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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Canyons, revisited

I knew better.  I’ve heard over and over from other Crohnies who say they can have a reaction to food 3, 4, or even 5 days later.  I will admit that for some foolish reason, I thought that the rule didn’t apply to me.

Now, in my defense, historically the Crohn’s inside of me will act up within 1 hour to 24 hours after I’ve eaten something.  Usually, it’s pretty fast, and happens in under 12 for sure.  So, that’s what I expected.  I didn’t have anything much going on the day after I ate the prawns, and so I thought I was fine.

It’s not even that I’m in much pain.  That’s never been Crohn’s inside of me, thankfully.  But the symptoms that have cropped up yesterday and today, I just don’t like.  The big “C” is back, and tonight I’m feeling very bloated and full.  All I had for dinner was a 10 oz. strawberry and homemade yogurt smoothie, and yet I feel like I’ve just had a 10-course turkey dinner.  I’ve also had more gas and gurgling since Monday night.  All total, not too bad.  But I just don’t like the feeling inside of me right now.

I will say to anyone on or thinking about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet that this diet is not a short-term thing that you expect to “get off of” someday.  If you don’t have any gut issues, then you may be able to go back to eating “normal” American food and be just fine, if you even want to.

But for those of use who have something abnormal going on in the gut, this diet is for the long-haul.  In other words….you go on SCD for the rest of your life.  It does right by our systems by feeding it good things that it can digest, and keeps you away from the things that cause problems.  Really, it’s a diet that goes back to our roots…..and cutting out all of the processed crap that we’ve come to eat so much of. 

And it is NEVER smart to just “try” an illegal and see what it does.  Yes, some people may eventually CHOOSE to eat illegally now and then, like I did, and suffer the consequences.

But your mental attitude towards this diet should be one of strict discipline and adherence, for that’s the only way your gut has a chance to heal.

Anything else could be classified, depending on the person (and I was in this classification on Monday!), as “stupid.”  🙂

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Posted by on July 16, 2010 in Crohn's Journal

 

Canyons Restaurant

So, the other night my husband and I had a chance to go out to dinner, sans kids, which almost never happens.  I’m still a bit gun-shy when eating out, as I’m never sure if I’ll be able to find something to eat.  I had already had a smoothie earlier though, and didn’t want to pass up the chance to sit and talk with my man, so we decided to give the restaurant Canyons a shot.  I thought for sure I could order something there!

As soon as I sat down I started to look over the menu.  To my dismay, the only thing I found that I KNEW would be okay was a huge steak, and there was no way I was going to pay that much for just a slab of beef and all the other things I couldn’t eat!  I looked over the appetizer menu, and saw Coconut Prawns.  Silly me…..

It’s been so long since I’ve eaten at a restaurant that I thought these would be prawns cooked in oil and drizzled with some coconut flakes.  I’ve eaten these before, prior to Crohn’s.  I know what they are and how they are made!  But my brain forgot that, and I ordered them.

When they came to the table I realized they were battered and fried and had sugary coconut on them, served with a side of Thai peanut sauce.  EVERYTHING except the prawns themselves were illegal for me.  I was faced with a choice:  Eat nothing, and be just fine with it.  OR, eat a few small bites and hope for the best.

I chose the latter.

Shhhh…..don’t tell anyone!

I’ve been on this diet (SCD) for 9 months, and have done really well.  I decided to take a chance and eat just one bite of the prawns, and pray that I wouldn’t send my system into shock.  Oh my goodness…..it was soooooooooooo good!  I have forgotten how good processed Americanized food can be. 

Then I decided I would just eat one whole prawn.  I told my husband that I’ll just eat this one and be done.

Two minutes later I reached for a second. 

Have I mentioned recently that at times my off-switch for good foods doesn’t work?

As I was eating the second prawn my husband came to my rescue.  “Should I eat the rest,” he asked?

“Yes,” I replied around an amazingly delicious bite.  “And fast!”

