Happy New Year! Can you believe it is 2015? Also, where are the flying cars already? I’ve been waiting since at least 2000. Let me get on with it and tell you the big news you really came here for . . . as of today, Mickey Trescott and I will be blogging together at Autoimmune Paleo. What in the world does that mean? Mostly, it means serving the AIP community is still incredibly important to Mickey and I, but we didn’t want to take on this mission alone anymore. We decided to join forces and blog together at her site, Autoimmune Paleo, as well as share articles, recipes, and ...continue reading
It’s finally here!! The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook: Eating for all Phases of the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol has arrived! Life is about so much more than food . . . and this cookbook covers all the other things that happen when you change your food. The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook will show you how to restore your health with one flavorful, nutritious meal at a time AND inspire you with the stories of wellness transformation. I hope you will love it! I am so excited to share it with everyone! CLICK ON THIS LINK to learn ALL THE DETAILS about the book and get your copy today. Oh! One special announcement! Thirty ...continue reading
Endometriosis Surgery Update can now be found HERE, at Autoimmune Paleo, where I and my blog partner, Mickey Trescott, now blog. Thanks for reading!!
Let's get something straight right away . . . I NEVER thought I would write a cookbook. Never. I have pretty much always wanted to write a book, but a cookbook? No. That was not my gig. I'm a good cook. I've been cooking since I was a kid & navigated my way through kitchens all over the world through adulthood, even tackled the dreaded, restrictive Paleo Autoimmune Protocol . . . all with great success & the happy tummies of friends & family. I never intended to write a cookbook though. Something happened very late last year that started to change my mind . . . I realized that ...continue reading
Update: A winner was chosen for this giveaway. Thanks for celebrating with me! Today is my two year Paleo-Versary! I was so busy doing life, that I forgot about it!! I was on a phone call with a client & I looked at my calendar & suddenly remembered . . . today is the day. I've been living this lifestyle for two full years and the positive changes have been amazing. What are those positive changes? Let me regale you with my favorite . . . a list! My Celiac Disease is well controlled using a version of Paleo, the AutoImmune Protocol. Shout out to the AIPers, I know you ...continue reading
Update: The giveaway is over & Vix Willis was the winner! Thanks for reading & celebrating my anniversary w/ me! Today is my five year blogging anniversary and I'm celebrating with a giveaway!! I started blogging in 2009 about my family's life overseas. We lived in Guinea and Sierra Leone, two developing countries in West Africa. It was a crazy adventure, made all the more crazy by my undiagnosed autoimmune diseases, not least of which was Celiac. Those stories are no longer public, but to celebrate my anniversary, I decided to share a video tour, on my Facebook page, of the tiny kitchen I called home in Sierra Leone. I ...continue reading
Tomorrow is my birthday. Ever since I turned 21 I've taken time around my birthday each year to write something about what I am like at that age. I've lost many of those scribbles, some are tucked away in keepsake boxes, and some of them are here on this blog. The year I turned 33, I didn't write anything. I was so sick at this time two years, that I felt like turning 33 was nothing to celebrate and reflecting on it was not worthwhile. I was literally just weeks away from my Celiac diagnosis, but I felt a deep sense of hopelessness and dreaded trying to move forward in ...continue reading
I had such an awesome year! A really, really good year. (If I'm not sounding real enough, see the bottom of this post.*) It is impossible for me to truly convey how grateful I am for this past year, but I can start by saying, "I was healthy." I had the first year in as long as I can remember without a single cold or flu. No strep throat. No bronchitis. No sinus misery. I stayed well the entire year.That doesn't mean I had totally perfect health. I struggled some with glutening and a rise in my antibody numbers early in the year. I battled with SIBO. I found out ...continue reading
I am sorry I ate that Bagel… There I am…I am a simple guy. I eat well and try to treat myself well… My wife makes sure of that. I picked up the club and loincloth of the Paleo world to support her healing journey. If you are reading this blog you probably know she is battling a trifecta of AI diseases, like the Paleo warrior queen she is. To say I am proud of how far she has come in only a short time would be an understatement. That being said, I have not always been the best partner in her explorations on the fringes of health care and ...continue reading
Rock Bottom can now be found HERE, at Autoimmune Paleo, where I and my blog partner, Mickey Trescott, now blog. Thanks for reading!!
