Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I just had an epic fall. I was getting a blanket from the closet for Doozer so she would stop stealing BuggaBoo's blanket (They've both been throwing up. Merry Christmas!). As I was walking back to the couch I shook out the blanket in front of my face. Wrong move.

The blanket hid the crayon box that was on the floor and I stepped right into it. Hard plastic slips really well on hardwood floors. I fell so hard on my left hip if I was 40+ years older I would have probably broken it. Good times.

I'm okay, just waiting for the awesome bruise I know I'm going to develop tomorrow.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Insights During and After My Latest Therapy Session

Yay for insights that make sense!

I've been to seven or eight sessions of therapy so far. We're still laying down groundwork because I'm still trying to share everything that makes me tick and tic. I'm a pretty complicated person.

So let's visit my first insight, the one I gained during my session. My previous session The Hubby was with me and we were talking about my internet "problem". No, not that, unless what you're thinking about is spending too much time on the computer, and then you're right on the money. I am on the internet Way Too Much. The last two weeks or so I finally figured out that a big reason why I visit InternetLand so much is because it's one way I sooth my anxiety. But during my session I discovered a deeper, if slightly more pathetic, reason why I'm here all the time.To sufficiently understand what I'm about to reveal I need to give a lengthy explanation.

I'm a weird person. I've never felt like I've really fit in anywhere. My personal opinions vary widely from liberal to conservative. But I can't hang out with liberals because I'm conservative on key points, and I can't jive with conservatives because I'm freakishly liberal on others. I'm not moderate because I'm not super lukewarm about anything.

The best way I found how to explain it to my therapist was through outward expression of myself: fashion. One day I'll want to dress completely punk with ripped fishnets and black nail polish, the next I might want to be ultra conservative with a pencil skirt, and blouse, and cardigan. Yet later in the week I might be decked out in my beloved country-western garb complete with heavy turquoise jewelry. I'm sure many people I associate with choose one of those personalities as my main identity and believe the others are costumes I wear to amuse myself. The truth is they are all aspects of me, they are all my true self. But if you focus on just one of them then you'll miss out on most of me.

We then talked about my love for the, um, "out there" stuff. I love crazy hair colors. I think tattoos and body piercings are pretty cool. I can find beauty in all types, I am not wedded to one standard. I told her that I really fit in with the Portland scene and she agrees. But we talked about how I've had to repress a lot of that because it doesn't fit in with my main culture, Mormonism.

Basically I fear making friends because I have been burned often for who I am. I have had some people be very cruel to me, especially women who belong to my religion. I have very few friends I am mostly honest with, perhaps five. Out of the five people that I'm pretty-sure-I-can-trust-but-not-100%-sure-because-they-don't-know-100%-of-me only three live nearby. And I have one person who is not family that knows all of me and accepts me and that is The Hubby.

So this really does all tie into why I'm on the internet all the time. I belong to a lot of different groups online. Some are about natural living, some are about attachment parenting, some have political affiliations, and some are religious based. Not one of them fulfills me entirely. But together, that's a different story. All together these different forums and communities feed every aspect of me. And they are all found on The Internet. And the exact thing I told my therapist was, "I am friends with The Internet. That is so lame."

So, there it is. I'm so socially awkward in real life I turn towards a non-human entity because, A) I don't have many friends in real life because people don't want to be my friend and B) I'm afraid to reach out to real people anymore because I've been hurt so much.

So, if that wasn't enough realization for one day (And it wasn't the only insight I had during that session, just the biggest. Really, therapy is exhausting.) I had another on the bus going home. And, I'm sorry, it also needs an enormous backstory to make any sense.

Like I mentioned earlier The Hubby attended my session previous to the last. I wanted him there because I was doing to start delving into my aversion to housework. A phrase that kept coming from me was, "I just want to be taken care of." This prompted my therapist to ask me to explain my fantasy life. So I started into it.

It began with me sleeping in and not having to take care of the kids in the morning, not making breakfast, not cleaning because all that would be done for me. I said I would like to spend time with my children on my own terms. I started faltering at this point and said, "Man, this is all so selfish." She countered with, "Of course it is, it's your fantasy. Tell me more." So I continued a bit in the same theme.

