrogen levels and PCOS. I am so over PCOS! I am looking for what would be best for me in the long run and not necessarily thinking about getting pregnant at this point. I just want my estrogen levels to go down, so my body can be somewhat "normal." My naturopath even suggested that it might be a good idea for my long term health.  
--- 3 ---
Enough about that. JJ has been off of work for about a 1.5 weeks due to his company switching projects. It has been nice to spend some extra time together but at the same time I am not getting anything done. We were thinking of going to Disneyland one day and then shot it down due to how expensive it is. We are saving for adoption so every penny counts. Do you hear that kid?! Mommy and daddy sacrificed going to Disneyland to save for your arrival.
--- 4 ---
We have not really moved too quickly on the adoption front due to the cost at this point. We are a no debt kind of people so the thought of taking a loan out for it scares the crap out of us. I really wish private adoption was not so expensive in this country but that is a whole other post. I have also been pretty busy studying for this...  
--- 5 ---
My supervisor visit that is this Saturday and Monday! AHHHHH! Say a prayer for me if you remember please. I know it will be fine and it is more of a learning experience than anything else. The perfectionist in me is freaking out because I want to be the best CrMS practitioner that ever lived and the laid back part of myself just wants to get it over with. I guess I found a good balance?
--- 6 ---
Lent is coming and I have no idea what I am doing! I am not ready to let go of Christmas yet, even though it is long gone. Advent and the Christmas season were just so good for me I don't want to move on yet. Lent for me last year was...well Lent. We had just lost Cecilia so I was in a dark place. It was a very fruitful and painful Lent last year, I just don't want a painful one this year. Is it possible to have a joyful Lent? I am not giving up any food items since my diet is very sacrificial but I do want to challenge myself. Hmmm, I guess this will take more thought and prayer.
--- 7 ---
Finally I saved the best for last. As I was reading this post from Jen. I discovered the awesomeness of the Guy on a Buffalo videos. JJ and I really like this one and are now convinced we need a Guy on a Buffalo to bring us our baby. Watch the video, you will not be disappointed!  
Have a great weekend and for more Quick Takes, visit Jen @ Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Valentine's Day Novena for Your Spouse

Hi all! I read Abigail's  blog today and thought I would join in on the fun of praying a St. Valentine's day Novena for my husband JJ. If you want to pray it for your spouse, you can find the novena here at Shoved to Them. If you are single pray it anyway!