Guess what people? I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow-up. It's been an interesting journey for me and I've tried my hand at lots of different gigs. You know I like me a list, so here's a list:Things I've Done For Money Fry Cook (I literally fried things in a restaurant) Cashier (in a tiny grocery store) Nanny (on a ranch in the middle of nowhere) Assistant to English Professor (oh work study jobs) Au-Pair (I got to live in Holland!) Front Desk Clerk (multiple hotels, very bad uniforms) Telemarketer (it is exactly the nightmare you are imagining) Sawmill Secretary (I weighed timber loads on ...continue reading
Readers, I am in the process of working out a huge refocus in my life. I've taken some really big steps recently in an attempt to eliminate as much stress as possible from my life. One of the things I am trying to prioritize is doing things I love that feed my soul. I've worked so hard on my diet for over a year now, with tons of ups and downs. All that time I knew I needed to find a way to make sure I also started feeding my soul, but I didn't really do much about it. To be fair to myself, learning all that is necessary to ...continue reading
I feel my husband lean over and kiss me on my forehead. My eyes start to open and adjust to the light in the recovery room. I'm groggy, but trying to speak a little. My husband gives me a sip of ice water. Then I make a rather blunt announcement to him (and all the nurses in ear shot)."These doctors . . . they don't know SHIT!"Yep. I wake up from medical procedures in world-renowned teaching hospitals and use the moment to keep it real classy. Even pumped full of lots of drugs and with a sore throat from my third endoscopy, I've got enough moxie to let my doctors ...continue reading
This Is My Plan B can now be found HERE, at Autoimmune Paleo, where I and my blog partner, Mickey Trescott, now blog. Thanks for reading!!
Yesterday, after sharing my most recent blog post, "A Day As A Celiac" I noticed some negative comments and I decided to address it loud and clear right here on the blog again today. Basically, the commentator said that as a Celiac my story of a typical day was "extreme," represented "obsession," and that my life was probably a "sad, awful existence." I was furious, but not because this person made those comments about my life. Sharing myself so openly on a blog means I am gonna' get a little of that nonsense. I was furious, because the comment came from a fellow Celiac. I am disheartened on the deepest ...continue reading
Holy Moly! Readers I am blown away by all of you. On Wednesday, I celebrated my Paleo-Versary with a giveaway of Mickey Trescott's new e-book The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook and a signed copy of Sarah Ballantyne's (The Paleo Mom) soon to come book, The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease, Heal Your Body. The rules of the giveaway were simple, I asked you to like my Alt-Ternative Autoimmune page on Facebook (if you hadn't already) and leave a comment there about why you like my blog. YOU GUYS ROCK! The comments you left were incredible. I am humbled by the kind words you had for me and all the encouragement of ...continue reading
Sweet Success! Confession: Right after taking this pic, I got in trouble w/ a park ranger for leaning on this old, beautiful cork tree. Law breaker & Paleo believer. It's today!! One full year of Paleo! 24/7/365! I freaking did it!* I seriously woke up with butterflies in my stomach thinking about it the last few days. I am so proud of myself for being so darned fully committed to my health and healing for this long . . . and it is only the start! I think I can officially say it now. Paleo is my lifestyle. I have a super rad GIVEAWAY to celebrate the day. As many ...continue reading
The Baby That Never Arrived can now be found HERE, at Autoimmune Paleo, where I and my blog partner, Mickey Trescott, now blog. Thanks for reading!!
Holy Roasted Butternut Squash Batman! Today is my blog anniversary. I've been blogging for four years, since March 10, 2009. You can see my first ever post (about our first day living in West Africa) here. It has been an unbelievable ride. I started out trying to tell the story of our little family exploring some of the great big world, but as I became sicker and sicker with undiagnosed Celiac disease, the blog became a journal of my misadventures and terrifying experiences with illness in a foreign land. There are even long silences on the blog . . . those are the months where the illness was stronger than ...continue reading
Here's an honest-to-goodness truth . . . I'm nicer than I used to be, alot nicer. And yeah, I attribute it to AIPaleo. Now I know there are alot of wild claims about Paleo out there. "After I started Paleo, my hair turned into perfect golden blonde locks, Chanel called me and asked me to be their new spokes model, and I was given a Ferrari for winning a marathon in which I broke the world record." Those kinds of claims. This is not one of those wild claims though. I really am nicer now. Loved this cartoon. It is perfect. Before I started this healing journey, I was painfully, ...continue reading
The Dreaded Set Back can now be found HERE, at Autoimmune Paleo, where I and my blog partner, Mickey Trescott, now blog. Thanks for reading!!
