Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chard...Groundhogs...and Tomatoes

The kids are gone camping and I got to fix myself an "adult" lunch today.

The Five-Color Silverbeets(aka Rainbow Chard) in the garden needs to be picked, so I decided that I would incorporate it into my lunch.

I picked about 5 large leaves of chard and washed them. I cut the stems to about 1/2" pieces and the leaves I cut/tore into pieces and set it all aside.

I also had 2 slices of bacon calling my name in the fridge.

I cut the bacon into pieces and cooked it in the cast iron skillet.

I then added 2 garlic cloves, minced and a splash of lemon juice to the skillet, followed by all of the chard. I stirred it up a bit and put a lid on it for 4 minutes.

When the timer beeped, I went in and took the lid off and stirred it and put it into a bowl.

That's all 5 large leaves! It really cooks down!


On a side note, as I was going outside to take a pic of my lunch, I met a new *ahem* Friend.

This would probably explain the reason many of my tomatoes have been 'taste-tested' out in the garden! Argh!

Speaking of tomatoes, earlier this week I peeled, cored, seeded, chopped 17 lbs of tomatoes and made them into salsa and put it in the freezer in 2-cup increments, in quart freezer bags. I really did not want to deal with canning once I did all of that other work, especially at the height of allergy season and with a potential food allergen of mine. Just didn't want to push my luck too far. By the time I was finished, my nose was itchy and runny, but I wasn't miserable like the last time I canned tomatoes!

Today I am picking tomatoes, coring them, and putting about 9 or so in a gallon bag and freezing them and stacking them in the freezer. The less I have to deal with tomatoes during this allergy season the better. I fully expect my body to be able to handle making tomato sauce in the winter just fine, but don't want to push it for now. And I feel this method works fine for adding them to soups, making cabbage goulash, and probably even making spaghetti sauce. I take them out of the freezer and run them under warm water and the skins slip right off.
So far I have gotten 9 gallon bags of tomatoes.
Organic, home-grown tomatoes in the dead of winter. Double-Yum!

BioAllergenix-Human Body Scan

My allergies have been bothering me off and on, but it has been nowhere near how horrible I have felt in the month of August in OH for the past 5-6 years. And I am not taking any antihistamines unless I have a reaction that drives me nuts with the itching ears and throat(and that hasn't happened often).

The last couple of days I have found that I reacted to a few foods I have reintroduced and been doing fine with until recently. Now, the pollen counts are extremely high here and my environmental allergies are bothering me off and on(again-much better than any other year, but they are there), so I assume that my body fighting the environmentals might be what tips me over to the food reactions. They have for the most part been pretty short-lived. For the record, what I have reacted to(and not every time) is: apples, organic grapefruit, romaine lettuce(maybe), and tomatoes/peppers. Maybe garlic.

Last week, I went in and had ragweed, grasses, nettles, and chenopods, along with some other weeds re-treated with the BioAllergenix system. (I checked out to see what the dominant pollinators were when I was reacting, and did a little "scientific research" that involved finding the plants and exposing myself to them when I felt fine to see what happened. ;) ) I do think it is getting better, but there must be some other thing out there that I am allergic to that I haven't found out yet.

The doc wanted to do a scan that had some more pollens and such yesterday, but I decided I was more interested in the Human Body scan(what I previously mistakenly called the Total Body Scan). My thinking is that maybe there is something going on in my body that I am not responding to the treatments 100%.

In my understanding, the Human Body scan is scanning the different systems of the body, seeing how well they are working. I have no idea how it works or how it fixes things, but I figured it wouldn't hurt anything to go ahead and try it. These are NOT allergy-type things here now.

So, I did the Human Body scan and ended up with 8-9 things that came up. I won't bore you or embarrass myself with all the details, lol, but for most of the things I had an explanation or something I could put my finger on that related to what came up. I will give a few examples:

One of the things was the Temporal Bone, which is at your temple. It is associated with Temporomandibular joint disorder(TMJ), which I have had problems with off and on. Interestingly, on the way home, I felt that type of pressure in my face/jaw, but it went away in a short time.

The Omental Tenia also came up. I had no idea before what it was or what it did, and was enlightened as I looked online last night. It is an apron-like 'organ' in the body that covers the intestines. Interestingly, it has something to do with the immune system, digestion, healing, removing toxins...a whole host of jobs! Here's the site I found the most helpful info at: Omental Procedures

That's just two of the things that came up. I don't know how this works, but there has to be something to it! Even my chiro didn't know about all of these health issues I have had!(some of them even minor!)