My therapist then asked, "Do you want to be treated like a child? Is that what you need?" I vehemently countered, "No, I wanted to be respected, I want to be treated like an adult. I want people to respect my intellect and insights and feel like I have something to offer." So she said, "You want to be a queen?" And I said, "Yes, wait, no! I don't want all that responsibility. Well, I do want to take on responsibilities, but I want to choose when I do." And then I cried a lot because everything I want in life is so contradictory and not anything even logical.

I kept carrying on about how selfish and pathetic it all was. After I calmed down a bit my therapist (okay, saying "my therapist" all the time is super clunky, she's going to be Dr. L now) explained that having me truly discover what my fantasy is will help me discover what my deepest hurt is. Basically I think my fantasy life will fix everything, so we can look at it like a prescription. By using that prescription we can find out what the ailment is. Dr. L asked me to think more about my fantasy and see if that leads me to my wound.

So I thought and thought and thought. One thing that stood out to me was the question, "Do you want to be treated like a child?" and my angry response that I wanted to be respected like an adult. But I couldn't ignore that I wanted to be physically taken care of.

Then my first insight came. I tried to remember when I have ever felt like a child. Not in body but soul and mind. And I can't. I have always thought the way I do now. I may not have had the life experience to make 100% adult decisions as a child, but my thought process and logic have always been adult. This is something I've thought a lot about over the years, and every person I have surveyed about it agrees with me. No one has ever thought like a child. We have all been adults our entire lives.

That's what clicked it for me. I DID want to be treated like a child, but I wanted to be treated like a child that was also a person. I wanted to be treated like a child by a person that understood that children don't think like children but you have to care for and guide them like children. I wanted a parent. But why did I want a parent? And now I know why. This is what I wrote down on my bus ride home:

"Growing up in a home and religion where many of my feelings and experiences were invalidated I am now an adult that does not know how to trust and interpret my feelings and experiences. I don't know if my reactions are justified. I don't know if my perceptions are correct. I don't know if my action are right.

By suppressing most of my emotions my parents neglected to teach me which reactive emotions of mine are valid or excessive.

I am confused most of the time. I fear I overreact. I fear I underreact. I sometimes fear both at the same time. I don't know if people treat me well or poorly because I cannot trust my emotional reactions to their actions.

I feel like I need to seek out a wise person to re-parent me. Someone needs to teach me how to categorize my feelings. I don't know how to do it myself."

Basically I cannot trust my own reality. My parents treated most of my emotions as overreatctions. I know deep down that this is a lie, but I know that there is such a thing as overreaction. I never had the guidance to show me what a real overreaction is. The other side of that coin is because I was told most of my emotions were overreactions I don't know what an appropriate emotional response is.

A lot of my internal monologue goes something like this: "How that person treated makes me angry. Well, I don't know, maybe I should be angry about this. Maybe it's not as bad as I'm making it out to be. But what if it is, I'm really angry! I'm probably right, I should be angry about this. Well, maybe I should be more angry. Maybe outrage is the proper response. I don't know, I don't know. I should just drop it because I don't want to offend that person. But if they really did do something to offend me I should set a boundary with them. What if it's the wrong boundary? I just don't know what to do."

And so here is the kicker for me. Since I do not understand my own emotions I HAVE NO REALITY. There is nothing concrete about me, which probably contributes to my chameleon personality, but maybe it doesn't, but how do I know, but but but I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MYSELF. If I can't trust my emotions what I can I trust?

Welcome to the life of a victim of gaslighting. Have you heard of it? Well, here are three good essays explaining the gist of it. I had come across the term months ago and knew it applied to me, but not until two days ago did I realize the extent of the damage. Nor did I realize all of those who have knowingly or unknowingly perpetrated it on me. It is a sobering thought. I'm grateful I set my next session next week instead of two weeks away. With this last revelation I think I'm finally ready to get down to business.

