The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Pantries and Preparedness. Our biggest asset.


All year we have covered topics on pantry building, preparedness and getting ahead.  And it has been a good year to for this in my household. Over the last three years I have come so far!  From that first inkling that I should turn my empty cellar into food storage to now... what a journey!  We added a rain water tank, generators, first aid and so many things, too many to list! 
This is all very good for our family but there is something else.... one of the biggest things we can do is be as healthy as we can be. 
Currently I am taking a class with A Working Pantry.  We are only on day one as I am writing and already I can see that the unfit are going to have a lot of trouble in this scenario.  (Patsy has a scenario she runs and so you can imagine for yourself the things that happen along the way!) In a crisis there is a lot of work. Even if the power is out suddenly there is an enormous amount of things to do!   
Whatever it is... growing our own veggies, a day of canning and preserving.... it all takes energy! 
Many of us have our own health issues.  Some things we can do something about and some things not. Sometimes also we think we can't do anything about things but maybe we can!
Well, I am just sharing what I am doing which is in no way advice to anyone else.  I hope it is just taken as encouragement to look after our health, work on improvements and see looking after yourself as such an important thing. 


Learning to modify.... zoodles  instead of noodles!

A couple of weeks back I shared how I have been trying a completely different diet to try and get over the pain in my arms in particular.  I started on October the 1st.  At the time I wrote down a list of things I was unhappy with and experiencing.  Now like everyone I had to feel pretty bad before I was willing to try something really different.  I wrote down....  constant aching of legs and arms.  Pain killers to get relief so I could go to sleep.  Sometimes pain killers AM and afternoon to get through the day.  Exhaustion.  Exercise was not worth the pain levels and exhaustion that it caused.  I wrote a long and specific list.

These are good!  Andy announced he prefers them so thats easy! 


Wednesday being the fist of November I wrote down how I am feeling now.  Looking back on my old list I was horrified!  This month I only had three days with pain and aching. Three instead of thirty one!  I had energy and FELT LIKE exercising and about mid month I got to exercising half an hour a day. Swimming and evening walks...  and enjoying it and no pain!  Basically no pain medication!  Also a weird side effect... I have at least two more hours in my day as I am more energetic I am up earlier.  I wrote a long list of improvements.  
Overall I feel 200 x better in one month!  I noticed dramatic benefits from day four. Maybe one of the biggest is being free of cravings which I got badly.

I always knew I was allergic to barley and oats.  And I always knew when I eat bread I am hungry and my heart races.  Then I came across a lot of information that going grain free can help with pain and many people even with severe pain and exhaustion and suffering from everything from Fibromyalgia to Chronic Fatigue are finding diet a way to help. So I decided I had nothing at all to lose by trying it for a week!

In this time I saw the Doctor and I expected her to be doubtful but she was thrilled and said as I am in menopause and having so much pain and inflammation (from infection and bites I had) going grain free was the best thing I could do!  Really?  (so why did she never suggest it in the first place?)
Doctors appointments being brief I never got to ask her WHY does this help? How does this help? Or WHO does this help.  
But I know it has helped me.  

Several people have been very helpful to me with this.  Lynette has been hugely helpful and encouraging as she is GF.  Mimi is also GF along with her daughter and she has lovely recipes.  Glenda is GF and a wealth of information. I have been learning so much from you all. My Mum is GF and has a lot of allergies.... so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I am affected too.

My flour free cookies. 

Cookie has been wonderful and patient as I slowly get the idea!  So I am turning over to Cookie who has far greater experience and understanding about how going grain free helped her with chronic pain....

Over to Cookie...


 I have lived in pain most of my life, first with having polio as a child and then being diagnosed later in life with late effects of polio syndrome.  The pain can often times be so excruciating that I could hardly walk.  After this last awful bout with my back in March of this year my chiropractor suggested I go on a gluten free diet and that worked well for a time.  Then the tests came back and my functional medicine doctor who is now treating me for the celiac disease said  I would do best on a grain free diet.  So I have been grain free for several months now.  He also took me off the pseudo-grains ( which are actually seeds) for the time being, meaning quinoa, rice, buckwheat, chia.   However he let me keep flaxseeds.  I  have found many great recipes on Pinterest under  Paleo or Primal recipes.  All are grain free.  My favorite grain free sites are elana'spantry.comditchthewheat.comwhole30.com.  and sugarfreemom.com  Sugar free mom has a great recipe for a microwave grain free english muffin that rivals the Thomas brand that we get here in the states.  As a matter of fact I stopped buying Thomases for Bill because he likes the ones I make.  They're also a 1 serving recipe. They also have facebook pages.  I found that Costco has the best deal on Almond flour.  Amazon has the best deal on coconut flour.  I use arrowroot instead of cornstarch as cornstarch doesn't agree with me at all.  Come to find out that corn in my body acts like a grain not a vegetable.   Anyway, if you google "paleo blogs" you'll come up with heaps of websites with grain free recipes for just about everything.

