The road to wellness isn't straight, clear, or predictable. It's a path you forge yourself.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Almond Meal Muffins

Breakfast is the hardest meal for those of us who are gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free.  I was very happy to find this recipe for some high-protein muffins.  These are quite tasty and less "brick-like" than other high-protein muffins I've tried.  I made a batch on Saturday, popped them in the freezer, and have been having them for breakfast and/or snacks this week. 

Almond Meal Muffins:

1 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup ground almonds (or walnuts)
3/4 cup whey protein powder (I used rice protein powder)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (alcohol-free preferred.  I used "Spice Shoppe" brand.)
2/3 cup grated carrot
2/3 cup soft tofu
Grated zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Mix all ingredients together and pour into muffins tins.  (The batter needed more liquid so I mixed in some soy milk when I made them.)  Bake 20-25 minutes.

High-protein, low-carb, high-fiber, and delicious!  :-) 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kefir Disclaimer

Well, I feel like I should warn people that kefir may not be a good thing for migraine sufferers to drink.  I have been drinking a cup of the stuff a day because I've been reading about all the health  benefits of it.  Sadly, fermented dairy can be a migraine trigger in some people and I suspect I'm one of them.  I can handle home-made yogurt, but kefir is much more fermented.

I had a "woolly-booger" of a migraine on Monday night.  It was weird because I had just gone to the acupuncturist and felt slightly dizzy afterwards.  By the time I got home, it was full-throttle headache and nausea which lasted all night.  Yuck.  I was thinking:  did he put the needle in the "make headache worse" spot instead of the "make headache better" spot?  I also had a migraine this afternoon on the other side.

Well, after reviewing my food diary I noticed that the one thing I've been consuming that is different is the kefir.  I'm going to give it up and see if the headaches get better.  Just thought I'd warn you about it.  I guess I'll go back to my non-dairy probiotic pills instead.  It's like ongoing detective work.

Has anyone else noticed a correlation between fermented dairy and migraines?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Snack as Medicine

I'm growing more and more fond of the idea that food is medicine.  Healthy food can supply your body with the nutrients that can help it fight off whatever disease it's exposed to.  To this end, here's a snack idea I came across:

  • 1/2 avocado with 1/2 cup saurkraut 
  • 1 cup kefir with 1T ground flax seeds and 1t unsweetened cranberry concentrate
Avocado - did you know that avocados have 60% more potassium than bananas?  Also, vitamins B, E, and K.  It also supplies good fat as well as 2 grams of soluble fiber per 1/2 avocado. It is soothing for the whole digestive tract.

Saurkraut - I didn't know this but apparently it has more beneficial bacteria (lactobacilli) than yogurt!  It is also a good source of vitamin C and contain beneficial enzymes to aid in digestion.  Make sure you get the kind without vinegar and/or other preservatives.  I like "Bubbies" saurkraut.  It only has 3 ingredients:  cabbage, salt, and water. 

Kefir - (I like Helios Kefir)  It's like yogurt but better!  Provides lots of good bacteria that not only help you digest things, but helps fight off the "bad bugs".  Did you know that 70% of disease in the body begins in the gut?   If your gut is filled with garbage, then your blood is also filled with garbage.  Heal your gut and your body will follow!

Flax Seeds - contains omega 3's and a lot of fiber.  You should aim to get 2 Tablespoons of ground flax seeds per day.  I grind them in a coffee grinder and sprinkle it on cereal, put it in shakes or kefir, used as  breading for pan-fried things, or baked in muffins.  

Unsweetened Cranberry Juice Concentrate - provides the health benefits of cranberries without the sugar.  It's good in kefir, but I also like to mix a small amount of it with Perrier or other sparkling water, and add some lemon or lime juice.  it makes you feel like you're drinking something special but it's still really good for you.

There you go!  A snack that's low in carbs and will help keep you healthy.  :-)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Weight Loss

I'm going to discuss here how my body loses weight (and gains it).  It is different than most conventional wisdom on the topic.  For instance, they say it's best to lose weight slowly over time.  Also, I've heard it said that you can't gain a significant amount in only a week or so.

