Week 1

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Week 1

I have a little blurb to continue on from my last post:

This last year was full of stressors, anxiety triggers, and lots of random flare ups, however, I managed to get discharged from the Iowa Clinic.  I went here yearly for blood tests and a follow up consultation with my gastroenterologist.  And I do have a small confession about the medication he prescribed me.  I took it for maybe 1 ½ to 2 years and began to fade out and only take it when I had some intense flare ups.  I was tired of having to take two pills before every meal (it had to be taken a half an hour prior to your meal).  There was an instinctive push and pull feeling telling me to stop taking them.  I easily slid off the grid because I didn’t want to have to take medications for the rest of my life.  I was completely ecstatic when he told me I didn’t have to come back to the clinic since my symptoms improved. 

Now, during this same year I gained more responsibility at work and moved twice (I’m now living by myself, I love the quietness).  A lot of big changes have occurred and the timing is perfect.  The only downside to the past year was my drinking habit.  Sometimes I would come home from work and the first thing I would do was crack a beer open (as if it solved all my problems).  We all know that’s a crock of shit!

It wasn’t until about a couple weeks ago when I had a night out on the town and was slurping down drinks like a fish.  I’m actually very embarrassed about this but I have to face the negatives in order to turn them into positives.  I actually woke up the next morning still drunk from the many gin and sprites I consumed.  After a few more hours of sleep I woke up with the worst hangover of my life (even worse than my 21st birthday).  I was constantly sick all day.  I decided this was the LAST straw.  It’s time to get your shit together, Morgan, time to grow up and deal with these issues instead of masking them.  I have been pinning recipes on Pinterest and purchased two books to help with my process:  The Complete Idiots Guide to the Anti-Inflammation Diet and 8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Dr. Andrew Weil.

Monday was an extremely long day (due to my weekend activities).  I managed to still go to the grocery store after work.  (If any of you know me, I absolutely despise the grocery store.  I always feel so goddamn overwhelmed).  I came home and instantly preheated the oven for a few marinated chicken breasts.  Time to prep my lunches for the week!  I decided salads were nutritious and light enough for lunch.  I looked in the fridge and pulled out some mushrooms and carrots.  In the cupboard, I pulled out the sliced almonds and raisins.  Once the chicken was done cooking and cooled, I sliced about ½ a breast for each salad.  Boom!  Lunches were done!  I also cut up some green and red peppers and put them into snack baggies for the week.  (I had a bowl of Kashi’s Vanilla Soy Cluster cereal, not bad, but I do like to add some cinnamon and raisins to give it a little more “umpf”). 

Every morning I wake up and make a cup of green tea (8-10 oz. depending on how my eyes gauge from waking up).  I also make my oatmeal, an excellent filling and clean meal.  (Not to mention, ½ a cup is a HUGE serving size).  To jazz up the oatmeal I add: raisins, cinnamon, some nut (walnut, pecan, or almond), a fruit (usually strawberries, but I love blueberries too), and agave nectar. 

Tuesday I decided to invite Dad over for dinner.  We’ve both been chicken shits about trying salmon recipes.  The recipe was from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook:

*Juice and zest from ½ a lime
*1 T. Maple syrup
* ½ tsp. Sriracha sauce
* ½ tsp. Coarse sea salt
*1 ¼ lbs. Salmon fillet, skin removed
*2 T. Coarsely chopped cilantro

I made a few substitutions because I could not find the sriracha sauce ANYWHERE in Hy-Vee.  So I ended up using sweet chili sauce in place of the sriracha and agave nectar for the maple syrup.  I also doubled the sauce recipe and marinated the fillets all day. (You bake the fillets on parchment paper for 18-20 minutes at 425 degrees).  I had been craving sweet potatoes so I roughly cut two potatoes (skins on), drizzled olive oil, and sprinkled turmeric, garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika.  Bake for 35-45 minutes at 400 degrees.   Everything was SO good!