I have never taken anything stronger than aspirin or some herbal things for pain,preferring to stay away from prescription drugs which can have myriads of side effects that I wasn't interested in experiencing.  

My doctor's opinion and my humble opinion now as well is that our food supply is not the food supply of our grandparents and even great grandparents.  Industry has grown up over genetically modifying seeds (think Monsanto), pesticides that are specifically designed to kill weeds but not the genetically modified foods.  I recently read an article that wheat had been genetically modified over 400 times since the 1940s.And so-called foods that are manufactured in the laboratory using nothing but chemicals and flavorings to make them palatable.  Just take a look at some food labels.  Natural flavors are words for MSG and artificial flavorings.  Modified-food starch means cornstarch from genetically modified corn, different food dyes, chemicals to flavor water.   And, even things that purport to be so-called "gluten free" have been processed in a shared facilities plant that also processes allergens such as wheat, milk, nuts, peanuts and soy.  Is it any wonder that a huge population of us are experiencing chronic pain?  These frankenfoods can also cause something in some of us called "leaky gut" particles of food leak through the gut and get into the blood stream causing pain as well as many other symtpoms and autoimmune disease. 

Staying within our food budget and doing what needed to be done food wise I count as one of my biggest accomplishments this year.  We are blessed with the internet and so many people who have gone before us in this field and have blogs with recipes and advice in how to make the most of things.  Even though this new way of life may at first seem a lonely lot, we are not alone.  I am so thankful to the grain-free and/or paleo/primal websites that I found that it made this transition for me like a walk in the park.  

I found where the best prices were for alternate flours.  I found recipes, and when eggs were taken out of my diet (and later I could eat them), I learned how to use beef gelatin in place of eggs.  I learned how to view breakfast as just another meal and that it didn't matter whether I was eating oatmeal (which now I can't, even gluten free oats) or having   tuna salad.  It's just a meal.  I also had to throw away all of my ground purchased ground spices a start over as the particular place where they were processed used shared facilities.  I found a brand that has a dedicated facility and buy whole spices like cumin seed, coriander, cinnamon sticks, all spice, etc. and grind them myself in a little coffee grinder that was found at a yard sale.  And wow, what a difference fresh ground spices make in cooking.  I grow most of my own herbs.  And the real kicker was that I had to change coffee brands as there's only one brand of coffee in the US that's totally grain and gluten  free because they only roast coffee and do not share facilities with anyone. It's pretty famous and there's usually a shop on every corner in the US.   I make yogurt using Cath's method and also drain it to make yogurt cheese.  When dairy was off the menu I learned how to make almond and coconut milk with no additives, giving purchases of nuts and coconut more uses.  I also learned that if the whey is saved after the yogurt cheese is made and used as part of the liquid in the next batch of yogurt that it boosts the starter from your previous batch and ferments faster. 

It took approximately a week for my chronic pain to subside and about a month for it to go away completely.  However, in order to stay pain free I have to be extremely vigilant, which means, no cheats because if I cheat within a day or two I'm in pain again.  Doesn't seem fair, but that's just the way it is. and I often bring my own food to someone elses house if we've been invited for dinner.  I have a list of "safe" places I can eat  for that very occasional resturant meal.  Some places in the US even have dedicated cooking grills and pans for gluten and grain free food.  

 I know this sounds like a lot of work but  for me it was just a shift of focus.  I have not gone over our food budget, and since employing more of Laine's advice in menu planning etc. I find myself spending even less, and that's a huge accomplishment.  I forgot to mention that I drink ginger tea that I make myself either using grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp per cup of dried ground ginger.  It can be mixed in with your favorite tea or just alone in hot water with a little lemon and honey.  It works just the same as turmeric.  For some reason turmeric cause inflammation in my body rather than stopping it.  I also find that apple cider vinegar in water with ice is great to as it supplies potassium.

Thank you so much to Cookie.  To have had a life of pain like that and now be pain free is amazing.  This is what encouraged me to try this!

I had to include this: Jen in NS grew these carrots!  Check out the size! 

The other person who has really influenced me to try altering my diet is Laine. She also lives with a chronic health condition with great pain.  She also like Cookie got rid of most of this pain with diet.  Her condition requires a specialist and her Doctor is the leading specialist in this area in the world.  And going grain free has had the hugest impact on her life.  I have asked Laine if she would write about this and health in general and she has agreed!