My Body and Weight Gain:
In the week before my wedding (almost 7 years ago!) I found out that YES you can gain a significant amount of weight in less than a week.  When it got to be a week before my wedding, I had already had the last fitting for my dress and I thought, "Whew!  One week can't make much difference so I can just eat what I want!"  So I ate whatever I wanted that week.  Plus, I was stressed and carbs are something I crave when I'm stressed.  Um....well... let's just say my dress was really tight on the wedding day.  It had fit perfectly 5 days earlier, and on the day I thought I wasn't going to be able to zip it up!  (I sucked in and did, but talk about stressy!)

My Body and Weight Loss:
As you can see above, my body gains weight all at once.  As I later found out, my body also loses weight all at once.  Fast forward to September 2009.  My Functional Medical Practitioner put me on a Yeast-Free diet combined with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  This means that you either take the Yeast-Free diet and remove all the grains and potatoes from it; OR you take the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and remove the fruit and honey.  Basically, you can only eat meat and veg.  No grains, starches, fruit, or sweeteners of any kind.  Also no dairy because of the lactose (dairy sugar).  If you're thinking this is a crazy, impossible diet - you're right!  (Kinda)  My husband calls it "the worst diet in the world".  I found that after 3 days, it got much easier.  After a week, it's almost automatic.  Once you get used to making all your meals with weird ingredients, it's really not hard at all.

This diet is a corrective diet and is not intended to be used indefinitely.  I was also put on a lot of vitamin supplements for a few weeks before I started this diet and I believe they REALLY helped me stay on it.  I didn't crave things because my nutritional needs were being met.  Also, I got off of all the addictive substances I was on (like caffiene and sugar) before I started this. 

Well, I lost 20 pounds almost over night.  It was crazy!  It came off all at once over a span of about 2 weeks.  People thought I was ill!  I know conventional wisdom says that this is unhealthy, but I felt good doing this and my body became healthier overall.  The other 10 pounds or so came off over the next month.  I never lost this kind of weight on any other diet.  When I was on Weight Watchers, I was eating WAY less calories than I was on this diet but they were from a lot of sugar and processed foods.  This is a real foods diet and you cannot have processed food on it.  (NOTE:  This is NOT in any way like the Atkins Diet.  A lot of people think it is but it's not because you don't count carbs, you can have as many veggies as you want, and things like bacon and animal fat are not allowed!  Also things like Atkins bars and other products are forbidden on this because of all the terrible chemicals that are in them.) 

When I was on this diet, a typical day's food was the following:

Ultra Shake (rice protein, almond milk, nut butter, ground flax seeds, flax oil, and ginger)
OR 1/2 avocado with raw flax crackers

snack:  a handful of any kind of raw nuts (except peanuts)

canned salmon with frozen broccoli and lemon juice
or leftover supper
or chicken soup

snack: raw flax seed crackers with nut butter or tahini
OR veggies and black bean hummous

any kind of meat with any kind of veg
(example:  lamb chops with asparagus and kale)

As you can see, this is not a low-fat diet!  In fact, it is very decidedly high fat.  BUT - the fat is all good fat and comes from healthy sources.  I couldn't believe how well it worked.

I now realize that I need to go back on this diet for at least a week or two.  Right now I weigh 165 pounds and need to lose about 30 more.  My weight has stabilized and I haven't lost any more for a few months.  This is because I eat more carbs now.  (Not bad carbs like white flour and sugar!)  Just things like rice cakes, quinoa, gluten-free bread, brown rice, millet cereal, etc.  This is fine for maintenance, but I'm finding that in order to lose weight I must reduce carbs.  I recently read that a high-protein and good fat diet sends your body a "dump fat" message.  On the other hand, a high carb diet sends your body a "store fat" message.      

Over Christmas, I ate all sorts of things.  BUT - I didn't gain any weight because I made sure that whatever I ate was real.  If I ate a piece of cake, it was homemade with no artificial chemicals, transfats, or high fructose corn syrup.  We were in Greece this Christmas so I ate things like Baklava, tsoureki,  and candied oranges.  The good thing there is that bakeries in Greece do not use commercial chemicals and additives the way they do in this country.  Things are still made with real ingredients.  I KNOW this is why I could eat all those things and not gain a single pound back.  So:  If you're going to cheat, make sure it's REAL!

