So, I am happy to report that I successfully defended my thesis and it was such an enjoyable experience! I had a lot of fun being able to talk about my research and fielding questions from my committee, and I am excited to keep on conducting health communication research. Now I just need to apply my thesis edits and submit it to the graduate school, and then I'll be done! Woohoo!
I also recently got hired at the YMCA to be a member specialist, and I might even get the chance to teach fitness classes as well :D I am excited for this job, and I'm really looking forward to FREE ZUMBA!!! classes.
Aside from those updates, things are status quo, and I'm really happy that I have some more free time now that thesis is completed. I feel like a real human being again :-)
Anyway, here's some of my meals from the week. I hope you find my plates both aesthetically pleasing and inspiring!
1) Chicken thighs, sweet potato, pumpkin puree, blackberries, and greens
2) Ground turkey, brussel sprouts, broccoli/cauliflower whip, kalamata olives, black berries, and greens
3) Ground pork, asparagus, avocado, plantain chips, blackberries, and greens
4) Chicken thighs, broccoli/cauliflower whip, kalamata olives, zucchini noodles, avocado, and greens
5) Yucca root!
So, that concludes my favorite meals for this week. Have any of my lovely readers tried out anything new this week? If so, let me know! I'd love to hear/see what you all have been whipping up :-)
Until next time!
Okay, so now that thesis is over I will stop being such a slacker and give more time and attention to this blog and you all :-) I haven't really had much of a chance to experiment with recipes the past two weeks, but I have put together some pretty tasty plates along the way, so I am going to share a bunch of them with you. If you ever want to stay in the loop with what I'm eating on a daily basis though, feel free to check out my instagram, @chronicillnesschronicles.
I've also fallen off the wagon (the autoimmune paleo protocol wagon that is) a few times in the past couple of weeks thanks to stress and anxiety, so I'll be writing a post about that on Wednesday. It's important to forgive yourself when you have a slip up, but I also like to prepare for the future so I can avoid the same situation from happening again. I was a bit bummed that I couldn't even handle a couple glasses of red wine the other night, but oh well! I found other ways to celebrate my thesis being completed: bacon, lovely company, and good tunes :-)
Once I get my life back together (although I feel like that's a process that is never-ending haha...) I'm going to try out some different recipes. I am still a little reluctant on trying AIP-treats because I'm not sure how I would respond to the flours and sweeteners/syrups (honey and maple) would sit with me. But, I might try out something for my thesis defense on Wednesdays since I need to bring some snacks. We shall see.
Anyway, here are my meals from the past couple weeks with pictures of each dish at the end of the post!
1) Chicken thigh, figs, plantain bread, greens, radishes, roasted carrots, and broccoli/cauliflower mash
2) Kalamata olives, greens, radishes, spaghetti squash, ground turkey, and mushrooms
3) Chicken wings, pumpkin puree, parsnips, and brussel sprouts
4) Ground turkey, frozen blueberries, greens, brussel sprouts, and roasted carrots
5) Tuna salad with greens, cucumbers, olives, and avocado cucumber guacamole
6) Pumpkin puree, blueberries, blackberries, and carob powder
7) Cod, white onion, greens, green beans, black berries, and golden sweet potato chips
8) Ground turkey, broccoli slaw, brussel sprouts, radishes, served in some leftover crock pot "juices" (I cringed typing that out - I don't really like the word juices I just realized...) (apple cider vinegar and chicken broth), and of course, plantain chips!
9) Ground turkey, kalamata olives, zoodles, greens, and green beans
10) Chicken thigh, cucumbers and oranges
Woo! Okay... hopefully that somewhat makes up for my absence, as I know you all have been waiting on baited breath for this post.
Have any of you all tried some new recipes lately? Maybe something St. Patrick's-day-themed? Let me know if there's anything out there that you'd like me to experiment with!
Until next time!
