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Week 1 of the Elimination Diet


OK I have decided to share with you my journey in the search to healing my body. 6 months ago I was really sick. I was in so much all over pain that I needed pain medicine to function for my family. I hated it and tried not to take it because I did not want to turn into a narcotics statistic but then my family suffered. My joints hurt so badly that I was having a hard time getting around. Then my body just started hurting all over. I went to the Dr to have blood work done and everything came back normal. He sent me to a rheumatolorgist and even though I had inflammation he couldn’t place it so he just gave me the umbrella diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and sent me home with a medication that I should just take. I read the side effects and was not OK with it.

I had the Mirena IUD placed 4 months post partum because of abnormal bleeding, which ended up only making the bleeding worse, and the Dr still kept talking me out of having it removed again and my symptoms had been getting worse since then so I decided that I was ready to heal my body. Not cover up symptoms. Clearly my abnormal bleeding was a clue that things were not in balance and I needed to have the Mirena removed to know really what was going on. I scheduled an appointment to have it removed and the PA that was removing it for me tried to talk me out of it again and told me that there was no way that it could be the Mirena that was causing me any of my symptoms. A week later My joint pain was almost gone and I had started running again.

I made an appointment with a holistic Dr to help me get rid of some symptoms I had had for years now which included brain fog, dry brittle nails and hair, dry skin, hard time focusing, sugar and processed food cravings,  poor quality of sleep, seasonal allergies, my cycle was short why my periods where long and heavy and excess weight. This lead to blood tests that tested both my genetics for how I process vitamins, blood count, state of my nutrition and so on. I learned that I have genetics that make it hard for me to process B vitamins and folates so I need to be sure to supplement those and that I was low on CoQ10 and Omega 3s. Just starting to take these suppliments changed so much for me. I was functioning again. I quit hurting. My skin got a little better. But I wanted to tackle the rest of my skin issues, the rest of my brain fog, my short attention span, my sugar cravings that were still going strong and my weight.

I was seen by another holistic Dr and she told me that it was probably my gut that was wreaking havoc on my system. So she prescribed an elimination diet with supplements and antifungals. Warning me that I was likely to feel much worse on the diet before I got better so to wait until after the holidays to do it. She believes I have something called Leaky Gut Syndrome. So pieces of my food are actually penetrating my bowl and leaking into my bloodstream causing inflammation and all my issues. The 4 week plan will hopefully help my gut heal and then I can slowly introduce some of these foods again.

An Elimination diet means that I would not be eating eggs, wheat, corn, Soy, sugar, shellfish, beef, pork, alcohol or coffee (when she said this I told her she went too far LOL). She did hand me a long list of things I could eat. Including rice and oats so that was something.

I decided that Jan 1st was a good a day as any to start and it gave me time to wean myself off of coffee and switch to green tea which I could have. The Dr had sent me a meal plan and a grocery list and like the ADD person that I am I waited until the first day of the diet to fill my prescriptions and go grocery shopping. That trip to the grocery store was a $300 trip. A lot of the items I will be able to use a gain nest week because it is a 4 week plan so this weeks trip will be less expensive. I ended up going to 3 pharmacies to fill my prescriptions because the anti fungal that I needed at those places had simple syrup added to them which I couldn’t have. I’m on day 7 now and still haven’t gotten that yet because of pharmacy transfers and other issues but hopefully Monday will be a better day.

I have cooked sooooo much this week and it was all new to me recipes. Most of them were very good and we had fish 2 times this week which was nice. I haven’t been good enough at cooking fish and that is the reason for my Omega 3 efficiency.

Day one I felt good and was doing fine. My older kids were still at their grandparents so I was still getting to sleep in with the 1 year old. Day 2 wasn’t that bad either, the kids came home that day and I went for a run that night. Day 3 I hurt all over and the brain fog hit me to the max. I was always full because the meal plan leaves no availability to go hungry but I was dragging. Day 4 I was dragging even more. Day 5 I was still in a funk but still sticking to it but missing coffee and Day 6 was hard. It was Family night which means pizza and a movie on the couch with the kids. Husband, being the good husband he is, brought home the pizza and handed it to me while he changed out of his work clothes so that I could pass the pizza out to the troops. That was the first time I really wanted to break the diet. Handling and smelling the pepperoni pizza. I didn’t want to cook so I ate leftover beans and rice and made my self a bad smoothie. Day 7 and I am a little bit peppier. Good husband let me sleep in since I was up and down all night with the one year old and have been all week getting around 4 hours of sleep on average a night. This does not help me heal but it is the way things are at the moment.