I'm sure everybody loses weight differently, but this worked for me.  What has worked for you?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Breakfast of Champions

Here's a new healthy breakfast idea I came across:

Scrambled eggs and kefir with ground flaxseeds.
It provides hunger-fighting protein, a dose of probiotics, fiber, and omega 3's in one meal. 
I had it yesterday and today.  Yummy and yay!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Verdi and Needles

Thursday night was our last big symphony concert of the season.  We ended it off big with Verdi's Requiem.  The chorus was HUGE!  There were literally hundreds of people on the stage.  It's exciting to play this kind of music.  The only bad thing was that someone's hearing aid was turned up too high and there was a hideous squeal that accompanied the first 2 movements.  Ugh!  It really was annoying and horrible.  It was driving me (and everybody else) nuts!  Luckily, our conductor is really good at handling these kinds of things.  After the second movement, he turned to the audience and explained what the noise was and he requested that people with hearing aids turn them down.  The situation was fixed immediately and didn't happen again after that.  Yay!  I'm so glad our conductor is so diplomatic.  I have known previous conductors in the past to throw absolute diva fits over things like this!

For the first time, I had my acupuncture session before I played the concert.  I really didn't know what was going to happen, but I hoped that I would be more relaxed.  Lately, I have had issues with performance anxiety which is weird because I never used to.  Over the past few years, I have developed gut issues that happen just before performance time.  It's obnoxious!  I can't eat anything except broth and rice on the day of a performance or else I'll regret it.  Anyway, I was hoping the acupuncture would help with this.

Although the session did help with a headache which was forming on the left side, I didn't notice a change in the gut issues.  However, I did feel much more relaxed and I had much less anxiety about it.  So that's good.  I didn't tell my acupuncturist about the stomach thing but maybe I should.  (duh)  Overall, I think the acupuncture is helping.  I have not had to take a day off work since I started.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Possible Help for Women Migraine Sufferers

I am so excited because I found this book that has some ideas for naturally healing migraines.  I don't know if it will work, and I'm certainly not recommending that you do these things.  However, you may want to discuss these things with your doctor and perhaps get your hormones tested.

In the book, it says that 10 times more women have migraines than men and 80% of these are due to a lack of progesterone.  Apparently, during days 14-28 of your cycle, progesterone levels drop off which can cause migraines along with PMS symptoms.  (In fact, most women who have PMS also have migraines.  Hmmm.)
Anyway, the book suggests that taking 50 mg progesterone supplements during days 14 - 28 of your cycle may help stop migraines.  (Note:  Only bio-identlical progesterone.  Synthetic progesterone doesn't work the same way and can have side effects.)  Also, it advises other various supplements.  I had heard that some migraines could be from a lack of Magnesium.  (Dr. Hyman covers this in his books.)

Here's what the book advises:
1.  50mg progesterone 2x per day.
2.  100mg of Magnesium 3x per day.
3.  Essential Fatty Acids:  Omega 3 + GLA + Oleic Acid
4.  Iodine - 12.5 mg per day.
5.  Vitamin D - 5000 IU per day.

Again, I am NOT saying you should just start taking these.  If you have migraines however, and you are a menstruating woman, you may want to show this to your doctor and ask what they think.  I know I'm going to!  Actually, my Functional Medicine Practitioner had already recommended most of these things to me so I'm already doing everything except the progesterone.  I'm going to get my levels tested and I'll be curious to see the result.  Wouldn't it be awesome if I could prevent any more migraines from happening by taking progesterone pills? 

Has anyone out there had any luck with taking progesterone to heal migraines?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Acupuncture Update

I haven't kept up with my acupuncture session reports so here's an update:

I went almost 2 weeks without a migraine but then I had one this past Saturday on the left side, then Monday on the right side.  The interesting thing is that the pattern has changed.  I used to always wake up with a migraine if I was going to have one.  Now, these past two started in the late afternoon/night.  (Which I actually prefer because at least I don't have to take off from work.   But I still would like to not have them!) 