If any part of this post has offended you I direct you towards my disclaimer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Absence Makes My Heart Grow Heavy

I miss blogging. I miss pouring my soul onto the computer screen and having others share my life. I miss journaling my experiences so I can go back and read them and remember. I miss the sense of community that comes from weaving new friends from all over the world. I miss you guys.

I feel like I'm in a hard place. I have so much bubbling in me that wants to spew forth. I want to shout out my triumphs and terrors. But I am so very, very afraid of offending other people. Which sounds a little weird to me, because I'm really not afraid of speaking my mind, speaking the truth. I'm not afraid of hurting others' feelings.

I'm afraid of the repercussion from going down such a road. I fear that if I speak my mind, if I share my truth, and if it hurts someone, they will rain down judgement and guilt and anger on me. They will do everything in their power to bring me back into line to make their life more comfortable, no matter how it makes me feel. I feel those types of people will want me to suffer so they can stay in their happy place.

I do not believe that everyone who has done this to me knows exactly what they are doing. We are creatures that fear pain, and that fear of pain drives us to fix the situation. But sometimes we forget that change, even positive change, can hurt us. When I was a child I would get the worst cramps in my legs from growing. Growing pains are never fun. But I would never trade my physical growth to avoid that horrible physical pain. And so I think that those in my life that hurt me to end their hurt really don't understand what they do.

But even if they may not consciously realize they are trying to dominate my actions doesn't change the fact that they are doing just that.

I do not live in a fantasy world populated by cupcakes and unicorns. I don't expect everyone to agree with my world view. I don't expect others to never be offended by what I say. I don't expect people to not get angry if what I say angers them. I don't expect to be unchallenged in what I believe. I don't expect to not be called out if I'm being a bitch.

However, I want to say things that may expose a person's wrongdoings, or the wrongdoings of someone they fear. I may speak up for something in my life that has no bearing on another's life except to offend them. I will want to vent, to blow off some of my anxiety and work out my problems on "paper". I would like to be respected in these endeavors. I would like to be treated as someone who is working through major depression and anxiety. I would like to be handled with care. I want to be valued by who I am, not by my accomplishments or lack thereof. I want those that claim to love me to treat me with love.

Sometimes loving someone is not easy. Sometimes you have to hurt a person you love in order to help them grow. In love there is such thing as tact, but there is no such thing as never having conflict. People change, people grow, people rise, people fall. Those that love them see where they are coming from and help them on their journey.

Help me on my journey. Before you judge my future postings please try to see where I am coming from. If I bring you up specifically, please examine your own intents and actions before critiquing mine. When you disagree with or challenge me do so with love, not with the intent to lessen your own pain just because it hurts.

Please, do not smother me anymore. I can't take the silence, it makes my thoughts too loud. They scream at me. I have to let them out before forget who I am.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I'm an Anime Character!

I've always wondered what I would look like as a Japanese cartoon. Now I know.

'Cause you gotta have blue hair.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thank You and an Update

Wow, thank you everyone for the love, it's just amazing. I'm even feeling it in The Real World; I had some friends/leaders from my church stop by tonight to bring me dinner and as much help as I could want. We're setting up playdates and meals and other such things. It was hard for me because I was embarrassed to be telling Real Live People about my depression and anxiety. I couldn't look them in the face. If you're reading this, Real Live People, I'm sorry. You deserved for me to be more engaged, but I just couldn't do it. Thank you for dinner, it was delicious.

Wednesday I had a session with a therapist from LDS Family Services. I was having mixed feelings about meeting with a Church sponsored therapist. On one hand it's nice to know that I don't have to explain my rather confusing religion to a doctor who may not know about it. Having grown up in the LDS Church has shaped my life immensely. There is really no culture like LDS culture! However, I was worried that I was going to get a religion-happy therapist that would boil my troubles down into Pray! Read your scriptures! Attend church meetings! Be faithful! Those are not the sort of answers I need right now. I was apprehensive (to say the least) about this initial interview.