I’ve been doing my research and apparently the trifecta of getting rid of sugar, gluten and dairy + antifungals (the one I have) and probiotics is causing a storm in my gut flora and the nutrients I am getting from my food.  So my Dr was spot on about things feeling much worse before they get better. I’m just hoping that by the middle of next week I will start to get the ability to think back. I seriously could just stare at a wall and I wouldn’t get bored because I just can’t think at the moment. Writing this post was hard. But I know I am doing this for a reason and hope that since the antifungals have done their job and I no longer crave sweets all the time that I will be able to keep it up after I quit this diet. I will be incorporating some of these meals into our normal meal plan because the fish we had was really good and so was some of the chicken. The smoothies have not been good at all.

I am also happy to announce that 12 lbs have been shed since we purchased this house. 2 during this week. If I lose 2 lbs a week for the next 3 weeks I will be very happy and this will have been worth it. I’m more than tired of my gut and my double chin. If I could just stop being so tired all the time that would help too.

If you read this all the way through then thank you for reading. Have you done the whole 30 or an elimination diet? Is it something that you need to do but have been putting off? Tell me about how it went. Did you have withdraws? Anybody have any recipes they want to share with me?

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Bullet Journal Winner

We have a winner! Sara who said that until  now she has been keeping track with sticky notes and her phone which wasn’t working that well for her with 3 young children. Hopefully this will help.

Remember there is no wrong way to use a bullet journal and you can modify it to your needs.

Here are a few pages I added to my bullet journal this last month.

How do you use your planner/bullet journal?

A great way to track how many eggs I am getting from my hens and yes I know exactly who played which egg.
Loosing the baby weight has not been easy but I’m hoping some prizes will help keep me motivated. 
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The Loss of Backyard Friends.

I knew when I took on having backyard barn animals that at some point I would have some sort of loss. That something would get one of my ladies or that they would get sick or something. But my last month of experience really threw me off of my rocker.

Several weeks ago I went and got new chickens. The Cream Legbar that I had was laying white eggs instead of the blue that she was supposed to be laying and the breeder was nice enough to get me another pullet that would for sure lay blue eggs. While there, 2 more pullets followed me home. There was a cross between a Cochin and a Road Island Red and a Maran/Cream Legbar cross. The Cochin I named Sweety Pie because that is exactly what she was and the Maran mix I named Heidi because she just seemed like a Heidi to me. 3 days in to having them the Cochin was killed by something and it ate her head and left the rest. Two weeks later the Cream Legbar (which I named Stinky because she smelled so bad on the way home) had gotten caught on a neighbors fence and been there for some time and when I got her down she died shortly after. It was really sad. I hated that she had gone through that. The temp was over 100 that day and she hung upside down, for God knows how long, before we found her. I feel so horrible about that. I just thought she was in the shade somewhere in my backyard. Then only a few days after that Heidi starts looking a little lethargic but still spunky when I got close to her one day and only hours later I walk out and find her dead with her legs int he air. Having never lost a chicken before I was shocked. All 3 different ways. My other girls are fine. No problems there for over 18 months. Have you ever had a sting of bad luck like that?

Sadly, due to not wanting to invite carnivores to come hang out in our backyard, I had to put their bodies in the landfill. That brought on guilt too. If you have chickens how do you deal with your carcasses when there is a loss?

Australorp, Buff Orpington, carrots, Cream Legbar, Creme de la Creme melon, eggs, Fava beans, French Copper Maran, grape vine, hatching,, Icelandic chicken, sweet peppers

Confession- Mini Farm Update

I have a confession to make. I just put seeds in the ground last week and I can’t remember where I put them or what it was that I planted. I just remember that it put down squash, cucumbers and some TamDew melons. Why you ask? I realized that it was JUNE!!!! and I hadn’t gotten these things in the ground. I had room but it all ended up all over the place because my kids were yelling and it was bed time and and and and…………… I guess I will just see how that goes.

Here are some photos from the ‘Farm’.

Buff the Buff Orpington dust bathing in the heat trying to stay cool

Mathilda the Australorp being careful not to get caught. 

Chipmunck the Cream Legbar and Fluffybum the French Copper Maran were not wanting their photo taken today.

No eggs yet but any day now!

Fava beans, Carrots, and red okra.

Creme de la Creme melon


Tomato flowers

Grape plant

Sweet pepper plant

Bees buzzing in and out. Have to add the second hive body tomorrow! Exciting!

one of my veggie beds. Look at all of the collard greens and brocoli and Kale.

Just finished fencing the porch off from chickens so that we can use it and bleaching and scrubbing the deck. 

Icelandic chicken eggs in the incubator! I’m excited and hope I have learned my lesson.

The bees are busy, my garden is really doing well with what I have planted and the chickens are doing great and I hope to see the big girls start laying soon.

I got Icelandic chicken eggs from an Icelandic girl in Washington state. I hope that they are thriving in there and that I get at least one hen.

The back porch has been fenced off and cleaned so that the family can use it again. It had gotten really gross after the chickens realized that there was cat food on the deck. They love that stuff even though they have plenty of organic chicken feed and free range of the backyard.