Today, I told my acupuncturist about this change.  He said that there is a Yin and Yang balance and that Yin is associated in the morning, but Yang is associated with afternoon.  (Or maybe it was vice versa.  I don't quite remember, but it was interesting to me.)

Anyway, I am having crazy allergies lately and have developed a rash on my arms.  Apparently, the cold weather we had earlier has caused the oak trees to produce WAY more pollen than usual.  This sucks because I'm really allergic to it.  Oh well.  Anyway, the needles stung a little today.  It's probably b/c my skin is more sensitive these days.

I did feel much more relaxed after today's session.  The relaxed feeling even lasted through my orchestra rehearsal.  We'll see how it goes.  One cool thing - my acupuncturist digs classical music and may come to our upcoming symphony concert.  I love it when people are enthusiastic about symphony!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Why I am Not a Vegetarian (or a Vegan)

Since I started to change my diet and eat healthily, I have had many people ask me, "why aren't you a vegetarian?"  After all---isn't vegetarianism the healthiest way to eat?  Well, not necessarily.  Here's my reasoning as to why I continue to eat meat:

No Waste!  (like the Indians):
First of all, let me say that if I had to kill an animal in order to eat it, I definitely would be a vegetarian.  I know I could not kill an animal.  However, since it's already done anyway and the animal is dead, wouldn't it be wrong to waste its flesh?  I know the idea is that less demand leads to less production, but in reality, SO much food is thrown away in this country.  Over production seems to run rampant in the food industry.  (...and don't get me started on overproduction of corn due to corn subsidies from the government!)  So I feel that if I don't eat meat, then I'm saving a bit of flesh that an animal sacrificed from ending up in a landfill somewhere.

Even Vegans Kill:
Second of all, vegetarians and vegans are kidding themselves if they think they are not contributing to the death of animals.  Farming practices kill all kinds of animals.  For example, thousands of field mice get run over by harvesting equipment every time it is used.  Also, the land that is cleared for farming deprives animals of their habitat.  In fact, if we all were to become vegan, a lot more animal species would become extinct due to the vast amount of land if would require us to clear in order to grow all that grain and veggies.

Avoid Bad Juju:
So, either way, we're gonna kill some animals.  I think that the best way to deal with this is to treat the animals with respect and dignity and to give them a humane death.  Meat factory farms are NOT doing this.  To put animals in confined spaces so they can barely move, forcing them to stand knee-high in their own filth, then force-feeding them a diet of corn that they are not able to digest properly, then killing them on an assembly line is not treating them with respect.  Apparently, the stun-gun that they use to stun the cow before slaughter doesn't always do the job and a percentage of cows end up getting skinned alive.  How horrible!  I really  think that we are really racking up some bad karma over the way we treat the animals we eat.  I want no part of this.  Recently, I made the decision to not buy meat from these places or support places who do.  (This means ALL fast-food joints, folks!)  Seriously, factory farming cows is one of the biggest contributors of global warming and is terrible for the environment.  Grass-fed cows from small farms are much better for the environment. 

Buy Local and Grass-Fed (preferable Grass-Finished):
I now go out of my way to get grass-finished beef.  (Some meat-producers are letting their corn-fed cows eat grass for one day before slaughter and are calling it"grass-fed".   OR they will allow a cow that was raised on grass to eat corn to fatten it up before slaughter.  A new term, "grass-finished", had to be invented to differentiate between those and the cows that really are grass-fed their whole lives.)  If it's not available, I don't eat beef that week.

I was eggxcited (booo) to find some free-range eggs at my local farmer's market yesterday.  The man who raises them says that these chickens have the run of his whole property!  This made me feel good because "free-range" doesn't always mean free-range.  Commercial chicken producers are giving the chickens slightly bigger cages (so the chicken can take one step) and they are calling it "free-range".  (...and the USDA allows them to do it b/c it fits their definition of "free-range".  It's maddening!)  Likewise, "cageless" chickens are packed so tightly in their coops that they can't move.  Their reaction is to peck each other's eyes out, so the practice now is to cut their beaks off.  Just because there's no cage doesn't mean it's any better to pack them in like that.  Just being aware of where your food comes from is a good first step.