Today marks one year since my Celiac diagnosis. My Celiac birthday, if you will. I’ve thought a lot about all of the frustrations I encountered trying to navigate the medical system after my diagnosis. One of the ways I want to celebrate my Celiac birthday is by writing a very practical, straight forward guide for newly diagnosed Celiacs. Average time span from onset of symptoms to diagnosis is 8-11 years for most Celiacs. A lot of damage can occur during that time, but most doctors (even Celiac “specialists”) will not explain to a newly diagnosed patient what that damage might be or proactively evaluate the patient for these issues. Here’s ...continue reading
How often do people admit they were wrong? Like you, for instance . . . when was the last time you admitted to being wrong about something? I'll give you a bit to try and remember. While you're thinking, I'll tell you a story about a time I was wrong. Not too long ago I had completely different ideas about what constituted a healthy lifestyle. I had always been thin, so I had never tried any kind of diet at all. I knew that being thin did not always guarantee health, but I thought I was relatively safe from all the "major" stuff. I wasn't going to have a heart ...continue reading
Ever since I turned 21 I've taken time around my birthday each year to write a little something about what I am like at that age. Sometimes it was a poem, sometimes it was practically a manifesto. I've lost many of those scribbles, some are tucked away in keepsake boxes, and some of them are here on this blog. Last year, my 33rd birthday, I didn't write anything. I was so sick at this time last year, that to be honest, I felt like turning 33 was just an invitation to yet another year of misery and progressing illness. I was literally just weeks away from my Celiac diagnosis, but ...continue reading
--> So I basically have one of the sweetest, kindest husbands ever. I've been blogging since 2009 & every so often he hops on here & writes me a guest blog as a gift. Tomorrow is my 34th birthday & this guest blog is one of my gifts. Very honestly, I could not pull off the healing I have achieved so far or even my dedication to Autoimmune Protocol without his steadfast support. January 28th, 1979 – That was the day my wife and your blogger was born. I didn’t meet her until much, much later, but when I did I fell in love with her ...continue reading
Back in early November, I wrote a short blog for you on some of the ways that eating AIP changed my life. Who knew that changing what one puts in one's mouth could make such a huge impact. I thought today I'd circle back to this topic so I could show you five more ways it has transformed my life: Five Ways That AIPaleo Changed My Whole Life: 1) It changed what my cupboards & refrigerator look like . . . my kitchen is not overstuffed with tons of boxes, bags, & cans filled with toxic food-like substances anymore. There is no pasta. No pasta sauces. No frozen dinners. No ...continue reading
Oddly, I think 2012 is going down as one of the best years of my life. I guess being diagnosed with a disease that will require an enormous, life-long dietary adjustment could be considered the worst year ever. That's not how I feel though. After spending more than a decade getting increasingly ill & worse yet, increasingly afraid, I am profoundly grateful for the answers I found this past year. Profound is a big word to use there, but I really want to convey the intense relief that diagnosis represents when one has been struggling in the dark for so long. I feel more empowered than I have ever felt ...continue reading
I am taking a big departure from my normal blog topics today. Considering the horrifying tragedy in Connecticut yesterday, I felt that taking some time to write on it would be a good. This is my way to understand . . . to add words to things that wordlessly fill me up. I think this ugly moment reveals alot about us and our world. I believe we are ill with fear and despair. What wants to be heard through our illness? Last month I asked some artist friends of mine to write guest blogs for me on the topic of beauty and illness. I was working hard to resolve for ...continue reading
I think I might be a Paleo-vangelist. In May I discovered Paleo & began a version of it called Autoimmune Protocol. It was so powerful that I haven't stop talking about it for going on eight months now. I am never going back to eating a Standard American Diet (SAD) ever again. And I don't even mind. I've had about four moments lasting approximately 4.6 seconds when I felt I might like to eat something horrifying like a Twinkie or giant slice of fast-food pizza, but in general, I don't even think about those other anti-nourishing food-like substances. Remember, cheesecake is not medicine, no matter how much we want it ...continue reading
“People complain about the bad things that happen to 'em that they don't deserve but they seldom mention the good. About what they done to deserve them things." -Cormac McCarthy, No Country For Old Men I've tried to have a good attitude in this past year, but the truth is I have often spent my time complaining about the bad things. Moaning about how unfair it is to have a disease like Celiac. I should know better. I've had the unbelievable pleasure of traveling & living all over the world. The choices I have in facing this illness are a luxury compared to the choices that more than half the ...continue reading
It was great to take a little "off the beaten path" look with my readers at one of the deeply emotional, but not to often discussed aspects of long-term illness. "How do I handle the way it has changed my outside?" I hope that reading the various perspectives of working artists on the nature of sickness & beauty was inspiring to some of you. Being able to view our bodies in a new light or even to stretch ourselves so much that we are able to view the illness itself as a sort of gift, is a very "lightening" act. As I thought more about "lightening" acts, I started to ...continue reading
