Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Garden in Ragweed Season

I am feeling much better today, folks!

I stayed inside all day long yesterday, longing the whole time to run around outside and get some work done in my garden.

Since I was feeling so much better this morning, I decided to go outside and do what I could in the garden until my allergies drove me crazy again.

I went out and picked the okra (should  have gone out a couple days ago...alas, more waste!) and some of the volunteer cherry tomatoes well as some basil and a few cosmos and marigolds for flair...

Then I went inside for a reprieve...and a tissue...achoo!
Then I went back outside and picked even more cherry tomatoes, more basil, and half the banana peppers from one plant. We have four banana pepper plants.

Can you guess what the kids are getting for snacks today?

Here's a pic, from last week or so, of some of our sunflowers.  Their heads are starting to bow, and I think I am going to gather them up and tie them to our maple tree to feed the birds this winter.

While I was picking tomatoes, I found this wee creature on my (mostly forgotten, yet flourishing) parsley plant:

I located my onions and started pulling some, while simultaneously cutting/pulling grass and weeds that had gone to seed. At that point, the sneezes started and the waters started flowing, so I retreated inside to take a shower and stay inside for awhile.

But, at least I got something done! And the kids should have plenty of snack for this afternoon. And we get to have fried okra tonight for dinner! Yum!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August....aka "Hell Month" for this allergy sufferer

There, I said it. I have dubbed August "Hell Month" because it is by far the absolutely worst time of year for me as far as allergies go.

I began taking Zyrtec back in May or June, in an effort to get it good and set in my system to hopefully have no allergy symptoms this month. In addition, I have been using a homeopathic for weed pollen.

The Zyrtec/homeopathic have definitely helped as far as the sniffling, sneezing, itchy throat and ears problem. I've still had some of that here and there when I've gotten myself immersed in ragweed pollen...or eaten melons(hello Oral Allergy Syndrome...)..but it really does nothing to help my eyes. Oy, my eyes! Itching like mad for weeks now.  I've been staying inside for the most part, not enjoying the beautiful weather at all. :(

I actually double-dosed on Zyrtec one day last week in my desperation to feel better.

Sunday night, my digestive system started giving me fits...Monday morning, my chest hurt and I've got the acid thing going. At first I thought "oh no, I hope I'm not developing asthma!" because it hurt to breathe....but as I woke up and moved around, I remembered feeling this same way awhile back....

I think the hiatal hernia is back and/or I got into gluten this weekend and it's caught up with me...

...and I have itchy skin that tells me I've gotten into something I shouldn't have/my body is in react-to-everything, high-histamine mode.

  • Oatmeal cookies I made for the kids this weekend, made with regular (non-GF) oats...I had a few...
  • Non-GF oats I had in a meatloaf over the weekend (and I forgot to take my digestive enzyme)
  • Some other source of gluten/other food ingredient I have an issue with?
  • The double-dose of Zyrtec causing GERD
  • Eating Mexican food too close to bedtime on Sunday(though I had it before w/o issues)
  • My body has just been pushed to the limit with the allergies and decided to randomly go haywire?

Maybe oats should be cut out for awhile. And I need to pay better attention to my Zyrtec intake and not double matter how desperate I am.

I do know that the bone broth chicken soup I made for myself yesterday did wonders in helping me to feel better.  Looking at the Mark's Daily Apple blog post, it looks like other people associate gluten/grains with acid issues. (it's not just me!) Looking at my past with my elimination diet...when I was off of all grains and trying to add in wheat, one of my warnings that this was a no-go was the sometimes rather intense acid reflux and chest/back pains, and when I took it back out, that would go away...

I find it interesting that, looking at my blog post history, the last two years I have blogged about having this issue around the Fall...August 2010 and October 2011...and one of them was definitely related to a gluten/wheat exposure.

My Plan:
1. I am going to resort back to GAPS-like eating for a bit, using bone broth at least once a day for myself and hope my gut/digestive system will heal up again. 

2. I plan to remember to take my probiotics and digestive enzymes!

3. I am going to avoid oats(and gluten) until this passes.

4. I am going to try this method of Hiatal Hernia Massage, and if this doesn't clear up within a week, I will go to the chiro and get it adjusted as I have in the past.  Usually, when I get into something that bothers me, it takes about 3 days to pass.  This is day 2.

 5.I am going to look into getting some eye drops for my itchy twitchy eyeballs!

Pray for me--this is a hard time of year for me! I kind of hope it freezes soon, but that wouldn't be fair to all you who are enjoying this weather, would it? ;)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Garden Pickings

I'm afraid I've been neglecting the blog lately, but I'm popping in here to update on the garden a bit. Here are the pickings I got from the garden this morning. The Royal Burgundy Bush Beans are about completely dead and defoliated from the bean beetles, and I got a meager handful of beans. I got enough okra to cook for myself and my hubby tonite for dinner, a couple tomatoes, and a ton of peppers that I just might turn into salsa(I have onions in the garden, too). Oh, and I do have some kale and chard that I am kind of waiting for cooler weather before I pick...the chard last time was bitter.

Many people in OH have never heard of growing Okra up here. But we've done it for a couple years now. Here's a pic of how it looks when it flowers (ours is a burgundy type).

And when it's cooked up the best way I know how (fried):
I love fried okra!

Might Sourdough Bread be an Option for those with Grain Issues?

I read an article in the September issue of Whole Living Magazine last night talking about the rising gluten free movement and whether gluten avoidance is what is really necessary for everyone with grain issues. Have we really found the culprit, or are there more culprits out there in our wheat supply?

One of the main focuses on the article was sourdough. Many people who were interviewed said that they were able to tolerate sourdough without problems(barring those with Celiac).  Interestingly enough, it is the refined flour sourdough bread that is getting the thumbs up. Commercial whole wheat flour is not the same as flour you would grind from whole grain at home, since it is ground/smashed, then the parts are separated, and divvied out to various sources, and then they are remixed when a whole grain order comes in. Manyy find that this is too hard on their digestive systems.  Before you reach for Organic refined flours, the article said that these do not have the fortifications added, and apparently to make a good sourdough with refined flour, you need to have those fortifications to feed the yeasts, otherwise they do not grow well.

Ancient (non-tinkered-with/non-GMO) grains were also given the nod and stronger approval than commercial refined flour.

I have been doing well with a once-a-week or so whole grain spelt pizza crust made at home.

So...I am thinking about branching out and trying to make sourdough from spelt and any other ancient grains I can find, and seeing how I do with it.  I would like to do it with whole grains, even if I have to finely grind them at home.

Hmmm...this is much like our ancestors made bread, isn't it? Getting back to basics...

Keepin' it Real!

Take a look at the article. I bet you will find it just as interesting as I did!