Tag Archives: allergies
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Choco Chex!

19 Nov

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Ok they don’t look all glam and pretty, but at least we can eat them! Rice Chex tossed in melted Enjoy Life chocolate chips (soy free!)… So crunchy and tasty.

Baking 2: Electric Boogaloo

10 Oct

The danger is not lest the soul should doubt whether there is any bread, but lest, by a lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry. -Simone Weil

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.
Mother Teresa

Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one.
Nikolai Berdyaev

The wretch who digs the mine for bread, or ploughs, that others may be fed, feels less fatigued than that decreed to him who cannot think or read.
Hannah More

To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the making of bread.
James A. Baldwin

(love love love BrainyQuote.com)

Bagels/ Laugen (pretzel)Bagels (by me!) The grey/weird speckles are Celtic grey sea salt. Yum!

We found out rather quickly, that all commercially available breads at our local supermarket (Publix) contains either soy, a soy derivative, or ascorbic acid.  All of these ingredients are on our list of forbidden foods as Alex and I try to build our health and learn to live (and hopefully live well!) with G6PD deficiency.  The only bread we have found is pita bread, and while we enjoy it sometime, we both had been craving some fluffy, more leavened bread.

First off, I ordered an inexpensive Sunbeam bread machine from Amazon.com.  That solves the daily bread issue- I can make a 1.5lb express loaf in an hour, without any kneading or oven heating to make my arms and hands hurt more (from the kneading and the hand-wringing when I get another sky-high electrical bill…thankfully the cooler season is almost here, so I will be able to shut off the air conditioner. Woohoo!).   This is a pretty good solution, and allows me to make a loaf every day.  We usually have fresh bread at dinner (the express loaf, while still warm, tastes just like Carabba’s bread according to Alex) and the rest of the loaf is used to make Alex’s school lunch for the following day (now that Smucker’s Uncrustables are off our menu. They were a staple during my pregnancy with him and have been a staple for him since starting school.)   However, I noticed a neato looking book on bread on Amazon.com and coincidentally, my friend Marissa mentioned it the next day.   So I considered that a sign and bought it.

It is called “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”  and it is fantastic.  All of the breads are for the most part, “no knead”.  Basically you mix up a base dough in a large batch, using a mixer with a dough hook or just a large spoon or your hands.  You mix just enough to combine the ingredients, but not enough to actively knead it to develop the dough.  Most of the doughs can be kept in the fridge for up to 14 days, and the book features many recipes and suggestions for using those doughs. All of the doughs can be used to take multiple types of breads, so it’s not like a person who actively bakes using this book will get bored over the 2 week period, from eating the same loaf constantly.

However, being creatures of habit, we have found that the Olive Oil Bread is our favorite and it is perfect for pizza, focaccia, calzones, even a simple rustic round.  I do find that one batch of the Olive Oil bread dough only lasts us a couple of days as I’m definitely not on my feet yet, so when I am I like to get as much done as possible.  It’s hard for me to cook anything, but if I make pizza for Alex on one day, I’ll set up a few mini-pies so he will have lunch for school and a snack the next day, and Jeff will have leftovers.

Anyway, just wanted to share this awesome cookbook with all of you…. It has definitely put artisan bread within the grasp of this arthritic old gal, and in the mouth of my little one with all of our “contraindicated” foods.

Oh and the best part?  You should see how much Alex is eating now and how happy he is!   It’s an incredible change and it just makes my heart smile to see how strong he is getting.  It’s making-me-all-teary-wonderful!

xo

Bek

P.S. Thanks to my friend Marissa, for suggesting this book!  Please check out her amazing art & visit her Etsy shop!

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P.P.S. Does anyone have an easy to use ice cream maker they really like? (I’m thinking an electrical one, to preserve my energy)

The Event.

2 Oct

In my last post about my challenge in getting my rheumatoid arthritis under control, I announced that I was stopping methotrexate and continuing on with the Plaquenil…

Well, that lasted around four weeks.

Four weeks off the methotrexate and BAM!  Labs went zooming back up, way past my previous levels of inflammation… The pain got much worse, my eyes got all blurry and irritated again.  So I went in for my RA visit and the doc asked how I was doing.  I reminded him that I had stopped the methotrexate and he said “You mean that you stopped the Plaquenil, right?”  and I corrected him…  As it turns out, my labs turned up something interesting.  Ok, interesting really isn’t the right word.  As it turns out, my labs were the first step in what would become a monumental event.  Perhaps you have seen commercials for it on NBC.  It’s called “The Event”.

Yes. I am joking about the NBC thing.

My monumental event, or rather series of monumental events, are bigger than that show (though I must confess, I am enjoying NBC’s “The Event”) and the impact of the discovery that was made through that one little blood test has changed my life, and my family’s life, forever.

The little blood test was for a G6PD level and my rheumatologist tacked it onto my usual blood work as he had recently started me on Plaquenil.   When I had the test, and when he informed me that I had to stop the Plaquenil immediately because I have G6PD deficiency, I will admit that I knew next to nothing about G6PD deficiency.  All I knew was to stop the Plaquenil.  He wanted to start me on Cimzia immediately so that I would hopefully see some relief from my RA symptoms (which were totally kicking my butt as far as fatigue and pain go).  I mentioned that I have a swollen lymph node and he called off the Cimzia and told me to see my primary or a surgeon to have it biopsied in case it is a lymphoma.

A lymphoma?  No panic. RA puts me at a higher risk for developing lymphoma.  So I called my primary doc when I got home and they saw me within the hour… I gave them copies of my labs, pointed out the G6PD stuff, and left with a course of antibiotics to see if the swollen bit was an infection or if we had to go cutting me up.

A few days in and I felt like crap…Shortness of breath, more fatigue… I read up and that is when I started to learn the truth about G6PD deficiency and how much of my life it had already impacted and how to prevent further near-death, permanent damage causing experiences.

I learned, in that first week, that I would have to educate my primary care doctor, as in that very first day he prescribed an antibiotic that is contraindicated in people with G6PD deficiency.  They did prescribe a new antibiotic, and the swelling did decrease and nobody seems concerned about it anymore.  I should be starting Cimzia as soon as the insurance approves it for self-injection (they did approve it for injection by a nurse, but they would only allow it if I went to a cancer center 45 minutes from here… HA!)

Little did I know, in that first week, that this one little enzyme wasn’t just a key player in the functioning of the human body, and why mine had malfunctioned so many times along the way, but my sudden, new awareness of it would save a life, potentially save other lives, and bring a confusing and abrupt end to an important relationship, that has brought me clarity, as painful and perplexing as it is to accept that.

So we have been having more drama than any TV program… And in the next few entries I will share the mystery, the miracle, the pain, and the triumph.

For now though, I must sleep.

xo

Bek

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