A little cut & shave & these guys would be Paleo hotties! I got diagnosed with Celiac Disease in February 2012. My doctor woke me up from an endoscopy, confirmed the blood test results from earlier & basically said, "Go forth & eat gluten free & don't call me in the morning . . . or ever again really." Although I had not suspected Celiac at all, I was not totally unfamiliar with the gluten-free concept. Even luckier, my husband was very supportive & got right on board with me. We immediately went to work learning about label reading, places I could "safely" eat out & eagerly reading all the ...continue reading
I've just had my second medical evacuation in West Africa & the seemingly random & unrelated symptoms of my progressing Celiac Disease are getting scarier. I still have almost a year before I know what is wrong. I returned to Sierra Leone for a short time after being discharged from the hospital in Senegal. I needed to reconnect with my husband and daughter before I left for our annual home leave in the U.S. ahead of them. I was still desperately trying to finish a bachelor's degree (I am an example of a very, very non-traditional student) & I needed to get back to the States in time to take ...continue reading
The strange, seemingly disconnected symptoms continue. Unraveling the problem is even harder, because I am living with my family in the developing world. Then the scary things started to happen. I had crazy muscle spasms, especially in my back and legs. I had terrible pain in my bones, especially in my rib cage. I had swollen glands off & on. Sometimes I had a hard time speaking, like I couldn't get words out or I stuttered. I couldn't concentrate. I was taking on-line college courses & I noticed my ability to concentrate on class work & reading dwindling rapidly. I even noticed here, on my blog, my ability to think ...continue reading
I've got two diagnosed autoimmune disorders. I've just had surgery for one and I am about to move back to West Africa. Now to get my third diagnosis . . . I can feel myself start to wake up. I have that slow feeling that happens with coming out of full sedation. Sounds are far off and my sight is just coming into focus. I look down and remember the IV in my hand. I've had a very rough couple of months leading up to this & another needle pushed through my skin and into my vein sets off alarm bells in my brain. Then I see my husband sitting ...continue reading
My husband & I were well into a difficult journey trying for a baby, but we had not found answers in the traditional health care system. We were ready to try another approach. We turned to a holistic clinic for help. Our insurance would not cover it, but we were inching toward our third year of hoping to have a baby, so we forked over the cash. Interestingly, the practitioner suggested I do a detox. I gave up anything wheat-based, plus meat & dairy for a month. I drank teas to help stimulate the liver and added loads of nutrient and probiotic-rich powders to my meals & drinks. I took ...continue reading
These next two posts are incredibly personal stories, but I have decided to share them publicly anyway. I think the road to diagnosis, particularly of autoimmune disorders, is far too long. I think the more of us willing to share how we got here, the more of us that can reach answers sooner. For me, now battling three autoimmune disorders, I know that those answers matter. It is important to go into battle knowing who your enemy is. In 2007 we moved across the country for my husband's new career in International Development. The move was crazy, as are most cross-country moves, but the new location was great. We had ...continue reading
Recap from Part I: It's 2000. I've just had a baby & then I develop a little skin condition. Turns out the skin condition is an autoimmune disorder. I don't know that yet though. I'm starting to have some other troubles & I'm wondering what is wrong with my body. The new troubles were sorta' vague, but definitely there. My tummy was a little uncomfortable after some meals and I was having a bit of difficulty with "regularity." BTW, I don't really want to write a love letter to the whole wide web-iverse about my bowel movements, but digestive disorders, like Celiac, do tend to come with this sort of ...continue reading
First a quick disclaimer: Let's make a little deal reader. Let's agree that this is a story blog. I'm going to tell you a story and since I'm a human being, the story is going to be colored & shaped by my personal experience. When & where "facts" are needed to help me tell the story, I'll do my best to mention the source of that information. This isn't a research blog though, so it will then be your job, if you want more "fact," to go out & dive deep into the bottomless pool of information we all have at our finger tips (I heart the Web). I would ...continue reading
Vulnerability is key to story telling. The best stories are open in the scary way. The "what if they don't like me anymore" way. Willingness to tell the story, to be vulnerable, is how we form human connection though. I keep trying to get a new start with this blog. I keep trying to figure out what I'm going to write about now that the African Adventure is over. I keep trying to avoid writing directly about the one BIG, major thing happening in my life (my last few & far between posts have dabbled in it). I decided today was a symbolically perfect time to go ahead and write ...continue reading