Happy Animals are More Delicious:
 I can't prove this scientifically, but it is my opinion that meat and products from happy animals taste better and are better for you.  Think about it.  When you're depressed and unhappy, certain chemicals are produced in your brain.  Fear and pain also produce adrenalin and other chemicals.  It makes sense then, that this is the case with animals.  An unhappy cow or chicken would have different chemicals running through its body than a happy one.  Also, it experiences fear as it goes down the conveyor belt to its death, bathing its muscles in adrenalin and other "fear and pain" chemicals.  If you eat it, you are literally eating the animal's fear and pain.  This can't be good.  A humanely slaughtered cow (and yes, they have these) seems like a better choice to me.  Again, it's not scientific at all, but I totally believe this.  I can tell you that my truly free-range eggs tasted a lot better than the supermarket ones I used to buy.  Plus, the yolks were more orangy in color, indicating a higher level of beta carotene. 

My Number One Reason:
You could say that all of the above is just rationalization.  (You'd be right too.)  But the real reason why I continue to eat meat is because I GAINED weight when I dabbled in veganism.  Yes, I went totally vegan for 6 months a few years ago.  Just because it's vegan, doesn't mean it's healthy!  I was eating things like chips and guacamole, crackers, bread, dark chocolate, lots of grains, lots of soy, vegan brownies and candy, and tons of sugar.  I gained weight because I was eating a lot more carbs than I otherwise would have.  The carbs are what make me gain weight.  Everyone is different, and I do better (and lose more weight) when I restrict my carbs.  Also, I can't eat a lot of things due to health reasons:  no wheat, no dairy, no sugar, severly limited soy, limited grains, no nightshades, no fungi, no vinegar, no alcohol, no fruit.  (My fertility specialist told me to avoid soy.  Apparently, it can give you an estrogen imbalance and can disrupt the fertility cycle.  Yikes!)  I have to eat something!  So, meat and veggies have become my mainstay for food.

 My number one rule for myself lately is:  Eat Responsibly  (I have to admit this has been recent because I really didn't know all this stuff before.  "The Omnivore's Dilemma" has enlightened me.)

Yes, no one's perfect.  BUT - I think if we try to eat responsibly, even for a little bit, it will have a cumulative effect and it's certainly better than doing nothing.  Happy eating!  :-)


Friday, April 9, 2010


This subject is controversial in the medical community, but here it is:  Candida!  The information below is what I learned from my reading and my doctor.  Most conventional doctors do not believe that a systemic Candida infection is possible.  They confuse it with a much more serious condition which cancer patients can get.  The book "The Yeast Connection" addresses the common misconceptions made by doctors and explains this much better than I can.  In England, Candida is much more accepted in the medical community.  In fact, that's where I first heard about it.  A teacher I worked with over there ate avocados and rice cakes every day for lunch.  When I asked why, I was educated by her.  Later, I met several more people (in England) who were diagnosed with Candida by their doctors.  Over here, no one has heard of it.

After my Functional Medicine Practitioner (Dr. Cooper) did endless tests, she diagnosed me with a Candida (yeast) overgrowth in my digestive system.  (I won't go into detail about HOW they can test for this....but they can test for it.)

We all have Candida in our digestive tract and it usually isn't a problem because the "good" bacteria keeps it in check.  However, frequent doses of antibiotics kill the good bacteria and the yeast can grow out of balance.  In addition, a diet which is high in sugar and refined carbs will feed the yeast, which also helps it to grow out of proportion.

Now, I have never had a yeast infection where a lot of women have yeast infections so I didn't think I had a problem.  BUT - this diagnosis is the only thing I have come across which makes sense of all my symptoms.  I did have a lot of ear infections and strep throat infections as a child so I did take multiple rounds of antibiotics.  In addition, I am a sugar fiend!  For years, I ate a lot of sugar and sweet things.  No wonder I'm out of balance. 

