Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Would you give up chocolate, booze and coffee for your health?

“She turned to the sunlight    And shook

Okay, so I’m back on a restricted diet. Not by choice but by extreme necessity.

My sinuses and I assume, my nasal polyps have been quite bad for months now; 18 or so actually. I was  getting on with life but the past couple months, my health has declined to a point where I am having sinus headaches, my ears are blocking up and aching and I’m not sleeping well. And I need sleep.

So, as of July 23 I stopped eating sugar, wheat, dairy, most fruits, booze, coffee and most processed foods (when you give up sugar, wheat and dairy that cancels out processed foods anyway). Now, I will admit to having a couple beer and 2 cookies since but those were my only slips.

Although a miracle hasn’t happened (yet), I do feel better. I actually slept through the night once since *fist pump*

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My diet is making me sick

sick picIn January, I was feeling great and looking good! So good, that I reintroduced complex carbs, wheat and gluten, dairy, some caffeine and yeast.

It’s now March 25th and I have been feelings like utter crap for weeks now. And it’s not just physical. That part of it is always to be expected.

It’s the mental fog, apathy, loss of motivation and cravings that I am dealing with that is making me crazy.

I know it’s my diet.

I’ve been playing this on and off again game with my diet for the past 8 years. And for sure, I have ragged on about it here before.

Recently, I have been in and out of the doctor’s office, mostly getting blood tests to rule out various diseases, infections and allergies. Everything came back negative. That’s a good thing but I still have my issues.

  • Severe bloating 
  • Fullness after eating medium-sized meals
  • Flatulence
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion (occasionally)
  • Laziness
  • Mental fog
  • Apathy
  • Low energy
  • Unsightly skin problems (since Jan 2012)
  • Asthma (since April 1995)
  • Nasal polyps (since April 1995)
  • And lately, recurrent throat infections (since Aug 2012)

The severe digestion issues have been on the increase for the past couple of years.

Now that all my tests came back negative, the doctor has said the next step is for me to see a Gastroenterologist and he/she will most likely issue a colonoscopy because I am a high-risk patient.

I am now “labeled” high risk because my sister died of a rare form of cancer 18 months and another sister has been recently diagnosed with Coeliac disease. Oh, and I am over 40.  Seriously, if I were also coeliac all of this could be explained easier.

I’ve yet to make an appointment with a specialist. I don’t know if I will but the fact that my sister died only 5 weeks after her diagnosis is playing on my mind. If she had of gotten tested earlier, would she still be alive?

I feel I am in tune with my body and I know what I need to do: STOP EATING THE FOODS THAT MAKE ME FEEL BAD

And like I said, I have done this over and over again but then I feel good and think, ‘I can have a little…’, then BANG.

I am fat, bloated, farty and can’t even stand being me anymore.

wheat belly

No, I’m not 5 months pregnant. I just ate some wheat today.

But the more wheat/gluten items I eat, the more I want. It’s like an addiction and I can’t stop myself even to save my health.

But I will do it again.

April 1st is the day. I’ll be going back on my restricted diet which will include  many complex carbs too. NO GLUTEN, RICE, NOODLES, YEAST, DAIRY (EXCEPT YOGHURT), CERTAIN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES (POTATOES).

I cannot just go cold turkey  instantly. I have to slowly work my way up to it. I tried it a few days ago and lasted 1 day. Then I baked a chocolate cake.

Thank goodness I am waiting until after Easter. You know I’ll be overdosing on chocolate and hot-cross buns this week (homemade buns of course).

Gotta go now. It’s pasta for dinner. I’ll just have a small portion but will saviour it to the last bite.

Are there any foods that you know you should avoid but just cannot stay away from ?

 

 

 

 

 

 


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How to start a “restricted” diet.

When you start on a restricted diet of any scale it’s easy to think, ‘What am I going to eat now?’

I used to get asked, ‘So what DO you eat?’ all the time. Many people, especially the ones who do not cook for themselves or rely on boxed or pre-made meals, think there simply is nothing left to eat when you cut out gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast, sugar, malt or whatever the impairing ingredient. But there are many choices available and once you wrap your head around it, it’s easy and you will get to a point where you want the “free”, healthy stuff.

But the truth is this: If you want to succeed, you will have to start cooking for yourself. I’m sure in the big cities, there are plenty of specialty cafes and restaurants who do or will cater for special diets. If you have a high deposable income, then that may work for you. But for everyone else, here are some easy cook-at-home meal ideas that will keep you on track without feeling deprived.

 Firstly, you need to shop. Even the smallest of supermarkets have a health food section these days. This is where you will find the gluten-free, yeast-free, wheat-free whatever you are restricting; you will find it in this section of the shop. Yes, the products are more expensive so just get over it now. And start reading ALL labels. Be careful because so much “processed” foods including flavoured potatoes chips have yeast extract, milk powder or wheat starch in mix. I eat plain, salted chips or natural corn chips only.

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Here’s a list of musts for the pantry:

  1. Gluten-free pasta
  2. Organic gluten-free falafel mix
  3. Korma paste
  4. Gluten-free pappadums
  5. Coconut milk or cream
  6. Tamari sauce (wheat-free soya sauce)
  7. Tomato puree
  8. Tinned tomatoes
  9. Nuts: almonds, walnuts, pine nuts…..
  10. Seeds: Pumpkin, sesame, chia, sunflower…..
  11. Gluten-free crackers
  12. Corn chips
  13. Lentils
  14. Chickpeas
  15. Tahini paste
  16. Quinoa
  17. Rice: Brown and basmati
  18. Organic, sulphur-free dried fruits
  19. Oils: Olive, vegetable, sesame
  20. Spices: cumin, Italian herbs, cinnamon…whatever your fancy

And a stocked fridge of:

  1. Fresh vegetables
  2. Fresh fruits
  3. Fresh spices: chilli, ginger, garlic
  4. sheep’s feta
  5.  olive oil spread (must say dairy free)
  6. Gluten-free bread (if yeast is allowed)
  7. Free-range eggs

Now, with all that at your finger tips, here is a list of possible meals.

  1. Vegetable or chicken (free-range of course) korma (with coconut cream instead dairy) with rice and pappadums
  2. Pasta with a simply tomato and garlic sauce and salad
  3. Falafel balls and salad served with homemade hummus
  4. Dahl with rice and pappadums
  5. Quinoa salad with toasted seeds, nuts, dried fruits, salad greens/herbs and roast pumpkin
  6. Egg fried rice with vegetables and tamari (add meat if you wish)
  7. Pumpkin soup with coconut milk instead of dairy. Serve with gluten-free crackers.
  8. Potato and leek soup
  9. Pasta (spaghetti is best here) with oil, garlic and chilli
  10. Brown rice salad with cucumber, tomato, red onion, lemon, oregano, seeds, nuts and sheep’s feta

BONUS SNACK IDEA: Corn chips with homemade guacomole and/or hummus

So, there you have it. Ten easy meals that you can adapt as your own and add what you like. Experiment with flavours, textures and enjoy the process of creating a healthy lifestyle that may just change your life and certainly your health.

I will post some recipes in my recipe folder over the next few weeks. I do have some good ones but I mostly cook by experimentation. I do suggest getting at least one good cook book for more ideas.

Here are the main ones I use and recommend:

Cooking Without by Barbara Cousins

Cooking Without Made Easy by Barbara Cousins

Any questions? Feel free to ask me.