Day 15 – Going Strong!

It is the morning of day 15 and I am feeling great. I went to bed late and got up early (for a long weekend Sunday) and still feel amazing.

Yesterday I made an 11 pound turkey so we’ll be eating well this week!  I’ve got turkey bone broth simmering away on the stove and am looking forward to adding that to my Whole 30 challenge.

I’m finding it easy to say ‘no’ to off-plan food too. Hubs had popcorn last night and I wasn’t even tempted. Now this was my weakness – corn  – one of the main reasons to try a Whole 30, to give my body a rest from all grains.

I also think I am losing weight. My face seems thinner and my yoga pants aren’t as tight. I had one pair that was starting to be uncomfortable pre-whole 30, now they fit. Yay me!  I’m sure it is the drop of treats that is responsible, something to watch out for once this is done.

My rash is really cleaned up too, so obviously cutting the dairy completely makes a difference. Darn. It seems unfair to get both visible and intestinal damage. At the same time, if vanity keeps me healthy…….

I’m not making any progress on my lifting goals, but I’d have to actually ‘lift’ to make progress.  I did well in week 1 and nothing week 2. I must get back to that.

Made it to Day 7!


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I can hardly believe I’ve made it to 1 week on the Whole 30!  I have a wicked cold right now and my poor face is a mess of breakouts. But, I’m staying tough and on plan

I can see that I’m going to be on the timeline of Day 21 – and possibly bored stiff of eating this way. So, I’m scouring the internet for inspiration.

My daily breakfast is 2 homemade sausage patties, 1-2 eggs scrambled with spinach and onion. I try to mix up the lunches, but pretty often enjoy a salad with protein plus more raw vegetables and a fruit to end.

Supper is always a challenge to suit me and the family. Unfortunately that’s meant making two meals a lot this week. We have some great meals in the freezer that they love but weren’t made with me, even before Whole 30, in mind.

So I’ve done 2 nights of stir fried vegetable and shrimp (which the family does. Not   Like) and more protein salads. I’m thinking steak tonight which is everyone’s favourite. And maybe a roast beef for Mother’s Day – shouldn’t I get to enjoy my ‘day’?  If it makes the rest smile, well that’s good too!

I do have to say, eating Whole 30 from Paleo isn’t really that big of a deal. I’ve switched to coconut milk in coffee which is surprisingly good. I’m not eating dessert, which is hopefully helping my body. Otherwise, it’s just a little more restrictive. I hope I am achieving the goal of being ever mindful of my body and nutrition.

Whole 30 – Day 3: Vegetables & Protein….


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QI’m on to Day 3 of my Whole 30 challenge. So far, so good. I suspect I’m still using fruit as a bit of a sugar crutch, but one step at a time. For instance, yesterday I “needed” a sweet something, so I had a handful of grapes. Healthy, sweet and satisfying. I stopped thinking about the very awesome brownies in the freezer. (no, really, I did!)

I did not get the Day 2-3 “Hangover” feeling that the Whole 30 suggests is typical. But, I’ve also been GF for over a year and mostly dairy free too. That may make a real difference. I did expect to have more raving sugar cravings though. Maybe they are still on their way. (I sure hope not!)

I made the Spinach Frittata from the Whole 30 (new book!!) and it was really good.  I thought it needed a touch more salt, so I did add it at the table.  A 1/4 of the recipe was enough for breakfast, though I did find myself longing for lunch today.  So, perhaps next time I will try it with either a sausage patty or some avocado.  I am also bone-tired from refereeing soccer last night, so I’m really watching what goes into my mouth today.  I have a tendency to eat when tired and make poor food choices.

I had a big protein salad on top of broccoli slaw plus more veggies and an apple for lunch.  Supper plans include some chicken and shrimp on top of more vegetables with some diced sweet potato.  I’m trying to incorporate the Wahls Protocol of 3 leafy, 3 coloured and 3 sulphur into my Whole 30.  I am not limiting out nightshades or eggs.

However, if I don’t “see results” from the Whole 30 with Wahls influence, I will look into an egg-free trial at the end of 30 days.  One step at a time.

Whole 30 – I think I Can….

Gluten free and dairy free have really been a godsend in keeping my auto immune disease under control. It’s not perfect and I have been finding myself doing more and more “cheating”. A slice of cheese or a bit of real ice cream (ok, it’s dairy, I miss it) and that messes me up. But I can’t seem to quit treating myself poorly.

Enter the Whole 30. It’s not really giving up a lot more, except sugar and corn. I’m already (supposed to be) gf, cf and mostly paleo. Corn is my downfall these days and I think I need to give my poor body a reset.

Yesterday, I committed to myself that i would start the Whole 30 today. So of course I ended up freaking out and had a day of ‘Eat all the Things”. All I could think about was food, so not healthy.

But I had a little epiphany about 2:00 a.m.  I realized that all my pre-made meals are already paleo. Not all are Whole 30, since ketchup is involved in several. But they are at least paleo. So, if I’m up against a ‘cannot cope one more second’ kind of day, I do have meals to feed the family. I can then choose to either eat with them OR find an alternative. It really is up to me.

