Whole 30? Hmm…go on then.

I’ve been making a few noises about doing a Whole 30. I would have loved to join Popular Paleo for her Whole 30, starting the 1st october, but I’m not sure I’m prepared enough. For a start I need to read It Starts with Food again. Secondly, I have to get my head round slaying the sugar dragon. Again. Thirdly, I need to also acknowledge that I am drinking too much coffee (only 1-2 cups a day, but it is definitely becoming a habit) and should probably use this Whole 30 as an opportunity to knock that on the head, too. I will also be saying no to red wine, “paleo’ treats, honey, too much fruit and too much of anything really. I would like to use the Whole 30 period as a time to get some control over my food intake.

I definitely need to stock up on some supplies before I start. I have only a smidgen of coconut oil left. I need to buy something I can make snacks with. Maybe some olives. It’s so hard to find good olives here that aren’t doused in loads of preservatives. If I do find natural ones, they cost a small fortune. I also need to read all my recipe books and online paleo snack resources – of which there are hundreds! I can’t make anything for the freezer, as we still haven’t got an operational one. On a bum note, it looks like our insurance will not be replacing our chest freezer, so we are going to have to get it back in the house and try (again) to get rid of the rotting smell. Yuk 😦

I can see I’m already making a lot of excuses – I am already feeling some kind if inner tantrum going on and I haven’t even cut any sugar out yet! I definitely need to get my ‘shuns’ in order. Preparation. Organisation. Motivation. Currently, I’m not fully equipped in any of these areas. Plus I feel yukky today. It always seems to be after I eat roast chicken. Does anyone else get this?

So, whilst this is a post about doing a Whole 30, it’s more of a statement of intent than a well constructed plan. If anyone else cares to join me on a Whole 30, let me know. It maybe the motivator I need to get started….

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A stormy welcome home….

I’m back! I have been away in the UK since July 17th and have had a wonderful holiday. I managed to catch up with loads of my beautiful family and friends. I relaxed. I ate a lot of what I wanted. I drank (an awful lot of) home-made fresh fruit daiquiris, wine and champagne. I didn’t get my necessary 8 hours sleep per night. I spent two weeks unbeholden to HS and I LOVED IT!

Ok, so now I’m a little bit broken. I have no flares at the moment, thank goodness, but I am very tired! On top of that, we arrived home to a storm damaged apartment. After travelling for 18 hours, most of it in the car, we were greeted by the stench of rotting food. At 1 am, instead of putting the girls to bed and having a well deserved cup of tea, we had to get our heads round removing the rancid food and getting the stench out of the apartment. If that wasn’t bad enough, the ceiling in the girls’ bedroom fell in after we had put them to bed, so we had to take them out and rearrange the sleeping areas. We are now sleeping in the equivalent of a one bedroom flat and my auntie is here with us, on holiday. Both the girls fell ill the day we arrived and we have been up most nights with the little one, who is struggling to breath, is coughing and has gunky eyes. Poor babies!

The landlord has been amazing and has offered us a larger apartment across the road for the same price we are paying here. We had moved into this smaller apartment to save money for the house we are starting to build nearby. It has been a bit of a struggle to fit everything in here after downsizing from a three bed house with a garage and garden to a two bed flat with a balcony, so upsizing will be great. Once we’re in!

While we deal with this little trauma, the poorly kids and the house move (and for added extra pressure – a job interview for me this week), the blog will be on hold. Feel free to ‘like’ my Facebook page though, Healing Hidradenitis, for the occasional update and super awesome links I find, out and about on the web.

Very soon, I will be fully functioning and ready to roll again.

A bien tôt!

Antibiotics. Day 17 and all’s well.

I’m still offline at home, but will take a minute away from cleaning our ex-rental home (where we still have the net) and give another brief update.

The HS is healing. It is only leaking from one area right now, as opposed to at least 8 or 9 a few weeks ago. The Rifampicin and Clindamycin tablets are bringing me the respite I have dreamed of since my HS went haywire after the birth of my bubba 2 years ago. I am still living in chaos with the house move and my eating has not been 100% clean, but since being on these pills, I have had no major repercussions.