What agrees with us and what doesn't is very personal and individual.  The whole point of my post is that trying something I never considered has made a huge difference to me.  One thing for sure is if something isn't working don't keep doing that!

Everything is a learning process.  And I just had a big fail as I decided to try Chai seeds and make little Chai puddings. They were delicious!  I made three serves and had one a day.  Each day I didn't feel good.  But I thought it can't be the chai ...  the fourth day I had all my pain back and then some extra.  Aching joints, sore legs, aching arms, shoulders, elbows, headache, tired and BLAH.  YUK.   This all reminded me of how I felt before I started.
Now I know it was the chai.  For me grains or seeds is just splitting hairs.  Neither Laine nor Cookie can eat seeds either and can explain why in detail and their specialists agree.  So good bye yummy chai pudding.  It took four days to get back to feeling good again.  Another lesson learned.


I hope this helps someone.  And I hope that you will put your health number one as we cannot look after everyone and do all we hope to be able to do without it.  It is one of the best investments we can make.
We often put up with things quietly and they get worse and worse.  It can take a lot to decide to do something new.  Whatever you do please do the research, ask a lot of questions,  ask different professionals including your doctor.

I am spending November working very hard on gaining ground with my health.  It is exciting to feel I am going upwards rather than downwards!

I hope you have a good week!  See you on Wednesday for Show and Tell! This is running late due to me being away last week.  I have lots of amazing things to show you!  If you would like to send in photos of your crafts and cooking please do on the Bluebirds FB page or email me brinkzi21@hotmail.com
xxx




57 comments:

  1. You gals just go to prove the fact - you are what you eat. God has given us everything on this earth to heal ourselves.
    So happy you are feeling so good. Just think how great 2018 will be!!
    Blessings

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    1. Thanks Cheryl, I hope so! I would love to keep on progressing and have a great 2018. Its pretty near now! With love annabel.xxx

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  2. A very interesting post, Annabel. I read recently about what Roundup is doing to our food https://birdsongmarketgarden.com.au/2017/10/24/glyphosate-a-major-piece-in-the-puzzle/ . Very scary! I am so pleased you have found the cause of your pain. Lots of people seem to be in the same boat these days.

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    1. Dear Nanna Chel, These things worry me too. Im starting to think I need a huge veggie garden and grow everything I can.
      I certain seem to have found some answers. Mainly due to a lot of help. And as you say this is surprisingly common which is also interesting! Many thanks! Love Annabel.xxx

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  3. Dear Annabel,
    I am so glad you have found something that helps your pain, and Laine's and Cookie's too. Especially something simple like diet change. Not easy, but simple.
    I know I really need to cut back on the sugar. Once I had John I just got really excited to eat whatever I wanted. But I need to be healthy regardless so I have the energy to take care of him, as sugar drains me and makes me tired. Not to mention my waistline is not quite as slim as it used to be lol! And I crave sugar, which is a bad sign. My SIL, who lives next door, just texted me to say she needs help eating the cheesecake in her fridge. It's going to take some will power on my part for sure lol!
    I hope everyone is well. I am still praying for Jane and Bluey.
    Lots of love, Kelsey

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    1. Sugar cravings are often the result of the body being too acid. You can buy test strips to check your pH. The easiest way to get it back to alkaline is by taking alfalfa capsules. Nature's Way Alpha Max is the one we keep on hand. You can do 10 capsules a day if you are really acid. The sugar cravings will just go away when the pH is corrected. There is also a ton of info on diet out there about correcting the pH but it is not quick to happen without the help of the alfalfa.

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    2. Dear Kelsey, It is interesting that we kind of know or suspect when something doesnt agree with us or affects us somehow negatively. I notice these are the things I CRAVE. Every time!
      I have thought about you today with the terrible incident in Texas which is all over our news. Even if that was not near us but in our home state I would be upset and shaken. So I am thinking you must be. It has not been the easiest year in many ways.
      Tell your SIL to freeze the cheesecake! :) With love Annabel.xxx

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  4. I am so thankful that you are feeling better and you have found what you have to do to stay well. There is often an event with your health that is the turning point and causes food intolerance.

    Twenty seven years ago I began my own journey. I was so ill and dizzy everyday. I eliminated all foods containing salicylic acid and was miraculously cured. As the years went on I lost more and more foods until 12 years ago I only had 14 safe foods. Now I know that my body was coping by narrowing down the foods I could eat. Seven years ago I was blessed to find out about an alternative medicine practitioner in my area and began to work with her. Eighteen months later I could eat anything again. On my very first appointment she actually told me that I was allergic to every food and had no safe foods at all. I am still on the journey of regaining my health. I am working with a more knowledgeable practitioner now and going deeper on healing my body. These things that cause food intolerance can be reversed if you can find someone knowledgeable in healing the body of infections and eliminating all the junk like heavy metals, chemicals, meds, etc. It takes patience and unfortunately insurance does not cover it so it is all out of pocket costs but for us it has been a priority. I wish you all well in your journey of healing.