He dutifully placed the remaining prawns on his plate, out of reach and sight of me. 

And I’m glad to report that the next morning I didn’t have pain, just more gas and gurgles than normal.  No, it wasn’t the best choice to eat illegals, and I won’t do it very often.  Eventually I think I could have one “safe” illegal a month and be fine.  I hope…..

But for now, it gave me just a titch of optimism for the future, and that things will look up eventually.  🙂

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2010 in Crohn's Journal

 

An open prayer

Sigh…..

Today I’m weary Lord, of the fight.  Give me strength to carry on.  There is no doubt in my mind of your mighty love for us, a love that is completely and totally immeasurable.  The vast oceans could never contain all that you wish to give me and pour out upon me. 

But right now Lord, the struggles and worries of this world have me down.  My heart aches, and my feet groan from the journey. 

Give my eyes sight to see your blessings in our lives.  Help me in my unbelief. 

I know that your power is unimaginable.  So why are we still here?

I don’t question your plan, or your will, for our lives.

My soul is just tired sometimes, of what it takes to keep going.

Give me strength.

Help me when my faith is not strong.

Lord, is today the day where you will manifest your power in our lives and our circumstances?  Is today the day that you are going to release us from the health and financial worries that are a constant threat to our lives? 

Lord, take this cup of suffering from us, this day.

Yet Father, if it is your will that we carry on a bit further, then strengthen our feet.

Give sight to our eyes.

Restore our weary souls.

And for the cause of Christ, let your will be done in our lives.

I trust you, My Father.

I know that I will be safe in your arms. 

All praise and glory to Him who has saved me already.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2010 in Crohn's Journal

 

Strawberry Cream Pie

Oh, this recipe is dangerous for me!  The first time I made it, I ate the whole pie in under 3 days, all by myself.  🙂  It is super easy, and tastes really great.  The last time I made it I didn’t have the nuts for the filling, and it wasn’t as good.  I like the little bit of crunch they provide.  My taste buds have changed though, I realize now!  I think this is very sweet, but those around me with a sweet tooth think….not so much.  Either way, I love it, and I think it is a great idea for these hot summer days. 

It is gluten and dairy free, and for those on a less restrictive diet, you could add a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce on top to “sweeten” it even more (if it really needs it!).  The next time I make it I will probably just leave out the crust that I did.  You really don’t need a crust with this! 

I had to modify the recipe for me, as I’m not doing some of the ingredients yet.  Here is the original recipe:

http://www.freecoconutrecipes.com/index.cfm/2010/6/15/strawberry-cream-pie-gluten-free-and-dairy-free-blog

And this is what I did:

Crust:

  • 1/8 cup melted butter
  • 1/3-1/2 cup almond flour

Filling:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup raw nuts, I used 1/2 pecans and 1/2 almonds
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted

For the crust, melt the butter in a pie plate.  Add the almond flour until it is not too wet and can spread around the bottom of the pan evenly.  For the filling, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until it is smooth and creamy.  Pour the filling slowly over the crust, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

This is such a wonderful dessert for me because I love strawberries, and it is so quick and easy to make.  Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2010 in Crohn's Journal, Dessert, Recipes

 

What a difference a year makes…..

Last year at this time I was struggling just to breathe.  My energy, I realize now, was at about 30% for most of the summer.  I would spend 1 1/2 hours in the swim center with my kids M-TH, and come home too exhausted to think of much of anything.  I wanted to do so much last year with my kids.  Most of it just didn’t happen.

I realize also that I was likely battling a Crohn’s flare last summer. 

With the treatments I am on I have found my energy these past couple of months to be a pretty steady 70%.  At least…in the morning, that’s what it is!  I think it dips towards dinner time, but that could just be my natural rhythm.  I’m just glad that I have the energy and stamina this summer to keep up on the house, inside and out, and to keep up with my kids!  They are in some ways requiring less of me this summer because of age, but in other ways requires just as much.  There is so much I wish to do with them, and with my current energy level I feel that I can at least THINK about doing some of them.

