Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Food Sensitivity and Lipedema: Week 4 Elimination

And just like that the 4 week elimination of highly and moderately intolerant foods (based on the hair test I took in July) is done.

Basically I ate the same meals from week to week, and lunch was usually some combination of a Ground Chicken Stir Fry. I would saute the chicken in olive oil and various things on my non tolerant list, like: baked potato, onion, jalapeño peppers, bell peppers, kalamata olives, etc. and I would sometimes add Kimchi (huge fan) and more recently found spicy Wholly Guacamole, a great topper (I use as a sour cream substitute)!

Week 2 went very similarly to week 1, I kept my focus on the positives, the things I could eat, especially the things I had not been eating by following a low carb way of eating, things like potatoes and apples.

Week 3 was going along well, but by the middle of it, I was DONE WITH CHICKEN!

Sweet & Sour Chicken
That was my concern from the beginning, I'm not a huge chicken fan, and I was about to crack when my lovely husband pulled out a blast from the past; something he had made me when we were dating, homemade, best I have ever had, Sweet and Sour Chicken

Did you know pineapple is a great source of bromelain, and bromelain is good for reducing inflammation and swelling? Very good when you have Lipedema!

It saved me for real. It was delicious, it brought back amazing memories, and kept me on track with the things I could have.

It gave me the boost I needed, and then the last week went back to being very tolerable.

So what does that mean, when you finish the 4 weeks of elimination? It means you slowly start to add in (one item at a time) from your moderate list and keep track to see if you notice an intolerance. 

Can you guess what my first item was? 

If you said a big juicy steak you would normally have been correct, but I opted instead to try to help out my hubby/chef, and the item I added back in was GARLIC. It just makes cooking easier and opens up more options for meals. And honestly, who wants a steak made without garlic?

So what did I notice?

  • I didn't miss dairy as much as I thought I would - a huge shocker
  • I did miss butter and cheese, but nearly as much as I thought I would
  • I did find myself feeling guilty eating carbs that I had grown used to not eating
  • I did see a 5.6lb. loss, but I hated having to weigh myself every morning
  • I did have more gas (bloating) than eating low carb, didn't love that

I think this was a huge eye opener for me, especially combined with fasting (18:6 - I would eat between 1pm and 7pm); I have learned so much about my body.

Physically and emotionally. I liked feeling empty right before my first meal, I liked being able to feel what drinking a cold glass of water felt like going into my body and how it really cooled me down from the inside. I liked being able to understand food as fuel. That is something coach/hubby has talked about a lot, but something I got a much better understanding of after this experiment.

I might go back to a more low carb way of eating and eliminate those high tolerant foods (so no dairy, etc.) on a more regular basis. As I am curious to see how my body would respond. I have become very interested in experimenting to learn more and more about my body.

Another big change I have seen is a real improvement to my skin texture. I have seen my fibrosis softening, so now I can literally see the Lipedema beads and larger nodules, and realizing I have them in places I didn't realize I had Lipedema; and while I don't think it was because of the elimination way of eating alone, it might have played a part.

I am curious. Curiosity about our bodies is good. I am looking forward to keep learning more about how my body responds to different foods and truly looking at it as fuel for my wonderful Lipedema Body.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Food Sensitivity and Lipedema: Week 1 Elimination

Fresh Mango Salsa
So I am at the beginning of week 2, so let me do a quick recap of how week 1 went.

The biggest surprise so far, I have not killed anyone.

I'm only half joking about that, asking someone to totally flip their way of eating is asking a lot; so if you choose to go this route, be gentle with yourself, and be patient as you try something new.

The second biggest surprise, my husband didn't kill me (he's the chef in our family, and at the same time I mentioned I was going to be switching up my own way of eating, our daughter decided it was a good time to go vegan, too). Yes, my husband is a saint, and one hell of a cook.

As I mentioned last week, my focus was going to be on the things I can eat, and I would start from there. Here are some of my green light foods...

Apple & Peanut Butter
Most Fruits (with the exception of Bananas) seem to be good for me, and I started with an apple and peanut butter for my lunch and so far that has been a life-saver. I love peanut butter but had foregoing it and apples on my prior way of eating. This combo is healthy and satisfying and so far this week I have not had any issues show up, so yay for that!

Most Vegetables (with some exceptions); those exceptions start off as bummers (moderate sensitivity to every type of mushroom, and tomatoes - both I love, and corn, which I like, but haven't eaten due to low carb lifestyle I was following), and end with a pain in my heart (garlic - WHAT??? How does one not use garlic).

Meat - the only meat I can eat, that I like, is Chicken. Chicken was always my least favorite meat, I prefer Beef and pork over it, but I'm making due. A way to help out with only eating one meat is get it in various preparations (grilled breasts or thighs, ground as a burger or in soups, etc.)