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    1. Dear Lana, Thank you. I can see you have done a lot of work on this. And I can see it is a process that is for sure. Trial and error too. Plus there are chemicals hidden in everything and this is all very tricky. No wonder so many people are unwell or in pain. Over the years many things I have been told are good for me have made me sick... one of the worst was years ago breakfast cereals made me so ill! Haven't touched any of those in 15 years. I have prepared this week well, I have bone broth on and going very gently since the chai seed incident! With love Annabel.xxx

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  5. Interesting read. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and took all the standard poisons in the United States prescribed. Two years ago yesterday, I started detoxing my body and now eat very differently. I have no pain unless I eat some offending food that I should have stayed away from and am off all meds.

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    1. Dear Sandy, I know we have other RA sufferers here... that is an amazing result! Do you mind sharing what are the foods that agree with you and what are the offending ones that cause the pain to flare up? You have done really well! With thanks Annabel.xxx

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    2. I have gone gluten free. I am limit processed foods. High fructose corn syrup is a killer for me. Now, that I am detoxed, I literally swell up pretty quick with high fructose corn syrup. I eat organic fruits and vegetables and meat that grass fed organic and no hormones. I feel very strongly now that I am doing so much better that the chemicals in foods and the GMO's are really killing us all. I posted more on my blog. Here is the link...http://homeecmajor.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-year-of-getting-healthy.html

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  6. Annabel, I am so happy for you. I read when you began the diet and was surprised about no eggs but don't think I commented at all. I've typically let's say "been attacked" when mentioning the way we eat. We are not paleo, but eat very few grains and when we do typically organic ancient grains. My hubby can't eat wheat or he walks like an 85 year old man. Oh and maybe you've discovered the answer already, but most grains are natural inflamitories. The number 1 medication sold is anti inflammatory. Also, we avoid chemicals and sugar. I haven't even had a head cold in over 5 years, am not overweight, and have a clean bill of health. The only illness hubby has had was the H1N1 two or three years ago when that went around. What is generally promoted as a healthy diet is far from it. I am glad you have had such a good experience and are sharing it with others.

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    1. Dear Lady Locust, A lot of recipes I am finding are from good Paleo sites so Im lucky there are so many blogs and websites with heaps of info.
      It is funny about your husband reacting that way... imagine how many people can barely move and it is simple inflammation and reaction to something. I have walked that way at my worst too! When it went away I felt like I gained back 20 years! I can see from what Im reading that so many illnesses are from inflammation somewhere... so this would make sense about the drugs. So Im learning all about natural anti inflammatories as much as I can. Thank you so much! With love Annabel.xxx

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    2. A natural anti-inflammatory is the herb arnica montana. It is a homeopathic tablet that you dissolve under the tongue. I was so happy to find out about it for when I need it. It is awesome after things like dental work.

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  7. I’m so glad you are all finding relief from pain.
    14 years ago, when “gluten free” was almost unheard of and most people and doctors didn’t put any faith in it, I worked out (through someone’s story and by the grace of God) that my son reacted big time to gluten. I had myself a new child when I took him off gluten.
    Fast forward to this year, as a 15/16 year old, why would he believe that he can’t eat what his mates eat, so he started cutting loose.
    Consequently, he is now very sick with gut issues and is reacting to all sorts of food that he used to be fine with.
    I think he needs to get into prebiotic/probiotics, and I’m encouraging him to drink the kefir that I make. I also bought a little bottle of kombucha today which I’ve read a scoby will grow from if I leave it in a dark place for a week, then I’ll start brewing kombucha again (I did it years ago).
    I wonder if some ladies here may be helped by making their own ferments?