The one thing I’ve learned this year is to give myself grace, and space, to take a breather.  I call them my “mom time-outs.”  It is a time where I sit and do something I want to do like read a magazine, watch a show, or mindlessly buzz around the Internet.  When my energy is getting low and I find myself not handling parenthood or life very well, I just put myself in one of these “time-outs” and hope that I can get the rest that I need.  🙂

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2010 in Crohn's Journal

 

Mexico Pictures

I can’t put all the pictures on, but here are a few.  They are of the kids and people we fed at the dump.  The big pile of dirt is the dump.  These pictures just show a fraction of it’s size.  This is the pile that used to be an open pile of garbage where the people lived.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2010 in Crohn's Journal, Travel

 

Mexico, June 28

We are finally on the last leg of our trip home.  Honestly, I am ready to be back.  I love Mexico, and don’t mind being there.  But I’ve had enough of being a tourist.  If I go back to Mexico again, I want to go as “native” as possible, even with my northern white skin.

Even though I’ve done missions work in Mexico before, this trip was different for me.  Maybe it’s that I’m older, or the work was different.  Maybe it is being a mom now, and seeing these kids who had nothing to eat and wore dirty clothes.  Either way, there are a few heart memories and lessons that I will take away from this trip. 

I loved the time I had with the girls making bracelets.  The smiles on their faces as they made something for themselves were just priceless.  I loved helping them make something so simple yet beautiful, and I cherish the memory of them calling me “teacher.”  I am wearing the two bracelets right now that were given to me, one black and white and the other pink, purple, black and white.  I know these people have nothing compared to me.  But what they gave me with their love at that moment was worth more than I can ever say.

Kevin will also always be in my heart.  His eyes were so bright as we marched around the school pointing out things.  How he would try to form his mouth and lips in the proper English sound was so precious!  Kevin was so patient with me and my deficiencies in his own language, and was so eager to learn mine.  I know there is a drive inside of him, and I pray that he keeps that drive alive so that he can escape the life that is usually certain for many of these people.  That I was bold enough to seek this out, and confident enough in my words in two languages speaks volumes for the work that God has done in my heart.  I love that Kevin was sent into my path to show me the person that God has created me to be.

There are many other things I will carry in my heart and memories from this trip.  The one during worship with my son is so special to me.  I asked him later why he did that, he just said that he wanted to do what I was doing.  Oh, that I can continue to be such an example for him the rest of his life!  I’ll also remember the kids without clothes and shoes, coming up and getting bread.  The children racing behind the truck, slapping its sides, with huge smiles because they know they will get food.  And the women and men of the dump as they stood in line for their daily bread.

And Chabba Salvador.  I will never forget him.  His smile that first night in the dump told me that there was something special in his heart.  I didn’t care that his hands had just been digging through trash; I HAD to shake his hand.  After talking with him, I realized what was so special about him, and it is that realization that I will keep with me.  Chabba lives a life of trust and faith in his God for everything.  His daily bread is supplied by God, and he knows that.  He doesn’t question why this happens or why that happens.  He just believes

I hope that I can have and keep that attitude in life.  When problems come to my life, I want to remember Chabba.  I want to ask myself….is my situation any more impossible to solve than his?  Is mine any more or less important to my God?  I want to continue to have that faith, and that knowing that God is going to take care of me, no matter what the situation.  My God is a god of miracles, and he is a god of love.  I saw his love for Chabba, and I know he loves me just the same.    

Without Linda coming here 13 years ago, I’m not sure if I would have been here now, meeting with such as man as Chabba.  But God knows the future.  He knew that I and my family would eventually end up here, with the groundwork laid by Linda.  He knew what our situation would be like now, and how we would need a touch from him.  He knew that we needed an affirmation of his love and care in our lives.  They call it “The dream that never dies” here in Puerto Vallarta. 

It was the dream of just one person.

And that dream has touched my life.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2010 in Crohn's Journal, Travel