How to Combat a Long-Term Food Baby, Indigestion, and Gas: A Review of Digestive Enzymes and Betaine HCL with Pepsin
Have you ever heard of the term food baby? If you have, you understand how challenging it is to “give birth” to a food baby and make it go away (sorry, I will always be entertained by toilet humor). If you haven’t ever had a food baby I am envious of you and have to ask why you have magic powers and I don’t! Even if you don’t regularly experience stomach discomfort, I think we all could improve our gut health here and there, especially when consuming huge meals that can leave us tired and out of commission for a few hours (think post-thanksgiving crash).
Anyway, one of the biggest issues I’ve had on my health journey (rather, excursion) is digestion. A couple years ago I’d simply look at a head of broccoli and watch my stomach swell up. Okay, just kidding, but seriously, almost everything I ate either gave me gas (much to my Dad’s disdain… I like to champion my burping powers, but he likes to think I’m on the verge of throwing up. Thanks Dad!), a bloated stomach, and a lot of discomfort. Potatoes, bananas, oranges, beans of any kind, apples, broccoli, and many more foods would cause a trigger for my stomach. Even more troubling, gut health is certainly linked to mental health, and I know that every time I’d watch my stomach balloon up I’d start feeling disgruntled and/or anxious.
So, to figure out how to improve our digestive health I’m going to share with you two supplements that have helped me tackle my indigestion issues: digestive enzymes and Betaine HCL.
While the autoimmune protocol is speeding up my gut’s healing process, I still need some help digesting food here and there. My stomach lining is still healing considering I treated it horribly up until the past few months. To get some extra assistance I take a miracle product called digestive enzymes (see image below) :-) I could not swear by this supplement more. I take one to two capsules (depending on the serving size) before each meal and I have to say that my stomach is flatter for it.
While there are other variables to take into consideration (such as food pairings i.e. am I eating fruit with a hard-to-digest meal? Am I eating a lot of starchy foods with meat?, the type of foods I eat (my diet right now is super clean and I know that if I were to reintroduce some foods back into my diet my stomach would fight me on it), what time I eat, how much water I drink before, during, and after each meal, etc.) I know that I have made a ton of progress with this endeavor because my stomach has been super flat lately and I rarely get indigestion. Yay! Happy Yoolie :-)
As far as what brand I use, I use Source Naturals 99% of the time, but one time I forgot to order them on Amazon on time and ended up using the Vitamin Shoppe store brand. Both seem to do the trick, but I just like Source Naturals better as far as quality and price. Click on this link to see what specific ingredients are used, but essentially this lovely product helps you break down protein, fat, carbs, fiber, and milk lactase. The Vitamin Shoppe brand helps digest gluten, so perhaps looking into different brands of enzymes would be beneficial for all you gluten eaters out there ;-) As always, everyone is different, so something that works for me may not work for you! Do your research first before buying any supplement.
Now onto Betaine HCL with pepsin. Stomach acid is so important in the digestion process, especially for those of us who have digestion issues. A lot of times, the symptoms of low stomach acid go undiagnosed or are wrongly diagnosed as having TOO much stomach acid. Needless to say, it’s important to be really attuned to our bodies to help figure out whether we might need to take something to increase our stomach acid. Here is a list of symptoms of low stomach acid:
Of course, I have had most of these symptoms (sorry if you didn’t want to know about my bathroom habits, but it’s a part of the process), and since taking Betaine *with pepsin* most of them have gotten better. I take one capsule with each meal to help with digestion and gas, but some people may need more or less depending on what your acid levels are. You will know when you’ve taken too much though. For example, this week I decided to take four capsules a day and was met with acid reflux and a bit of a burn in my throat. I cut back to one with each meal and the reflux disappeared, poof!
Please take a look at this article to give you more information on how to effectively navigate taking Betaine HCL. The author offers up the following rules when taking this supplement: do not use Betaine HCL when you’re not supposed to (self-explanatory, but click the link to find out what these reasons are), make sure your Betaine has pepsin, take Betaine with the right foods, and make sure your dosage is correct. Again, the article will explain to you the how and why behind each suggestion :-)
So, this concludes my very quick crash course on improving digestion. These are two supplements that I take daily and I have to say I have been feeling amazing lately. Like the best I have felt in my entire life, which is huge considering the amount of stress and deadlines I have looming over my head (be gone thesis, be gone I say!!!). Of course my diet has played a huge role (all hail the autoimmune protocol!), but I still suggest looking into these supplements regardless of where you are at in your healthcare journey.