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    1. Dear Garden Del,
      I am reading a lot about the healing power of fermented things and pro bionics. Jane makes Kombucha but she may be too busy to reply just now. I hope your son might return to GF otherwise he might find he will when the effects bug him too much. It is hard!
      I am trying to up my probiotics so Im on to that! With love Annabel.xxx

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  8. Dear Annabel , a very interesting post to read .
    It's only this year that I tried soaking chia seeds and made a drink and pudding which I enjoyed. I was doing this for my health and also hubby's .
    Can't say it's had any detrimental effects on me that I noticed but it's interesting to hear how it has affected you snd others here .
    I do have some family members with chronic pain so will mention the grain free to them .
    Dear Cookie , thankyou for your story ,and informative ideas ,I'm sorry you've had so many painful years with polio . I have a good friend living the effects of it and have a fair idea of how her life has been . We have been friends for a very long time .
    thank you Annabel and friends like Lynette , mimi, Glenda and Laine for their help to you and us bluebirds .
    With love Maria xxx

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    1. Dear Maria,
      I hope chai does agree with you as the puddings are just yum!
      If your family look up diet for chronic pain they will find just so much helpful info and amazing results. It is so encouraging.
      Your friend with post polio might like Cookies article. To be pain free after so many years is remarkable. Thanks Maria! With love Annabel.xxx

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  9. Annabel, this is a very interesting post. While we strive to eat low-carb, we still do include some grains. Can you share what foods you avoid or is it just grains? Thanks so much!

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    1. Dear Patsy, For the pain I am avoiding all grains (so all breads, flours, pasta, rice, oats etc plus seeds. Some types of pain they recommend avoiding nightshades (i.e. tomatoes) and there are other common things that either disagree with people or cause flare ups... but so far I have just tried grains with big results. My pain seems to be inflammation based i.e. not an injury, not arthritis... Anyway I knew with days it was a success. Which still amazes me! Hope that helps! With love Annabel.xxx

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    2. It does indeed Annabel. After having extensive blood work done the only thing that showed up was my inflammation levels were high. Like I said earlier, we try to eat low-carb but that does include some grains, I think I'll try going all grain free and see if I have good results. Thanks so much for taking the time to explain in detail what you are doing.

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  10. Compliments to Annabel and Cookie for stories of richness! ..... and to Jen for the photo of amazing carrots!! Go, girls!!
    Regards,
    Rachel

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  11. Hello Annabel and everyone :) .

    So glad your pain levels are better with a diet change Annabel, Cookie and Laine.

    As I have gotten older I find I habitually read how many chemicals (artificial colours, flavours, preservatives) are in everything and it is quite horrific let me tell you.

    I am sensitive to sulphites as I was asthmatic as a child so it sets off both my allergies and asthma if I get a cold or flu etc. It is amazing how many foods have sulphites in them too from bread to dried fruits. Thankfully I have found some dried fruits that don't contain it and we make our own bread now too.

    We have been moving more towards making everything from scratch here including our bread, drink a lot of our own juices from organic vegetables we grow and also we juice and freeze orange juice from oranges we find on sale for advanced juice stocks in the freezer.

    You made me think that I used to be a few years ago forever taking allergy tablets but now eating fresh produce, making things from scratch and having lots of lovely fresh juices I haven't taken any in months. Hmm never thought of that until I read this post :).

    I hope you all continue to get better.

    There is a post on GDonnas site about this very thing to treat her husbands skin condition and how she is trying eliminating foods from their diet and slowly reintroducing them to find out the problem foods.

    Lana's point is also good as there are specialists that work with desensitising the body by slowly reintroducing foods in small quantities over a period of time that in some cases can work so that person can eat that food. There is a lot of work currently being done in the area of people with peanut allergies.

    Sewingcreations15

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    1. My practioner does not desentitise. She actually heals the body so the immune system can return to normal, healthy function.

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    2. Hi Lana and also naturopaths and herbalists are fantastic to consult as well. The local hospitals have done unbeknown to most brought in these professionals to cure things that modern medicines won't cure.

      It is always wise to explore every avenue when seeking relief from any ailment, food or environmental sensitivities too.

      Unfortunately as you say most alternative therapies are not covered by health insurance though, but it is time that changed.

      Sewingcreations15.

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  12. Thank you for sharing Cookie! And Jen your carrots are fabulous I love carrots!
    I cannot say that I have any dietary issues so I feel for anyone that does. I think being raised on and enjoying simple foods may be a big part of it for me. For example people are flabbergasted that I had never had Ranch dressing or any kind of dip that goes on veggie trays until I was in my middle thirties. It was always vinegar and oil when I was growing up and any veggies were just salted if you chose. And speaking of I was pregnant with my oldest son before I ever used a salt shaker. I don't eat a lot of bread type things and have never cared for wheat or whole grain anything. I have plenty of boxed foods in the pantry, but we don't really eat them a lot I make a lot of meat and veggie meals and comfort foods I grew up with like the egg dumplings in broth or chicken and dumplings. I have noticed over the years though that the more we gardened and canned that a lot of the things I used to eat taste like chemicals and I don't go after the junk as much, but crave the good things. Now if I could cut pasta out I would be good, but sadly I love pasta!
    XOXO
    Vicky

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    1. Dear Vicky, I really agree.... with all your grow, your chickens and cooking you would have absolutely minimised your exposure to a lot of nasty stuff! We don't eat much out of packets either. I read them and think what on earth is that? Long names you cant pronounce... not foods at all. I do know I have really bad reaction to artificial sweeteners, I get a violent headache. Keeping it simple and natural is for sure a wise thing. Keep on growing all those veggies! With love Annabel.xxx ps I agree about Jens carrots they are like out of Honey I shrunk the kids!