Unfortunately, I feel like I have been given a bit of a licence to cheat for a while and whilst I’m not going crazy eating bread or chocolate, I am having some wine, nuts and the occasional homemade pizza, with tomato and raw cheese. I just feel like the pressure is off me right now, and if I slip it won’t have catastrophic results. It is heavenly!! 

As for the side effects…well, they’re still there. My stomach is still a little dodgy, but so long as I eat the Sauerkraut and yoghurt (separately of course), I seem to be able to keep on top of it. It’s hard to discuss this without being too gross, but basically it is down to one to two bowel movements a day and they aren’t always too loose. That’s still too much information, right?!

The tablets make me sleepy and around 3 pm I usually take a quick nap – maybe 20 mins to an hour (depending on when the bubba wakes up). A new side effect is the hunger. I am pretty ravenous on these and no matter how much I eat, it doesn’t appear to satiate me. I am having to be really disciplined and eat more salad and fruit, when all I really want to do is eat my lovely homemade bread, with butter and honey! I have resisted so far and I think it’s best if I keep that off limits. There’s no knowing what will happen if I open that can of worms – especially as my HS probably wont react as much to it. Also, my usual snack of fresh coconut makes my tummy a little more icky, so I’m having to limit that, too. Mainly, I’m eating a lot of fruit – probably not great for my HS, but a damn sight better than gluten.

I still want to make a doctor’s appointment to have some blood tests for my liver/kidneys etc, but it’s just finding the time at the moment…..

I don’t think I’ll take these tablets past the 10 weeks, as I still believe that a good diet is key. It almost seems naive, but I’m hoping that after the pills, I can work with my diet to keep those healed areas closed. Who knows?

All I know now, is I can see why people try the tablets regardless of their toxicity. This pain-free living is addictive!!

Moving house. Offline and out of touch

Just a quick hello and to say I’ve moved house, so I’m waiting for the internet to be connected. Until then, I will say goodbye and see you all in a few days (hopefully!)

Brief update: HS still here, still annoying the crap out of me and I’m still taking my antibiotics. Pain is virtually gone, but I’m still swollen (that might be due to the homemade pizza I ate!).

Can’t move house and be good can I??!

See you soon! 🙂

Supplementing, Autoimmune Diet and no food fun.

I’m back in the driving seat today and feeling calm again. I have just purchased some digestive enzymes and Spirulina and am about to buy some krill oil, glucosamine and chondroitin, MSM and turmeric with piperine supplements. I have never been a big fan of supplements, mainly because I was rubbish at remembering to take them and they would just end up out of date. But now I am all grown up and have to take my homeopathic Serocytols twice a day, I’m sure I can remember more supplements (although I have already forgotten to take the digestive enzyme…just getting it now. Ok, we’re good) If I do forget, generally pain jogs the memory sufficiently well. It’s just then finding someone to bring you the stuff, because you’ve just found the right position to sit in to avoid the pain and don’t want to set it all off again.

My eggs trial has failed – I had a flare up after two days of eating them. I’m not too disappointed, although I did have visions of making some AIP baked goodies one day. I’m sure there are some scrumptious baking recipes without eggs out there, although I’m not torturing myself by looking. ‘No food fun’ is still my motto at the moment.

I am hoping to reintroduce cooked tomatoes next week. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this one. Before I started the AI protocol diet, I had tomatoes at virtually every meal. We had tomatoes in tagines, curries, Bolognese sauce, lasagne-free lasagne, chicken casserole, with fish, vegetable stew and well, just about everything. It was a real heart breaker to omit them from my diet. It changed our entire meal plans. It was hard, but it really challenged us get creative about how we were eating. Avoiding tomatoes has been a good way to eliminate chilli and peppers. And finding out that standard beef was causing flares meant there was no point in trying to recreate ‘fajita’ style lettuce wraps or any other ground beef sauce that normally required tomatoes. It was time to put the Mexicans to bed and move on!