My therapist is a splendid lady! And so professional, it was delightful. She had me fill out a questionnaire about my symptoms. There were some questions on the form about drug use, I replaced that with eating and junk food, since I have been soothing myself with food. The scoring scale is from 0-180. My total score was 136. A score over 63 is said to have "clinical significance." The doctor said that was the highest score she's ever seen, and she's been counseling for 15 years. I laughed when she told me that because I was relieved to know that a professional thought I was as crazy as I thought I was.

We quickly skimmed over my history to get a feel for what might be causing my funk. It is a many layered problem involving my childhood, past relationships, church indoctrination, personal expectations, extreme stress, and chemical imbalances. When the topic of religion came up my therapist was, hmm, I guess the best word is "aloof". She didn't start talking to me in a church member-to-church member way. It was very professional. I was very relieved.

Talking about my personal expectations was hard for me. It's was hard to admit that I don't necessarily find staying at home with the children to be rainbows and unicorn farts. It's hard to admit that I have dreams I want to actively pursue but feel from heavy outside and inside pressure to give them up because it's incompatible with being a 100% stay-at-home-mom. It's hard for me to say that the stress of dealing with kids is wearing for me, that I would be a happier person being a part-time-mom rather than full-time. Because a mother's place is in the home. And daycare is evil. And if I'm not with my kids all the time then how am I even a parent? And have I no faith?

Of course working through my childhood is going to be a massive undertaking. I'm looking forward to it but I know I'm going to be drained while dealing with it. There's just so much.

We discussed my postpartum depression that started with BuggaBoo and never really let up. She seemed surprised that I was never medicated, and looking back at how bad things were I'm shocked, too. What really hurts is there was many people, some medical professionals, that recognized my symptoms but didn't help me understand that what I was experiencing wasn't normal. My PPD coupled with untreated depression during my teenage years added to my father's (and possibly mother's) history of depression and mental disturbances makes for a strong case for organic causes. Not to say that it's 100% chemical, but that's a large aspect of it.

We did talk about medication. The doctor feels at this time it might be best to have a few sessions under my belt and see how that helps with my anxiety levels. I am open to taking something if I need it, which is a huge step for me considering how naturally minded I am when it comes to medication.

So, overall things were really great. We decided on weekly appointments because I am in crisis mode right now. It's going to help so much to know that every week I'm going to have time to myself to recharge and be able to work through things. Our car died a while ago so I'll have to take public transportation. At minimum it's a 90 minute trip there. So I'll have at least four hours to myself to just think or read or sketch or write or whatever. And there will be no guilt associated with it because it's something I have to do, so yay!

Again, thank you for your concern, it's heart warming. It's still surprising to me how many lives I've touched and blessed, and seeing how your all bless my life is an affirmation to me that we all need each other. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and God bless.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

For a Giggle

(BuggaBoo is running around with his little friend)

BuggaBoo: ...And now I got all your blood out!

Me: WHAT are you guys playing?!

BuggaBoo: (brandishing a two-foot glow stick) We're playing hide-and-seek...with these WEAPONS!

Me: Ah, okay, alright.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Thief in My Life

I have a thief that has come into my life.

This thief has stolen my marriage. I no longer have a partnership between equals, two adults striving to lift each other up. Ours is now a relationship of invalid and caretaker, child and guardian. There can be no true companionship between such as these.

This thief has stolen my children. Once my kids were people to marvel in, now they are things to be endured. They are inconveniences that loom before me. I am empty so they are never filled, and they devour me from morning until night.

This thief has stolen my motherhood. Instead of sharing light and love and patience I am made of rage and nerves and apathy. I cannot nurture and calm, I want to belittle and harm. A mother like me should be a mother to none.

This thief has stolen my enjoyment. I have not sewn in months, nor do I want to. I cannot bring myself to cook, we purchase "food" from fast food chains nearly everyday and consider ourselves lucky to be fed. I buy ingredients with intention to prepare dishes with love; instead they rot in my fridge like the whitewashed sepulchre. My garden is composting before my eyes and it barely stirs grief inside me. I start projects to abandon them at whim. I just do not care anymore.