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    2. Dear Vicky,
      I totally agree with what you said about tasting the chemicals in other food once you get used to eating the real, fresh stuff! The same goes for eating out when you are used to good, home cooked meals. It just doesn't taste good, no matter how much you may have liked it before!
      Love, Kelsey

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    3. Oh Kelsey your so right! If we do eat out it is usually with gift cards we received as a gift and usually it is seafood. I can't cook seafood worth a darn and my husband will have breakfast with the guys every now and then and he says the eggs are bad because he is used to our chicken eggs there is quite a difference.
      Also are you nursing? That could be why your having sugar cravings. with my second son wow I had never experienced a craving so intense like that almost like I was starving and haha my son put on 5# by the time is first check up came around and the doctor asked me what I was eating!
      XOXO
      Vicky

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    4. Vicky, I have to agree with your husband about the eggs too. I have learned to never order eggs because they just don't measure up. Completely tasteless to me. Like store bought tomatoes vs garden tomatoes. Yes, I am nursing but I have always struggled with a sweet tooth! I made myself cut back during pregnancy and it was not easy! One time I cut out ALL sugar for a week and I nearly went crazy with the cravings but after a few days I didn't really want it. If I wanted something sweet I would eat a piece of fruit and that was enough to satisfy. It's just getting past that initial withdrawal so to speak that is difficult. I did really well today. Had sugar in my coffee and a square of dark chocolate in the afternoon for a snack. Big improvement on what I was consuming before. This post and you ladies are my encouragers!
      Love, Kelsey

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    5. Kelsey,

      I used to be addicted to sugar too. It was a huge deal for me to give up sweetened anything for Lent each year. Once I gave it up for good ( well I do cheat once in a blue moon), the cravings disappeared. Check out 'Trim Healthy Mama's' website. They have lots of good sweet alternative recipes. Their sweeteners are really good, but the health food store carries lots of options too. Good luck! P.S. Lily brand chocolate is sugar free and tastes great!

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  13. Annabel, I'm so glad you're feeling better. We switched to using spelt flour (mostly wholemeal, sometimes white) about 7 years ago. It is expensive, but I buy in 50Kg bags which lasts us about 8 months. I do use plain white flour occasionally for baking, mainly as a treat for the boys. I switched for a healthier flour, none of us are gluten intolerant. It took a while to get my regular recipes perfected with the new flour but these days no one notices, and I'm pretty sure that anyone who eats baking from my kitchen doesn't notice the difference (or they may just be too polite to say anything!). Never give up trying to be the healthiest you can be, it can only do you good.

    On a side note, having a stocked pantry AND a working meal plan (by that I mean one that used the ingredients in your pantry, not one that requires you to buy extra ingredients) has paid off for us again this week. I'm home, by about 20 minutes, after two days in hospital. I was able to tell the family where they'd find everything they needed to prepare the meals on the plan (and Hannah has the fish and wedges on and the salad made for tonight) and stop them from buying takeaway.

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    1. Dear Cath, I am sorry to hear you have been in hospital! You always keep things going even in these circumstance. I hope you are feeling much better now. That is interesting abut the flour. And I agree how we can adapt recipes and menus and if you do no one notices or cares! At all times having a well stocked pantry is such a bonus! With love Annabel.xx

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  14. Thank you for this info Annabel. I too suffer from a lot of pains and I think I might try easing off the bread etc for a whole to see if it makes a difference. When I have good days, I try to catch up and then do too much which results in a lot of pain the next day. It is so frustrating. Thank you for sharing yours and Cookies experience regarding grains and seeds.
    I was so pleased to read that you may be moving to the farm. Your love of the farms really shines through all of your posts. I believe it will be a great move for you. Anne

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    1. Dear Anne, What you said describes me... on good days I would do heaps then over do it and ache and suffer. Really awful. It would be worth a try,say for a week, then you will probably know if it helps or not. I hope it does! It is like a new lease on life.
      Thank you for what you said, I never thought of it like that but what you say is true! Thank you! With love Annabel.xxx

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  15. Annabel, I am so sorry that you have suffered with so much pain. And I am sorry that so many on here have also suffered with it. The only thing I have had to remove from my diet was coffee. The doctor said that I would have to have bladder surgery, but a urinary specialist said that often the problem was triggered by coffee. Since I quit the coffee, I have had no more symptoms at all! And don't need the surgery! Praise to God! (and I recorded $10,000 savings in my Vicky Challenge book, because we have that much out of pocket and it would have cost that much.) I still crave the coffee after 7 months without it, but will take courage from all of you that the REASON I crave it is because it is so bad for my body. Blessings to all as we follow God's plan for health.