My goals for the Whole 30 are:

1.  Survive it. No, I’m serious. I love me a margarita on the weekend.  This no alcohol rule is going to suck

2.  Not have my rash come back. I’m weaning off prednisone right now and will be under 8mg by the end of the month. Usually no pred=bad rash

3.  Improve digestive health. (I’ll spare you the details)

4.  Tame the sugar dragon. Mine rules my life

5.  Lose a dress size. And improve my lifting capacity. I’ve gained 15! pounds since last summer and the last 5 in a month. I don’t care so much about the number, but I’d like to fit a size 4-6. And I want to lift heavier, both in the gym and in life.

So, there you have it. A Day 1 post for the Whole 30. Only 29.75 more to go. Wish me luck!

Can I whine just once?

Ok. I know. GFCF and Paleo is not always the easiest row to hoe. Advance preparation is required and despite best intentions, problems arise.

Today is one of those days. I am at a work conference, you know the kind, where you learn as much at lunch as you do in sessions. Except, I’m not AT lunch. At least not with my people. I’m in a restaurant because I’ve run out of prepared safe food. I ate in my room yesterday because the menu choice was lasagna and breadstick. So, no big deal. I had food.

Today’s choice is a clubhouse wrap. Again, not a choice I can make.  I’ve done pretty much everything wrong as far as paleo on the road is concerned.  And you know what, it sucks. And it isn’t fair. And I’m whinning.

I should have contacted the organizer and asked for the menu. I didn’t. I should have called the hotel and asked about a microwave in the room. I didn’t.  I should have insisted that I either get a discounted conference rate (due to not eating the menu) or food that I could eat. And I didn’t.

But, I’m learning.  And you can bet next year, I’ll be able to say ‘I did’ and enjoy a nice meal with my people.

Two Steps Forward, then Back, then Forward


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Two steps forward, two steps back, I feel like I’m dancing the Cha-Cha all around my auto immune disease. I made such great progress all summer. Spent time in the sun, enjoyed the pool, the garden, the kids. Then, on the last nice day in September, I spent a day in the sun and BOOM! Flare of epic proportions. I’m talking pain, heat, redness, sleep interrupting misery.

Luckily, I was off to the rhumetologist the next day & got myself a script for Prednisone. So, now I am taking that in gradually lowering doses, to see if a low dose can keep me rash-less. It worked, my rash cleared right up, even my hands are nearly normal. For me, those are the worst areas.

Then, two weeks ago, I broke my Paleo diet commitment & had a mini-DQ blizzard. Dairy and gluten. It was sooooo good. And, BOOM! back flare. Less horrible, but still itchy and sore. Cleared up through the week. I had a mouthful (swear, that is it) of cake. BOOM! Back flare. Also, my lip swelled up. That will go away with an anti-histamine, but still, it is weird.

OK OK OK. I get it. Perhaps dairy and gluten really are out “for good”. Today is Methotrexate day & stupid me, I’ve been taking it wrong for the last three weeks. Supposed to be divided doses, not all at once. I am really hoping that the combination of Prednisone & Methotrexate will combat the extreme discomfort today.

I’ve been so good about the Wahl’s Protocol, trying to keep my greens in balance, I even started eating liver today. Ok, it was two meatballs, and they are 50/50/50 Meatballs – so not exactly a huge serving. But it was liver and no, I didn’t really like it. (Worse, I have about 3 pounds of it to “get through”) I am determined to have at least 2 servings of these meatballs per week and maybe I will be able to find a way to appreciate it more. I believe Dr. Wahls and her protocol. It has made a HUGE difference. I just wish I could report the disorder in remission.

Maybe another day!

Still Improving



It’s coming close to two months since I started the Wahls Protocol. I feel like I’m continuing to make progress, though it is slower and more subtle. For instance, I don’t itch anywhere except my scalp, and even that is better. My rashes are lighter, smaller and even fading away in some places. My face is less blotchy and my occasional acne is greatly reduced. (Up until yesterday I would have said gone, but up popped a few red dots overnight!)

I’ve been a little less strict on my 3-3-3 vegetables and fruit, just another symptom of my crazy life these days, but I am trying to keep it in balance. I’m sure I could get more sleep and drink a little less tequilia. But it’s summer and where is the fun in that??

I am wondering if I need to eliminate eggs and potatoes completely. I noticed that after Sunday brunch, I seemed to be redder again. So, is it the egg or the potato? Sundays are the only days I eat both. Honestly, I’d rather it was potato, since I do like eggs. But, the Auto Immune protocol says eggs can be problematic. So, I will need to examine this in the near future.

My continued weight loss has me down a total of 10 pounds and none of my clothes seem to fit right. I’m swimming in most of them and excited to get into the smaller size! I’m wearing clothes that haven’t fit for 2 years and I haven’t been doing much for exercise. Mostly too tired or busy to bother these days, but I know it is really important.

It is supposed to be super hot this weekend, so I expect to be rockin’ the rashguard and spending the day lounging under an umbrella at the pool. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. Sigh. At least I can BE outside.