This thief has stolen my delight in food. I eat to forget, to shun responsibility, to have an excuse to sit. I eat to feed my sadness, to quiet the pain, to tell the kids, "I'm busy." I used to eat for flavor and fun and family, but now I eat in shame and excess and loneliness. I am never filled.

This thief has stolen my innocence. Guilt is my daily companion. No matter the choice, no matter my path, I am buried in guilt. Every decision in wrong, blame is all I know. I embrace it, I lie with it, guilt is my abusive lover.

This thief has stolen my sleep. When I wake in the morning I long for my bed. The memory of comfort blankets all my thoughts. I want to sleep, to know nothing. I want to sleep, until it is time for such a thing, and then I cannot. I am compelled to stay awake, to feel edgy and driven, until I am forced to my bed in the early hours of the day. I need too much sleep and none at all.

There is a thief in my life.

It is depression.

I have been robbed.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Can't Catch a Break

Yesterday BuggaBoo fell and bit his lip badly. We didn't realize how deeply it was cut until later that day when the swelling went down and the bleeding stopped. We took him to the ER where they told us that stitches wouldn't be prudent and rinse it out three times a day.

This morning he woke up looking like this:

The gash has sealed up. His lip feels warm to the touch and he's starting to get a bit of red around the wound. We think some infection is in the sealed part.

Yes, we realize he has problems with his teeth. Our doctor attributes this mostly to his reflux and early eruption of teeth.

So that's been fun.

Earlier today I was cleaning out the chicken pen a bit and BuggaBoo was hanging out watching me. He was doing his normal I'm-three-and-don't-particulary-like-clothing-so-I'm-starkers routine. All the sudden he starts yelling, "Get away! Get away!" and then started screaming.

A wasp had bit him on the penis.

Like I said, poor kid can't get a break.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Discovery of a New Disorder

Smurf Butt: (n) Condition of primarily the diaper-bound set. Genesis of disease is consuming excessive amounts of blueberries, resulting in fecal matter capable of staining, culminating in discoloration of the buttocks.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Saving Stained Clothing, One Dye Bath at a Time

Little children stain their clothes.

It's just a fact of life. They don't have great self-feeding skills, they relish all things dirty, and I don't want to strip them down and pre-treat every time they drop something on themselves.

Usually extremely stained clothing is relegated to the category "play clothes". But I was noticing the other day that Doozer has way more play clothes than nice things. Several of her play clothes were shirts that I love and want to be worn in a more publicly acceptable way.

The idea I had was to dye her shirts a color that was dark enough to cover the stains. I love all things brown so that's what I went with. Cocoa Brown by Rit fit the bill perfectly.

I used the bucket method but used nearly boiling water for part of the bath. After throwing in the three shirts of Doozer I noticed that I had a lot more dye I could use. I scrounged in my own closet and came up with a light blue shirt that had a yellow stain on the front.

The clothes took the dye beautifully. The brown is a bit purple, but that could be because the initial color of the shirts were blue or pink. Right after rinsing I was a bit worried that the appliques were too dark, but washing a drying fixed the problem nicely. Here are the results:

I love how the ric-rac didn't take the dye. The buttons also stayed blue. On the other shirts the buttons became brown.

This one is still a bit stained, but it's a huge difference from before.

Here's my shirt. Sorry, there's no before. Just imagine a light blue shirt. The Hubby says the brown suits me better than the blue. I like how the stitching didn't take the dye.

And now for the last shirt. IN ACTION!

"Show me your shirt. No, not like that!"

In my humble opinion this was a great success. Doozer has gained three more outfits, we have some matchy-matchy clothes, and we got to play mad scientist in the backyard with the dye bath.

Have any of you guys dyed clothes you thought to be without redemption? Have you considered it? Any qualms or fears holding you back? Jump in! The dye bath's fine.

Monday, August 15, 2011


What do you do when your toddler insists on carrying the eggs back from the hen house at the tender age of 15 months?

Let her show you she can do it.

She's broken only one egg so far. Doozer's been handling eggs for about three months now. Not bad for someone who still regularly stumbles.

