Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Glutino Gluten Free Frozen Pizza Review

I LOVE cooking! But, recently my fatigue level has been at an all time high. Tonight, I was glad to have purchased a few pre-made gluten free frozen dinners. Usually, I have a few dinners prepared and frozen for such occasions. When I opened my freezer, this Glutino frozen pizza was the only dinner left.

I was in no mood to fight the hunger dragon in my stomach. I opened the box, took off the wrapping, threw a few gluten free Trader Joe's Ciao pepperoni slices on top, and tossed the pizza into my toaster oven. Thirteen minutes later, I had a lovely, toasted pepperoni pizza.

Now,it was time for the real test! I hoisted up a slice and took a bite. I have to admit, it was pretty darn good. The texture of the crust was perfect. The sauce was mild, with a touch of sweetness. The cheese ratio was also perfect. Fact is, this was the best frozen pizza I ever ate. It was even better than any of the non-gluten free frozen pizzas I ate in the past.

Ya'll, I live in the real world. I know it's not always possible to cook each and every meal. It's nice to know that once in a while, I can grab something quick and easy. And, when that food tastes good, that's even nicer.

So, I give Glutino Gluten Free Pizza a big thumbs up for convenience, taste, and texture.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Surviving A Colonoscopy Prep with Grace

Well, I'm not sure everyone would agree that I was experiencing a graceful moment as I projectile vomited my first dose of Suprep all over the bathroom wall.  But, I like to think, in the end, I emerged with my grace in tact.

If you've never been through a colonoscopy prep before, you probably have no idea what to expect. When you talk to someone who has done it before, you usually just get a scary facial expression, a shake of the head and the words, "Oh, that's the worst part". Now, I know what they meant!

Most people don't want to talk about it. And, even less want to hear about it. I, however, like to be prepared and wish someone would have shared their experience with me. So, that is what I will do, gracefully.

The first part of the prep requires that you fast for the entire day. Unfortunately, I had a business meeting that morning, at a RESTAURANT. I nursed a glass of water throughout the meeting as everyone enjoyed their coffee. Now, you can drink coffee. But, it has to be black with no sweetener or cream. That's a deal breaker for me.

Then, around 11:00 AM, came the migraine. On the prep, you cannot take medication, herbs, or supplements to alleviate the pain.  Needless to say, the migraine stayed with me all day, night, and into the next morning. My advice, stay home, if you can, on prep day. I thought the fasting portion of the prep would be the easiest for me because I do intermittent fasting every day. What I didn't count on was the migraine and inability to focus.

I tried to keep myself busy until it was time to take my first dose of Suprep. I did some laundry, answered emails, and posted on my Facebook page. Keep it light is what I'm trying to tell you.

At 5:30 PM, I took my first dose of Suprep. Let me just tell you, it was one of the most disgusting tasting things I've ever tasted.  Because of this, I thought it would be best if I drank it quickly. It took me about seven gulps to get it all down. I would soon learn how bad an idea that was!

I spent the next hour and a half doubled over in pain. The Suprep seemed to be stuck in my stomach, causing a nauseating, burning sensation. At a little after 7 PM, I felt it coming up. I ran for the bathroom! Just as I reached the doorway, the Suprep exploded from my mouth and unto the wall, toilet, mirror, and cabinets. I managed to open the toilet lid and bend over the toilet for the rest of it, GRACEFULLY.  My poor husband came in with stacks of towels and started cleaning the mess around me. "Should I call the doctor?" He asked. "Or a priest," I answered, never losing my sense of humor. I helped him clean the mess as we laughed over the whole situation. Words of advice: set up the bathroom you will be using with extra towels, a natural disinfectant, paper towels, bum cream or wipes (this is for later), extra water (for later, trust me), and an extra garbage can (small). Oh, and, you might want to keep the toilet lid up after you take your first dose of Suprep!

I then called the Hotline number my doctor had given me. I left a message with the receptionist for the doctor on duty. He called me after about 20 minutes. Apparently, this happens all the time. He basically told me to go to Walgreens to buy a bottle of Magnesium Citrate and drink it all, slowly. So, I did.