A little round-up of most of what is definitely off my menu for good:

  • Eggs
  • Regular beef ( I haven’t tried grass-fed, as I haven’t gotten round to finding here in France)
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Raw tomatoes
  • Artichokes
  • Raw/Undercooked cabbage
  • Raw onions (make my mouth taste like sh*t, so probably a good indicator that I shouldn’t be eating them anyway!)
  • Soy products
  • Potatoes
  • Deep fried food
If it’s not on my list and it is a nightshade or any other AIP food, it means I haven’t tried reintroducing it yet and I live in hope that I won’t have a flare up when I do (please God, let me be able to tolerate chilli – don’t leave me hanging). Until then, the rest of the food are all ‘maybes’ and I live in hope 🙂

Zero pressure = increased motivation.

Hangover. Day 3.

Wow. This is not good. How did I used to suffer this pain all the time? I am 3 days into recovery from my ‘binge’ on Saturday and my HS is horrible! I have new spots, pain and all over discomfort. It hurts to sit down again – well, it always hurts a little to sit down, but right now? Horrible! I am taking paracetamol again – just one in the morning and one at night to help me sleep. I am having to completely strap all my wounds up, to stop the pain that I am getting from the chaffing. there are so many unmentionable side effects from a flare, I am just going to stop right now!

Monday was a complete right off. Now that was due to the wine hangover. When did it get so hard to overcome a night of drinking? I guess I didn’t feel so bad Sunday, because I was still buzzing a little from the lovely evening we’d had the night before, but Monday was a different story. I was tired, in pain and just one thing after another went wrong – I even locked myself out and had to break in by climbing through the neighbours’ gardens – not an easy feat when you are suffering a big HS flare!

The good news is I’m coming out of it though and I know it will get better than this. Before, a flare like this would have really gotten me down, as I would have had no clue as to how to reduce the pain again.   I wouldn’t say I feel completely in control, but at least I know that by staying on the right food path, the inflammation will slowly subside. Even though I am moaning now, I know that the reality is that this pain could be 100% worse right now. My ‘golf ball’ has not swollen back up to a golf ball since I started the AI diet. All the HS spots I have right now have done a complete cycle over the last three days and at the risk of sounding icky (which we always do with this disease!), all are leaking nicely!

So it’s been a tough couple of days, but I am still feeling positive. The worst thing I can do is start thinking about what I haven’t/can’t do when I’m in pain. This morning I put zero pressure on myself to achieve anything and it worked; no expectations for me =  increased motivation. In the end, I managed to bake bread for the rest of the family (which always makes you feel like you’ve achieved something doesn’t it?) and ended up doing a lot of washing and housework – success!

As far as the diet goes, I am pretty keen to start reintroducing foods in a controlled way soon. I hope I don’t trip myself up again and manage to stay on the right path!

Valentine’s Day and some crafty distractions.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I have had a busy day, finishing off presents and planning after school painting for the girls. I love making stuff, but it is pretty hard to fit it all in whilst entertaining a toddler! Plus, she is the lightest sleeper ever, so when she goes up to bed, I have to craft as quietly as possible. God, the sewing machine seems so loud!! I’ve finished the heart cushion and did some chain stitch letters on it. This is my first time ever, so it’s not been perfect. Plus the added pressure of doing it in a limited time and without making ANY noise has made it a bit harder still!

I blame the wonky stitching on Nina…
My little present for Ty is made last minute, too. I rummaged through my leftover supplies from Christmas, got the trusty glue gun out and voila! An easy and quick little gift, that I know she will love. She likes anything mini (don’t we all?) and loves little notes, so I’m on to a winner here!
I pick Ty up – she loves her gift. We all get down on the floor and make hand prints in paint on a big heart that I’ve drawn. I always love the idea of doing stuff together, but it’s always so much easier in your head isn’t it?? Well, the girls enjoyed getting mucky and we have a handprinted heart, that is “made with love, not precision”!
Daddy comes home with an unexpected bunch of roses for moi! Aaaw! One for each year together (that’s four whole years – a long time for us novices) He wanted to buy a nice wine, but we’ll have to wait 55 days at least for that, not that I’m counting…
Well, today has been busy and challenging, but warm and fuzzy at the same time. I am eating enough good food and feeling less pain. Just how I like it.