Of course, there are more homeopathic remedies that I implement as well: peppermint oil, ginger tea, and kombucha tea. I’ll have to write a separate post on these bad boys, but nothing hits the spot like some warm water with peppermint oil in it. Yum!
Do any of you have remedies for indigestion that you swear by? Do any of you have questions for me? Leave me a comment below!
Until next time!
Reasoner, J. (2013, October 7). 4 Common Betaine HCl Mistakes. Retrieved March 4, 2015, from http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/10/4-common-betaine-hcl-mistakes/
This week has been so busy, but I think I am starting to get things back in order finally :-) The oven was fixed on Thursday, so that has helped me restore peace back into my cooking routine at the very least. Mucho bacon has been consumed and I used the crock pot pretty often too! I'm not sure why I didn't take advantage of that lovely device before, but now I cook most of my meat in it.
I've also been eating plantains pretty often too and found an awesome product that is AIP approved and tastes kind of like Pringles (pictured to the right) :-P Faith in humanity restored! Of course I have no self control and blow through a bag of these tasty delights in under 30 minutes, but hey, I have to treat myself every now and then, right?
The addition of plantains and sweet potatoes (the Japanese kind... I'm still on the lookout for the delicious purple sweet potatoes I had in New York when I was home for break) have also really helped me keep full on days that I workout. I used to rely on rice and nut butters to keep me satisfied, but now, I just shove a bunch of plantain chips into my mouth and do a happy dance. Speaking of workouts, I've been upping all of my weights on all of my muscle routines lately and that has been AWESOME.
Anyway, onto the recipes/meals of the week that made my taste buds happy!
1) Aloo Gobi - These veggies were delicious and they lasted me almost the entire week which is a huge feat! :-) Cauliflower, carrots, and parsnips were in the mix as well as some awesome spices: cilantro, ginger, and turmeric. This is an Indian-based dish and the spices/seasoning involved helps with inflammation, digestion, and detoxing from heavy metals. Woohoo! I could use some help with all of that ;-)
2) Random Dinner - A lot of times I just throw a bunch of random stuff on a plate and call it dinner. Works for me! Yesterday I went pretty hard at the gym so I was exceptionally hungry throughout the day. I hooked myself up with some pumpkin puree, half of a sweet potato, salmon and greens, as well as some turkey (Applegate AIP-approved cold cuts, of course ;-)) with mango and avocado. I know how to treat my stomach well!
3) Cucumber "sushi" boats - I just whipped these up today thanks to Alena over at Grazed and Enthused and they are delish! They don't actually have any fish in them, but the kalamata olives help give the snack some more flavor. I love veggies though, so this isn't really an issue for me, but for those of you who are salt addicts, you'll definitely want to hook yourself up with some olives. They kind of look too pretty to eat, but that's never an issue for me haha.
4) Plantain chips - I don't understand why I've lived almost 25 years of my life without knowing how delicious plantains are. The texture is delectable, the taste is savory and rich (to me at least), and they're so easy to make! Also, my stomach does NOT tolerate bananas well, as I think I'm still working on my fructose malabsorption issues, so plantains are an awesome replacement for my old-time favorite fruit.
Anyway, I just chop these bad boys up into slices and cook them on the stove top in some olive oil. I'll probably try to bake them in the oven soon... I just haven't gotten around to it.
5) A random breakfast - Here's just a nice picture of my breakfast from this morning :-) I try to give myself a variety of different flavors so I start the day off on a good note. I used to drink the same smoothie every single day for breakfast and that got old real quick. I'm happy to report that I've ditched this habit and now I look forward to all of my meals! Picture below are ground turkey meatballs, plantain chips, pumpkin puree, blueberries, and some greens. Yum!
Any of my readers whip up something fun this week? Anyone want me to try something that they've seen on the interwebz? Leave me some feedback below!
Until next time!