Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Crochet Ridge Hat

I made a knit ridge hat and a subscriber to my YouTube requested a crochet ridge hat. Here it is! You can download the PDF file here and/or watch the video tutorial below. This uses bulky yarn and a 5.5mm crochet hook. Happy crocheting!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Gaps diet [Week 5]

I'm being super honest in these posts about my body and Gaps, SO if you don't want to hear about constipation, enemas, food cravings and general complaints about my life, don't read this post.

It's week five! I took a two day break on week five. I was dealing with a lot of stress, so I had some bread (sourdough) and also some fruits. It wasn't that bad. I had a return of my autoimmune symptoms of course, with some stomach pain, but was able to go right back to stage three the next day. And I really needed the break and am not going to guilt myself over a few slices of homemade bread and an orange.

I have cautiously added back in some dairy nearing the end of week five. A few spoonfuls of yogurt, some sour cream and even some homemade kefir cheese!

This week I was tired a lot. Tired of this diet. Tired of soup. Looking forward to eating a normal diet. I'm trying to remain positive and optimistic, but I just feel worn out and I never want to see a bowl of soup again.

Also, beet kvass tastes like beets soaked in water for 8 days. I plug my nose when I drink it.

I know I am being negative Nancy here but everyone else can eat whatever they want, and I'm jealous. Next week is thanksgiving and I think that will be a hard day for me for sure.

Anyway. Enemas are nothing to be scared of. They are not fun, but also not that bad. That is all I will say on the subject. 

So, how am I feeling? It seems like a double edged sword. Either I can eat healthy and emotionally feel like crap but feel physically well, or I can eat what I want and emotionally be positive but my body is a wreck of a chronic illness. I am trying to think of Gaps as a one-day at a time thing instead of the big two-year picture, but it's hard not to get overwhelmed. There is so much to remember. Soup to make, stock to prep, veggies to cut, things to ferment. It's a lot! I'm struggling, and that's okay too. I think if I make it to the full gaps diet I might be okay for awhile. The full gaps diet reminds me of a paleo diet, and I did that for four years! Surly I can survive on a full gaps diet. I just have to get there, which means I have to buckle down and stop cheating and go the course so I CAN get there.

The goal is a physically and emotionally healthy me, and hopefully she exists somewhere down the line.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Kindergarten Plans (and Chat)

Reuben's in Kindergarten! We officially are homeschooling with state approval. I love it and it's hard. He's growing and blossoming and you know what, so am I. I feel we are both learning some amazing and difficult lessons.

This video is about my kindergarten plans, ideas, and dreams! I will make a followup video about what we actually accomplished! 

One thing I forgot to mention in the video is socialization. We are so happy to be a part of a co-op of other homeschooling mamas!! We do a craft, have a snack, and lots of amazing play every Friday. It's been a HUGE blessing in so many ways. On top of the playgroup we do play-dates with friends weekly for the benefit of both mama and Reuben. Okay, mostly for me (mama) but Reuben has fun too. 

What about you? Any tips for kindergarten or what did you do/or plan to do?

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Gaps Diet [Week Four]

I finally got the ball rolling on this Gaps machine. I feel like I know what I am doing. I can plan and prep meals and make stock with my eyes closed, I can dream of food but not give in and I am learning more about my body and health every day.

I tried avocado and was fine!!! 

So I am on stage 3 gaps now. I am having some constipation issues because of the low fiber and am hopeful to zoom through these phases so I can fix myself. The Gaps book recommends enemas for constipation and I will give myself one next week. Does anyone want to hear how it goes? I have never had an enema before, but I have struggled with chronic constipation since I was eight. With how low fiber I am magnesium isn't even helping!! Apparently this is common with the beginning of the Gaps diet. Also, apparently enemas are super healing and helpful and amazing (I've been told this by my gaps coach, the gaps book, and my naturalistic doctor.) So, I will apparently be doing more of these enemas in my future. I'm not thrilled, but cautiously optimistic. 

I also took my first detox bath this week and experienced some herx symptoms. I had anxiety, bloating, runny nose, and ear issues. It was a very intense experience and I don't want to do a detox bath ever again.

I also decided (because of my constipation) to completely cut out dairy. Well, I did for three days and now am having some wey (1 tbsp in a cup of water). I hope to add in kefir in a week or two. I miss my sour cream and homemade creme fraiche and yogurt. 

My beet kvass will be done tomorrow! Apparently beets help constipation too! Yay, I should be pooping soon. Sorry. I mean, not sorry. This is my life. 