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    1. Cristy I have not had coffee for 16 years (tea neither) - just remember that coffee is often used in baking to aid the flavour of some other foods. Mud cake often has coffee added for this reason.

      Lynette

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    2. Cristy I would count that as a savings too! My friend has trouble with coffee and her bladder and I think she is able to drink the Folger's Simply Smooth coffee and it doesn't cause her bladder pain, but limits it to just 1-2 small cups a day.
      XOXO
      Vicky

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    3. Lynnette, I will have to remember that, especially as Christmas is coming with all the goodies. Thanks for the tip. So far, I have been all right with hot teas.

      Vicky, I would love it if I could find something that would work. I might try that one, if I could limit myself. :) Thanks for the suggestion!

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  16. Dear Annabel, Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.
    I'm glad you are feeling better!

    I have a problem with gluten myself and I don't eat many grains. I do slip up now and then especially when I'm having a stressful day, then I reach for the bread and peanut butter.
    Laurie xoxo

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    1. Dear Laurie, I just am hopeless so I have to keep on hand things that are ok to have when I have a crisis, feel miserable etc. Crustless cheesecake made with honey is one of my crisis treats! I need some more though....
      Thank you so much! Love Annabel.xxx

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  17. Thank you! Tomato and peppers are big inflamatories. I noticed when deleting them it helped.

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    1. Tootles they are members of the 'nightshade' family - potatoes and chilli are also part of this family that are usually in a regular diet. There are other members of this family too like tobacco.

      Lynette

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  18. So glad your aches and pains have subsided!

    We have been a gluten free household for a number of years, but just recently switched to completely grain free. I'm also dairy free and eat very little meat.

    Have a wonderful day!

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    1. Dear Jenn, I am noticing a lot of gf people going grain free and feeling heaps and heaps better. I skipped the gf part as its clear I just cant have the grains at all. You know by the way you feel its so pronounced. Its worth it if you feel so much better! With love Annabel.xxx

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  19. Well done for having the discipline to cut out foods you enjoy for your better health, Annabel and Cookie. I'm sure we all have some food types that don't agree with us, but they're not always pinpointed. Sounds like you two have found yours and are feeling so much better for it!

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    1. Dear Amanda, Thank you! it is a bit of trial and error but overall Im amazed. Feel 20 years younger anyway. I hope you are having a good week! With love Annabel.xxx

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  20. What you say is definitely so true: You are what you eat! We had a bout with my hubby (who isn't very old and is thin!) and very high blood pressure. After going through an elimination phase and taking some vitamins, as recommended by a naturopath, his blood pressure was completely back to normal, AND he was able to reintroduce most foods. (Contrary to the conventional doctor who just wanted to put him on life-long medication...which would be FOREVER since he was starting at such a young age!! We though, there has to be a better way!) It was as though his body's balance/equilibrium just had to be reset so that it could function properly again. That said, if he over-indulgences on a certain type of food for awhile, we have to recalibrate again. Now, he doesn't have any allergies, so that's different than other stories posted here. I agree, too, that many of our foods are unknowingly "frankenfoods"!!! I love Vicky's story...the homegrown and simple will certainly do you good!

    Thank you for the compliments on the carrots. To tell you the truth, those aren't even the biggest ones! Maybe it's the goat manure??? :)

    I am so glad both you and Cookie are feeling better!!!

    Lots of love,

    JEn in NS

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    1. Dear Jen, That is amazing about your husbands blood pressure! What a good result! How good to avoid a life of medication! With all your gardening you are avoiding most of the frankenfoods! The carrots were the biggest ones I have ever seen! Love!
      Im getting a goat lol!
      With love, Annabel.xxx

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  21. Sorry I am a bit slow - have been looking after a sick husband. The work bug finally caught him and he developed bronchitis. He is on the mend now and headed back to work today.

    When they say life throws you a curve ball no one ever expects it to mean something to do with food, especially fruit and vegetables or grains.

    It can and it does and it did, for me it was 16 years ago. Just a few days after September 11. I reacted to one thing then the next thing I was reacting to anything that grew on a plant. Some of the reactions were interesting and I still haven't included them in my diet - I had a cup of black tea some months after my initial reaction and it was like I was drunk. My words were slurred and I was a complete mess - just as well I was at home BUT the business call was awful.