This is the face she makes whenever we pull out the camera. I think she thinks she's smiling.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Monster in My Bed

BuggaBoo is an interesting creature. He likes things to be done just so, and he likes them to be done NOW! One of his most enjoyable activities is crawling into bed with us at the crack of dawn and nursing. Now, I like this ritual as well, but only so much. My perfect morning would be having the boy child wiggle under the covers, nurse once, and then drift off to sleep for another hour or two. His perfect morning would be to wiggle under the covers, kick The Hubby, demand to nurse, pretend to sleep for five minutes, demand to nurse, and then repeat until he finally wakes up Doozer much too early for her liking.

So mornings are something that need to be dealt with. See, Doozer is a fitful sleeper until about 4:00am, so I'm constantly nursing her or switching sides or trying not to move so she finally settles down. BuggaBoo likes to enter the scene between the hours of 5:00am and 6:00am, and since I can't fall asleep at the speed of light like The Hubby can I often don't get a lot of unbroken sleep. I've tried explaining to BuggaBoo that if I don't get sleep in the morning then I'm a grouchy mommy more prone to yelling and such, but at dawn he's not exactly thinking about the rest of the day.

We tried giving him a bright clock and telling him he can't come into our room until the first number was a seven, but that didn't work so well. He woke up at his normal time, came in, and I informed him it wasn't seven yet and he needed to go back to bed. Then every fifteen minutes, just as I was starting to fall asleep he would yell, "Is it a seven yet?" I would say, "Look at your clock," and he would say, "Oh, not yet!" Then the plug got knocked out of the outlet during play that day and I foresaw the plug-knocking happening every day since I don't have a protected outlet near the clock. I didn't want to reset the clock every night so we needed to think of something different.

What it really comes down to is BuggaBoo is very hungry in the morning. He has discerning tastes and often doesn't want to eat what's for dinner. I tell him that's it, that's what we're having, deal with it, so most of the time he doesn't eat enough and goes to bed with an empty tummy. This translates into massive nursing sessions at dawn o'thirty.

Last night I tried leaving out a snack for BuggaBoo in his bedroom. Inspired by these cute lunch plates I made him an underwater scene. I'm sorry there isn't a picture, it was 11:00pm when I finished! I cut three fish from a low-carb pancake, put them on a blue plate, and gave them raisin eyes and banana leather bubbles. Raw pumpkin seeds were the rocks at the bottom of the fish bowl. Thinly sliced carrots were cut into seaweeds shapes, and nori was cut into waves for the surface of the water. Cheese was cut into a moon and little dots of cheese for stars. It was pretty fun and easy to put together!

BuggaBoo didn't even notice that they were fish. He kept insisting that they were just pancakes! So I'm a bit bummed by that. He still bugged me a lot this morning, but he only nursed once. I had promised to let him paint this morning so he just couldn't stand to see me in bed anymore.

However, there is something happy about all this. He has been in a much better mood this morning. So I think that qualifies this as a success. Hooray! I'm ready to repeat this experiment tomorrow.

There's just one catch. I can't think of tons of food that I can safely leave out overnight that aren't full or starches and sugars. Any ideas?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Skinned Knees from Falling Off the Wagon

Do you know what tastes good?

Hot dogs.

If you have a barbeque, what do you need to prepare?

Hot dogs.

If you have family in town on a loverly Sunday what do you have?

A barbeque with hot dogs.

What is not allowed on the GAPS Diet?

Um. Hot dogs. 'Cause they have sugar and other starches in them.

So this weekend was full of half-way fails of the diet. I had (many) hot dogs and a few new potatoes from our garden and way more GAPS legal macaroons than I needed. However, I did not eat any buns or mayonnaise with soy oil or the muffins I made Sunday for my church class. I did eat some of my homemade sauerkraut which hopefully helped.

I certainly felt nasty after the day of gluttony. My belly hurt a lot. So, lesson learned!

I have decided to not hold myself so strictly to the GAPS Intro at this time and start easing into the Full GAPS Diet. There are way more options for food and that makes feeding BuggaBoo easier.