I say meat I like, because of course my test results say I can eat almost every fish/seafood out there, with the exception of Shrimp and Prawns. I like lobster and crab, but I like it with BUTTER, something I also cannot have during my elimination WOE. I do like it with fresh lemons, so we are planning a lobster/crab night soon. I wish I liked fish, it would make this a lot easier, but I just don't like the taste, trust me, I've tried.

I'm such a texture person when it comes to food, so finding crunchy, creamy, savory, and spicy, etc. are all super important to my satisfaction.

So what did I actually eat, here are some ideas...

Grilled Chicken, Sweet Potato and Kale Soup with Quinoa (left), and

Ground Chicken Taco Salad (right) with a Fresh Mango Salsa.

When I began to think about Taco Salad (one of the meals our family enjoys most) and how was I going to eliminate Cheese, Salsa and Sour Cream (all on my highly sensitive food list) and still think of it as a Taco Salad? Well thankfully my husband worked his spice game into the normally bland ground chicken, and I reached out to the Lipedema and Food Intolerance Group with a question about ideas for a no tomato salsa option and the words rang out... MANGO Salsa!

It was perfection and so delicious. I chopped up the following and then squeezed the juice from one lime into it and woo hoo was that delicious (would be amazing over grilled fish, too, if that is your thing)...

  • 3 ripe mangoes (we used 1 bag of frozen, as no ripe mangoes to be had) - frozen can save a step, they are pre cut into chunks and was super easy to microwave for a minute at a time until they softened up and then pretty easy to more finely chop them. You could also sub in strawberries, peaches,  pineapple, or even cantaloupe would be tasty.
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • jalapeño pepper - remove everything out of the pepper to keep the flavor more mild, then dice finely
  • 1 red onion (we prefer vidalia so went with that).
  • Cracked black pepper and pink Himalayan sea salt to taste.

The members in that group steered me to many other options I'll be trying, here are some links...

Watermelon Salsa:

Pineapple Salsa:

Creamy Jalapeño Salsa:

This one is very good with chicken. Try with canned Chipotle and you can use cashew yogurt (notes from one of the members)...

Chipolte Sauce:

Good option when making tamales, enchiladas or chicken for tostadas (another note from a member of the group)...

Guajillo Sauce:

This one looks like a quick option for a red salsa sub using canned carrots and beets...

Nightshade Free Salsa:

So not much else to report, I tried staying focused on the good stuff, and I really am not pulling my hair out trying to not eat the things on my highly and moderately sensitive list. I'll keep updating as I go along.

I did try pasta one night as is on my green light list of foods, but immediately my stomach was not happy with it, has been years since I had pasta, so that will stay out of my way of eating for now.

If you decided to try the hair test, what have you found to be the most challenging?

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Food Sensitivity and Lipedema: Results are Ready!

Received my Food Sensitivity Report on July 28, that is completed using a state of the art Bioresonence machine, and four strands of your hair (more will be needed if hair is under 1" in length). 

I find this data fascinating, and I am looking forward to my experiment with an elimination diet of the foods listed as ones I am highly and moderately sensitive to.

An elimination diet is for four weeks, and then you start to add in items (one at a time) from your moderate sensitivity list, and see how your body responds to it over the next couple days.

I could choose to focus on all the things I cannot eat, but instead I’m going to focus on all the things I can eat. Make recipes based on those, and start tracking how my body responds over the next four weeks. 

It will be a little weird, as I’ve been low carb and intermittent fasting for a while now, I have not seen results other Lipedema patients have by following that way of eating, and come to find out, my hair test results show I don’t have issues with lots of the foods that are limited (or eliminated) in a low carb way of eating, so it will be an adjustment to try new things I am used to avoiding, and forgo old things I relied on.

My biggest surprise was dairy, the entire category is on my highly sensitive list. I love 🧀 so that will be a challenge, but one I know I can do for four weeks to find out how my body responds.

Some of the things I am hoping for, reduced swelling and reduced pain. I've also heard dairy free can also help with sinus/allergy symptoms, and that is definitely something I suffer from on a regular basis.

When you add in Lipedema, and how different we all seem to present and respond to different treatments (including ways of eating), this could be a very enlightening experiment.

#strongertogether is a code for 30% off on their website right now. My maxi health test (which tested 970 items) was originally $80, but it came down to $56 with the 30% discount. They also offer a smaller mini health test (400 items) for $55 before discount.

I would like to thank Cheryl Scoledge, and her Facebook support group: Lipedema and Food Sensitivities - Take Control of your Lipedema, for the great support and recommendation of this test. Here is a video of Cheryl talking about her experience.

I will be sharing here more as my experiment continues. Off to the store this weekend to stock up on all those yummy options that are on my list of no sensitivity. Wish me luck!