I filmed two "what I eat in a day" videos for Gaps stage 3, so look out for those on my YouTube sometime. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Gaps diet [Week 3]

I'm now about 1/3rd the way though reading the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome. It is mind blowing. Also, this week I tried raw salmon (pictured below) and it was delicious. I will totally be eating raw fish again! 

I went back to a modified stage one this week, cutting out kefir and yogurt and adding in sour cream and creme fraiche, and cutting out eggs again. I made my creme fraiche by adding 1/4 cup yogurt to a quart of raw cream (after heating the cream to 100f) and letting it culture for 24 hours. But, my favorite thing is the naturally soured cream. It's quite delicious.

I added in cultured butter this week and am doing quite well on it. I plan on trying avocado for stage three at the end of next week but am anticipating I will need to do an extended stage two (moving through stages but not eating fruits or nightshades or nuts.) We will see how it goes.

My purchase of a gaps coach is going really well too. She offered invaluable tips and has been corresponding with me 2-3 times a week and answering all my pesky newbie questions. She is helping me stay the course and not give up when I feel overwhelmed and stressed. I feel like I have someone on my side against all the food cravings, hunger issues and detox symptoms I am experiencing. A friend. Even if I pay her. It has been a great resource. 

Next week I will be adding in eggs again and continuing on through stage two so that I can try avocado at the end of the week. 

I am back to feeling good. No more cheat cookies or snacks. I want to get better, don't I?

The only thing I feel quite bad about is I have not been able to keep cooking keto foods for my husband on top of food for the kids. We have all been having soup for one meal a day, with bread as sides for the kids or roasted potatoes--the soups on gaps stage two are all quite keto. However, I just don't have the energy or mental fortitude to make keto meals and gaps meals and feed the kids a well balanced diet. He's been cooking for himself which means he is eating blocks of cheese because my husband doesn't cook. It is what it is. I feed the kids and myself and right now he is doing his own thing. I just feel a lot of guilt about it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Knit Pointy Ridges Hat

I'm designing patterns again and it feels so good! I started off with a hat for my son...or my daughter! This hat fits both my two-and-five-year-olds very well.  

This hat uses bulky yarn and 5.5mm and 6.0mm knitting needles, and it is finished with a crochet hook with a tiny bit of single crochet around the edging. You can always pick up stitches and knit if you do not know how to crochet.

You can download the free pattern on Ravelry here. And you can view the video here or watch below! Happy making!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Gaps Diet [Week 2]


Week two, or the week where I have to start over.

The week started out great! On day 8 I woke up dreaming about food I couldn't eat. It was weird. I laughed it off and told my husband, but by day 9 the cravings were crazy. I decided to have some chocolate which spiraled into me having some muffins (see previous post). The muffins caused all my autoimmune symptoms to return and made me feel guilty and bloated. 

Oh, well. The next day I started over and I have not cheated since. You can't cheat on the gaps diet--you actually have to stick to the recommend foods if you want to heal your gut. It is what it is. I will try not to make the same mistake again! I need to make sure I have prepped food so if I am hungry I have something to eat. I need to meal plan and think about healing instead of what kinds of food I may be missing. 

We made some changes. The kids are going to eat soup for dinner with me so I don't have to cook them something different. I'll give them a side of toast and it will be an excellent meal. As for my keto husband, I might not be able to make food for him. He might have to fend for himself. I'm going to put feeding myself first. It feels weird but he is an adult and he can feed himself.

I am still on stage two. With the extent of my damage, I plan to stay on stage two of the gaps intro diet for at least another week, probably the rest of the month and maybe longer. In one week I will try avocado and may do an extended stage two depending on how I do with it.

I booked a call with a gaps coach to get some help. I am excited to see if she has any tips. She sent me this hugeeeeeeeee 7 pages of paperwork to fill out and it was a little much with my anxiety and also a little annoying. She asked questions about my makeup use and what kind of filter we have in our water supply, things that baffled me since it isn't about the gaps diet, but oh well. I filled it out. I know the big picture matters but I am already 99% clean in all areas of my life, and honestly just want help with the gaps diet! 

My GAPS book came in the mail. I skimmed it. It's heavy reading and I'm an exhausted mom. I will try to form my brain around it, but no promises. 

Stage two foods I have found that I can't tolerate: onions (unless cooked in broth and removed) garlic and tomatoes. These are nightshades. I love tomatoes, so hopefully I can try them again in six weeks and digest them better. 

My anxiety was quite bad this week. I am hopeful it gets better next week when I stick to the diet and throw out half the things in my house.