In other news I think I may be sensitive to coconut. I recently went all out and made coconut butter, bought five gallons of coconut oil, and acquired coconut flour for baking. I also made the aforementioned macaroons using dried unsweetened coconut. Coconut oil doesn't seem to cause me any troubles. But any other type of coconut seem to make my throat itch and hurt like I have a cold. I also have difficulty swallowing. I'm really upset by that because coconut is so delicious! I think I'll try some more experiments before I call it quits.

On a happier note I've been able to sneak some meat to BuggaBoo. Having been raised vegan his whole life until very recently BuggaBoo is understandably reluctant to eat meat. He likes bacon and ham and fried chicken skin. Oh, and pork rinds, because I persuaded him to try them on the premise that, "They taste like chicken skin!" He really loves pork rinds. I do too. Oh, and I totally want to try a variation of this recipe for pork rind pancakes. Pork. Rinds.

Right, where was I? Sneaking meat? Okay, I made chicken and pork pancakes. Because BuggaBoo will nearly nearly anything in pancake form. So I combined this recipe for coconut flour pancakes and this recipe for savory chicken pancakes to create a sweet-ish breakfast pancake that just happens to be made mostly of meat. Here's the kinda recipe:

Meh, 1/4-1/3 cup chicken
3-ish eggs
3 Tbsp fat (coconut oil, butter, something solid)
1 1/2" x 1 1/2" section of zucchini, or maybe more. Whatever.
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp honey
coconut flour to thicken

Throw everything in the blender, whiz until smooth. If it's pancake batter consistency then cook it up. If it's not then add the coconut flour a tablespoon at a time until it's thick enough. The coconut flour will make things thick in a hurry so don't add too much.

I fry these up in a cast iron skillet using tallow that I've saved from making bone broth. Tallow rocks for pancakes, I never have them stick. Trust me, the pancakes won't taste funny. And sometimes when I want to I'll put a whole bunch of tallow in the pan and make myself some fritters a la country fair. That's some good stuff.

That's it. I think they would be good with some seasonings like cinnamon or cardamom or cloves. Or all of those. Yum. Also, doing this in a blender beats the eggs enough that it eliminates the need for any baking powder, since baking powder is not GAPS legal. You may notice the lack of milk or other liquid. The zucchini makes up for that nicely since it liquifies in the blender.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sarting the GAPS Diet--In Which I Still Try to Fix Everything With Food

Scatter-brained post ahead!

Ever heard of GAPS? The acronym stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Basically it's the understanding that gut health can affect the rest of your body, including stuff that's "just in your head." ADD? Probably gut related. Autism? Probably gut related. Depression? Gut.

The GAPS Diet is a program you can follow to heal your gut, thereby healing food sensitivities, allergies, mental, and behavioral problems. Many things can damage your digestive tract. The most common are antibiotics, hormonal birth control, chlorinated water, artificial flavors and colors, preservatives, lack of probiotic foods, not being breastfed, and eating improperly prepared foods that contain phytic acid and other anti-nutrients. Whew!

How does this apply to our family? I can't speak for The Hubby because I'm not him and therefore I don't want to air everything of his on the internet, but he's had several courses of antibiotics as a child, ate tons of processed foods and artificial sweeteners, and is diabetic. He's also working nights, which takes such a huge toll on his body and health.

For myself I've also have taken many courses of antibiotics. Looking at the list above I've done everything on it except two things: I was breastfed for a year and I've never taken The Pill.

My kidlets have had it better. They're still both breastfed, BuggaBoo had only one dose of antibiotics in his life (his fever broke right after the dose so we knew it wasn't due to the antibiotics and stopped administering them), they're not vaccinated (thereby decreasing the toxic load on their bodies) and we eat some probiotic containing foods. But I haven't been sprouting and soaking my grains, they eat too much sugar and such, and they are both exhibiting symptoms of food sensitivities.

What are our symptoms? Read on, they're in handy list form!