    Coffee gave me dementia - straight up - I had what I now term as brain fog (courtesy of the information I have gleaned about my auto immune condition) - it was terrifying and I suddenly knew how the elderly feel when they are starting to have dementia.

    So no coffee or tea for me for 16 years.

    One little secret I will let you into, if you have a loved one with early stage dementia or know of someone with it please get a full thyroid panel done - yep it can be what is causing the dementia.

    It took me 6 long years to get back to a fairly normal diet, had to cut out a couple of other things as well as the tea and coffee and I was able to reintroduce gluten into my diet until my diagnosis earlier this year. I know it isn't the only thing I need to eliminate and with Christmas looming being mindful of what I eat is the way I have decided to tackle my food issues because I need to be methodical and tackle one family at a time.

    I hope that the allium family or at least part of it stays - I think life would be pretty boring without leeks and garlic, onion I did without for quite a few years until the naturopath said I was right to eat them again. I only use them in cooking and very sparingly but I am still hesitant.

    Reading the packaging, knowing that seasoning is salt and pepper (I react to pepper) and not being afraid to speak to the chef if eating out has been my way of life. There have been some interesting conversations with supposed professionals and I have been surprised at the lack of understanding that they have about allergies and intolerances. Some times I have walked away shaking my head because they just don't get it.

    Just be aware that you may have to battle close family members who think that they know it all and of course there is nothing wrong with you because you do not look sick.

    Believe me it happens and still does.

    My go to is a book by Sue Dengate - it is about the 'fail safe diet'. With her help I was able to sort out what I was reacting to and best of all it was not in my head as a couple of doctors said.

    Lynette
    XXXX



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    1. Dear Lynette, I hope your husband is getting better. Andy is sick too and sounds bad!
      Thank you for all your help and encouragement with this. I hope you see Debbies comment as it came in straight after yours and I know you and her have similarities. Labels are tricky. I am learning! But when getting it right it is like a new life so it is worth it.
      There is a lot to learn. I have been reading the fail safe diet and also an autoimmune protocol... Cookie told me about this. I am learning a lot. With love, Annabel.xxx

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  22. Hi Annabel and bluebirds, Health is very important and I think eating the way you are now is the best thing for everyone. Like you I was aching allover and dragging myself through the day, I put it down to going back to working fulltime and not getting home till 7pm every night. I slowing starting cutting out breads and cereal and started feeling better, then I thought this is silly we have been eating these foods for hundreds of years so started eating them again and had bad pain again. Lesson learnt!
    I started researching and came across the ketogenic diet, I have now cut out grains and sugar and carb high fruits and vegetables and now feel amazing. I have lost weight, feel full of energy even after 8 hours on my feet all day, my head is so much clearer and so is my mind and memory. I Have not felt this good for about 20yrs. I have added good fats back into my diet including all the crackling on pork, real butter on everything and cream in my coffee etc and still losing weight and inches.
    Glenn has seen how good I'm feeling so has joined me too, I will be interested to see how our next blood tests go to see if our results have changed. It has only been a couple of months but I think I will be eating this way for the rest of my life.
    Hope you all have a wonderful week

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    1. Dear Debbie, This is a fantastic result for you. You know not that many people are really prepared to change their diet to feel better. My doctors told me that faced even with death not many people will actually change their diet! Yet look at the results! A new life basically.
      You are ahead of me in the time frame. I would love to know about both your blood test results. But the way you are feeling sounds so amazing and yes like 20 years younger. Well done! With love Annabel.xxx

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  23. Hi Annabel, thanks to you and Cookie for sharing your story. It is amazing what a difference these changes have made to your life. So glad you have discovered what works for you. I have some health issues that I really want to improve in a more natural way, hopefully through diet and lifestyle. Its quite overwhelming trying to work out where to start though, as unfortunately I haven't been able to get much advice on this from GPs. Will have to keep doing my own research & maybe try a different GP too. Hope you keep feeling great! Cheers, Kelly.
    P.S. how do you make the Zoodles, do you need a special gadget to do it?

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    1. Dear Kelly, I hope you find something that helps. Laine is also writing on this subject coming up so hopefully that might help you. The zoodles are so easy to make! The gadget is called a Spiralizer. I bought mine at the post office of all places for $10. It is so quick and easy. You can buy fanciers ones though... I heat the pan and add a little olive oil and very lightly cook them. They are really nice! I don't feel deprived at all with these! I hope that helps, with love Annabel.xxx ps if you would like me to specifically ask Cookie or Laine about your health condition and give you a direction possibly please feel free to email me, with love Annabel.xxx

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