Wednesday and Thursday night I split a soup I had frozen of Dad’s.  It was a barley, sausage, and bean soup, something absolutely perfect for the weather we’ve been having lately.   Then on Friday I finished the extra salad from my prepping.  I ruined a good streak with some Chex Mix, Muddie Buddies, and a few beers from a concert that night (I am human).  I will tell you I regret the choices of food I made at that time because I paid for it Saturday. 

Saturday I ventured out with Dad to Trader Joes.  I was so impressed with how much fresh, organic produce I got for a VERY decent price.  I also got a few necessary cooking items like olive oil, sea salt, and minced garlic for super cheap!  That afternoon I put together a tofu vegetable soup in the crock pot. 
I used:  *1 bag frozen mixed veggies
              * ¼ bag frozen corn
              * ¼ bag frozen peas
              * ¼ bag frozen green beans
              * ½ box extra firm tofu
              * 1 C. pearl barley
              * 2 Cartons of chicken stock

And I sprinkled in basil, rosemary, marjoram, parsley, garlic powder, turmeric, onion powder, pepper, and very little salt.  It turned out pretty good!  The tofu actually melts in your mouth.

Today, (Sunday), I woke up and fixed an organic egg and fried some sweet potatoes in olive oil and the typical anti inflammatory spices.  I also enjoyed a cup of hot green tea and a cup of lemon ginger juice.  I declared that Sunday is a day for leftovers!

I can tell you, besides my slip up on Friday night, I have never felt better!  I have lots of energy and I don’t feel bogged down after eating!  I’m really looking forward to week 2!  Stay tuned!   🙂

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The Beginning

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Some of you may know who I am, but for those of you who don’t, here’s my introduction! I am a 23 year old woman from a very small town in Iowa. I hope you’ll stick around to see the ups and downs of my journey!

It all started as a kid when the one thing I looked forward to after school was Dad’s cooking and the 4 or 5 glasses of 2% milk I had with it. God, those were the days! Dinner was a special time to me, however, I couldn’t make it through a meal with out a stomach urge. My parents and I shrugged it off since I was so young and I seemed perfectly healthy!

Fast forward about ten years, it was 2009 and my senior year was going so well! I had been seeing a boy for a few months and like any other couple we celebrated Valentines day by going out to eat. I couldn’t tell you what I had for dinner that night, pasta maybe?

Anywho, I stayed with one of my best friends and a few other lovely ladies that night and we decided to sneak a little vodka into our drinks. All was fine and dandy until I awoke to excruciating pain the next morning.
My stomach was cramping so bad I felt like there were thousands of knives going through my body, stabbing me over and over again. I could hardly breathe. I crawled up the stairs to the bathroom, I couldn’t do anything and then I crashed. Watching yourself consciously fall but there’s nothing you can do is one of the scariest things you can experience. A cold sweat broke out and I crawled to the couch. I was used to being the first one up, but I felt hopeless. I knew my mother would be up so I called to have her come get me.

This was a defining moment in my life. I was sent to a gastroenterologist to further the diagnosis. Not too long after, I was going through the colonoscopy prep (ugh, what a drag) and procedure. Later that week I got the news. My diagnosis, Microscopic Colitis. It sounded scary! What was this?! I became obsessed with WebMD (not a wise choice). The specialist put me on an anti inflammatory medication called Asacol. It worked, sometimes.

Being in high school was hard work. There were always stressors in this teenage girls life. I struggled with social anxiety up until now (where I’ve grown in social skills, I’m still an introverted person).

Along came college and my stomach issue subsided a little. The drinking increased and the crappy ass food did as well. I was always making coffee and boxed dinners.

Fast forwarding to after graduating college and landing an excellent job as a dental assistant. My stressors have gone down believe it or not (with all the stupid bills adulthood brings with it). My drinking continued to increase, especially after a broken heart. Life’s funny sometimes, but god am I glad I’ve been through what I have.
I also went to the dermatologist to get help with my breakouts and it turns out I have rosaeca due to the inflammation in my body. It’s spreading everywhere!!

Needless to say, I’ve made you read all of ^^^^^ that to let you know I was finally tired of feeling run down, exhausted, bloated, and sick after eating everything! It’s my time to heal my body from the inside out. I’m going to journal my experiences. Stay with me, if you will!