Auto-Immune Disorders and Stress

Not long after my last post, my life turned into one giant cycle of stress. Our area experienced massive amounts of flooding which meant I didn’t sleep much (or at home even) and my stress level went to levels exceeding DEFCON 1.  We had similar flooding last year but this was an even larger scale over a longer period of time.  Interestingly enough, while I literally ran around (from one end of our building to the other, up stairs, down stairs…) running the Emergency Control Centre, my skin stayed relatively clear.  I did take my medication as close to normally as possible, and stuck to a modified Wahls Diet, closer to Paleo since leafy greens were a little scarce.  So, I thought I “got lucky” and no ill effects from the disaster.

Oh, but how our bodies can fool us.  Practically the moment I got home, I could feel my skin start to itch and get blotchy.  The more sleep and care I took of myself, the worse it got. My poor back went from almost clear to bright red to almost purple, hot, tight and uncomfortable.  My arms and hands became one giant red blotch.  I even gained a bit of weight!  What was going on?

I resolved to treat myself extremely well.  Epsom salt baths, prescription cream, plenty of sleep and daily walking.  And slowly as life returns to normal at work, so too does my skin.  I’ve been strict on the Wahls Diet, leaning as close to Wahls Paleo as possible.  I struggle to get the recommended protein, fish and organ meats right now but I’m working on it.  I’ve eaten the most delicious steak two nights in a row, even polishing off my husband’s share.  (And, I even lost that mysterious “weight gain”.)

It proves to me how sensitive my body is to stress.  Perhaps it takes a few days to show up, but the stress is going to manifest itself in some way.  There is only so much I can do to keep my levels low, being a wife, mother and full time employee.  Yet, there are things I can do.  Take walks, say “no” to projects that don’t inspire me, find ways to bring joy to my life and others.  These are my strategies.  What are yours?

Wahls Protocol One Month Later


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I wish I had a picture to share, but it would be very NSFW and at least R-rated, since my worst rashes, apart from my hands, appear on my chest.  Saturday marked the completion of one month on the Wahls Protocol.  I tried hard to be strict on gluten, dairy and soy.  I tried really hard to stick to the 9 cups of vegetables and fruits daily.  I did not try to limit sugar.  In fact, I ignored that part all together.

I learned to eat Kale, beets, leeks, baby bok choy, brown mushrooms, Bragg’s liquid aminos, kippered herring (which was surprisingly good) and cauliflower “no potato” salad.  I gave up white potatoes in favour of sweet potoates and have eaten 3 different kinds of squash.

I tried coconut milk creamer in my coffee, coconut yogurt and coconut ice cream, all insanely good.  In fact, so good, it is probably illegal in at least one country and surely can’t be part of the “diet”.  I also tried plain coconut milk in my coffee, which I highly recommend.

I’ve had to tote my own snacks, search for GF/CF meat snacks that provide protein and portability.  Grimm’s makes a wonderful honey garlic peperoni stick that requires no refrigeration.  They have a great variety of other meat and deli products that can help you “fit in” in social situations.  The smokies are also yummy and as long as your bbq is clean and you use a clean utensil, your GFCF smokie will be a safe choice at the next BBQ party.

I’ve embraced coconut oil, in cooking, as a beauty product and a massage oil.  I don’t think it does a lick of good on my hands, but it certainly is a good moisturizer.  I’ve even started putting seaweed (dulse flakes) in my cooking.  I’ve tried them in salad, over scrambled eggs and “straight” right out of the jar.  They taste a bit like fish food smells – salty and seaweed-y.  Is that even a word, well, that’s what is tastes like.

And, after all that learning and tasting and experimenting, may I have a drum roll please…………………………………………..


I have clear skin. Not a lot, but my chest is clear. My arms are improving, my hands are not.  I can’t say I sleep better but I feel better.  I’m more alert, even on days that I don’t sleep as much.  I haven’t had a bout of insomnia for 3 weeks, which is a record.  I’ve lost 7 pounds and I haven’t been exercising.  Can you imagine if I actually got a sweat on??

It’s minor success, really.  Nothing that anyone else is likely going to notice.  In fact, I feel like I’m making a big deal out of nothing.  After all, it has only been a month and my progress is slow.  But, I’ve never had progress with the medication, only increasing rashes and exhaustion.  (and mouth sores and low sex drive and insomina)

I’m celebrating today with salmon, sweet potato, asparagus. spinach and strawberries.  (If you’re counting, that’s 1 leafy, 1 sulfur, 1 coloured and 4 oz of fish)


Happy Father’s Day





My wedding day, circa year 2000.

Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there and to those who will someday be. My dad taught me so many things but the best thing was a joy of cooking. We used to spend hours in the kitchen together trying out Thai food, Chinese, Indian and a host of other cuisines. He gave me a love of ingredients and variety .

Today we will enjoy a Wahls Protocol friendly meal. I’ve got a beef roast in the crock pot covered in strips of bacon (no preservatives!) with gravy, mashed potatoes and cauliflower, steamed broccoli and a salad fresh from the garden.  Hubby’s favorite and even the kids cheered!