Category Archives: Food

Endocrine System Overload

Recently my boyfriend went to India on a business trip for his company to ensure their bottom line. So, you can image it felt pointless to be without him for over 2 weeks. I can imagine I’d feel better about him going to a country that is constantly tumultuous and stricken with severe poverty if he was there on a more philanthropic mission. He is not, so I am stressed beyond belief.

When they started rioting for Valentine’s day, and I totally see where they’re coming from, I feared for his safety as much as I had when he first got on the plane. He had been there a week at that point. I should have been used to the distance by then, but instead I was a raging ball of hormones.

Stress and I aren’t friends. We’re not even on speaking terms.

I have a tendency to lash out verbally at people when I’m feeling stressed. I rant about things that bother me [eg, useless capitalistic holidays, humility, eating and buying crap] at the expense of those around me. I noticed yesterday afternoon that I had been a fireball online for the past couple days. Just being agro in general with little regard for anyone else’s feelings. Compassion is one of the first things to go out the window when I’m stressed.

I decided that a little time off from people in general, including online, would be the best thing for me. Though, I probably need a good old fashioned camping trip, it is not the proper time of year for such things as well as the money being tight right now while he’s away. I browsed netflix for some instant watch movies and watched them with my son – three in total. It was a good time. We laughed at 2012. We whoa’d at Gabriel. We laughed with Drop Dead Fred. It was an interesting mix of movies and a good escape for me.

History is a place to visit for understanding. The past holds so many keys.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 19. I have struggled with taking medication over the years and have learned in the process that food has a greater affect on my moods than any medication [except lithium, which turns me into a raging mad woman, and amitriptyline, which turns me into a mindless emotionless zombie]. I have learned that a diet high in refined and processed foods wreaks havoc on mood stabilization. I have also learned that sugar is my mortal enemy but I am addicted to it nonetheless. My insulin response is over-reactive. I am hypoglycemic, which can also be mistaken as bipolar disorder if assessed by an untrained physician. My physician had graduated medical school 2 years prior and was a resident at a local clinic. I am sure he is an amazing doctor now, in NY somewhere, but I believe he either made an error or I am both hypoglycemic AND bipolar.

In the past 13 years, I have studied food, paid attention to what I eat and read all the books I could get my hands on, including some of the diet fad books. I read 5 books in less than a month on hypoglycemia alone. I know what I have and how to combat it AND how to point out bullshit as well. Bipolar is something that’s a little harder to read about without having fits of crying and sheer unwillingness to delve deeper into such a painful subject for me. I know enough about it, to know I have a less severe case of it. I also know enough about the way food works in our bodies to know that a food allergy or nutritional deficit can be misconstrued as a mental disability. So, 13 years later I know how to eat.

My owners manual is still on the editors desk.

In recent years, I have minimize my soy intake. The funny thing about this is, I noticed it was causing issues for me. So I went about looking for information to support or deny my suspicions. In the end I found an article [or 50] about the effects of soy on the human body. Some of the articles suggest outrageous claims, but in the end I had the meat of what I needed – a reason to quit drinking soy. In the past 2.5 years my mood has stabilized and I feel relatively normal. So, now I know to keep my soy intake to a minimum. But in the past couple days I found out that any soy I have ever come in contact with is a GMO. So, my theory is, it may not be soy I have issues with. My system has proven to be very sensitive to altered food. I am the canary, if you will. In theory, it’s GMO soy that is the problem. The sad part is, I have no way of testing out that hypothesis.

Being hypoglycemic, I have been on a no sugar, no refined carbs, no artificial sweetener [which is completely yucky and I would never touch anyhow] diet. In that 4 months, I lost 17 lbs and my mood swung less. I have no idea why I included sugar back into my diet — weakness, addiction, peer pressure, who knows! I like to imagine that I’m allergic to sugar and my severe mood swings and low blood sugar episodes are equivalent to anaphylactic shock. It’s not, but it helps me to steer clear of it.

Preservatives are my enemy.

I don’t know which one’s yet, but they are evil and mean to me. There’s even a couple in shampoo that I can’t use [they’re in herbal essences] that give me psoriasis. And whatever’s in bar soap gives me eczema [even oil of olay sensitive skin]. In food it’s a different ball game entirely. I can pinpoint, with a little research, which chemical additives in soap affect me. I have had a very hard time pinpointing the culprits in food. I simply try to avoid all non-dairy, artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors, MSG, TVP, nitrates, some stuff I can’t even remember, but I guarantee if I see it on a label, it’s not coming home with me. I don’t know if all the things I avoid hurt me, but it hasn’t hurt me avoiding them.

What hurts me is when I have too many preservatives, refined carbs or sweets. I have learned the woes from eating fast food. I have experienced the anger from eating too much sugar. I have suffered through depression and anxiety from too many preservatives.  It is in my – and those directly in contact with me – best interest for me to stay away from most industrialized foods. My peanut butter is just that, no sugar, alien oils or preservatives. My jam, if you can call it that, is just finely ground apples and nothing else. My bread has more grains than I have fingers and my milk is naturally sweet organic oat milk. I get teased for this, but it is in everyone’s best interest that I watch my eating and keep my foods preservative free.