I will take some photos of the bees when I open up the hive tomorrow and show you how much work they have done. There was so much honey in there and my queen was laying and there was brood! I’m so excited about how well things are going. If only I could keep up with mowing the backyard too. It’s a mess. I need some sheep or a horse borrowed for a day or two to eat all of this grass.

What is going on in your backyard?

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Sad and Crushed.

My mamma nerves are raw tonight.

A little over 3 weeks ago I went to the farmers market to pick up some eggs. When using set eggs I saw that they were fertile eggs. So on a whim I put 2 of them in my small little incubator. I thought since they had been refrigerated that there would be nothing of the eggs and from my reading on the web it said that they would most likely not hatch but I was wanting to give it a try.

Ten days later I candle the eggs and see that one had started developing. I thought this very cool and had this great blog post brewing in my head about how you can hatch out eggs from the farmers market at only pennies on the chick where they would be good layers since they come from stock used for laying.

Anyhow, fast forward to today, day 23 of the chick being in the egg and the normal cycle 21 days to hatch day and I thought the worst, that the baby chicken had died. Crack open the top where the air sack was and to my surprise I see movement. I instantly feel horrible. Baby was still in there and alive and clearly just behind because, duh… I put COLD eggs into the incubator and it took a few days for the temp to get just right.

I hurry up and put the egg back in the incubator and go online to look for guidance. With the information I had given of baby being on day 23 someone told me to pip the egg (making a hole in the membrane) so that the baby could breath. I try and it starts bleeding! I’m horrified! I feel so guilty and dumb. Poor baby I should have just left it alone to do its natural thing like I believe in for all healthy births! I watch until I notice that baby is not moving anymore. My heart sinks. I leave the egg in the incubator until the boys go to bed to investigate. I poke at it and no movement. I watch for anything but the color now is off too. Finally, I come to terms that the baby is no longer alive in the egg and I crack it open to find a beautiful baby that died because I could not wait longer.

Perfectly formed. All the toes and nails and everything there. Just me being a bad, ignorant mother hen. Had I given the baby a couple of more days to finish absorbing the yoke and pip itself then I would have been welcoming a new member to my flock of chickens instead of feeling loss and guilt tonight.

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Mini Farm Coming Along

OK, so I was going to take a before pic but honestly I was too ashamed at the state of my garden and horrified that my neighbors back door opened up to it and has had to look at it. It’s the only place where we do not have privacy fencing since there was already a fence there. But so far, I cleaned out the beds, used my Garden Weasel to turn the soil, added 6 cubic feet of peat moss and some organic fertilizer then turned the soil some more to mix it all up and then watered thoroughly.

I know it’s a mess! Wish me luck!

 I planted some Fava Windsor Broad Beans a couple of weeks ago and waiting for them to pop up and this weekend I´m planting some Organic Carrot Seeds Carnival Blend, some beets, some peas, lettuce and other cold hardy plants.

A couple of years ago I put down some weed cloth and put mulch over it. This looked great and was an awesome idea until my cats and the neighborhood cats thought that this would be the ideal place to poop. Yeah, eeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwww. I kept stepping in it. I got to the point where I didn’t want to go into my garden area. That, plus the heat and the bugs just caused me to quit all together. My garden became a mess and my harvest was lost since I wasn’t keeping up with it. Now I have vines and weeds growing through the cloth. What do farmers do then (this is an Icelandic saying when there is a problem)? I´m going to clean out as much as I can put down even more mulch and then put down pavers for stepping on. This means that I need to go to my city’s free mulch site and pick up LOTS of mulch.

Mathilda the s/he bird
Owl, Buff and Mathilda getting lost in the weeds.

OK so the chickens are growing FAST! I know one of my Easter Eggers is a rooster so his name is Dinner. I live in the city so keeping a rooster is not being very neighborly. I’m still waiting to see if Mathilda is really a girl. I go back and fourth on if she is a he or a she so right now she is a s/he. LOL. I have just started letting them free range in the backyard. They are funny to watch and much easier to keep then I thought. Don’t know why I didn’t do this a LONG time ago. If you are on the fence on this one just jump in! If this is not the hobby for you then you can sell them and people will for sure buy laying hens and your coop.
Just make sure to read books on keeping chickens so you know the basics and have a library to reference to if you start having any problems and check with your local ordinands to see if you can legally keep chickens in your city. The entertainment value alone is worth keeping these birds. I could sit around and watch them all day. In June they should start laying if what I am reading about them starting around 18-22 weeks of age. I can’t wait! I’m still waiting on my Icelandics (lay white to pink eggs) and on a Maran (lays chocolate brown eggs) and Cream Legbar (lays blue eggs). It will be so much fun keeping these fun colors in my frig and giving them to the neighbors and friends.
Waiting for my boots to arrive from Amazon. Have to have proper attire for taking care of my mini farm.

What are you doing this spring? Trying anything new? New plants, animals, hobbies?