My symptoms and possible causes:
  • migraine headaches - Dr. Cooper thinks my headaches are caused by digestive issues having to do with the candida.  Toxins released by the candida can cause a variety of symptoms including migraines.  Also, I lack the chromosome that helps the body detox so the toxins build up in my system.  
  • itchy skin - sometimes when I exercise, I'll start to itch all over.  It's weird.  No doctor has ever been able to figure out why.  (Am I allergic to exercise?)  Anyway, I was reading "The Yeast Connection" and it said that candida can travel through the blood stream and cause itching.
  • leaky gut syndrome - It's not what it sounds like!  Apparently, the Candida yeast shoots out runners (like a strawberry plant) which can pierce the intestinal wall.  Microscopic food particles can "leak" out which your body attacks like an invader.  Dr. Cooper found undigested gluten particles in my blood when she tested it.  The only way they can get there is through the intestinal wall.  
  • feeling sick all over - Vague symptoms and feeling sick all over is an indication of a Candida infection.  It is frustrating to go to the doctor and have them tell you "it's all in your head".
  • severe carb cravings - As I said before, Candida feeds on sugar and refined carbs.  When you don't eat these things, the Candida starts to die and it will send signals to your brain to eat sugar.  If it doesn't get it, it will make you feel terrible until you do.  For years I could never figure out why I always felt awful when I tried to eat healthily.  Then, when I ate french fries and a coke, I instantly felt better! This did not make sense to me until now.  I had to suck it up and feel terrible for 3 days until the sugar was out of my system.  (Seriously!  I felt like I had the flu for 3 whole day just because of not eating sugar and refined carbs.)  
  • infertility - Yep.  Candida can cause that too!
Dr. Cooper says there are three ways to get rid of yeast:
1.  Kill the yeast - take an antifungal like Nystatin or Diflucan
2.  Replace the yeast - take a probiotic to replace the good bacteria. (Eating yogurt is NOT enough.  Plus, there's sugar in most commercial yogurt which feeds the yeast and makes it worse.) 
3.  Stop feeding it - no sugar or anything which turns into sugar.  Not even fruit sugar!  And no alcohol either.  (Drinking alcohol is like throwing gasoline on a fire.  It just flares up.)

The above remedies are temporary.  Once the imbalance it corrected you can enjoy fruit again in moderation.  It takes a long time to get rid of Candida though.  6 months to a year in most cases.  I have been on the Candida Diet for 6 months now.  I lost 30 pounds on it.

Anyway, you can take or leave what I wrote here.  This works for me.  Here are some books that I found immensely helpful:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Quiche for Breakfast!

I have been frustrated because I have gained 5 pounds this past week.  Even though I'm still eating really healthily.  Argh!  Stupid, stupid weight gain!  I'm thinking that maybe it's because I've been eating too many carbs.  (Even though they were healthy carbs!)

I read recently that eating cereal for breakfast makes you fat.  The sugared kind especially, but also the "healthy" kind.  Apparently, most breakfast cereals have glycemic indexes that are higher than a Snickers bar.  I also read that eating eggs for breakfast can help you lose weight by helping to curb your appetite all day long.  So this week, I wanted to try eating eggs for breakfast.

Well, who has time to cook eggs in the mornings?  I don't!  So I thought that the easiest way to eat eggs for breakfast would be to make a quiche and have that throughout the week.  No prep time necessary!  I have had quiche for the past few mornings and I actually like it.

Here is the recipe I used from the Candida Control Cookbook.  I did make a change though.  I left out the nutmeg and put in some chopped, fresh dill instead.  This is a tip I got from my Greek mother-in-law.  She always puts dill in her spanikopita (which is amazing).  I have to say, Daisy knows what she's talking about.  Spinach and dill are a great combination!