BuggaBoo's Symptoms

-Major reflux as a baby, will still sometimes spit up food or breast milk at 3.5 years old

All this in 5 minutes, plus more

-Ongoing cradle cap
-Lives for sugars, which negatively impact his behavior and cause extreme mood swings
-Has started to hit himself on the head when frustrated (not sure if this is normal toddler behavior or what)
-"Allergy shiners", dark or red circles around the eyes
-Starting to show sensitivity to noise
-Ongoing vomiting issues with no concrete reason (He started throwing up again Sunday morning, while nursing all over me. Delightful.)
-Often complains of "feeling sick" (our code for nauseous)
-Suspected thrush, but no classical symptoms
-Rotting teeth and malformed jaw

Doozer's Symptoms

-Until recently she wheezed
-Eczema behind and in her ears
-Suspected thrush, but, once again, no classical symptoms
-Yeast diaper rashes when younger

My Symptoms

-Ongoing yeast issues, including skin rashes, slow-to-heal lip splits (taking about 6 weeks), coated tongue, and, erm, the usual for the last 4+ years.
-Intense cravings for sugar and other refined carbohydrates
-Bloating and stomach pain
-Incomplete bowel movements
-Acid reflux
-Extreme fatigue
-99.9999% sure I have hypothyroidism
-Weak teeth despite fluoride treatments
-Sinus issues for, oh, I dunno, since I was about 12. So 15 years. Going dairy free didn't help.
-Brain fog. It cleared up for a bit after I first added fish back into our diet, but now it's back.
-Cradle cap, for as long as I can remember. I've even tried medicated shampoos. Nada.

Due to all of this I decided to try the GAPS Diet. On the 16th of this month I started Phase 1 of the Introduction Diet. It is extremely restrictive. At this stage I am eating:

-Meat and bone broths
-Boiled meat
-The "ooky" stuff left over from making broth, like marrow, chicken skins, cartilage, connective tissue, etc. Eating this stuff is a very important part of the diet.
-Well boiled onions, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
-Winter and summer squash
-Ginger, chamomile, or mint tea with a small amount of honey
-Sea salt
-Sauerkraut juice (to repopulate my intestinal flora)

The children are eating a less restrictive diet because, well, they're a bit picky. In addition to what they'll eat from the above they're also having:

-Eggs, mostly just the raw yolks
-"Ice cream" from frozen bananas, raw egg yolks, and a bit of honey. Sometimes I add frozen cherries or blackberries.
-Whole milk plain yogurt
-Coconut flour pancakes

The first few days were no fun. I think BuggaBoo was vomiting from a die-off reaction. He also took two long naps on Sunday and was very irritable. I was not a happy camper and felt exhausted. I also had pretty bad headaches, lots of sweating, back and face acne, and a nasty mouth. Doozer was sleepy and cranky. On day three we all seemed to be doing a lot better and I had more energy. Today, Day 5, I'm sleepy again and feel the starts of another headache. My face and back are still breaking out badly.

But I see progress. And that's encouraging. I'm excited to see where this goes and such. I have found for me to feel satisfied on this food I have to eat a lot of fat. My most favorite thing to eat is the "ooky" stuff, but I've been that way since I was a kid. And since all my meat is grassfed the fat tastes so good. Yum! The meat itself is not settling too well for me, but that's okay. I'm perfectly happy to drink broth, snack on veggies, and chow down on "ooky" stuff all day long.

And I've noticed I don't have too many cravings for breads and sweets unless I"m looking at them. This does mean that I have to lay off looking at food blogs (boo!), and it's hard because my dear friend just dropped off some sourdough bread for my family (double boo!). And the kiddos don't quite understand why we're not eating that stuff.

Okay, that about does it for today. Hopefully I'll be a bit more coherent about this later. For now please read these thoughtful posts by Cara at Home, Health, and Happiness, and Jenny at The Nourishing Kitchen. These wonderful ladies wrote about GAPS much better than I did. May I blame it on the detoxing?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Was Featured!

Huzzah! My post on cherries was featured over on GNOWFGLINS & Co. How exciting is that?! I'm feeling pretty good about it. So head on over to this week's Simple Lives Thursday, there are a lot of interesting blogs to check out. Have fun!