Although I am still dealing with mild environmental allergies, I am still glad that I went with BioAllergenix. Things are so much better this summer than last summer! Last night was our Awana Carnival for the kids to kick off the new year. I have come to associate it with a pocketful of kleenex, a raw nose and throat, itchy throat, being hot and tired and wanting to just GO HOME already. Last year I could not eat any of the foods that they had available. Last night, I only had to blow my nose once and was able to have popcorn and a bit of cotton candy. I did have a bit of throat itching and have been tired, but I will take what I can get!

Praise the Lord for the blessings He gives me!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Things are looking up and BioAllergenix Visit

On Monday, we got back from our vacation to visit family in Colorado. Man, I miss the mountains!

I wondered before we went whether I would have problems with my allergies while I was in Colorado. I have been off of my allergy medications(store brand Claritin or Benadryl) for a few months now. I have only taken the Benadryl once or twice when I reacted to something I couldn't put my finger on but decided to nip it in the bud before it got too bad.

So, I did pack my Claritin and Benadryl just in case. I never did feel the need to use it, though, despite the Cottonwood trees and the sagebrush doing their thing, and it being haying season! I had a few brief bouts of runny nose and a few sneezes, and a few times that my throat/nose/eyes barely itched. But these came and went and other than using a tissue or two and using my NeilMed nasal rinse kit once or twice, I was fine as far as my allergies went!

The only thing I still have a sensitivity to that I can say for sure is chemical fragrances/smells. And those might just be normal reactions. I still have a bit of a hypersensitive sense of smell, and people's perfume makes my nose itch and throat/ears itch a bit sometimes. So does walking through the aisles full of cleaners or of pesticides and such in the stores.

When we came back to Ohio, I kind of came in fear and trepidation. I have dubbed August in Ohio as "Hell Month" because for about 5 years now every August has been completely horrible as far as allergies. It is when ragweed season starts, plus the corn plants begin to get moldy and who knows what else was a contributor. I spent the whole month of August in the last few years with completely clogged up sinuses that a rinse kit couldn't touch, taking Sudafed(the old kind) that just took the edge off, and still having itchy red watery eyes, itching ears, maddeningly itchy throat, sneezing, runny nose(yet clogged--how does that happen?). My skin even itched, even though there wasn't a rash to be seen! Just miserable. And this was when I was on daily antihistamines!

As a sidenote--My most horrible August allergy experience was 2 years ago when I decided to learn to can tomatoes. I didn't care if my "hayfever" was so bad, I was going to can those tomatoes! Horrible experience--hot, humid, no A/C......extremely itchy all over and runny nosed, miserable experience. Months later, I discovered I was allergic to tomatoes and FINALLY made the connection as to why I was even more miserable canning the darn things! Ugh!

Ok, back to the original topic--my allergies when we got back to Ohio.
My SIL is usually my barometer with the August allergies. I "fondly" remember after Ivy was born, SIL and I had what we *thought* was the most horrible cold of our lives and were standing in front of all the cold medicines in Meijer trying to find something we could take. We were both SO miserable and stuffed up and just felt horrible. Overall, though, her allergies haven't been nearly as bad as mine. She usually gets by on a little Benadryl when she needs it and has eaten *almost* whatever she wants with no problems, but come August she is almost as bad as me in the allergy department. The second thing I said to her when we came back and I saw her(the first was "Hi!") was "How are your allergies?" and her response was "Horrible! They have been bad all week!". I was glad...for me, not for her...because....


My allergies have so far been extremely minimal for this time of year! Nothing worth taking a Benadryl for or a daily Claritin. I have done the Neilmed nasal rinse once since we came back due to a little stuffiness but otherwise I am feeling pretty good! :)

Praise God! I don't know how the therapy I have been going through works, but it does seem to be working!

I went to what I believe is my second-to-last BioAllergenix appointment for awhile, and then I will take a break and see how things go and maybe go in if I feel I am having any problems.

The testing I had done was an IgE scan, and they ran it on Mother tincture and on Total Tincture.

The things that came up were Poplar Trees, Sole Fish and Thyme(I knew there was a reason I didn't like thyme!).
I don't remember the last time I had sole, I tend to avoid thyme, and the poplar trees allergy might explain my slight off-and-on sneezing that I experienced just a little bit of while up in the mountains(aspen trees are in the same family).

So, I got treated for these and avoided them for the rest of the day.

I am so thankful to be feeling so much better than I have for some time. I don't remember a summer, EVER, not feeling miserable from allergies at some point(usually on a regular basis).

Praise God! :)