Lipedema: Break the Habit of Negative Self Talk

Sometimes we can say and/or think poorly of ourselves; sometimes internally; sometimes in our homes, when we are the only ones there; sometimes with close family and friends; and sometimes with total strangers; not knowing the damage thinking and saying those negative words can have on ourselves (and on others).

It can be hard to break that habit. 

I get asked often how I changed this behavior. For me it was changing what I saw everyday by following people on Instagram that looked like me, by joining plus size fashion, and plus size fitness groups, who had strict rules about no diet talk, no weight loss talk, absolutely no negative self talk. I never thought about any of them, what I thought about myself. What society had taught me to feel about myself. It took years of re-teaching myself what I found appealing, that all bodies are good bodies. And yes, I still have low days when I need reminders, too.

This morning reading an artist I follow talk about self doubt, not in her body, how she looks, but her artistic talent. She questioned if her making art was worth the sacrifice of time, time she could be doing laundry, etc., she questioned if what she made was worth it. This artist even gets haters on her page trying to shame her for how much paint she uses. Can you believe that? But those thoughts creep in when her guard is down and add to her own self talk about her art, her process.

This comment was amazing. I think it works for negative self talk, too. So I thought I would share it, I love the physical, the active way this person deals with these words that surface.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Lipedema: Sharing Vulnerability with Your Support Team

My family headed to a local lake for canoeing and relaxation this past weekend, and it was glorious.

Before we left I confided in my husband that I wasn’t sure about going. 

I wasn’t sure I would find a place to feel comfortable, because I knew I was not able to get into the canoe due to my legs progressing this past year as I transitioned through menopause, I was unsure of a place on the shore where I would be able to get out of the direct sun, and I knew an extended time period sitting in my folding chair would cause some leg pain as it cuts into the back of thighs.

The heaviness in my legs matched the heaviness in my heart.

It is sometimes hard to share the vulnerable days. Those of us with Lipedema can feel pretty vulnerable from day to day, and even moment to moment.

Sharing when we do can help take the sting out of it. Can help shed some light for your loved ones so they know what might be going on behind the scenes, and voicing it can help lessen the power it can hold over you. 

Rest days are necessary for everyone, and especially so, for those battling a chronic and progressive illness like Lipedema. 

It’s ok to have vulnerable moments, it’s ok to decide there are not enough spoons today and a rest day means a lay down, get some much needed sleep in.

I was grateful I shared with my husband. I was grateful he shared with me his feelings, and grateful I went and could see this beautiful river up close and personal, and watch my daughter paddle with her best friend on an adventure they are sure to remember always. 

Here is to your rest days! May they be healing, reflective, and bring you peace in whatever way you need ♥️

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Lipedema: You Do You!

What does that mean?

It means each of us with Lipedema can present with different symptoms (Ex. I may have pain to the touch, but you might walk around with constant pain; or I may have lymphatic concerns, but you may not, etc.). 

It also means that we respond differently to treatments, like I might do really well with weight lifting, but you might do better with cardio.

One of the biggest controversies is what way of eating works best for Lipedema.

Guess what? Yep, that is different for each of us, too. 

Just like supplements, surgery, and on and on.

Living with Lipedema becomes about finding what works for you.

So a word of caution, anyone saying their way is the only way, is someone to be cautious of. 

No one thing is good for everyone. Those “if it worked for me, it will work for you” people may mean well, but it is your job to figure that out for yourself.

Sharing what you try and how it works is still the best way to figure out where to begin, and is how we find the common helpers that work for many - like changing the bad advice of we should not be exercising into exercise is good for us!

Keep trying new things, keep sharing what you do/learn about your body. ♥️ we are stronger together.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Picnic Table WOD

Saturday in the park (we are back baby). Our WOD today was socially distanced and at the dojo, but in the lovely park area outside the dojo.

We started with our regular warmup (3 rounds of 10 each: sit-ups, pushups, squats, Samson stretch and good mornings).

Followed by 10 rounds of 10 wall ball Sit-ups (10lb. Medicine ball); 10 rounds of 5 picnic table deadlifts; and picnic table clean and presses. Swipe to see the movements.

The biggest challenge today was the humidity, it was hard to breathe before we even began. 

Did you know exercising in high temperatures and humidity increases your core body temperature, and in an effort to cool itself, your body sends more blood to circulate through your skin. This leaves less blood for your muscles, which in turn increases your heart rate. (Mayo Clinic).

So go slow, get plenty of fluids so you don’t get dehydrated, and keep an eye on what you notice with your body. 

Working out first thing in the morning and seeking shade can be a big help when working out outside.

With Lipedema we have to be extra careful, especially when we are wearing several layers of compression. So don’t try pushing yourself as hard when heat and humidity are not an issue.

Also, remember if you haven’t been working out like you are used to, due to Covid, you will need some time to build back up to where you were at.

Happy Saturday!