The taste wasn't as bad as the Suprep. But, I'm not saying, by any means, that it tasted good. Problem is, if you don't clean yourself out completely with the prep, you have to cancel the colonoscopy and do it all over another day. I could NOT let that happen!

At around 9:30 PM, as I was texting my Mom, I felt the Magnesium Citrate coming up. Once again, I spattered the walls of the bathroom. I have never experienced such violent retching in my life. Once my husband and I had cleaned the mess, I started to panic. I had one more dose of Suprep to take. Would it be enough, I wondered. I drank two 16 ounce glasses of water and prayed. I don't like praying for things. But, I prayed for God to make things happen for me that night.  I did not want to have to go through this again. Nope!

About 20 minutes later, I felt a rumbling in my lower belly. I calmly made my way to the bathroom. Well, without getting graphic, we had some success. The process had begun.

At midnight, I took my second dose of Suprep. I drank it slowly this time. I drank it with sips of water in between. I'm happy to report, I did not vomit my second dose.  From the moment you take your second dose, you may want to just set yourself up in the bathroom. You're going to be there awhile. I was there for two hours straight. Along with the items I suggested before, you may want to bring a book, magazines, tablet, etc. in with you. Don't forget to use your bum cream or wipes. Some people swear by Witch Hazel. I like the homeopathic Calendula salve. It has petrolatum in it, which I don't like to use long term. But, for this purpose, I think it's not only necessary, it's a blessing.

By 2 AM, I was completely cleaned out. My original instructions read to take my second dose at 2 AM. When I called the doctor earlier, he had advised me to take it at midnight. I'm really glad I did that! I was able to get a few hours of sleep before my colonoscopy. I did get up twice to go to the bathroom while I was sleeping. It was quick and I was able to go right back to bed.

I actually slept in the sweats I wore to the hospital the next morning. The less you have to do that morning the better off you'll be.  You're not allowed any liquids after the cleanse is done. Since you are kind of a hot mess, it's best to just get up and go.

The colonoscopy is the easiest part. I had an endoscopy done at the same time. So I was set up kind of like a rotisserie chicken. I don't remember any of it! I heard the nurse tell me to roll over on my left side. Next thing I know, I'm awake and it's over!

I hope this helps some of you are are about to go through the process. I definitely think the findings I received are well worth all the trouble. I know that not everyone will react the same way with the prep as I did. But, as my husband was sitting in the waiting room, he did overhear the doctor speaking on the phone to someone who had obviously just vomited their Suprep. He prayed for the person on the other line. 

All in all, I made it through, gracefully. Definitely, through the grace of God. Good luck to you. You are all in my prayers.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Being Unwell In Order To Be Well

Apparently, sometimes in our quest for wellness, we have to make ourselves unwell first.  In preparation for medical tests I have scheduled next week, I have had to stop eating gluten free, taking my daily vitamins, minerals and herbs and using my herbal treatments on my skin. This has left me an itchy, bloated, crampy mess, all in the name of science.  In order to get the most precise diagnosis, I have to put my body in it's worst possible state of the disease.  Then, and only then, can they diagnose and treat me.  This is going to be a very difficult week for me.

As anyone with an autoimmune disorder knows, pinning down the exact disorder is a difficult process.  We usually show many markers or symptoms for many of the disorders.  I have gone from a list of five, to now a list of two.  I consider myself lucky.  I know many have gone through years of suffering before finding a doctor who can pin it down.  I have only gone through three years and three doctors.

These tests next week will provide the final answer.  I will finally have the answer! 

So, what I'm saying to you, is to not give up until you have the answer.  If I had listened to the first three doctors, I would have simply lived with my symptoms until so much damage was done to my organs that there may be no saving them.  If you feel something is wrong, continue to search for answers.

I have found it helpful to keep a symptom log.  Every day, I write down every symptom, no matter how insignificant it seems.  I also take my temperature every morning and night.  Taking your temperature can provide a baseline for your doctor.  Some people, like me, may have a lower base temp. Because of this, when you have your temperature taken at the doctor's office, it may read normal to them when you are actually running a low grade temp.