Pecan Crust:
1/4 cup clarified butter (ghee)
1 cup ground fresh pecans (I ground them in a food processor)

Melt butter in a small skillet; remove from heat.  Add pecans; stir.  Spoon mixture into a greased, 8-inch pie dish, pressing against sides and bottom of dish to form crust.  Fill and bake or chill according to filling instructions.
(16 carbs)  

 Quiche Filling:
10 oz. package of frozen, chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
1 med. onion
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup homemade yogurt (the recipe calls for cottage cheese, but I am avoiding lactose so I used the homemeade yogurt.  Or you could use tofu if you  like.)
nutmeg to taste (I used chopped, fresh dill instead)
sea salt to taste

Squeeze the water out of the spinach.  Chop the onion and cook in the oil until tender.  Take off heat and add the spinach, eggs, yogurt, salt, and dill.  Mix together and pour into the pecan crust shell.  Bake in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes.

I suppose if you wanted to make this more breakfasty you could put in some ham or bacon, but I think it's really good without it.

Does anyone out there have any other low carb breakfast ideas?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Needles and Chips

Well, today was my 3rd session at the acupuncturist's.  I'm used to the drill now.  This time, he put extra needles in my neck because I told him I'm having tightness in my shoulders.  (I ALWAYS have tightness in my shoulders.  I hold a lot of tension there and they seem to be up in my ears most of the time.)  Also, he gave me some therapeutic cream to put on my neck to loosen the muscles.  (Kinda like a natural Icy-Hot.)

I have not had a headache since my first acupuncture session on Tuesday.  It has almost been a week now and that's the longest I've gone without a headache in several months!  Is it wrong to be in love with your acupuncturist?  ;-)

A friend of mine posted a recipe for kale chips on  her blog.  I made them tonight and they were fantastic!  I did not expect them to be so light and crispy.  I totally pigged out on them, but didn't feel too bad because it's kale!  The more kale you eat the better, right?  Seriously, try this.  It's an easy, painless way to get your veggies.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Eat Wild!

I found a site today that I want to share with you.  It's called  What I like about it is that it helps you to find local farmers who produce organic vegetables and grass-fed animal products.  Also, it has a lot of information about why grass-fed is so beneficial to our health and our environment. 

This site also lists farmers who will ship directly to you, although it is limited.  I was unable to find a place that ships to my area.  (Although I totally respect why they don't ship too far.  Eating close to home helps the environment and reduces our dependence on oil to ship food to us.)

Are you wary of all the chemicals that are put into our food supply?  (I know I am.)  If you are too, this site can help you find a solution.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Second Visit to the Acupunturist

Today was my second acupuncture session.  As I was headed over there, I checked the mail and there was a hand-written card from Dr. Needle.  How nice is that?  It had a nice, peaceful picture of some green bamboo on the front and it said:
I'm glad you decided to try acupuncture and Chinese medicine, as I believe your condition will respond favorably to treatment.  As we discussed, if you can be consistent for a period of time I believe you'll see results.  See you next visit."
He's trying hard, isn't he?  His business is only about a year old so I'm sure he's still trying to grow his client base.  It was still nice to get the card though.

Last time, there were two needles that bothered me and he had to adjust them.  Today, nothing bothered me at all.  Either my body is getting used to it or Dr. Needle is adjusting to my particular body.  Anyway, it was fine.  He put the needles in the same places except instead of the neck ones, he put them on either side of my nose (to help open the sinuses).  I could see them sticking out like big 'ol walrus whiskers.  Crazy!  Again, I had to lay there for 20 minutes before he removed the needles.  After they were out he massaged my shoulders, temples, and ears.  I was calling this "shiatsu" but it's not.  It's called "Gwa Sha" (used to release tension in problem areas) and "Tui Na" (used to move Qi in various parts of the body).  

After an acupuncture session, they say not to do anything strenuous and to not take any drugs or drink alcohol for 6 hours.  I just felt extremely sleepy when I got home and took a nap.  I have to say, I have felt better for the past 3 days but I can't tell if it's from the acupuncture or from the fact that I have the week off for spring break.  The real test will be when school starts again!

I'll keep posting about my experiences with acupuncture for those that are curious.  (I have to go twice a week for the next couple of weeks.)  I'm not 100% sold on it but, like I said before, I'm willing to give it a try.  My friend's mother said that for her, it took about a month but now she doesn't have any migraines at all and she doesn't have to take her medicine.  I'm hopeful.