Food for Thought:

It's no coincidence that four of the six letters in health are "heal". ~ Ed Northstrum

eggs and late night diner eats.

I had a busy week socially with 4 evening events, beginning last Saturday night- jamming until the wee hours with friends (held my first banjo!), Air Supply 40th anniversary outdoor concert Laugh, karaoke night at the local tavern, and an amazing live show with Delta Rae- whew! Looking forward to a much tamer recovery week ahead. We went to eat some diner food late night after the show Thursday (at the same place I was at recently where someone gave us free Air Supply tickets!! Your House) and I got a smorgasbord of food (necessary to counterbalance some beverages consumed)- something I have now done twice in span of one month, but it's been many years before that! I miss late night diners from my days up north in NY- they are the best.

I had: 1 small box of honey nut cheerios with a splash of milk, grits, bacon, a cheese omelette, and some decaf coffee. ! Go on girl! I have to admit it was very fun evening all around, it was awesome to just let go and chow down, and slow down that alcohol metabolism. And to eat exactly what I wanted- that elusive desire to be "normal" here and there.

I have not been able to tolerate eggs for a while now, maybe a year and a half or more. It has been really hard because it was one of my main staples to eat, I did eggs with everything- quiche, banana pancake (1 egg, 1 banana), omelettes, scrambled, eggs over hard, eggs on pizza, pasta, etc. etc. They have however still been fine cooked/baked in things, even up to 4 eggs.

So, winding down from this big week today, a glorious Saturday to myself, I am here to report that I did great with the food late Thursday night, including the omelette! I am so, cautiously, excited!!! And obviously the eggs were not organic, free range blah blah Laugh

I just made some migas for brunch today and am trying them again. I'm wondering about food combinations, and if because I ate them with everything else I ate if that made a difference. It's also curious because I had alcohol that night, and that usually cruises right through me! So I was even more incredulous that I felt well yesterday. This stuff is always really complex to tease out. What is helping with this shift? Finding a great daily fiber solution, which I finally have and I could sing from the rooftops about (hurray for psyllium and acacia)?

I've also been a bit obsessed with organic blue corn chips lately and have eaten them daily... need to wind down on this trend a smidge Winking but they are so easy and delicious. This post has some great insights about the benefits of blue corn and how to incorporate it into the diet.

Well shit (yep literally) - as I finish this post, the bathroom calls. Sad Seems this egg attempt has failed today. I will keep the faith, given that I was OK with diner eggs the other night, and try again sometime soon. The other food that I have had trouble with in recent years is spinach- I've added that back in cautiously and have been doing OK with it so far...

Saturday brunch 'whatever is in the kitchen' migas - organic eggs, spinach, garlic, organic blue corn chips, some Applegate pork pepperoni, parmesan cheese, Celtic sea salt

Air Supply goodness Happy
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OMG- me and the lovely Delta Raes!
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my perfect sandwich.

So, I don't always have bagels, but when I do... you can bet I'm going to make my perfect sandwich. This kind of sandwich was the one I fantasized about (no joke) when I was on my liquid diet for 6 months. Nothing fancy, basically just a club sandwich variation- and ooh I love a club sandwich, diner style... since going gluten free 15 years ago, I haven't found the perfect club yet out on the town, but I know I will one day. On days like this when I work from home, I get to make this delicacy.

My favorite are everything bagels, and this one is Sami's millet and flax onion (I love anything onion or garlic). Growing up in NY, it is easy to become a bagel connoisseur, and deli's and mile high sandwiches are big there.

Interestingly, my very favorite deli is in Phoenix, Arizona called Chompie's. I used to drive an hour from where we lived in South Phoenix to get there, and for me it was an oasis in the desert! Happy A quick look shows me they have gotten on the gluten free bandwagon and I am salivating, thinking about when my next trip to AZ will be! The place is incredible, the people are so friendly, and I feel right at home. I am happy just typing about it! Not to mention their menu is the most extensive I have ever seen! And their bakery case is to die for. It is a must visit in my humble opinion if you are in the Phoenix area.

OK, back to the sandwich. First I lightly toast the bagel. Then spread pesto mayo on both sides. Next I add swiss cheese, my all time favorite, either Jarlsburg lite, which I appreciate as a product of Norway that is strictly controlled and hormone free, or organic swiss of some kind. I found this link helpful when looking at cheese as a vice that perhaps we can live with in a healthy lifestyle: Because of my food limitations, I do eat a lot of cheese. It is something my system handles well, and it's easy protein and fuel for an on the go lifestyle. I am committed now to eating the best quality I can and trying to stay away from the bad stuff, and continuing to search for other foods that work!

Next comes turkey, and I usually do Applegate Farms honey maple turkey breast but also Oscar Meyer selects natural applewood smoked turkey breast too because I really love the thinness and folded cold cut style (yes I pick my nutritional battles Happy). Then some organic spinach, which is about all I can tolerate of raw veggies so works great, and topped with some nitrate free crispy bacon if I have it (I do love Applegate's sunday bacon). Yum- time to eat!


healing tea.

I struggled with some elevated liver enzymes this winter, and went through a battery of tests and procedures to figure out what was going on. I do have fatty liver, which can be from years of IBD (and thankfully is reversible), and discovered I have a benign cyst on my liver as well, but all else was clear. The elevated ALT and AST were concerning, so I set about troubleshooting. I take Tylenol only occasionally for my migraines, and drink alcohol very infrequently.

I was drinking some herbal teas by Pukka, particularly one called Cleanse that I loved and felt helped my gut and head every afternoon. I stopped that, as well as most all of my supplements to see if it could be the combination of things that might be doing it (I was also taking oregano oil a lot during the winter due to lots of travel and colds). My levels were down after six weeks, and six to eight more after that things were back to normal- hurray!

During that time I had been exercising regularly several times a week and had lost about 5 or so pounds, and I started drinking Organic Turmeric Ginger Green Tea by Republic of Tea daily. I really believe this tea helped my liver! I love supporting my body with turmeric (curcumin), which is one of the best things you can do to reduce inflammation in the body, and proven to help with so many other things as well: I am looking into the source of the tea I drink as well as the tea bags which I drink mostly for convenience in the morning, as both of these things are important in a clean tea routine.

The tea's ingredient list is super simple, and didn't contain a bunch of herbs that I had to worry about potentially elevating liver levels. The ginger is great for my digestion, and the cinnamon and honey are wonderful healthy additions. I can't say enough good things about this tea! It is so affirming to find something that works, (not to mention tastes good) since I need all the help I can get! Happy


probiotics, gut health, and the immune system.

Check out this research on probiotics helping to improve behavioral symptoms of chronic inflammatory diseases- some excerpts:

"Probiotics are essential in improving digestion and immune function. They are fundamental in supporting proper microbial balance and optimizing gut health. Previous research has demonstrated that probiotics can have beneficial effects on mood and cognition. I recently shared a human study four months ago, published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, where researchers found that multispecies probiotics had a positive effect on mood after four weeks of supplementation. There is definitely a gut-brain relationship between nutrition and the gut microbiome and their support of brain health and function. The gut and brain communicate through the nervous system, immune system, and hormones, while the microbiome can also release neurotransmitters."

"According to a new study just published last week in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers demonstrated that probiotics may improve the behavioral symptoms of chronic inflammatory diseases by altering the communication between the immune system and the brain."

I've taken a variety of high quality probiotics for years, and am currently taking Dr. Ohhira's Propolis Plus, which is terrific for travel as a shelf stable capsule, and also Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Complete Powder when I'm home, which is refrigerated. I recommend them both highly- I cannot go a day without my probiotics!