Take this symptom log to your doctor.  You will no longer forget to tell your doctor about symptoms that may be key to your diagnosis.  This is especially important for symptoms that are not visible.  Write down everything! And, try to write it down when it happens.

Well, I'm going to take my cranky, rashy self to get some lunch.  It's actually harder to find something to eat once you are accustomed  to eating gluten free.  I'll be updating my blog next week with the big answer.  Stay tuned!

Don't forget to get your daily updates on herbal remedies, yummy recipes, and health updates.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Warm Mediterranean Quinoa and Black Bean Salad Recipe

Well, it's time for a new recipe. I made this warm salad last week on one of those crisp fall days. As the quinoa was simmering in its spice infused broth, the aroma wafted through my kitchen. Aaah, Fall.  I love these days, before the icy, jarring fingers of winter pierce our skin. Sorry, I get carried away sometimes. Without any further ado, here is my recipe for Warm Mediterranean Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. By the way, it's vegetarian and Gluten Free. Enjoy!

1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Vegetable Stock
1 can Organic Black Beans- rinsed and drained
1/2 Red Onion- diced
1 Tomato- diced
1 Small Cucumber- diced
1 Avocado- diced
1 Tsp Garam Masala
1 Tsp Tumeric
1 Tsp Cumin
1/4 cup Feta Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
Tzatziki Sauce- prepared ( I like Trader Joe's.)

Place Quinoa and Vegetable Stock into a 1 1/2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer until 1/2 of liquid is absorbed. Add Black Beans and Spices and continue to simmer, covered, until all of liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit for 2 minutes. Transfer Quinoa to glass or ceramic bowl. Add Onion, Tomato, Cucumber, and Avocado. Toss. Sprinkle with Feta, salt and pepper. Toss lightly. You can add a dollop to bowl; or, you can add a dollop to each individual serving.

So easy and so tasty! It only takes about 20 minutes to make!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sweet or Sour Pork- China's Shuanghui Purchases Smithfield Foods, Inc.

On Thursday, September 26, 2013, Chinese company, Shuanghui, purchased Smithfield Foods, Inc.,the largest pork producer and processor in the United States.

Big deal, you say. Okay, well, let me give you a little background on Shuanghui.  In 2008, 6 BABIES died and 300,000 were sickened after drinking infant formula and other dairy tainted with the industrial chemical melamine.  Then, in 2011, CCTV revealed Shuanghui PORK contained clenbuterol, a banned chemical that is harmful to humans. How's that grab ya?!

Now, I'm not saying you should ban this company's products. I don't do that. We're all adults; and, we should all be able to make our own decisions about what we and our families eat.  That being said, I do want you to be aware of the dangers.  You can choose to trust the government agencies in charge of imported foods. You know, because they've done such a great job so far. Or, you can do a little research yourself and then, make your decision. Simply doing a google search should do it.

Smithfield Foods, Inc. sells specialty brands, Paula Deen Collection, and international brands, Weight Watchers.  The company's CORE brands are Armour, Carando, Cook's Ham, Curly's foods, Eckrich, Farmland, Gwalty, Healthy Ones, John Morrell, Kretschmar, Margherita, and Smithfield.

Also, keep in mind that some medications are derived from pigs. Heparin, an anticoagulant used in dialysis to prevent and treat blood clots in veins, arteries, and lungs, is one of them. In 2008, people on heparin, suffered from breathing difficulties, nausea, sweating, and low blood pressure resulting in heart problems. This heparin was contaminated by a non-naturally occurring molecule linked directly to its manufacturer in China.

And, let's not forget about the antibiotic resistant viruses originating in China, the cross-contamination due to the proximity of hog and chicken farming, and the overuse of antibiotics in their farm animals.

Oh, right, and the poor dogs and cats who died after eating tainted treats and food from China.

So, there's the facts. Do with it what you will. You decide. Is it sweet or sour pork?