My current fixation is going to annoy the crap out of my boyfriend.

So, what brings an article of this length on? I’ll tell you. I had a fit recently, as described earlier in this post, and had to separate myself from everyone. When I came back to the computer, I had new resolve and determination. I googled “GMO mental illness connection”. After watching Food Inc and King Corn this weekend, I felt powerless. I saw my mood slowly disintegrating under the pressures of stress and lack of good food choices. I made the connection and shared what info I found on Facebook and a little on Twitter. I bombarded all my friends with links to sites that help you find whole raw milk and farmer’s markets. I found a connection that no one wants to admit to and needed to share my story. I could write a book about my discoveries and trials, but I’ve never written a book, so I have no idea where to start.

Instead I write chapter length short stories in hopes that the right people find it. Hopefully the right people are reading this now and can click the links I provided below to swallow that little red pill and throw the blue one down the hole. I hope your day is full of life and a zest to appreciate it.

Find real milk in your area
Food Renegade – a lot of really helpful information and articles about whole foods eating.
Pfeiffer Treatment Facility – a place to help you balance your endocrine system.
Real Food Media – journalistic articles on real whole food and other green things.


Eat Teflon

I’ve been so busy these last few days that I haven’t been able to post a blog. I try to post them about every other day, so 3-4 a week. If you have read my previous blog, you know that I just got back from a 10 day vacation in Mexico. I got settled in pretty quickly after that and had a blog for you the very next evening. Sunday should have been my blogging day, but we hung a pot rack in the kitchen instead.

Yup, a pot rack. Our cross beams were too far from the wall and going the wrong way, so a 20 minute project turned into an all day project. We were successfully able to build strong joists between the cross beams. It turned out awesome. Now I have a hanging pot rack for my Calphalon pans. They look so pretty hanging out in the open.

11th-birthday-001

The only picture of my pans hanging happily on their potrack is at my sons 11th Bday party.

A few years ago I decided to stop eating teflon and invested in some better pans. I think I paid $350 for the set. I share the price because it’s no small feat for a person on a low income budget and it helps me make my point later. But after years of picking teflon out of my food because all I could afford were pans from target, I decided to take some of my taxes and invest in pans. Research taught me that this endeavor will be a life time investment. Some of the nicer pans can last your entire life. Others can last as little as 20 years. I did the math and it worked out to being a quarter the price I would pay for the pans I was buying before. I just had to bite the bullet and make that initial investment. I’ve had them for 3 years now and have become a pan snob. I won’t use the cheap ones. The only other pans I use are cast iron. And, let’s face it, those are amazing.

A drawback, to be honest, to having the nicer pans, is they MUST be hand washed. The dish washer just gets too hot and the temperatures fluctuate so much that they get ruined and would have to be replaced sooner. Even the toughest baked on crap simply needs an overnight soak before cleaning. The hand washing part really hasn’t been that big of a deal. Even now that I have a dishwasher [and I don’t mean my 13 yo son] I still wash them by hand without a grudge.

I like to use a product called Barkeepers friend to keep them shiny and pretty. It’s a mild abrasive they use for stainless steel. It can work out almost any stain left from cooking [eggs are the worst] and requires a little bit of elbow grease. Luckily you only need to do it about every 5th time you use the pan.

Without saying, though I am, I am for paying a little more for things that will last longer. I buy $100 jeans when they’re on sale – that’s a story and a half! I have no problem paying more for chocolate, makeup, face wash, etc. I have a story for each of them. Validations, I suppose you could call them. I call them motivators. A motivation for me to buy nicer anything is that the cheaper stuff is turning out to cost more in the long run. When I buy things I want them to last a long time. I buy $100 jeans [on sale] because cheaper jeans don’t fit as well and last a third of the time. I buy $350 pans because I will never have to buy them again. The trade off is a long term investment. For things that last longer, you simply have to pay more.

My pots and pans now have a new spot in our new home and I’m happy it finally got done. I really should get a better picture of them. Me being silly, showing off my sons cupcakes, is not the best representation for such amazing pans. Okay, I over did it there. If there’s one thing I can leave you with it’s this: I implore you to consider the price for the investment. There can be nothing good that comes from eating teflon. Think of all the pans you have bought in the past 20 years [or less if you’re younger]. Think of all the money you have spent so far on pans, replace those pans every 3 years and compare the price to what I paid for pans that may last me the rest of my life with a minimum of 20 years. I bet it’s higher. I bet $350 is looking pretty good. Treat yourself, responsibly.


The White Powder Addiction

Addiction comes in many forms. The most prominent is the addiction to white powder. There are many white powders that we consume on a daily basis. Some are legal, some are illegal, but all are refined white powder. I have compiled 8 pictures together of white powders. Some of these are legal, like flour, caffeine, sugar and salt. Some of these are illegal, like cocaine, meth, ephedrine and heroin. See if you can tell which picture is which product. I bet you can’t.

*The purpose of this post is to pose a subject to think about. In no way is it intended to be informative.

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